Judge Shows No Pity, Sends Abused Woman to Jail

Video of what occurred in a Seminole County courtroom has gone viral
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2015 11:05 AM CDT

A Florida woman reported being choked by the father of her son while she held the 1-year-old on April 2. The man served 16 days for simple battery—but she ended up in jail herself for three days. A now-viral video has surfaced well after it was shot in a Seminole County courtroom; it shows Judge Jerri Collins showing the victim "no pity," as WFTV puts it, for failing to appear in court for her alleged abuser's trial. ABC News references court documents that say the woman was served with a subpoena in June, but was a no-show on July 22; on July 30 she was made to attend a contempt of court hearing. Crying, she apologized for not appearing, said she's been battling depression and anxiety, and said she had earlier asked that the charges against the man be dropped. Collins found her in contempt of court and ordered her to jail.

"You disobeyed a court order, knowing that this was not going to turn out well for the state," said Collins. WFTV also quotes Collins as saying, "You think you're going to have anxiety now? You haven't even seen anxiety." The wailing woman begs Collins to change her mind, saying she has to care for her son. She had previously explained that her child's father had been jailed once before, causing him to lose his job and miss child support payments; she had to "sell everything I own" and, homeless, move in with her parents. The State Attorney's Office issued a statement saying the woman had told the office "she didn't care if she was arrested as a result of her not complying with the court's subpoena." The CEO of SafeHouse, which houses abuse victims, is gobsmacked. "There's no—absolutely nothing that I could think of that would be the reason to re-victimize this person by putting her in jail." (In another case, a mother received a longer jail term than the man who raped her son.)

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