Florida Judge Jerri Collins is coming under scrutiny after a video showed her berating a domestic abuse victim for missing the trial of Myles Brennan, who was the alleged attacker in the case. Although the sobbing victim apparently wanted to let the case drop, and she claimed she was suffering from anxiety and depression, Judge Collins sent her to jail for contempt of court.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a Florida 911 dispatcher told a kidnapped woman that cops could not help her even though she was in fear of being raped or killed.
In Seminole County, Florida Judge Jerri Collins had demanded that the victim of domestic violence be required to appear before the judge in a contempt of court hearing. The domestic violence victim had apparently ignored a subpoena which required her to testify against the father of her child.
Based upon reports, Myles Brennan allegedly threatened the victim with a kitchen knife and allegedly choked her. The father was arrested based upon the incident and faced a trial in which the victim would need to testify.
The Florida judge started by asking if these statements made to the police were true. The victim replied that they were indeed true, but Judge Collins then asked why she had not testified when originally requested.
“Then why wouldn’t you come to testify?” Collins asked.
The victim replied that she’s just “not in a good place right now.”
“Your honor, I’m very sorry for not attending the last one,” the victim said while crying. “I’ve been dealing with depression and just a lot personally since this happened. My anxiety is like, this is every day for me.”
But Florida Judge Jerri Collins was unmoved by the tears, instead telling the victim that she was required to appear under court order.
“You disobeyed a court order, knowing that this was not going to turn out well for the state,” Collins said.
The woman tried apologizing by explaining that she is homeless, but instead of sympathy she received jail time.
“And violating your court order did not do anything for you,” Collins said. “I find you in contempt of court. I hereby sentence you to three days in the county jail.”
The woman is obviously rattled by this jail sentence, and she tried pleading with the Florida judge for mercy.
“Judge, I’ll do anything… I have a 1-year-old son, and I’m trying to take care of him by myself. I’m begging you, please, please don’t,” she said.
“Turn around,” Florida Judge Jerri Collins responds. “You should have showed up. I’ve already issued my order.”
According to WFTV, Myles Brennan was sentenced to only 16 days in jail for simple battery even though he has prior domestic violence convictions. The victim in the case now has a misdemeanor on her record.
Jeanne Gold, CEO of SafeHouse, an organization that offers shelter to domestic abuse victims, says the actions of Florida Judge Jerri Collins could cause the victim to be scared of calling the authorities for help.
“That’s just appalling. It’s horrible. Shame on that judge,” Gold said. “She’ll never call again. Look what happened to her. She could be lying, broken in a ditch somewhere, and she would probably not call police because of what happened to her in this place.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, it is unclear whether Florida Judge Jerri Collins will face any repercussions for this incident. The Judicial Qualification Commission handles complaints about Florida’s judges, but unless formal charges are filed against Collins the case will not be made public.
Do you think think the state should have Florida Judge Jerri Collins impeached for the way she treated the domestic abuse victim?
[Image via Ballotpedia]