Godwin: Suspect in brutal Downtown rape should have been in prison - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Godwin: Suspect in brutal Downtown rape should have been in prison

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A homeless man accused of kidnapping, raping and robbing a female worker at a Downtown office complex has a 100-page criminal history.

Memphis police say rape suspect Lewis Young is a perfect example of why sentencing laws need to be strenghthened.

The 44-year-old homeless man talked his 56-year-old victim into letting him use the restroom in her office. According to court records, the woman let Young in because he was a familiar face. She had seen him doing various jobs for other tenants in the office complex.

Young is accused of attacking the woman, binding her hands with a curling iron cord and raping her in the restroom. Police said he then slammed her head so hard against the commode, the seat broke.

Young got away with the victim's cash and credit cards before authorities caught up with him.

Memphis Police Dept. Director Larry Godwin says Young should never have been on the streets in the first place.

"You got an individual here arrested more than 100 times. You got an individual who in 2006 was convicted of robbery and sentenced to four years. Well, you do the math," he said.

Godwin says the blame lies with state lawmakers. "I don't think they're doing their job. I don't think they're keeping Tennesseans safe. I think we need tougher laws."

Godwin says repeat offenders are a huge threat to public safety.

"I've been to Nashville, asked legislators to deal with these things," he said. "And what you have now is another victim."
Godwin says he will continue to push for tougher sentencing laws, but the main obstacle is finding the funds to house prisoners for longer periods of time.


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