HOUSTON – Community members are outraged after a Harris County Judge sentenced a convicted child rapist to 60 days in jail and 10 years of probation.
Activists say the punishment was too soft.
BACKGROUND: Ex-Tomball teacher arrested, accused of having up to 3-year sexual relationship with underage student
Community activists Quanell X and Dr. Candice Matthews called out Harris County Judge Greg Glass outside his courtroom Thursday morning.
On Tuesday, the judge sentenced former Tomball teacher, 32-year-old Marka Bodine, to 60 days in jail and 10 years deferred adjudication probation for continuously grooming and sexually abusing one of her underaged students. However, Bodine’s jail time won’t begin for a year. The judge’s reason for the delay: to avoid separating her from her 3-month-old baby.
“Judge Glass, you need to get your rusty, raggedy behind off the bench, because you’re not qualified to protect the children of Houston and Harris County,” said Quanell X.
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Quanell X alleged that Bodine got pregnant while out on bond to influence the court to not send her to prison.
“Black and brown women, who are charged with crimes, they have children all the time and that’s never taken into consideration,” Quanell X continued.
“Your complexion is your protection because if she was African American or any woman of color, she would be having that baby handcuffed to a gurney in TDCJ,” said Dr. Candice Matthews with the Rainbow Coalition.
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Authorities say the victim was 13-years-old when the sexual abuse began and continued for nearly three years until the child finally called for help in April 2021.
Court documents say part of Bodine’s punishment conditions include writing an apology letter to the victim and his mother and not going anywhere within 1,000 feet of children. Bodine will also not be allowed to have unsupervised contact with her stepson.
Legal analysts say although unpopular, the sentencing is par for the course.
“The vast majority of the clients that I represented that are teaching professionals, most of them have not gone to prison,” said criminal defense attorney, Chris Tritico. “At the end of the day, you have a defendant that’s going to spend 60 days in jail and spend 10 years on probation. If she makes one mistake, this judge or whoever takes his place, can then put her in prison. The justice system has its thumb on her for a very, very long time,” Tritico continued.
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Judge Glass recently lost reelection. His current term ends in December 2022.
FOX 26 reached out to his office Thursday, but they declined to comment.