WAFF 48 investigates how an admitted child molester walks free; DA's office gives statement

WAFF 48 investigates how an admitted child molester walks free; DA's office gives statement

Questions tonight for the judicial system that let a convicted sex offender walk free.

Jerry Wayne Love admitted molesting his 3 foster children.

Many folks are concerned after statements he made to WAFF 48 Investigator Jeanie Powell yesterday.

Love stood before a judge and admitted to the crimes against him.

Then he told us he didn't do it.

Could those contradictions hurt his case and give him the jail time many think he deserves?

The answer is in tonight's WAFF 48 Investigators Report.

Court records indicate Love voluntarily pleaded guilty to 3 counts of first degree sodomy.

According to the plea agreement, the assistant DA recommended the defendant be imprisoned for 15 years in each case.

Part of the recommendation suggests the defendant be placed on supervised probation for five years.

Judge Karen Hall approved that recommendation and Love will not serve any jail time.

But the last sentence in the document reads: "the defendant agrees and acknowledges that by accepting terms of this plea agreement that he voluntarily and with full knowledge of rights he is surrendering, waives any rights to appeal or otherwise collaterally attack this guilty plea."

What does that mean after-the-fact, when Love told WAFF 48 a different story?

"You're saying you did not do this?"

"No I did not commit this. I don't feel ok, I'd be a fool, I'm innocent."

A Huntsville attorney tells us Love can't face any legal repercussion for those statements.

Even though his plea means he's convicted, in many cases, defendants will still claim they didn't commit the crime.

This afternoon we received a statement from the DA's office.

"As in each case we handle, we had to assess the case in light of all the circumstances; including its strengths and weaknesses.  In this instance, the defendant acknowledged guilt in front of a court of law; the public at large and most importantly- his three victims.  The victims were fully informed as to all plea negotiations.  Their input was a significant factor in these negotiations.

Here, we have a defendant who acknowledged guilt and was adjudged guilty without the emotional expense and trauma of a trial.  He will be forever be a registered sex offender and be subject to all provisions of the Alabama Community Notification Act.  This Act not only restricts where he can live and work but also ensures that a child can never reside in his home again.  Therefore, even if he does not serve one single day of his 45 year sentence, he will carry that stigma for the rest of his life.

We understand our responsibility to protect the pubic and hold offenders accountable and we take it very seriously.  We also understand, and accept, that not everyone will agree with the decisions we make; particularly when they are not privy to all of the circumstances surrounding the issues.  In this instance, in light of all of the circumstances, we believe we have fulfilled our obligation."