Saturday, May 19, 2007

Former Legislator Opposed To Abortions For Rape Victims Charged With Rape

I found a blog post which includes 10 criminal counts against Ted Alvin Klaudt, a former Republican state representative, in Corson County South Dakota. Just from the details given, the alleged actions are horrific and persistent. In addition to the sex crimes he is also charged with witness tampering and stalking.

Like many alleged rapists who don't at first glance seem like horrible people, his chosen public image was one of morality. Reportedly, he opposed allowing rape victims to get abortions which is a callous enough position without the allegation that he personally created rape victims. That certainly raises the question of whether his position was in reality based on empathy for rapists who wouldn't want their victims to have the power to end a pregnancy these men caused.

The reason I don't trust people who proclaim their righteousness while attacking others for their sin is that a feeling of superiority linked with the righteous entitlement to impose their will or beliefs on other lesser people creates one of the cornerstones needed to commit personal crimes like rape.

Rather than viewing their actions as violent or harmful, they rationalize making decisions for another clearly inferior person. "I decided she should let me do this" sounds much more benign than "I decided to do this to her and I didn't care how traumatized she was by the experience."

In the first rationalization if the other person reports to law enforcement, it is clearly a false accusation. He made a correct assessment and the other person "let him do it" so this other person obviously is either intentionally lying or is making a false assessment of what happened. If there is undeniable evidence of any of his actions he will go from absolutisms to wishywashiness in an instant. "Maybe she sent out the wrong signals." People like this love to judge others, but hate having their actions judged by those who don't understand how the world is supposed to work.

I hope that if the evidence of sexual contact is undeniable that he doesn't resort to the "they asked for it" defense. I know too much to be fooled by that type of defense but far too many people are willing to swallow an adult man as the victim of "sexually mature" girls.

Unfortunately, in this case I've seen people making judgments about the alleged victims' gullibility. This judgment is a mistake. The problem in the situation described by the prosecution wasn't gullibility but lack of known viable options.

Perpetrators exploit situations where others have fewer options and will often work very hard to create situations where their intended victim has the fewest number of choices. What are termed crimes of momentary passion are more often crimes of detailed planning and setup before the first attempt at criminal activity is made.

Rapists need to make their actions seem appropriate in their own minds. This is where the "she was asking for it" mantra comes in. If these people can latch onto belief systems which support their approach to getting what they want, they will do so. It's why I speak out against putting any responsibility for sex crimes on the victim. Rapists are listening even if they are doing so with a distorted filter.

From the AP:

The two girls were among a number of children who were sent to foster care in Klaudt's home under a program that provides foster care for young people who have no safe home to return to after completing programs in juvenile corrections facilities. He had taken in participants of the program since 2001.

The state Corrections Department announced Friday it is conducting a review of its foster care program, and is interviewing participants.

The betrayal of trust contained in these allegations is immeasurable. What does give me hope is that these allegations have now been taken seriously. There are still too many people who see girls who have been in corrections facilities as people who should be assumed to be liars or worse.

A written affidavit filed in court by Long said Klaudt initially denied performing "tests" on the girls, but he changed his story after investigators confronted him with copies of e-mails he sent to one of the girls. Klaudt then said "maybe I did some things I shouldn't have," the attorney general wrote.

This initial denial followed by minimizing is classic sex offender behavior. The minimized admission should be seen as a red flag rather than proof of slight mistakes because offenders need to minimize their actions to feel like they are doing nothing really wrong when they sexually offend.

I've also seen people say this man is obviously a sicko so his behavior and beliefs which were known before the charges were made should not be seen as communicating anything about others who shared those beliefs. That approach is wrong because it is predicated on the belief that this man's alleged criminal actions came out of nowhere. His actions were grounded in his total belief system and are not a contrast to that belief system.

If your total belief system is healthy then it can withstand scrutiny after a case like this surfaces. If you want everyone but yourself and your group scrutinized that to me is a huge red flag that some of what you do or believe is toxic. Of course it's easier to claim that there is a war on you or your group and to further demonize those who don't believe as you do than it is to look for any and all flaws in your implimentation of your belief system.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:47 AM   0 comments links to this post

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