Articles on a Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” (AP)

Group complains judge who called rapist ‘good man’ is biased

Apr. 20, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” during sentencing showed bias for the defendant because he was a former Mormon bishop, according to an official complaint filed Thursday by a gay rights group.

Mark Lawrence of Restore our Humanity said the group sent the complaint to the state Judicial Conduct Commission, which can recommend the Utah Supreme Court reprimand or remove Judge Thomas Low.

Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo last week to five years to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

“The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man,” Low said at the hearing. “But great men sometimes do bad things.”

Click here to read the full article.

Repercussions unclear for judge after comments on rape case

April 17, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Complaints keep pouring in about a Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” during his sentencing hearing. But the chances of the judge being punished appear slim because his remarks don’t seem to fit within any of the five forms of judicial misconduct that would trigger reprimands, one expert said.

At least four of these categories of misconduct don’t apply to Judge Thomas Low’s remarks, Paul Cassell, a professor of criminal law at the University of Utah, said Monday. The fifth category would only apply if officials determined that his comments were damaging to the administration of justice, which is difficult to prove, Cassell said.

Last week, Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo, a former Mormon bishop, to up to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

Click here to read the full article.

Utah judge at rape sentencing: Ex-Mormon bishop a ‘good man’

April 15, 2017

PROVO, Utah (AP) — A woman says she is shocked by a Utah judge’s comments in which he called a former Mormon bishop convicted of sexually assaulting her a “good man” during his sentencing hearing.

Julia Kirby said Friday that Judge Thomas Low appeared to care more for her attacker than he did about her.

“He only cared about the person he was convicting, and I think that is really kind of despicable,” said the 23-year-old Kirby, who has given The Associated Press permission to publish her name

Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo to up to life in prison this week after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

Kirby said she was 19 when Vallejo, a relative, groped her multiple times when she stayed at his house while attending Brigham Young University in 2013.

Click here to read the full article.