One would imagine that a repeat history of sexually abusing and assaulting family members would disqualify a person from being considered “extraordinary” and “good.” But Fourth District Judge Thomas Low used those exact words to describe the convicted rapist standing before him on Wednesday in Provo, UT.
According to The Salt Lake City Tribune, Low “became emotional as he handed down a prison sentence” to former Mormon Bishop Keith Robert Vallejo, who was convicted of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.
The judge stated: “The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinary, good man. But great men sometimes do bad things,” reports The SLC Tribune. Vallejo’s repeat abuse of two women (including his sister-in-law) is certainly extraordinary . . . in the disturbing, negative sense of the word.
Low’s description of the convicted felon as “good” is a slap in the faces of his victims. That’s why one of those victims, Julia Kirby, plans to file a judicial complaint against Judge Low.
“If he really, really cared about me or about the fact that this person was a criminal, he wouldn’t have that kind of sympathy. It was shocking to me for that reason,” Kirby said following Low’s shocking courtroom comments.
Judge Low has faced criticism for his handling of the Vallejo case since before the inappropriate sentencing hearing commentary, particularly after allowing the former bishop to return home on bail to be with his wife and children, even after he was found guilty. Low’s behavior regarding this specific case has resulted in a reported 40 emails, six voice mails, and multiple Facebook messages to the Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.