I didn’t know impregnating your biological daughter was illegal in South Carolina, especially having visited the state and figuring it was a rite of passage, but apparently it is. I also learned that, in some situations, the punishment for raping your daughter and getting her pregnant is less than had you been strolling down a South Carolina street smoking a joint.
Fred Lee Montgomery, 47, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor after admitting he raped his 13-year-old daughter on multiple occasions 14 years ago and got her pregnant in the process. His daughter, 27-year-old Tia Stevens, would give birth to her own brother at the age of 13.
On Monday, a judge sentenced the proud father of his own grandson to 15 years in prison, but suspended all but one year. Stevens was understandably upset with the verdict. ”It was a slap in my face,” said Stevens. ”To wait 14 years and all a person gets is 1 year? A pat on the back, telling them it’s okay to molest your daughter, impregnate her, and for her to have a child, a blind child? It’s OK?”
After letting this process, some of you may be asking why it took so long for Montgomery to be sentenced. The answer to that question is as ludicrous as the sentence Montgomery ended up receiving, especially knowing that Montgomery was indicted for this back in 2000 after DNA testing proved that he was his the father of his own grandson.
After bonding out of jail, Montgomery continued to live freely in the same small town as his daughter and her son for 12 years. When asked why it took that long for Montgomery’s case to go to trial, the 6th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said the case had fell through the cracks.
“We didn’t used to have a computerized system up here,” solicitor Doug Barfield said as he lit the oil lamp on his desk. “We also had a fire at the courthouse which destroyed a bunch of documents and we had to recreate some things.” But after they were contacted by Stevens, he says they’ve worked diligently on the case against her father.
And man did that hard work pay off. When Montgomery is released from prison in less than a year of admitting in a courtroom that he raped his daughter repeatedly and impregnated her when she was just 13, almost 12 years after originally being indicted, he will be on probation for an additional four years and will have to register as a sex offender.
Stevens says her father has never shown any remorse or apologized for what he did to her but that she has forgiven him. She’s not sure how to tell her son, her brother, that his father, his grandfather, will be out of prison next year.