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Judge Slammed for Calling Rapist Bishop a 'Good Man'

'Great men sometimes do bad things,' judge said
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2017 10:24 AM CDT
Judge Calls Rapist Ex-Bishop an 'Extraordinarily Good Man'
This photo provided by the Utah County Sheriff's Office shows Keith Robert Vallejo.   (Utah County Sheriff's Office, via AP)

Judge Thomas Low called former Mormon bishop Keith Vallejo an "extraordinarily good man" when he sentenced him to up to life in prison on rape and sexual abuse charges this week, leaving open the question of what somebody would have to do for Low to consider them a bad person. Julia Kirby, who was 19 when she was groped on multiple occasions by Vallejo, her brother-in-law, tells the AP that she plans to file an official complaint against the Provo, Utah judge. "He only cared about the person he was convicting, and I think that is really kind of despicable," says Kirby, one of two victims that testified against Vallejo. Authorities say dozens of complaints about the judge have already been received.

"The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man," Low said, becoming emotional while sentencing the father of eight, who had been found guilty on 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape. "But great men sometimes do bad things." Low received one-to-15 years sentences on the abuse charges and a five-years-to-life term for the rape, with the sentences to run concurrently. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Low was also criticized last month when he allowed Vallejo to remain free on bail after his conviction, despite the prosecutor's request to have him jailed until sentencing. The prosecutor says the judge's comments were inappropriate and may have been a response to the dozens of letters he received praising Vallejo's good character. (More Utah stories.)

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