A former University of Colorado student raped an unconscious woman and received no jail time.
Austin James Wilkerson, 22, was convicted of sexually assaulting a “helpless” female student who had been drinking at a party after he reassured her friends he would take care of her.
District Judge Patrick Butler sentenced Wilkerson to two years in a jail work-release program that will allow him to attend school and work during the day and return to jail in the evening. He was also sentenced to 20 years to life on probation, a move the judge reminded him of during sentencing. “If I or any other judge sees you on a probation violation, I have almost no doubt you are going to prison,” Butler said, according to the local Daily Camera.
Deputy District Attorney Caryn Datz said that Wilkerson lied on the stand in order to cover up his actions and that his talk of remorse wasn’t genuine.
“It was a five-day display of arrogance, entitlement, privilege, and blatant disregard for the role of law,” Datz said. “This defendant on the witness stand admitted he is willing to lie to gain an advantage to himself.” Judge Butler also echoed some of the concerns, saying that, “I do have some great concerns over, as I would describe it as, ways he tried to play the system.”
At the party, Wilkerson told friends that he would take care of the victim, who was intoxicated at the time. “He made certain his roommate saw him checking her pulse and temperature, and giving her water,” prosecutors wrote, according to The Guardian. After the assault that night, Wilkerson then sent a message to the victim’s friend. She thanked him for taking care of her.
When questioned by a university investigator, Wilkerson said that he had made “repeated advances on the victim, but that she rebuffed him each time,” and that he felt “pissed off” and that she was a “fucking bitch,” according to prosecutors. He later said that the victim had responded to him “passionately.” Finally, he admitted that he “digitally and orally penetrated” the woman while he “wasn’t getting much of a response from her.”
He did express remorse on the stand but he left his victim with panic attacks.