An admitted rapist freed by a judge who called the victim a "pitiful woman" will be resentenced as a result of an appeals court ruling that found a technical flaw in the judge's action.
The 5th District Court of Appeal said Circuit Judge Kenneth Leffler failed to file a written report explaining why Mark Edward McCulloch should receive two years' probation instead of a prison term.Thursday's ruling on technical grounds means that McCulloch, 37, will be sentenced again - by another judge since Leffler has retired - and could be sent to prison.
McCulloch initially accepted a 4 1/2-year prison term offered by prosecutors but was placed on probation for two years. During sentencing, Leffler said, "I am almost of the belief that she is a victimizer of men."
The judge said he could not blame McCulloch entirely for the rape, sentenced him to probation and told him to be more careful about the women with whom he associates.
Women's rights activists and others harshly criticized Leffler's sentence and remarks, particularly since prosecutors had worked out a plea agreement in which McCulloch would serve time.