After a man was convicted of raping a minor girl, he was required to enter a rehabilitation program and released on probation. However, despite raping yet another victim just days after completing the program, a judge outrageously insisted that he still shouldn’t go to prison.
Beau Maurice Gormley, 33, was first arrested for raping a 16-year-old girl while serving as the manager of a now-defunct restaurant in Ozark, Missouri. He pleaded guilty to having sex with the underage girl in the kitchen of Third Street Pasta and Grill, which the victim said she did because “Beau told her to” and “he was her boss and she needed to keep her job.”
For most individuals, rape is a crime that is simply inexcusable. Even for hardened criminals, sexual offenses against women and children are seen as particularly detestable and treated as such. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t the case for the presiding judge.
For the crime of statutory rape, Gormley was sentenced to a 120-day sex offender program before being released on probation. Although he completed the rehab program, this was only the beginning of the registered sex offender’s crime spree.
Just 34 days after he was released from the sex offending assessment unit, he brutally raped the mother of his children. However, despite being found guilty of his second rape, the presiding judge believed he shouldn’t even touch the inside of a jail cell.
According to KY 3, Green County Circuit Court Judge Calvin R. Holden sentenced Gormley to just five years probation for his second rape after his probation officer and sex abuse program counselor convinced him that he was “making progress in his counseling.”
“So the judge was able to hear from somebody who has expertise in this type of treatment, who has supervised and treated him for quite some time, and came to a conclusion that continuity under these circumstances was going to be warehousing him in a prison,” explained Gormley’s defense attorney Jason Coatney.
Despite prosecutors’ request that he receive the maximum 7 years in prison, Judge Holden handed down the probation sentence because Gormley seems to be improving in counseling. However, Holden ignored the fact that Gormley raped his second victim after completing a similar program intended to rehabilitate the sex offender.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Fax voiced disapproval for Judge Holden’s ruling, pointing out that Gormley’s second offense occurred while he was on probation. “This is not his first rodeo,” she told Springfield News-Leader, suggesting that he is likely to re-offend in the next 5 years.
That decision has sparked outrage on social media including a post by Greene Co. prosecutor Dan Patterson with a Ronald Reagan quote that “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It’s time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
However, Coatney rejected the idea that his client will commit the same crime a third time, explaining that when Gormley raped the second victim, he hadn’t yet gone through this particular counseling program. He assured that Gormley will receive a lengthy prison sentence if he once again violates probation, much to the disbelief of critics.
“Going out in the public and saying ‘It’s all the judges fault what happened here and he’s blaming society at large’ is irresponsible,” Coatney said of the posted statement.
Of course, most responses are critical of the judge’s decision. In fact, some even pointed out that not only does the ruling endanger other women, but it might also discourage victims from coming forward altogether.
“Sometimes the outcomes from decisions that are made in the courtroom is that people feel jaded and skeptical that they’ll be able to find justice for themselves,” explained Brandi Bartel, the executive director of the Victim Center.
As Bartel explains, victims may decide to keep quiet about their abuse because they have seen that going through the lengthy and arduous process of the justice system is futile.
“It takes a tremendous amount of courage but then ultimately they don’t see that accountability taking place and that is extremely discouraging,” Bartel said.
For now, Beau Gormley is free to roam the streets possibly targeting his next victim. This type of injustice sends a message to criminals that they can re-offend without fear of receiving anything more than a slap on the wrist.
Most disturbing about Gormley’s case is that there are now two women who have learned that the court system doesn’t always deliver justice. Sadly, Gormley lives to offend another day while his victims must suffer the long-lasting effects of his crimes.