In a shocking move, earlier this week a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Cassandra Mullen sentenced a confessed child rapist and sexual abuser to ten years probation and absolutely no prison time. Tony Simmons, 47, was a long-time employee of New York City's Department of Juvenile Justice who assaulted three girls — that we know of — that were in his care. Simmons admitted to raping a 15-year-old girl in a courthouse elevator, sexually assaulting a 16-year-old in a pantry, and committing another sexual assault on another 15-year old girl in a waiting room. All three girls were under his supervision in Manhattan Family Court. Yet, for these vile crimes, Simmons will not spend a single night in prison.
To give you some perspective, the following is a list of felonies in New York punishable by prison terms of at least one year: vandalism, bail jumping, possession of two ounces of marijuana, receipt of sports bribes, cemetery desecration. Even more to the point, I looked up sentencing guidelines for rape and sexual assault in New York and clearly, by the state's own policies, a man like Simmons with multiple violent sexual offenses against minors could and should be serving a lengthy prison sentence. So why, exactly, are there recreational pot users in jail and Timmons is walking the streets a free man?
I am not the only one who finds this situation appalling. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. called the sentence "outrageously lenient," adding, "this was an egregious breach of the public's trust." Agreed. It is unacceptable that a predator like Timmons can get off with a slap of the wrist. Tell the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct that you find the judgement of Justice Mullen to be erroneous and dangerous. We can't afford for more rapists like Timmons to get similar sentences.