In the wake of much protest, Circuit Court Judge Durke G. Thompson removed himself today from further involvement in a recent sex-offender case. The case involved Vladimir Chacon-Bonilla, who was convicted on Tuesday of molesting an 11-year-old MD girl, who reported to police that she met him in an Internet chat room and had sex with him two times. While Chacon-Bonilla could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, Thompson imposed a lenient sentence of 18 months in prison and three years’ probation, including a ruling not to require the perpetrator to register as a sex offender.
Most troubling in the case was Thompson’s calling it a case of “it takes two to tango,” inciting protests from children’s advocates and lawmakers. Thompson called Chacon-Bonilla’s actions “unacceptable,” but insisted that the 11-year-old held some responsibility, since she invited him into her home.
Also troubling, defense attorney Rebecca A. Nitkin introduced such “evidence” as the girl’s “extremely well developed” body and heavily applied makeup and short “split-skirt” as “proof” of her responsibility in the case.