A liberal candidate for the Wisonsin Supreme Court gave a man who raped his own cousin a 14-month sentence because he ‘wasn’t a danger to the public.’
Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz, 60, who is running against the conservative former-Justice 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.
‘Mr. Reese, I am giving you the least amount of time I think is appropriate,’ she said during the sentencing. ‘It is significantly less than what I thought I 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 was sleeping in his room. He faced a maximum of 10 years in prison
According to the criminal complaint filed against Reese, the then-18-year-old had invited his cousin to his house 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 pulled up her shirt to expose her breasts while he sexually assaulted 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 when running into Reese’s sister, and then she fled the home and called police.
Officers then arrested Reese, who denied the allegations, but her DNA was found on his penis, and a rape kit test found his DNA on her breast.
Reese was initally charged with second-degree sexual assault, which sees 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 pursue incest charges 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 she cried for days after the assault and grew depressed and isolated because she ‘felt that she had no one to talk to because everyone in the family took his side,’ 1130 WISN reports.
She added that she suffered multiple breakdowns at school and work, forcing her to quit her jobs.
She also said she stopped being intimate with her boyfriend following the rape, and that he broke up with her because she was ‘damaged goods.’
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 she went through and the impacts following the rape, Protasiewicz (pictured) commented that Reese was not a danger to the public
Protasiewicz is the leading candidate who will square off against former-Justice Daniel Kelly (above), a conservative who lost his seat in 2020
Protasiewicz is currently in the middle of a contentious race against Kelly, who lost his re-election bid in 2020.
The two are now the leading candidates for the upcoming April 4 election that will determine whether Republicans maintain their hold in the state’s Supreme Court, which has been 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 swing the state’s rulings on abortion laws and gerrymandering issues, with Protasiewicz running as a women’s choice candidate.
The liberal judge has previously condemned Wisconsin’s near total ban on abortion following the overturn of Roe v. Wade last year.
She also slammed the state’s new electoral map as ‘rigged.’ It was adopted by Republican legislators in 2022 and has been criticized as favoring GOP candidates.
After coming in first in the nonpartisan primary on Tuesday with an overwhelming 46 percent to Kelly’s 24 percent, Protasiewicz told Wisconsin residents that the race would impact everyone in the state.
‘Everything we care about is going to be determined by who wins this election,’ she said in her victory speech.
Kelly, however, said that if Protasiewicz wins, ‘We will lose the rule of law and find ourselves saddled with the rule of Janet.’