A liberal candidate for the Wisonsin Supreme Court gave a man who raped his own cousin a 14-month sentence because he “was not a danger to the public.”
Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz, 60, who is running against conservative former judge Daniel Kelly, oversaw the sentencing of Jovian Reese, 23, who was convicted of sexually assaulting his cousin in 2018.
While Reese faced a maximum sentence of 10 years, Protasiewicz opted to give him just 14 months in prison, along with 50 hours of community service. 1130 WISN reports.
‘Mister. Reese, I am giving you the least amount of time that I think is appropriate,” she said during sentencing. It’s significantly less than I thought it was going to give you.
Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz (pictured) sentenced a man convicted of raping his own cousin to 14 months in prison
Jovian Reese (above), 23, was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting his cousin while she slept in his bedroom. He was facing up to 10 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Reese, the then-18-year-old invited his cousin to his home on December 9, 2017, and raped her after she fell asleep.
She told investigators at the time that he had pulled down her pants and underwear and lifted up her shirt to expose her breasts while sexually assaulting her.
The victim, who was not named in the complaint, said she woke up during the incident and ran out of the room with her clothes.
Jovie raped me! Jovie raped me,’ she yelled as she ran into Reese’s sister, then fled the house and called the police.
Officers then arrested Reese, who denied the allegations, but his DNA was found on his penis and a rape kit test found his DNA on his breast.
Reese was initially charged with second-degree sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, but a plea deal allowed the sentence to be reduced to third-degree sexual assault.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office also did not file charges of incest as the victim was a blood relative, which is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
During the sentencing hearing in March 2019, the victim told the court that she cried for days after the assault and became depressed and withdrawn because she “felt like she had no one to talk to because everyone in the family took her side.” reports 1130 WISN. .
She added that she suffered multiple breakdowns at school and work, forcing her to quit their jobs.
She also said that she stopped being intimate with her boyfriend after the rape, and that he broke up with her because she was “damaged merchandise.”
Despite the victim impact statement, Protasiewicz did not characterize Reese as a dangerous man during the sentencing hearing.
Are you a danger to the public? I don’t think so,’ she commented in court before giving him the light sentence.
Despite the victim detailing what happened and the aftermath of the rape, Protasiewicz (pictured) commented that Reese was not a danger to the public.
Protasiewicz is the frontrunner who will face former Justice Daniel Kelly (above), a Conservative who lost his seat in 2020.
Protasiewicz is currently in the middle of a contentious run against Kelly, who lost his 2020 re-election bid.
The two are now the frontrunners in the upcoming April 4 election that will determine whether Republicans maintain their control of the state Supreme Court, controlled by conservatives since 2008.
Kelly, who advanced to the general election on Tuesday, described Protasiewicz as an “assault on our Constitution and our liberties.”
The winner will likely change the state’s decisions on abortion laws and issues of electoral gerrymandering, with Protasiewicz as the candidate chosen by the women.
The liberal judge previously condemned Wisconsin’s near-total ban on abortion following the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.
He also criticized the state’s new election map as “rigged,” which was adopted by Republican lawmakers in 2022 and has been criticized for favoring Republican candidates.
After placing first in Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary with a landslide of 46 percent to Kelly’s 24 percent, Protasiewicz told Wisconisin residents the race would affect everyone in the state.
“Everything that matters to us is going to be determined by who wins this election,” he said in his victory speech.
Kelly, however, said that if Protasiewicz wins, “we will lose the rule of law and find ourselves with the Janet government.”