Petition calls for judge in Dietrich case to be removed

Posted at 6:46 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 20:46:12-05

The judge who sentenced a teen to three years probation and community service for his role in an assault on a mentally disabled African-American member of the Dietrich high school football team is being asked to step down.

 A petition online has gained more than 150,000 signatures since Judge Randy Stoker sentenced John Howard last Friday. Howard kicked a coat hanger into the victim's rectum causing internal damage. Howard also allegedly made racial slurs to the victim. In court, Judge Stoker called the case not one of rape, sex, or racism.

The victim's family has filed a civil lawsuit against the school district saying staff turned a blind eye to the abuse. The attorney representing the family in a civil case against the school says while he disagrees with the sentencing the judge shouldn't be attacked.

"I think we have a strong duty as citizens and particularly lawyers to not denigrate, run down a judge but to honor that office," said E.Lee Schlender an attorney representing the victim in the civil case.

They are seeking  $10 million dollars from the school district. That trial is expected to start this summer in federal court.