Man pleads guilty in sex case

Man pleads guilty in sex case

TUSCOLA — An Atwood man has been sentenced to probation and work release after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in her home in Garrett about a year ago.

Douglas County State's Attorney Kevin Nolan said Blake Reynolds, 19, pleaded guilty earlier this month to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, admitting that on July 26, 2011, he engaged in a sex act with a woman at her home in Garrett.

Nolan said the woman and Reynolds and another person had been drinking and playing cards at her house. Reynolds left but came back later, entered the home without permission and engaged in sex with the woman while she was passed out. She awoke during the attack, Nolan said.

In exchange for his plea, more serious charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault and home invasion that were filed in late November were dismissed.

Judge Mike Carroll sentenced Reynolds to four years of probation and 120 days in jail but allowed him to be released during the day to go to work. Nolan said Reynolds will have to register as a sex offender for life.

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rsp wrote on July 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm

There should be required education for all lawyers on the aftermath of sexual assault. It seems like probation has become standard practice. Just keep minimizing the crime. 

common_sense_isn't wrote on July 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

I couldn't agree with you more.  It's a miracle when it even gets prosecuted in this county, much less charged with anything substantial.  I think part of the issue is you can't see the damage it does (though there is no denying that it exists).  The victim may be sitting in court looking just fine, and the crime seems like no big deal to a judge or a jury.  Plus, sexual assault is virtually the only crime where the victim seems to be more on trial than the rapist - "what were you wearing, what were you doing, did you talk to him, were you drinking, did you lead him on, etc."  If someone is robbed at gunpoint, very rarely does anyone ask them what they did to deserve it.

Often, I think judges/juries are reluctant to "ruin someone's life" with a conviction or any substantial jail time, especially if the circumstances surrounding the assault are unclear... Yet they have very little regard for the fact that this person may well have ruined, or at least substantially altered, the victim's life.  Rape is a devastating crime that impacts a survivor for the rest of her/his life.  I would love to see our court system start treating it as such.