Ex-Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck collapsed in court on Friday while being sentenced. The 48-year-old was sentenced to two years probation and weekends in jail for statutory rape. Despite the sobbing and high emotion expressed by Shattuck, the outcome could have been far worse.
Molly formed a relationship with a 15-year-old through social media. Police say this culminated in a sex act over Labor Day weekend at her vacation home in Bethany Beach, Delaware last year. The teenage victim’s identity and that of his family has been withheld to protect his privacy.
Former NFL cheerleader Molly Shattuck gets 2 years probation for raping boy http://t.co/NhkI9XYDSK pic.twitter.com/nIAUkfhItj
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 21, 2015
According to USA Today Sports, Molly was arrested for her behavior in November. At that time, the charges included third-degree rape, unlawful sexual contact, and giving alcohol to minors. However, a plea agreement saw Shattuck facing a less severe rape charge. The terms of the deal meant that Molly Shattuck could be sent to jail for a maximum of 15 years.
The Associated Press reports that the parents of the victim have “struggled to come to grips” with their feelings of anger and betrayal. Molly Shattuck is a mother of three, and it was through her teenage son that she even became familiar with her victim. No one knew that Shattuck would take things to such an inappropriate extreme.
“What she did to my son is heinous,” the mother told reporters, “She stole his innocence.”
Molly Shattuck apologized for her behavior in court.
“I take full responsibility for what I did. I never, ever, ever intended, obviously, to hurt anybody. I will spend the rest of my life making this right.”
Although the family of the teen hoped for the maximum, Judge E. Scott Bradley suspended Shattuck’s 15-year sentence in lieu of probation. Shattuck will spend every other weekend at a Delaware work-release detention center. She must also register as a Tier II sex offender for 20 years and pay $10,650 to her victim and his family.
— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@cbsbaltimore) August 22, 2015
The sentencing of Molly Shattuck is a controversial issue as some argue that if genders had been reversed, the ex-cheerleader would have likely received a harsher sentence. Society is quick to condemn male sex offenders like Jared Fogle, but women child molesters are often treated as if their crimes are less harmful. In some cases, they’re treated as the welcome fulfillment of a sexual fantasy.
It’s a disturbing double standard and unfortunately, one that is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
How do you feel about the Molly Shattuck sentence? Was it a fair decision or was it entirely too mild? Share your thoughts below!
[Image Credit: Delaware State Police]