During the pronouncement of a verdict in a child sexual abuse case, the judge called the underage girls abused by a 67-year-old man “aggressors”. Prosecutors are going to appeal against his sentencing decision.
Judge Michael Gibbens made remarks during the trial of Raymond Soden, 67, convicted of contacting one of the girls online and offering money for sex.
Judge sentenced Soden 5 years and 10 months in prison. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of at least 13 years, referring to his prior convictions.
Gibbens said that the victims were more an aggressor than the convicted and were “certainly selling things monetarily that it’s against the law for even an adult to sell”.
Soden was found guilty of soliciting a 13-year-old girl on Facebook in January 2018. He contacted the teenager and her 14-tear-old sibling and offered them to pay for sex.
Gibbens explained that he found the 13-year-old girl an aggressor because she came to the abuser’s home. He also expresses suspicions about the level of harm the girls suffered because they were absent from the sentencing hearing.