Idaho father Keith Strawn was sentenced to four months in jail for forcing his 14-year-old daughter to marry the man who raped and impregnated her, reported the New York Daily News. Last year, a 24-year-old man, Aaron Seaton of Ashton, raped Strawn’s teen daughter and impregnated her.
In lieu of reporting the alleged rape incident to Idaho police officials, he forced his 14-year-old daughter to marry her rapist. After learning his daughter was pregnant by the man who raped her just two months in August 2015, he drove Strawn and his daughter to Missouri so that they could marry.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 25, 2016
After Strawn, Seaton, and his teen daughter returned to Idaho, he “harbored and protected Seaton by allowing him to live with his teenage daughter.”
When police officials were notified of the incident, both Strawn and Seaton were arrested Tuesday afternoon, facing a slew of charges.
Once in police custody, Seaton reportedly admitted to raping the Idaho teen in April of last year and impregnating her. A judge sentenced Seaton to 15 years in prison.
It was reported that during the court hearing, Strawn told a judge that “if you get them pregnant, you marry them.”
Strawn was initially charged with two felony injury to child charges and one charge of accessory to rape. However, two charges were dropped as a part of a plea deal, and he is now facing “one felony injury to a child charge.”
Court documents say that although the Idaho teen suffered a miscarriage, she is still legally married to Seaton. The Fremont County court is in the process of having the marriage annulled, as Idaho law states that if you over the age of 16, a teen can get married with the consent of their parents and “the permission of a judge.” However, it was not legal for the Idaho teen to marry at the age of 14.
Strawn told reporters that he wanted to tell his side of the story, but he was not able to do so as his attorney advised him to keep quiet about the incident.
According to KPLR 11, during the sentencing, Strawn’s defense attorney Douglas Knutson told District Judge Greg Moeller that “the victim told me herself that her father asked her several times during the trip to Missouri, and even the day of the marriage, if it was something she wanted to do.”
His attorney wanted leniency for his client, requesting six days in jail and probation as punishment. Knutson stated that his reason for forcing his daughter to marry the man who raped her and impregnated her could have been due to religious beliefs.
Prosecuting attorney Karl Lewies suggested a “unified sentence of three years, one fixed and two indeterminate followed by a $3,000 fine. He also recommended that the prison term be suspended and Strawn not serve more than 10 days in jail.”
However, Judge Moeller “ordered Strawn to serve a suspended sentence of four years in prison with two years fixed and two years indeterminate.” He was required to spend the next four months in jail and will be “eligible for work release the remaining time.”
“While you spend those 120 days in jail, perhaps you will think about the 120 days your daughter was in a vile farce of a marriage to a rapist,” Judge Moeller told Strawn.
Strawn told the judge that he now realizes that what he did to his daughter was wrong.
He said, “I love my daughter very much and I would never do anything to intentionally harm her or put her in harm’s way.”
“I made the wrong decision, and I made that decision in duress.”
Keith Strawn is now serving four months in jail for forcing his daughter to marry the man who raped and impregnated her. Her attacker, Aaron Seaton, is serving 15 years in prison after admitting to raping the 14-year-old Idaho girl.
[Image via Fremont County Sheriff’s Office]