Fourth District Court Judge Thomas Low praised a former LDS bishop during a case where he was sentencing the same mad for the rape of two female relatives who stayed at his home three years ago. He called Keith Vallejo an “extraordinarily good man” right before sentencing him to prison for the sexual assault of the two women.
Judge Low seemed to be emotional as he read the sentence, praising the guilty man directly in front of one the victims, Julia Kirby of his sexual assault, who was sitting in the court room. This came off looking like the judge was blaming the victims of the assault as opposed to the man her formed the dirty actions.
Vallejo maintained the fact that he was innocent throughout the whole trial, but was convicted of first degree felony rape and 10 second-degree forcible sexual abuse.
Kirby said the judge had an opportunity to confront Vallejo about his refusal to take responsibility but didn’t do it.
“He never once said to Keith, who he had an opportunity to address that ‘You are guilty, and you need to own up to these crimes.’ He said, ‘You’re a great man, and I believe that you’re this wonderful person,” Kirby said.
This is the second time Low has given Vallejo unusual treatment in this case. In February, Vallejo was convicted in a jury trial, but in an unexpected twist, Low allowed the former bishop to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to remain out of custody until his sentencing two months later.
Kirby did have praise for the jury in the case.
“Despite the fact that Judge Low may not have truly heard me out, they (the jury) did, and I’ve been wanting to find a way to thank them for that,” Kirby said. “They heard me and they heard the other victim and they believed us, I feel that they at least should receive credit for that.”