WACO, Texas (KWTX) State District Judge Ralph Strother, who accepted a plea deal in the sexual assault case of an ex-Baylor fraternity president is receiving email threats and a petition drive is underway calling for his resignation.
On Monday Strother accepted the state’s plea agreement and sentenced Jacob Walter Anderson, 24, to three years on deferred probation, which if he completes will leave him without a criminal record.
Anderson, on Oct. 15, pleaded no contest to the charge, a third-degree felony, after Assistant District Attorney Hilary LaBorde and Anderson’s defense counsel reached a plea agreement.
In May 2016, Anderson was indicted on four counts of sexual assault in connection with an alleged rape in February 2015 in which the victim was left lying outside unconscious.
Since the sentencing Monday, Strother said, he has received a large number of emails attacking him and his family including one whose writer expressed a hope for his “premature death.”
A Care2 petition drive, started by Baylor graduate Sarah Byers, meanwhile, calls for Strother’s resignation.
As of Wednesday, the petition had more than 5,000 supporters.
“This is for the many women who ultimately do not report incidents, and for women in the future who will be afraid to report,” Byers said.
Strother, however, says he’s not going anywhere.
After 20 years on the bench, he faces mandatory retirement in 2020 and he says he fully intends to complete his term before retiring.