Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Is Going Easy On Accused Rapists Good For Families?

This case in Yakima, Washington where basketball coach Randy Sayler was arrested on 3 counts of 2nd degree child rape is just the latest example of someone who -- if guilty -- ignored what was good for his family until what is good for his family became good for him as well.

The district's superintendent told Action News the coach was an involved parent, who could only speak of his children during his first court appearance. He asked the judge for a reasonable bail amount for his family's sake.

Not surprisingly, this isn't about the man charged with serious crimes. The problem with this is that it makes the superintendent look callous or in such deep denial that the defendant is more important than the children in that school district. The police believe that there are more victims than the one teenage boy who came forward. If the bail is set too low that sends a clear message about who is most important in this case.

The school where this man coached did a background check which found nothing troubling, but I get the sense that this detail is being used as an excuse since child molesters and child rapists are often never charged or convicted of any crime. Background checks are a beginning not an end to efforts to protect children from those who want to prey on children.

Officials for school systems need to emphasize that they won't let their opinion of the person being accused stop them from taking all accusations seriously and immediately reporting them to the police.

Update (9/20): Not surprisingly, more boys are coming forward now that they know their reports will be believed.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:05 AM   0 comments links to this post


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