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Idaho judge delivers a celibacy probation

An Idaho judge recently issued a rather unusual probation: no sex before marriage.

Judge Randy Stoker sentenced 19-year-old Cody Duane Scott Herrera to five to fifteen years in prison for the statutory rape of a 14-year-old back in March of 2015. However, Stoker suspended that sentence for a one-year rider program and possible probation.

A rider program is where a defendant receives intensive programming and education in a Department of Correction facility. Upon successful completion, the judge would then determine whether to place that defendant on probation or sentence him to prison.

Stoker said the bizarre probation was due to the fact that Herrera admitted to having 34 sexual partners. “I have never seen that level of sexual activity by a 19-year-old,” Stoker said.

But that probation condition might be illegal or unenforceable, according to Shaakirrah R. Sanders, an associate professor at the University of Idaho College of Law. “I would suspect (a judge can’t do that),” Sanders said. “I think it infringes on his constitutional rights.” While judges “have quite a bit of discretion” in creating special probation terms, Sanders said, they can’t violate the federal or state constitution.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare “did not designate Mr. Herrera as a sexual predator,” Stoker said during his sentencing, “though there seems to be an argument that could be made for that.”

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