Judge Jerri Collins jailed a domestic abuse victim for failing to appear in court to testify against her attacker. The victim says she had “anxiety” over the trial, as the accused had allegedly choked her in front of her 1-year-old child while threatening her with a knife. However, the Florida judge showed no remorse for the woman’s plight and instead berated the victim. The entire horrifying exchange was captured on video as the victim pleaded with the judge.
“You think you’re going to have anxiety now?” the judged asked before sentencing her to three days in jail.
The Daily Mail reports that a Seminole County, Florida, judge is under fire for the way she handled a domestic abuse victim in court. The female judge, Jerri Collins, was captured on video berating the alleged domestic abuse victim for failing to appear in court to testify against her attacker. The exchange shows Judge Collins berating the woman for not showing up to the trial and noted that the attacker received a lesser sentence due to her absence.
In fact, the judge pointed out that the attacker had a previous history of domestic violence and that due to the victim’s absence, he only received 16 days in jail for choking and holding the woman at knife-point in front of her child. Despite the fact that the judge seemingly acknowledged that the victim was in fact assaulted by the accused, she didn’t cut the victim any slack. Instead of fining the woman for failure to appear in court or giving her community service, the judge decided to sentence the domestic abuse victim to three days in jail for her absence.
This means that the domestic violence victim would spend three days in jail while the man convicted of choking her and holding her at knife-point only received 16 days in prison. Watch the startling exchange below.
As WFTV reports, the judge berated the victim for not appearing in court as six people (the jury) had showed up in court to try the accused. She accused the woman of “knowing” it wouldn’t “be good for the state” if she didn’t show up. However, it seems that the judge completely neglected to show empathy for the fact that the state wouldn’t have tried the man had he not allegedly choked the victim in front of her 1-year-old child. The victim explained to the judge she had anxiety over seeing the man in trial, but the judge retorted “You think you have anxiety now?” before sentencing her to three days in jail.
The victim went on in court to say that she was attending a therapy group and was not “in a good place” right now and just wanted to move on from the attack. The judge, however, seemed focused on the fact that the “state” didn’t have its key witness and punished the victim for it. She found the woman in “contempt of court” and sentenced her to three days in jail.
It was noted that the victim pleaded with the judge screaming “Please! I’ll do anything!” after hearing her sentence, but the judge wouldn’t back down. Advocacy groups in Florida have slammed the judge and the ruling, noting it will likely hinder future victims from coming forward. The groups insist the ruling will have a severe impact the way this woman and other abuse victims interact with law enforcement.
Meanwhile, Judge Jerri Collins stands by her ruling and refuses to comment to the media on the case.
What do you think of the Florida Judge Jerri Collins and her sentencing of the domestic abuse victim? Was she too harsh on the woman trying to recover from the abuse?
[Image Credit: Ballotpedia]