Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Rape Of Boy In Library Reminder Of Why Attempted Rape Is Serious Crime

From the AP:

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) -- A convicted sex offender who was released from prison over prosecutors' objections has been charged with raping a 6-year-old at a public library while the boy's mother used a computer nearby.

Corey Saunders was arrested outside a homeless shelter Wednesday evening shortly after a librarian saw them together, became suspicious and notified the mother, authorities said.

Saunders was in the sex offender registry but he wasn't a convicted rapist as was originally reported. He was convicted of attempted rape along with indecent assault and battery of a 7-year-old boy. Too often attempted rape and/or attempted abduction is seen by the criminal justice system as a much less serious crime than it really is, if it is classified as a crime at all, and not merely classified as non-criminal adult creepiness. This may be part of the reason why the prosecutor's request to have Saunders kept in custody was denied despite the testimony of 3 psychologists that he was likely to strike again.

I disagree with those who say that civil commitment is absolutely wrong because people are being punished for what we are afraid they might do. There are clearly dangerous patterns of behavior and thought and clear warning signs that some people pose an ongoing danger to the public.

We punish drunk drivers even when they injure nobody because we understand the dangers of drunk driving. They are being punished because of what they might do if they were to go unpunished. Unfortunately, many people don't understand the dangers of attempted sex crimes and many people don't understand the dangers and harms of many completed sex crimes.

Those who blame most victims of sex crimes would never think of blaming any victims of drunk drivers. This attitude difference is part of the reason the criminal justice system is so often inadequate at protecting the public from sex offenders.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:16 AM   0 comments links to this post

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