If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Monday, June 22, 2009

Protecting Who (part 2 of 3)

Common reasons for plea bargains vary: It may be a lack of evidence that will stand up against a slick lawyer or trying to avoid the victim testifying in front of the abuser. The biggest reason for a plea agreement is money - or really a lack thereof. The government saves so much time and money is saved if a plea agreement is reached.

There are two reasons I have a huge problem with this: one is that justice is not served, which re-victimizes the survivor on a different level. Interpretation of the plea agreement by the victim: I, a child, have just been physically violated and psychologically confused and experienced a soul-changing crime, by no fault of my own. But the state needs to plea so they can save money.

The second reason I have a problem with plea agreements for child sexual abuse is that, as a society, we truly really don't know the potential dangers of the predators. Level 1 abusers are supposedly not likely to re offend. Where do they come up with this? An example of a level 1 crime is the rape and murder of little Zina Linnik, right here in Tacoma, WA, July 2007. The man responsible for this unimaginable crime is Terapon Adhahn. Prior to his crimes against this little girl, he was assessed as a level 1 sex offender from a previous conviction where charges against him were reduced to “incest,” and he completed 60 months of “treatment” for sexual deviance, then was judged to be a Level 1 sex offender, meaning those who evaluated him did not believe he was at high risk to reoffend.

They were wrong, of course. Adhahn has continued to reoffend and reoffend and reoffend. He is small - 5′4″ and slight of build. He was quiet, kept to himself, paid his bills on time, kept a clean house, and was hard working. He did handyman work and drove a tow truck. He had served honorably in the military as an Army Ranger.

But in private, behind closed doors, in his bedroom and on the streets, he terrorized, raped and murdered little girls. He took in one young girl he met through a friend, whose mother was having difficulties raising her. She was 12 and called him Dad. But, she says, he raped her at least 150 times, maybe 300 times, before she could run away at age 16. Sometimes he raped her at gunpoint. Sometimes he bound her, then raped her.

In another instance, he kidnapped an 11-year-old girl as she was walking alone to school, forced her into his truck, bound her with duct tape, then violently raped her, severely injuring her. She managed to get free after he’d left her bleeding in the woods, and she was found dazed and bloody, walking alongside the highway. She is 18 now and has identified him as the man who raped and terrorized her.

I leave you with this. The labels given to a sex offender are only a general indication. Do not let your guard down because someone is labled at a level 1 as oppossed to a level 3. Level 3 being the worst and considered likely to re-offend. 

There is not a way to definitely say that a sexual predator will not re-offend. Why do we as a society give them time and time again to do more harm? I believe there are more survivors of sexual abuse than there are abusers. We need to join together and demand changes in our laws and in the way these deviants are managed! 

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