Ala. man convicted of rape may request new trial

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) - A lawyer said he's considering asking for a new trial for an Alabama man who was convicted of raping his neighbor but has avoided prison time despite the objections of prosecutors and jurors.

Dan Totten said the conviction of his client, Austin Clem, was unjustified and the court proceedings were one-sided.

"The evidence was not really as strong, as far as I'm concerned, as it should have been for a conviction," he told the Decatur Daily ( http://bit.ly/1bqngcO) for a Tuesday story.

Jurors in September found Clem guilty in a series of attacks on a former neighbor that began when the now 20-year-old woman was 13.

Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof originally sentenced Clem to spend two years with a community corrections program that would have allowed him to continue living at home, spend three years on probation and pay $1,631 in restitution to the victim.

Prosecutors argued it violated state law and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ordered the judge to resentence him. The jury foreman also said the panelists also expected prison to be part of the sentence.

So Woodroof looked at the sentence again, and in a second ruling announced Monday, did away with the community corrections program and ordered the 25-year-old to spend five years on probation.

The victim has spoken out against Clem's resentencing and said she's extremely upset with the judge's ruling.

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Information from: The Decatur Daily, http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/index.shtml


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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