Courtney Andrews said she wanted to reveal her identity to express her shock at Austin Clem's suspended sentence.
A jury convicted Austin Smith Clem on one count of forcible rape and two counts of 2nd-degree rape.
LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -
A woman who was raped by a Limestone County man is in shock after a judge handed down a sentence without prison time Thursday.
A jury convicted Austin Smith Clem on one count of forcible rape after she turned sixteen, and on two counts of second-degree rape that happened when she was younger.
Courtney Andrews turned to WAFF first to reveal her identity to the public, saying that she wanted everyone to know how this is affecting her and her family.
Judge James Woodroof declined to comment about the sentence he gave Clem. The sentence gives 30 years of prison time, but the judge suspended that and gave Clem four years of community corrections, during which time Clem can live at home, and six years of supervised probation. In addition, Clem must register as a sex offender. If Clem follows the guidelines, he stays out of prison.
Courtney Andrews said she was shocked and baffled when the judge read the sentence Wednesday.
"How do you react to that? To know that he gets to go home to his three little girls, and live there with them, watch them grow," she said.
"He's still not paying for any of it. When does he have to pay? Because he still hasn't had to. That's the thing. I have to pay for the rest of my life. I've been paying since I was 13 years old," Andrews said.
Andrews said Clem, who was a family friend, began molesting her at that age.
"I was thinking finally I stood up and I'm not afraid anymore. Finally happy for the first time, I can say, in my entire life. And now's the day I'm not going to walk around scared anymore, because I'm going to know he's behind bars," she said.
Courtney Andrews said she has a message for Judge Woodroof.
"It's been proven guilty, guilty... however many times guilty, and you're going to put him back on the streets with all these people. I don't know how that's okay with you," she said.
Clem was released after Thursday's hearing.
The Colbert County district attorney said he was "reviewing options" to set aside the sentence.