By Katharhynn Heidelberg
Daily Press Senior Writer
The judge sentencing Timothy Ondari didn’t mince words Tuesday: Cultural differences between the United States and Kenya concerning the treatment of women are irrelevant.
“I really don’t care what culture you’re from,” District Judge Jeff Herron said, in sentencing Ondari to probation for attempted criminal mischief.
“I expect our laws to be followed. Here in the U.S., you cannot treat women this way. It’s illegal. It’s morally wrong.” Ondari, in a brief statement, apologized for what happened.
In April, Ondari was accused of whipping and attempting to sexually assault a woman he knows.
Initial charges of forcible fondling, unlawful sexual contact, third-degree assault, criminal mischief and harassment were dropped after Ondari pleaded guilty in July to felony attempted criminal mischief.
Ondari attacked the woman because her behavior was out of step with how submissive Kenyan women are supposed to behave, Deputy District Attorney Wiley Christopher said when the case was first filed.
Tuesday, he said that though the plea deal makes him “feel guilt,” he offered it because the victim insisted on it.
She doesn’t want Ondari punished at all, Christopher said ï¿½ï¿½” and public defender Harvey Palefsky later said the woman even came to him to see how to get the charges dropped.
“Mr. Ondari got an extremely lenient offer,” Christopher said. “I do have a certain degree of discomfort myself. The victim wanted me to (make the offer). If she had her way, we’d have dismissed the case outright.”
The woman’s reasons: She loves Ondari and believes her religion requires her to forgive him, Christopher said.
“I feel a certain amount of guilt for entering this agreement,” Christopher said