A former Massachusetts high school athlete will avoid serving jail time and registering as a sex offender after he was charged with sexually assaulting two unconscious women at a house party. David Becker, 18, had been charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery in connection with the April 2 incident after a party in Palmer, reported MassLive. Palmer District Court Judge Thomas Estes on Aug. 15 ordered Becker’s case continued without a finding for two years, and he was sentenced Monday to two years of probation.
In an exclusive interview with MassLive shortly after the court date, Judge Estes shamelessly commented on his decision with the, in this case, inappropriate proverb, “boys will be boys.” He said, “Before everybody starts accusing me of being too lenient to the accused, I must say that this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a man. I do understand the circumstances surrounding the case and the boy will be punished, but as for me being too lenient, I disagree. I just didn’t seem fair to me to destroy a young man’s entire life over something that has very little consequences.”
When the reporter conducting the interview called him out on the fact that both of the victims will likely be suffering from psychological trauma for the rest of their lives, Judge Estes got defensive. “Listen here, maybe you didn’t hear me right. I said that the accused WAS sentenced and he will have to do his time. As for the severity of his punishment, that depends on the severity of the crime, and I made the decision accordingly. I have taken into account every single detail pertaining to the case and I repeat – there was no reason to turn two ruined lives into three. No good would have come of that,” Estes argued.
“Besides,” the rapist-protecting judge added, “I didn’t want to deprive the boy of one of the most satisfying and extraordinary experiences in a young man’s life.” Asked to elaborate, Estes said that just like some cultures have a rite of passage when boys are to become men, “our society is no different.” “In some cultures young boys are sent off into the woods to hunt and survive for days on their own. The Spartans in ancient Greece were also sent into the wild to learn how to hunt and fend for themselves. Even the Jews have Bar Mitzvahs. And white Christian Americans have the rape-in-college experience,” he said.
“If I had sentenced him to prison, he would not have been given the opportunity to attend college and grow as a person. He would have also been deprived of the rape-in-college experience, something that generations of white Americans have used as a way of demonstrating to the world that they’re no longer boys. Growing up in today’s world is challenging; women are becoming more equal to men, they are stealing a lot of the men’s thunder across the board. And the unique rape-in-college experience is young men’s response to that. It’s a way of saying, ‘Hey women, I’m here, I’m the alpha male and I’m not afraid of you.’ We all did it, it’s something that’s been passed down for generations. It’s become an important part of our culture and I’m not going to be the one who rises up against it. I believe in it as an American value,” Estes concluded.