Ohio Judge Under Fire Over Rape Cases

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio judge is being criticized for ordering two rape victims to appear before their attackers in court and for scolding one of them.

Judge Timothy Horton of Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Columbus acknowledges that those recent cases weren't his finest hours and says he's still evolving as a judge.

Often, rape cases are settled in way that protects victims from reliving their ordeal on the witness stand.

But Horton said he wanted to hear from two victims to make sure all parties understood the defendants' plea deals.

When one victim, a young woman, began to break down on the stand, transcripts show the judge told her to compose herself or else he'd tear up the guilty plea.

A victims' advocate calls Horton's comments inexcusable.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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