Sunday, October 07, 2007

Respectable Rapists

This case is another reminder of how ridiculous the monster myth is and how that mythology of rapist as obvious monster is exploited by those who are in positions of trust.

A former Connecticut pastor faces up to 45 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in his congregation. She
later bore a child. [...] Reyes "took a liking to the girl" and befriended her by bringing cakes and cookies to her home and "counseling" her, then later sexually assaulted her in a church van, Assistant State's Attorney Sandra Tullius said.

Modesto Reyes may claim to have taken a liking to his victim, but if you truly like someone you will not plot to rape that person. This sort of "like" is the feeling people have when they see a car or a watch they'd like to possess and decide to get that object no matter what. But other people are not objects.

Using goodwill and coercion to get what he wanted is a clear sign of disregard for another person's humanity and well being. That makes him a very dangerous person. Yet these people will fight taking ownership of that reality. Many people who observe cases like this will incorrectly call this a consensual relationship that is only a crime because of the age of the victim.

These people are not only wrong, their attitude encourages the rationalizations of rapists while increasing the harm done to rape victims by denying the reality of what happened to them.

Because he used the Alford Doctrine in his plea so he didn't have to admit guilt, he may serve a longer sentence and he should serve a longer sentence so it is made clear to him and to others the gravity of his crime. The maximum sentence is 45 years while the minimum he could get is 5 years.

I wish I had confidence that the judge will understand that this is a very serious crime, but some judges hold dangerous attitudes when it comes to rapists who don't bash in the heads of their victims. This is another reason some rapists decide that the smart rapist is one who learns how to manipulate victims, friends and those whose duty it is to uphold the law.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:39 AM   0 comments links to this post


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