Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.


Alabama man sentenced to counseling, probation for repeatedly raping teen neighbor

Published time: November 16, 2013 03:04
Austin Smith Clem (Image courtesy of Athens Police Department)

Austin Smith Clem (Image courtesy of Athens Police Department)

An Alabama man convicted on three counts of raping the daughter of a family friend has received no jail time, a judge ruled this week. He will instead serve time in a program for nonviolent offenders and then three years of probation.

Austin Smith Clem, 25, was convicted in September on one count of first-degree rape, two counts of second-degree rape, and two counts of second-degree rape for sexually abusing a girl at 13, raping her twice at 14, then raping her again at age 18. 

He was sentenced Wednesday to time in a community corrections program instead of prison. This stipulation allows Clem to remain at his home in Athens, Alabama and continue to work. 

The program Clem was ordered to attend seeks to “re-direct the lives” of nonviolent, low-level criminals who are deemed “likely to maintain a productive and law-abiding life as a result of accountability, guidance and direction to services they need.” He will only be sent to jail if he violates his probation.  

First-degree rape is a Class A felony and therefore punishable by 20 years to life in prison. Each second-degree rape charge is a Class B felony, which could cost an offender anywhere from two to ten years behind bars. Yet, according to local news site, Alabama sentences are allowed to be “split” between probation and community service at a judge’s discretion when differing punishments are in place. 

Brian Jones, the Limestone County district attorney, claims the sentence imposed by Judge James Woodroof does not follow the law. He reportedly stood up in the court room and yelled at Woodroof, saying, “This isn’t legal. It’s not a legal sentence.” Jones later said he is reviewing all legal options the prosecution can take, if any. 

The victim, who revealed herself Thursday as Courtney Andrews, said she was “livid” upon hearing the terms of the sentence. She later told she has only slept hours since the verdict was read and has experienced recurring nightmares. 

I thought, ‘How is it even possible?’” she said, adding that she fears for her safety. “I moved to get as far away as possible from him.” 

Her father, Richard Andrews, said the shock still has not set in. 

Back on September 11, my family was very relieved to hear three guilty verdicts,” he said. “We thought justice was finally being served and although the system was very slow, it was not totally broken. That feeling persisted until yesterday. We were floored to hear the judge hand down such a light sentence.”

The Friday news comes after a Montana judge sentence a teacher named Stacey Rambold to a mere 30 days in jail for repeatedly raping one of his 14-year-old students. The judge ruled that the girl, who committed suicide before the trial ended, was “as much in control of the situation” as the rapist.

Comments (23)


Edrick Patward 18.11.2013 19:44

Perhaps the judge,if you want to call him that, was setting a precedent for when he gets busted. But what do you expect coming from 'Bama where football is better funded than the state government and social services. Where book learning is for 'them city boys, liberals and gays'. And where familial designation can express multiple meanings. What a joke.


furd burfle 18.11.2013 18:10

Hanging's too good for him. Only in Alabam-ee !


Troy 18.11.2013 17:59

this is disgusting. A life sentence would be a death sentence for a child-rapist, and it would be nothing less than he deserves.

View all comments (23)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or



Show password


or Register

Request a new password


or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:


or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile



New password

Retype new password

Current password



Follow us

Follow us