Sign this petition to show your support for the resignation of Judge Ralph Strother (Texas 19th district court).
Judge Ralph Strother needs to be removed from the bench because:
Methods of removal for Judge Strother include the Texas Supreme Court, Texas House of Representatives (confirmed by 2/3 Texas Senate), and Governor Greg Abbott. All methods of removal should be sought. Although Judge Strother is not to blame for Anderson's actions, Judge Strother should uphold his constitutional duty: that Mary receives her day in court with trial by jury.
In February 2016, a 19 year old female student Mary (anonymous) at Baylor University was handed a glass of punch at a Phi Delta Theta fraternity party and became disoriented. According to arrest affidavits, Phi Delta Theta President Jacob Anderson took Mary to a secluded area & sexually assaulted Mary, afterwards leaving her outside lying unconscious.
Mary was taken to the local hospital by her friends immediately, where her rape was verified. She contacted police, filed reports, and spoke with prosecutors. Initially, Mary was told "there is an enormous amount of evidence and a conviction is almost sure." Anderson was expelled from Baylor University. However, her trial was delayed a week before it was to occur on account of a legal motion by Anderson, and then never rescheduled.
District Attorney Hilary LaBorde allowed a plea deal from Anderson in which he pled No Contest to a charge of "unlawful restraint," softened from the original charges of sexual assault. Of her plea deal, LaBorde reasoned: "I realize this is not the outcome we had hoped for or that I had originally offered, but I tried a very similar case to this one last month, and lost."
On December 10, 2018, almost three years after the initial incident, 19th District Judge Ralph Strother accepted this plea deal. The consequences for Anderson include a fine of $400, some counseling, and 3 years deferred probation. Anderson will be left without criminal record or registration as a sex offender.
Mary and her family have been outspoken in their anger that the case is not to be allowed a trial, calling the deal "an absolute travesty." Mary's attorney, Vic Feazell stated, "By agreeing to this plea, Hillary LaBorde and the DA's office have allowed that rape is no longer a crime in Texas."