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