In November 2016, Jay Maynor (43) pleaded guilty to the shooting death of 59-year-old Raymond Earl Brooks in June 2014. Maynor was sentenced to four decades in prison. Campaigners are seeking clemency for Maynor, asking President Barack Obama and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to intervene. A petition on Change.org, which has been signed by over 11,000 people, declared, “Jay Maynor has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing his daughter's rapist.” It goes on to say, “Jay is not a threat to society. He is a good man. We would like to see him set free or at minimum a lesser sentence.”
 
Now aged 24, Maynor’s daughter, Julia, was sexually assaulted by Brooks when she was a child. Brooks was her adoptive grandfather, pleading guilty to abuse charges in 2002 and serving but 27 months of a five-year sentence. Julia was eight years old at the time of the abuse. She now has three children of her own.
 
 
Julia spoke of her father’s guilty plea, telling AL.com, “Basically he took it so that I didn’t have to relive the molestation and also be on the stand in front of a bunch of people talking about and bringing back memories of the molestation.” At Maynor’s sentencing, Julia said, “My father was protecting me, like a father should do. He is an amazing father - actually the best. He loves us so much.” Maynor pleaded guilty to the murder to spare his daughter the need to protect from testifying about her ordeal.
 
The 2014 shooting, according to local reports, came after a conversation Maynor had with his daughter. Having discussed the abuse at Brooks’ hands, Julia said, “It was just something I said out of anger to my father.” After her father’s sentencing, Julia said that she waived her right to anonymity as a victim of sexual assault. Wrestling with the memories of sexual abuse, she said, “I’m going through hell.” she said. She waived her right to anonymity as a victim of sex crimes following her father’s sentencing.
 
Maynor fatally shot Brooks in Cullman County in 2014. Thirteen years earlier, Brooks pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Julia Maynor, his adopted granddaughter.
 
Julia said that Brooks sexually molested her between four to five years. She does not remember when the abuse began but continued long enough that she began to think that it was normal. Brooks had adopted Julia’s mother at birth, and believed him to be her natural father until she reached the age of 21, five years after Julia was born.
 
On June 8, 2014, after Julia’s angry exchange with her father, he rode his motorcycle towards Brooks' home. On the way, Jay Maynor fired shots into a country store when he saw a man who had been dating his stepdaughter. Because of that first incident, Maynor was charged with attempted murder because the boyfriend was not injured. He is serving a 20-year sentence for that crime, concurrently with the 40-year sentence for Brooks’ shooting death. 
 
Julia Maynor said that Brooks’ abbreviated time in prison was unfair. She said that she now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. "It's not fair." In a report by AL.com, Julia Maynor said, "Everything comes back to me as to why this has happened. I feel like it's my fault. I'm sad but yet mad."


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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