Oklahoma Judge Who Spared Child Rapist Prison Seeks New Term

An Oklahoma judge who approved probation for a man who admitted to raping a 13-year-old Texas girl at a church camp is seeking four more years on the bench.

The Oklahoman reports that Marshall County District Judge Wallace Coppedge filed to run Wednesday.

Coppedge has been sharply criticized for accepting Benjamin Petty's plea deal. Petty, 37, was sentenced in January to 15 years of probation after pleading guilty to raping and sodomizing the girl at the Falls Creek church camp in 2016.

More than 103,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Coppedge's immediate removal from the bench for a "dangerously lenient sentence."

Coppedge hears cases in five southern Oklahoma counties and became a judge seven years ago.

He didn't reply to the paper's phone calls seeking comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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