Angered over what they deem to be lenient sentences by Circuit Judge Calvin Holden to those convicted of sex crimes, Me Too Springfield is launching a petition drive calling for the removal of the judge.
The group is asking the Missouri General Assembly, the Commission on Retirement, Removal, and Discipline and the 31st Judicial Court to remove Holden from his position.
“This decision was made in response to Holden’s well-known reputation for giving lenient sentences to those convicted of sexual crimes,” Me Too Springfield stated on their Facebook page. “He has a habit of giving the light sentence of nothing more than 5 years probation, such as in the case of Joseph Meili (convicted of child molestation and statutory rape after raping an 11-year-old girl and giving her chlamydia), Beau Gormley (second rape conviction in two years, while still on probation for first rape conviction), and Ronnie White (convicted of three counts of sexual assault in the first degree against one of his 14-year-old students).”
Me Too Springfield released a document showing 16 cases involving Judge Holden and sex crimes. The document notes that in 10 of 16 cases there was no prison time, 6 of 16 had probation only and 2 of 16 had no guilty bench rulings.
“When judges allow these people to remain on the street, they are putting other potential victims at risk, and do not deter others from committing such crimes,” the group said in their Facebook statement.
The petition comes in advance of the organization’s scheduled downtown rally next weekend on Park Central Square. Signatures will be taken at the rally.