A judge in Utah has come under fire for calling a convicted rapist a ‘good man’.
Judge Thomas Low has been accused of giving “glowing praise” to Keith Robert Vallejo, who was convicted of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count or rape at a court in Utah.
During a sentencing hearing, Mr Low said: “The court has no doubt that Mr Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man… but great men sometimes do bad things.”
Sentencing Vallejo – a former Mormon bishop – to a minimum of 15 years up to life, Mr Low added: “I want to make it clear that the court agrees with the verdict. I think the jury got it right.”
He went on to describe letters written on behalf of Vallejo – who the judge also allowed to remain free on bail until his sentencing – as “extraordinarily moving”.
One of Vallejo’s two victims now plans to lodge a complaint over the judge’s remarks.
She told Deseret News that they “sent a message not just to me but to other people… that not everyone is going to listen to you, so why even bother?”
She added: “People will still not believe you, people will still take others’ sides, and in this case, take the side of the perpetrator.
Civil rights group Restore Our Humanity also plan to file a complaint for giving “glowing praise to the convicted sex predator”.
A court spokesman said there was currently no threat to Mr Low’s safety.
Top pic: Police handout