Tuesday 25 October 2016

'We all made mistakes when we were teens' - High school athlete avoids rape conviction so he can 'enjoy college experience'

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith

Published 23/08/2016 | 12:03

David Becker, 18, is sentenced to two years’ probation and will not be placed on the sex offender’s register YouTube
David Becker, 18, is sentenced to two years’ probation and will not be placed on the sex offender’s register YouTube

A high school athlete charged with sexually assaulting two unconscious women at a party has been sentenced to two years’ probation and will not be placed on the sex offender’s register.

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David Becker, 18, had originally been charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery in connection with the crimes from 2 April in Massachusetts, in which he had allegedly penetrated the two women with his finger while they were unconscious, WWLP.com reports.

Becker’s case was continued without a finding and his terms of probation state that he must remain drug and alcohol free, stay away from the 18-year-old victims and submit to an evaluation for sex offender treatment.

The case continued without finding verdict means Becker’s record will not show a conviction and he will not have to register as a sex offender, MassLive reported.  This will change if he re-offends within his two year probation period.

According to East Longmeadow police, Becker had attended a house party with the two women and all three had stayed to help clean up when the party ended. When they had finished the two women went upstairs to share a bed, with one of the women needing assistance. Becker joined them in the bedroom to talk before they all fell asleep together. The victims both reported waking up to Becker sexually assaulting them.

Becker said he believed his actions with one of the alleged victims had not been a problem because she did not stop him. He denied sexual activity with the second alleged victim. The police report also showed he had texted one of the women the next day to apologise for his actions.

Becker’s attorney Thomas Rooke had highlighted in court the student’s status as a “three-sport athlete,” and as someone who “clocked the second-most hours of community service in his class,” New York Magazine reported.

Mr Rooke told the magazine he was pleased with the verdict and that giving the student jail time would have “destroyed this kid’s life. He added: "We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19 years old, and we shouldn't be branded for life with a felony offense and branded a sex offender.”

Mr Rooke later told MassLive: “[Becker] can now look forward to a productive life without being burdened with the stigma of having to register as a sex offender.”

“The goal of this sentence was not to impede this individual from graduating high school and to go onto the next step of his life, which is a college experience.”

Becker’s sentence will allow him to complete his probation in Ohio, where he was reportedly set to attend college. A spokesperson for the University of Dayton told MassLive Becker will not be attending the college.

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