Attorney for Ala. man convicted of rape and avoided prison considers asking for new trial

The lawyer for an Alabama man convicted of rape and has avoided prison time twice said he's considering asking for a new trial, saying the conviction was unjustified and the court proceedings were one-sided.

Austin Clem was convicted in a series of attacks on a former neighbor that began when the now 20-year-old woman was 13.

Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof originally sentenced Clem to spend two years with a community corrections program that would have allowed him to continue living at home, spend three years on probation and pay $1,631 in restitution to the victim.

Prosecutors argued it violated state law and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ordered the judge to resentence him. The jury foreman also said the panelists who convicted Clem expected prison to be part of the sentence.

So Woodroof looked at the sentence again, and in a second ruling, did away with the community corrections program and ordered the 25-year-old to spend five years on probation.

But it's not the sentences that bother Clem's attorney, Dan Totten.

"The evidence was not really as strong, as far as I'm concerned, as it should have been for a conviction," he told the Decatur Daily (

The victim has spoken out against Clem's resentencing and said she's extremely upset with the judge's ruling.


Information from: The Decatur Daily,