Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More Than Enough Blame To Go Around

The failure of our courts and legal system to appropriately deal with sex crimes is a crime itself. Honestly, I don’t know who to be angriest with.

We have the dad, who is admittedly a sick person, having confessed to raping his daughter repeatedly over a 14-year period and committing acts of bestiality.

Then we have Mom, who knew what was going on and didn’t leave, keeping her three daughters with him and exposing them to that risk.

And then there’s our wonderful so-called justice system. “According to agreed facts, the man and his hearing- impaired wife have three daughters, of which the victim is the oldest, who lived with them since they were born… However, there were two times in the early 1990s when the father did not reside with the family. That was when he was convicted of sexually assaulting the daughter and other children and sentenced to nine months in jail… After being released, the man was allowed to live with his family in a trailer on their Wabamun acreage. On his second day out, he raped his then-eight-year-old daughter, an event which occurred almost nightly for the next 14 years.”

He was convicted previously for sexually assaulting his daughter, and other children, and not only did the mother take him back but the courts let him go back.

You know, I’m sorry, I’m sure Mom’s a nice person and all, but where was the follow-up? We’ve got so many abused women staying with their abusers that relying on the mother to show common sense where raising her children is concerned is just stupid. After all, she let him come back to the family after his conviction. Should there not be some automatic follow-up when it’s been proven in a court of law that a parent is abusive? Who was watching out for these kids?

This is one of the most infuriating news stories I’ve read in a long time, because the extent of the abuse this woman suffered was completely preventable. She was failed by her father, her mother, and the legal system that knew he was a sick pervert.
“The man would threaten that if she told, she would break the family apart and they would have no money, and say "you don't want this to happen to your sisters… The victim was last raped in August 2003, but continued to live at home over concern for her sisters' safety."

If I were that woman, I would sue the ass off whichever fucked up agency let dad go home to his family after he was released from jail.

Why is it I have the impression that we just don’t take the sexual abuse of children very seriously in this country?

May he have many horrific shower experiences and rot in prison.


Randy Johnson said...

That's a horrible story. There's not enough that can legally be done to the man to give him what he deserves. I'm sure there's a great many instances where the legal system has failed that most innocent of victims, a child. It's one thing for two adults to rail on each other. They're adults. But a child has no ability to defend themselves without help from a responsible adult.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I have a lot of friends who are abuse victims, and some endured abuse similar to this. I just can't separate myself from the anger when I see stuff like this.

Jim Winter said...

In Ohio, if you do that, you register as a sex offender. You probably will have your children taken away from you, but if you're lucky, the court may allow supervised visits. You are not allowed to live within certain distances of schools, daycare centers, and other children's service locations. You must register with your country sheriff every time you move.

Ask the Milwaukee Bucks player who didn't bother to register with the Hamilton County Sheriff after moving to a rich Cincinnati suburb six months ago.

Unlike most of the Cincinnati Bengals who've been arrested, this guy will not be charged, tried, or sentenced based on some sports league's schedule.

But he might have to stand on Fountain Square with a big scarlet letter R (for rapist) on his chest.

Sandra Ruttan said...

There's supposed to be a sex offender registry here too, which is part of what begs the question of what happened. And the thing is, some will say this is the one horrid example, that most of the time the system works, but only a matter of months ago we had two children dying after being returned by Children's Aid to an abusive situation and I know first-hand of instances where kids have been returned to abusive homes or a known, convicted, abusive parent has returned to the family after being released from jail.

And couldn't they just tattoo the 'R' to the forehead?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Norby.
It's wrong and it just should not happen.
If it was my child......

Sandra Ruttan said...

You'll get no argument from me, anonymous. Stories like this make me sick.

But more than anything I don't understand the mother. He's convicted and goes to jail... and you just let him come back? I want to know why she isn't being charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Jersey Jack said...

At the risk of sounding like Attila the Hun, I think men who sexually abuse young children should be castrated. In general, I believe society must do more to protect itself from criminals, but when it comes to children, society should fight for them like a mother tiger.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Actually Jack, when I took grade 15 social studies one of the components included discussion on forced castration for sexual predators. I found the argument compelling. I agree we have to do more, and when it comes to kids we have to do a lot more. The long-term cost to society alone is staggering. Children who are abused are more likely to grow up to be abusers, to end up in jail, etc. In other words, not contributing members of society but more likely to drain resources and contribution to crime.

And that's just the cold, hard, business way of looking at it.

But the cost in terms of personal suffering, the amount of damage done... Nobody can tally that. The odds are that this woman will never have a healthy relationship. Even the sisters will be scarred by this. Absolutely tragic.

norby said...

Not that I don't agree, but I think anonymous meant Randy, not me.

What I find amazing is that this woman still has custody of her children. I know that courts are reluctant to terminate custody, but really, sometimes it's more than justified.

Sandra Ruttan said...

You see Norby, your famous on my blog. ;)

And yes, I'm baffled. There are a lot of agencies who should be held accountable - this is FUBAR, as in 'fucked up beyond all redemption'. But that's exactly why nothing will be done. Social services will blame criminal justice, who'll blame child welfare and someone will ask if the teachers had blinders on and on it will go.

norby said...

I believe infamous was the word used. :o)

Anonymous said...

So sorry i forgot to sign my name guys...
I had to write it twice. My first post was a rant.
I was agreeing with you Norby, i just can't detatch myself or play devils advocate or whatever when children are involved.
I hate so much that people like that man exist.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Chelbel, no worries about forgetting to sign your name. And I think we all share the same sentiments on this one.