Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Man Who Confessed To 1984 U.Va. Sex Assault Pleads Guilty


A man who sexually assaulted a fellow University of Virginia student in 1984 and then apologized to her two decades later as part of the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program pleaded guilty to the crime Tuesday.


Prosecutor Claude Worrell told the court that one of the main reasons the prosecution agreed to a plea is because the investigation has revealed that more than one person may have sexually assaulted Seccuro.

Under the agreement, Beebe has agreed to cooperate with authorities as they continue their investigation into exactly what happened that night. Judge Edward Hogshire set formal sentencing for March 15. Beebe will remain free on bond until then.

"This began as an effort to make amends," Beebe said in a statement outside of court. "In pleading guilty today to a lesser charge I acknowledge formally what I tried to acknowledge in my letter.
"Twenty-two years ago I harmed another person and I have tried to set that right."

Because this man contacted his victim while going through a Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program, I'm sure some people think it's unfair that this man was prosecuted or that his victim contacted police.

I couldn't disagree more. Confession should never lead to an automatic pardon. If it did then the victim is being exploited a second time to meet the needs of the perpetrator.

Those who don't want to be held accountable shouldn't commit acts of violence such as rape. However, a willingness to take responsibility -- if that is the reality and not just PR to remove feelings of guilt -- should be taken into account in sentencing and in the decision about whether the prosecutor should accept a plea deal.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:18 AM   0 comments links to this post


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