Former Alabama state trooper Samuel H. McHenry II, who was accused of handcuffing and raping a woman, plead guilty to misdemeanor sexual misconduct, AL.com reported.
But he will only serve a measly 6 months in jail because of a plea deal handed to him by the Alabama Attorney General’s office. Originally, he was charged with first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy.
Granted this deal has raised some serious eyebrows, Mcgowin Williamson, one of McHenry’s lawyers told the Associated Press that prosecutors offered his client the plea deal. Meanwhile, Judge J. MacDonald Russell Jr. told the AP, “I’ve never refused a plea bargain that the parties have hammered out and worked on, since they know the facts.”
Those facts include: The victim getting into a car accident last December where she crossed paths with McHenry who was sent to the scene to investigate. After finding an empty bottle of pills and an inhaler, McHenry took the woman, cuffed her in his cruiser and drove down the interstate away from the accident site. According to the woman, McHenry told her, “”F— me or go to jail.”
While McHenry lost his job not soon after, it’s believed that the D.A. may have offered McHenry this deal because they didn’t have evidence to back up the original charges, says Robert Weisberg, the faculty co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center.
But even with that, Weisberg, who was not involved with the case, believes a jury should have heard this case. “The plea offer would make sense if this was a non-stranger case with some kind of complicated or ambiguous relationship between them.” He added “If it was a one-off act of alleged violence, and if there was some reasonable doubt over whether the guy really raped her it would make sense for the guy to go to trial.”
McHenry must report to jail on March 12 and register as a sex offender, the AP notes.
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