BOSTON (CBS) – A former MIT student charged with raping a BU student in her dorm room will avoid prison under a plea deal, even though the judge said the case “cries out for jail time.”
At a hearing in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to indecent assault and battery, assault and battery, and breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony.
Prosecutors told Judge Janet Sanders they had to reach a deal with Donick’s attorneys after the woman decided not to testify at trial because it “would not be in her emotional best interests.”
The woman, who is now, 22, gave an emotional impact statement.
“Never in my life did I think I would be standing here. October 18, 2015 will forever be a date that will burned into my memory; an everlasting scar. On that day, I became a victim. But today, I stand here as a survivor. Sadly, I have become another statistic, Another number, Another headline,” she read from a prepared statement.
Then she addressed Donick directly.
“So for you, I ask that you make your future untainted. I ask that you make a positive impact in every life you touch because the many negative impacts you made in mine and my families’ are enough for a lifetime. I ask that you take seconds, minutes and hours and truly realize how that one early morning you changed a 20-year-old girl from a student to a victim to a survivor. I ask that you live each day with a little reminder of what you did and make up for it,” she said.
Per Judge Janet Sanders’ request, Donick publicly apologized in court to the woman. Sanders indicated that the plea deal goes against her better judgement and that this case “cries out for jail time.”
Donick is now free on five years’ probation, with the possibility of reducing to it to three years with good behavior. He must also wear GPS monitoring device, register as a sex offender in California, perform 1,000 hours of community service, get counseling and have no contact with his accuser.
Without the woman’s testimony, prosecutors said they couldn’t convict Donick.
“She expressed a strong preference to resolve the case prior to trial with an unequivocal admission of responsibility and apology from the defendant,” Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk Country District Attorney’s Office, said in a statement.
“Rather than compel her to testify against her will, prosecutors sought her input as to reach a resolution that would provide some measure of accountability for the defendant and satisfy the survivor’s wishes for an admission of responsibility and remorse. Victims and survivors of sexual assault should know that our office will always consider and pursue their best interests, and that their empowerment is at the very heart of what we do.”