I wrote in November about Abigail Simon. Simon raped her 15-year-old student over the course of several weeks. While Simon admitted that the sex took place, she and her attorney claimed that the victim was the real rapist. They claimed this because the boy is a 220-pound, 6’3″ football player.
The jury did not agree with that claim and convicted Simon of three counts of criminal sexual conduct. In a surprising move, Judge Paul Sullivan also decided to take a stern approach and sentenced Simon to eight to 25 years in prison. However, the judge was not entirely unsympathetic toward Simon:
The judge said that while Simon is not a predator and isn’t likely to re-offend, she knew it was wrong and had every chance to end the relationship. The judge also said the victim had some “culpability,” because he also knew it was wrong. Under state law, the victim was too young to consent to sex.
“The embarrassing things that came out in a very public trial are an embarrassment, frankly, to both people,” Sullivan said, noting the victim’s family has been depicted in “a negative light,” in the community.
Simon pleaded for mercy during her hearing and tearfully gave a ten minute statement, still expressing the belief that she was a victim.
‘I’m asking you to take a chance on me,’ begged Simon.
‘I’m lost and I’m broken,’ she said expressing that she was tired and that she wanted to go home.
‘I was overtaken by fear, scared and lost, felt like I was drowning,’ she told the judge with a look of desperation.
‘I’m sorry I was not strong enough to get away from him.’
Twice the deputies helped Simon as she, according to reports, “almost passed out” while the judge sentenced her.
Some people find the sentence harsh. I do not, and I will explain why.
First, the prosecutors offered Simon a plea deal for second-degree criminal sexual conduct. That charge carries a 15-year maximum sentence, but the prosecutors were willing to give Simon a one-year cap. She turned them down. The prosecutors later offered her another deal for a five to 23-month sentence if she plead guilty to accosting a child for immoral purposes and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration that Simon also turned down because she did not think she did anything wrong.
Second, Simon spent the trial painting herself as the victim, using her manipulation of her victim and his naivete to argue that the boy was the aggressor. It was a disgusting display of victim blaming.
Finally, Simon does not seem the least bit remorseful for her actions. She is solely concerned about herself and continues to blame the boy even after the jury clearly did not buy her story.
Simon deserves the sentence she received. It is not like she will serve the full 25 years. It is more likely that she will be out in less than five years for good behavior. I think that is a fair sentence for her crimes.