Benjamin Clawson, a 22-year-old Utah man, has been sentenced to 60 days in jail plus two years probation for molesting a girl over a period of time when she was four and five years old, KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City) is reporting.
Clawson was sentenced on January 17, but the details of his sentencing are only now being reported in the media. He had been found guilty back on December 6, 2018, of three counts of sexual battery, and ten days ago was sentenced to 60 days in jail, two years probation, and ordered to pay a fine of $889. He was also ordered to complete a psychosexual evaluation, and complete his GED or high school diploma. A fine of $7,500 was suspended by the judge, according to KUTV-TV (Salt Lake City.)
The details of Clawson’s crimes remain largely unclear. Court records say that he sexually abused the four- and five-year-old girl three times between February 2011 and January 2014 in Provo. Clawson was between 14 and 16 years of age at the time.
Clawson is not the only sex offender to get off with a seemingly light sentence.
In 2016, as the New York Daily News reported at the time, the story of Iowa man Kraigen Grooms caused international outrage.
Grooms, who was 16 years old at the time of his crimes, was caught on video committing a sexual act against an infant. Video of the assault later appeared on a child pornography site on the so-called “dark web.”
— Hero Serena (@SwampSipper) January 27, 2019
As it would later turn out, Grooms had been hoodwinked by child pornography producers from New Orleans and Ireland who were posing as teens in order to convince him to produce child pornography, specifically by molesting the infant girl on-camera, says Wapello County Attorney Gary Oldenburger.
“The abuse was committed at the behest of two men who had, over a long period of time, perfected a technique for duping children into committing sexual acts that they would not otherwise have engaged in. They were so skillful and so persuasive in their efforts that they successfully convinced hundreds of children to engage in sexual activity while they surreptitiously recorded it.”
When Grooms was finally caught, tried, and convicted, he received a sentence of time served plus a 10-year suspended sentence. The decision caused outrage, with calls coming from far and wide for the judge to be fired. However, prosecutors stood by their decision to seek so little time for Grooms, citing his youth, the fact that he’d been hoodwinked, and the fact that the family of the victim did not want him to serve prison time.