Monday, November 13, 2006

Tragic Justice: Texas prosecutor kills self to avoid sex offender rap

A Kaufman County District Attorney committed suicide last week rather than face prosecution for allegedly soliciting sex with a police officer online who he thought was a minor. He blew his brains out when police showed up to execute a search warrant.

Blonde Justice and the Wretched of the Earth both disucss the case. Blonde Justice's views in particular mirror some of my own concerns with this increasingly common practice:
These stings are being set up in nearly every state in the country. They use a substantial amount of taxpayer money to set these traps which often draw sex offenders into their towns or counties. And they take police officers off of visible street patrol and into police stations where they sit in front of computers.

Why aren't more citizens up in arms? Why aren't more citizens saying, "Quit bringing sex offenders into our town and use that money to get guns and drugs off our streets and out of our schools?"

Who do these protect? Real 13 year-old girls who have sexual conversations with grown men? Are there a lot of them? Are they really the most important group of citizens to protect?

I think that by labeling these men "pedophiles," police hope to confuse citizens into thinking these are the same men who grab little girls into their vans to kidnap and rape them. As sick as it is to want to have sex with a 13 year-old, the men on Dateline think they're showing up for consensual sex. (For what a 13 year-old's consent is worth.) My guess is that these men would very rarely, if ever, be the same men as those that would kidnap a child to sexually assault him or her. But yet, my guess is that the reason why citizens support these efforts is because they envision it making it their streets safe from the kidnapping type of pedophiles.

Instead, they should take internet safety precautions. Like telling their 13 year-olds not to set up sex dates with old men. How difficult is that?


Anonymous said...

"Instead, they should take internet safety precautions. Like telling their 13 year-olds not to set up sex dates with old men."

Oh, THAT'LL work. Telling a teenager NOT to do something is the quickest way to get him or her to do it.

Also: there are a host of reasons why the Dateline sting approach to crime prevention is a bad idea, but it's silly to bring up the notion that the men being caught aren't pedophiles. Because pedophiles are defined by their actions (or intended actions): if they want to have sex with someone underage. That's an illegal act, and they should be punished appropriately. Just because they may not kidnap girls in vans and/or rape girls/women is irrelevant.
(If you disagree, then you probably accept the flip side of the coin: that all sex offenders are evil, dangerous people who should be locked up forever. Or pressured to kill themselves.)

Anonymous said...

Actually, they wanted to have sex with a police officer POSING as a minor.

My question: Is this really "crime prevention" when police instigate the encounters? Do we know for sure these men would have acted on these impulses without such an invitation? This smells like entrapment to me.

Anonymous said...

Why, why, why do idiots continue to call individuals who want to have sex with teens pedophiles? Look into it morons. A PEDOPHILE wants PRE-PUBESCENTS, biological ones, not teens who fear mongers define as children. Age of consent has nothing to do with this other than in the legal sense.

Tony B said...

Anonymous is right. The correct term is "ephibophilia." Sadly even my girlfriend who is a social worker who works with abused kids hadn't heard the term.

Of course she's only 7.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony! The talkng heads on TV and politicians trying to scare people ALWAYS call people pedophiles when they are talking about teens/adolescents. Its' just ignorant and, unfortunately, so is most of the U.S. population. It irks me. They don't realize that not many generations ago (in many cases only 50 to 75 years ago or so), a large percentage of their ancestors were born to 14 to 16 year old girls. We Americans are embarassingly stupid and hypocritical about anything sexual.

Anonymous said...

The majority age of consent in Europe is 14, in Spain 13. In the UK the age of consent is 16. Doesn't this strike anyone as rather hypocritical? Why should someone who has sex w/someone of 15 be charged with sexual abuse/pedophilia in one country when not 30 miles away the age is 14? Crazy. Makes sense, in a blanket type way sure, but still cannot be fair or just.