Victim of North Carolina probation officer unhappy with plea deal

Posted at 12:56 AM, Mar 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-19 00:56:24-04

Dare County, N.C. - The victim of a state probation officer says she's still looking for justice.

On Monday, Thomas Kennedy pleaded guilty to four counts of kidnapping. After his arrest in 2012, he faced several sex charges, but the charges were changed as part of the plea deal and he does not have to register as a sex offender.

One of his victims, who didn't want to be identified, says Kennedy groped and kissed her while acting as her probation officer. She feels he should have to register as a sex offender. "He got convicted, but not on the right charges. He's a sex offender. He didn't deserve leniency," the victim told NewsChannel 3.

The District Attorney said the plea deal was a compromise. Prosecutors weren't confident they could get a conviction on the sex charges, like attempted sexual activity by a custodian, because there was no precedent in state law. Their main concern was sending Kennedy to prison and making sure Kennedy could no longer work as a probation officer, according to Jeff Cruden in the District Attorney's office.

Still, the victim feels like she's looking for closure. "I'm disgusted at the whole thing. It's like a 'Lifetime' movie and I just think justice needs to be done."