A judge’s decision to sentence a 5-foot-1 man to probation instead of prison for sexually assaulting a child has angered crime victim advocates, reports the Associated Press. Cheyenne County, Ne., District Judge Kristine Cecava issued the sentence Tuesday. She told Richard Thompson his crimes deserved a long prison sentence but that he was too small to survive in a state prison. He could have been sentenced to 10 years behind bars, but he ended up with 10 years of probation instead.
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning will appeal, calling the sentence far too lenient. “I’m concerned about the message this sends to victims and perpetrators,” said Marla Sohl of the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition, adding that it shows more concern is being placed on the criminal and his safety in prison than the victim. Joe Mangano of the National Organization of Short Statured Adults, agreed with the judge’s assessment that Thompson would face dangers while in prison because of his height. Thompson had sexual contact last year with a 12-year-old girl, said Sidney, Ne., Police Chief Larry Cox.