Former recruit's 10-year prison sentence voided
The 10-year prison sentence of former Atlanta-area high school athlete and honor student Genarlow Wilson, who was the subject of an ESPN.com E-ticket in January, was voided on Monday by a Georgia judge. Wilson's attorney, B.J. Bernstein, told ESPN.com that she is attempting to have him released as soon as possible, which would put an end to a long legal battle.
Thompson: Justice Prevails
Genarlow Wilson isn't a free man yet, but Monday's ruling in Georgia that reduces his sentence restores some faith in the justice system for Wright Thompson. Story
The state appealed Monday's ruling, and it is possible that Wilson, 21, could remain behind bars pending the result of that appeal.
Bernstein told reporters she believes Baker is just trying to stop Wilson's immediate release.
"It is extremely, extremely disturbing that the attorney general would take this action now," she said Monday in Atlanta. "In essence, the attorney general is saying, 'Keep Genarlow Wilson in prison for 10 years and keep him on the sex offender registry.' "
Baker argued that Georgia law does not give a judge authority to reduce or modify the sentence imposed by the trial court. He said he would seek an expedited ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court.
Bernstein said she plans to look into filing a bond to have Wilson released while the appeal is pending.
Wilson has already served 27 months of a 10-year felony sentence for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. Because of an archaic Georgia law on the books at the time of his trial, he could have been charged only with a misdemeanor if he and the girl had engaged in sexual intercourse. Subsequently, that law was changed; but Wilson remained in jail, which led to editorials in The New York Times and a letter from former president Jimmy Carter protesting the injustice of Wilson's original sentence.
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