By Kristen Tuntland
Friday, March 8 was a regular morning in Department 9 of the Yolo County Superior Courthouse. The Honorable Sonia Cortés presided over plea agreements, continuances, sentencing, and failure to appear warrants as usual. However, in an unlikely turn of events, one plea agreement was denied after three victim impact statements were read to the court.
Clyde John Weeks was facing three charges of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, two charges of indecent exposure, and one charge of dissuading a witness or victim. His plea agreement required him to plead no contest to all charges and register as a sex offender, but he would not serve any jail time.
However, the prosecution asked if the family could read victim impact statements to the court, which was allowed. The first statement was by the mother of the victim, who stated that the she has increased anxiety and decreased trust because of what happened to her seven-year-old daughter. She stated that she did not know how to live a normal life after someone had taken her daughter’s innocence. She also feared that Mr. Weeks would do it again. She expressed her disappointed in the judicial system and asked the court to reconsider the lenient sentencing.
The next victim impact statement was by the victim’s older sister. She has known Mr. Weeks her entire life and considered what happened as inexcusable and unacceptable. She cannot sleep or trust anyone now and her entire family has been affected. She expressed that just probation is unreasonable as Mr. Weeks cannot be rehabilitated and has shown no remorse. She believes that he is a danger to their family and the community as a whole.
The author of the last victim impact statement was unclear. However, the author stated that she has started therapy and she has lost sleep and motivation. Additionally, what Mr. Weeks did and the following court proceedings disrupted her entire life. She stated that Mr. Weeks will do this again and again and that he deserves to go to prison.
After hearing the victim impact statements, Judge Cortés stated that this plea agreement was allowed because it did not greatly impact the victim or her family. However, the court must withdraw consent of the plea agreement based on the court’s concern about the plea agreement’s impact on the victim and her family. Judge Cortés then asked Mr. Weeks to withdraw his no contest plea and she scheduled a jury trial instead.
The trial is scheduled to start on April 22, 2019.