When Will The Punishment Fit The Crime?

This story is, sadly, just one of many that begs the question "when will the punishment fit the crime?" In courtrooms across our country on a weekly basis, stories like this one play out. An Orange County, CA judge decided that a man's violent sexual attack against his 3-year-old relative didn't warrant the mandatory 25-year minimum sentence, and he arbitrarily decided to cut it to 10 years. Who is this judge to make a decision like this? What would cause him to determine that this individual didn't need to be punished according to the law?

One of the most challenging hurdles faced by anyone working to end child sexual abuse is people in positions of power who simply do not acknowledge the pervasive and destructive nature of the crime. Would some think differently if their own child was violated? Possibly. Are some participating as perpetrators and circling the wagons to protect their own? Definitely.

Time and time again, we hear stories of children who come forward with stories of abuse, only to be silenced. Many times justice never comes because this is a dark secret kept within a family; other times it's an organizational cover up; sometimes (as in the case above) a case makes it to authorities and falls apart because someone in a position of power decides that the victim is less important than the perpetrator.

Please remember, sexual deviance knows no bounds. There are people of all races, cultures, and socioeconomic classes who perpetrate violent acts against children, who force women to perform sexual acts against their will, who buy sex with victims held hostage by pimps, who view and make child pornography. They are everywhere, and in every other aspect of their lives, they are perfectly normal. When a judge makes a decision like the one above, it should leave us wondering about his motivation. Spend some time searching the web for molestation arrests across the country, you'll be amazed and appalled at what you see.

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