Posted: Jan 22, 2013 6:43 PM by Chris Welty
Updated: Jan 22, 2013 8:11 PM
A woman claiming to have been raped is livid the Jeff Davis Parish District Attorney is reducing the suspect's charges.
Gerald Johnson was accused of raping his step-grandaughter more than twenty-one years ago. He was initially charged with aggravated incest rape and he pleaded to the lesser charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile.
"He deserves jail time. He shouldn't be out there with all these other citizens of the parish."
Mandi Miller is hoping the Jeff Davis D.A. will throw out the plea deal reached with her step-grandfather. Miller says Gerald Johnson raped her when she was 8 years old and continued doing so for five years.
"It's not easy to go forward and talk about. The justice system pumps you up and then it totally fails you," said Miller.
"Because they are victims we can't let them dictate the outcome of the case. They are too emotionally torn up and victimized," said District Attorney, Michael Cassidy.
Plea deals are common. In Jeff Davis Parish, 90 percent of felony cases are resolved through plea deals.
"In exchange for a guilty plea, we're getting a guaranteed conviction. We're preventing the victim from further trauma of getting on the stand, we're avoiding any mistakes and beginning closure instead of having the whole appellate process," said Cassidy.
For the Miller family, Cassidy's answer isn't good enough.
"It's the most heinous, depraved thing anyone could do. it robbed a child of her innocence. A child that knew nothing but love learned hate way too early," said Beau Guidry, Mandi's Uncle.
Gerald Johnson was set to go before a judge Wednesday to officially have his plea deal finalized. That's been postponed until Thursday or Friday.