Judge John Connor is Columbus, Ohio’s Shamrock Club’s Irishman of the Year, but he sits at the center of a national firestorm over his lenient sentence for a child sex offender, with conservative cable TV host Bill O’Reilly fanning the flames, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. State Republicans are calling the removal of Connor, a Democratic Common Pleas judge. The sex offender, Andrew Selva, contributed thousands to some of those same politicians’ campaigns.
Selva, 46, was initially indicted on 20 counts of rape for sexually assaulting two boys for more than three years. In a plea agreement, Connor sentenced Selva to five years’ probation, including one year of house arrest with electronic monitoring, and a continuation of sexual offender counseling. Connor, 65, said Thursday he will not step down nor will he miss Columbus’ St. Patrick’s Day parade. Psychologists said Selva was making progress in counseling and that it was not likely he would reoffend. If Selva went to prison, he would not receive treatment. “I think I did protect the public and I did fulfill my duties in that respect,” Connor said. “People screaming for jail are misguided. I guess it’s revenge.”