A Michigan woman who admitted to raping a 19-year-old man at knife-point has been spared jail by a judge.
Lestina Marie Smith, 18, was given five years' probation and ordered to sign onto the sex offenders' register for 25 years after pleading guilty to second degree sexual criminal conduct. The charge comes with a maximum 15 year sentence.
On Monday (November 22), Circuit Judge Andre R. Borrello ordered her to 313 days in jail with credit for the 313 days already served, meaning Smith will not spend any further time behind bars. She will also have to pay her victim $1,000 in damages.
Her attorney, James F. Gust, said the sentence was a suitable punishment for the crime. "Never in dealing with her, never did she appear to be someone who is a threat to society," he said.
Her attorney also discussed her mental health issues and exemplary criminal record. A letter from the victim asked the judge not to send Smith to prison and was another mitigating factor in sentencing.
Smith was originally charged with first-degree criminal conduct, which carries a maximum life sentence, but later pleaded guilty on September 13 to a lesser second-degree charge.
The offence took place on 11 January, on the driveway of Smith's step-sister in Saingaw, Michigan.
The victim allegedly had a sex tape involving Smith, who was concerned about the recording being distributed on social media. She wanted to make her own sex tape with the victim in case he threatened to release footage of their encounter.
"He allegedly had a sex tape that he was going to put out on social media," Gust said. "She wanted to make one with him so that she would have one to keep him from putting his out there."
She called the victim over to the house in the hope she could delete the video from his phone. When he arrived at the location she then began verbally berating him and climbed into his car. After punching him repeatedly she produced a steak knife from her sleeve and stabbed him in the arm, piercing his jacket.
The man testified that the woman forced him to perform oral sex on her while she recorded it on her mobile phone. She also forced him to have sexual intercourse and used the knife to then cut up his car seats.
Saginaw Township Police Officer David West testified he saw the video after responding that night. The victim had reported the crime from nearby gas station after his mobile phone was taken by Smith.