US & Canada

David Becker case: US judge rejects school sexual assault sentence review

David Becker Image copyright Mass Live

A sexual assault case that caused a national outcry because the sentence was thought to be too lenient will not be reviewed, a US judge has ruled.

David Becker, a school sports star, was sentenced to probation after admitting indecently assaulting two 18-year-old girls at a party in Massachusetts.

Prosecutors wanted a two-year sentence.

But the chief justice of the Massachusetts district court said "procedures followed in this case were lawful", the Boston Globe reports.

Judge Paul Dawley said the sentencing judge, Thomas Estes, "exercised his sentencing discretion in accordance with the governing law".

After being sentenced last week, Becker was compared to Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, who was jailed for six months for sexual assault, sparking outrage.

The judge in that case, Aaron Persky, requested to be removed from hearing criminal cases after receiving death threats.

Three things that have changed since Stanford

  • legal loophole that allowed lenient sentences in California if victim unconscious has been closed
  • stricter alcohol limits imposed on Stanford University residences
  • judge who sentenced Turner asks to be removed from criminal court

Becker was a football, basketball and volleyball player at East Longmeadow High School.

If he meets all conditions of his probation, the charges will be dismissed and Becker will not have to register as a sex offender.

But there are still avenues to challenge the Becker sentence.

The man who requested the review, Michael Albano, a former Springfield mayor who is running for sheriff in the county where the school is located, wants it reviewed again, by an independent body.

Mr Estes is not permitted to speak about the case.