The facts of this case aren’t in dispute.
In 2008, a youth pastor named Jason Greathouse, then 24, moved into the Alabama home of a family with a 14-year-old girl. Greathouse eventually raped that girl and impregnated her. At the urging of her parents, the two of them got married. It didn’t go well — shocker — and they divorced a year later.
In 2020, that victim, now in her late 20s and more aware of what happened to her when she was a child, decided to file rape charges against Greathouse. He faced up to 20 years in prison.
But thanks to a plea deal crafted by his attorneys — and agreed to by the prosecutors — he’ll spend 0 years in prison and face unsupervised probation for two years. He also won’t have to register as a sex offender.
Coffee County District Attorney Tom Anderson said Friday his office made the deal because “there were extenuating circumstances that would have been allowed to be presented by the defense that very likely could have resulted in a mistrial or even a not guilty [verdict] by jury nullification.”
Anderson said there are now “issues pertaining to custody/visitation that the defense would argue are the motivation for reporting [the alleged rape] many years later.”
The DA said potential jurors could have made the same conclusion.
Whether or not that may have been the case, the bottom line here is that a Christian pastor who took advantage of a child over a decade ago has been able to escape any serious consequences thanks to a series of bad decisions, bad laws, and a pathetic justice system. For what it’s worth, the victim opposed the plea deal, telling a reporter that the punishment was the equivalent of “buying beer for a minor.” She’s not wrong.
Greathouse’s attorney even celebrated the victory with this tonedeaf statement:
“Anytime I have a client walk out of a courthouse with a misdemeanor instead of a felony I’m wonderfully satisfied,” said David Harrison, Greathouse’s attorney.
Nothing makes this guy smile more than a rapist who gets away with it… Weird thing to brighten your day, but maybe that’s just me.
On a side note, it’s very troubling that WTVY described the “relationship” — which, again, began when the victim was 14 — as a “consensual sexual relationship.” When you’re 14 and the other person is 24, consent in any meaningful sense of the word goes out the window. It was rape.