Michael Joe Adkins is at the center of public outrage after the West Virginia man escaped prison time after being accused of getting his 11-year-old daughter pregnant and forcing her to have an abortion, according to the Herald-Dispatch. Instead, Adkins received a probation sentence of five years and 50 years worth of supervision. The publication notes that Adkins got his daughter pregnant in 2011 and forced her to get an abortion afterward. The Cabell County court case has remained in the system for years, with Adkins using a so-called "Kennedy plea" that was entered in September 2015.
The Kennedy plea of incest with a young girl meant that Adkins didn't have to admit guilt nor give additional information on his role in the crime. Adkins struck a deal that also meant he would have to register as a sex offender and get therapy. The supervisory years won't begin until the probation period Adkins received has ended.
Meanwhile, backlash about the case has begun on social media. As reported by Time, Adkins received the sentence on November 16, from Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell, after the deal was struck between the prosecuting and defense attorneys. However, Judge Farrell made it clear that he wants Adkins in prison.
"I'm just going to be blunt: I hope you screw up during those 50 years so I can send you to prison. If you violate any of the terms and conditions in the next 50 years, then the court can send you to prison - and I'm hoping that's the case, because you should go to prison for what you did."Adkins' daughter is now 18 and still fears her father, afraid to even use the bathroom without fearing her father is hiding behind or nearby her around a corner. Farrell got the case after a different judge, Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred E. Ferguson, refused a plea deal that would have placed Adkins on probation. Amanda Adkins, the estranged wife of Michael, pleaded guilty to child neglect. Amanda admitted subjecting her 11-year-old step-daughter to an abortion, without telling police or health officials, which endangered the child's life. Amanda also escaped prison time when she received 18 months worth of probation and 10 years of supervision after entering her child neglect plea in 2015, as reported by the Herald-Dispatch.
Comments about Adkins' lack of prison time are flowing into Twitter. Sample commentary about the case can be read below.
"So... the girl now 18 lives in fear of him. He gets probation and registered as a sex offender. This is a travesty of Justice. His name is Michael Joe Adkins of Ona, West Virginia."
"Are we really going back to a time where we normalize rapists and child molesters?"