A public defender could be in the hot seat in the court of public opinion for using a very insulting argument about a young rape victim.
Attorney Lisa Kauffman was apparently ready to do whatever it took to defend Justin Griffith, 26, who worked at a teenage addiction recovery center in Missoula, MT, the Missoulian reported.
Classifiying women (and girls) who’ve been victims of rape as “temptresses,” Kauffman saved a personal slam for the 13-year-old.
“She looks and acts like she’s 18 years old,” Kauffman told Missoula County District Court Judge Robert Deschamps. “You should see the pictures of her and the hair and the makeup.”
Griffith claimed he had a short “relationship” with the teen, but had pleaded guilty in May to a felony sexual assault and was awaiting sentencing.
Kauffman described a wild atmosphere at the facility and argued Griffith didn’t have the right training not to sexually assault young girls.
Deputy county attorney Brian Lowney, wasn’t having any of it.
“I just find this whole conversation offensive,” he said.
He called Kauffman’s argument a “ridiculous assertion,” the Missoulian reported. “It is hardly a training issue not to have sex with a 13-year-old resident,” he said.
Judge Dechamps said he could envision a young girl being able to seduce an older man, but because of Griffith’s lurid past with many sexual partners he wasn’t believing that was the case with this girl.
“He’s been around the block and he knows the score,” the judge said.
“So was she,” she said.
How many times can she get “around the block?” She’s THIRTEEN.
That sent the attorneys into a heated debate and Kauffman threw out lowball number two.
“How about victims as temptresses, what do you think about that?”
The young victim’s mother who was seated in the courtroom spoke up and told Kauffmann not to speak of her daughter that way.
“I was just making a little slam,” Kauffman said.
“About my daughter,” the mother replied.
Deschamps sentenced Griffith to 20 years with the Department of Corrections with 16 years suspended. He will have to attended sexual offender treatment and be required to register as one.