Who is the victim?

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I’ve been waiting to write on this story since Jerry Sandusky pleaded guilty back in June.  I wanted to see if the justice system in Pennsylvania would take child sexual abuse seriously and the answer is it does, a whole lot more seriously than we do in Canada (not sure any sentence is sufficient for predators like Sandusky).

Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of 10 separate incidents.  It effectively insures that at the age of 68, Sandusky will die in prison. This is something that would not have happened in the Canadian justice system.

For some reason in Canada our justice system doesn’t take child sex abuse seriously.  How else can you describe Graham James, a former coach much like Sandusky (football coach), only receiving five-and-a-half years in total for the abuse of five young hockey players. 

In his first jail term in 1997 James received three-and-a-half years in prison when three of his former players stepped forward.  A crime that somehow James eventually received a pardon for (thankfully this has changed since then and predators like James can’t receive pardons). 

Last year James was sentenced to two separate two year terms when another two former players spoke out.  Somehow in our justice system two plus two equals two? And James can serve these two terms concurrently. 

With James being able to serve his sentence concurrently why would more victims come forward as it doesn’t help victims feel safer as the predator isn’t put away any longer?  Which is possibly the reason more of James’ former players haven’t come forward?

In an interview with one of James’ former victims, Todd Holt stated there were more victims than the five that have came forward.  I’m not sure why we aren’t protecting the victims of child sex abuse as the scars they receive last far longer than these pedestrian sentences.

 If you’ve read Theo Fleury’s book “Playing with Fire” or listened to his cousin Todd Holt speak, it was extremely hard for them to come forward and admit they were sexually abused by James. The worry of being out casted by their friends, family, and the general public if they came forward was extremely difficult. Fortunately they found the strength to come forward and they combated the man who took advantage of them using his power of authority. 

For what?

A measly two-year sentence after he damaged their lives for an indefinite amount of years?  I believe their pain warrants a far more severe penalty.

There are people there who believe that these pedophiles can be rehabilitated while they are in prison.  I’m not sure if that is possible as psychologists will tell you this isn’t something that can be medicated or cured. 

If rehabilitation can exist for pedophiles can it really work in as little time as one to five years?

I don’t believe for a second that a person who preys on teens or children and commits these heinous crimes can be a normal functioning member of society of in that short of time. 

You can look at the story that broke recently of a child pornography sex ring that led to 21 arrested, including 10 from Saskatchewan.  Included in that ring were at least five people who had previous records of this nature. 

That means they aren’t rehabilitated and they should have never been let out (I understand they served the time that they were sentenced but ...)  Some of these acts are preventable if these pedophiles are in prison being rehabilitated or at least remain behind prison walls.

I also have a problem with letting these offenders back out on the streets when they know these predators are high risk.

Just last month here in Prince Albert there was a media release warning people of the release of a child sex-offender to our community. This is an exact quote from the release, “Police say McKnight, 33, is considered a high risk to reoffend because of his history of exposing himself and masturbating in front of both male and female children in public places.”

I get they do this to alert the public in hoping if they see these people they will keep their children away but why are you letting these people roam the streets if they are at a high risk to re-offend? 

It’s like giving an arsonist a lighter! 

I really can’t comprehend why we don’t take child sex-offenders more seriously in Canada? The pain caused to these young children can last a lifetime while the jail times for their offenders pales in comparison. These offenders use a position of power to exploit the weaknesses of young children. 

How it is that you can receive a far lengthier jail sentence for fraud than sexual abusing a young child? This doesn’t make sense to me and hopefully our government can introduce stiffer penalties. 

No jail time may ever be enough for these monsters but the longer they are in prison the longer they can’t re-offend and the victims can receive some solace.  I know Jerry Sandusky will never be able to sexually abuse another child while he is in prison for the rest of his life and that’s make sense.

It doesn’t make sense that Graham James will be back in public in two years. Answer this question for me: who is more important, the victim or the offender? 

Right now it looks like the offender take precedent.

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