Welcome back blog readers,
In this blog post, I’d like to talk about the wide range of sentencing that a sexual abuser may face. When I say wide range I mean anywhere from getting off with community service and probation (Provincial/State level) up to 20 years plus paying fines (Federal level). While I haven’t researched all aspects from all over the world, I am focusing on Canada and the United States.
The sentencing for “Inappropriate Touching” which includes:
- Touching the buttocks, under the influence of alcohol – 4 months
- Digital penetration – 6 months
- Fondling and undressing a victim – 9 months
- Sexual assault, forced oral sex, fondling under clothes, physical assault, stripping clothes off and forced intercourse, touching a child sexually, forced masturbation – 1 to 5 years
The sentencing for “Full Intercourse” includes:
- Abusers that have prior attempts/records of violence – 6 months to 10 years
- Forcing sex on sleeping victims, victims were drugged, date rape, Breaking/Entering and forcing intercourse – 6 months to 10 years
- Sexual assault when the abuser is HIV+ 2 years
In California, a sexual assault conviction ranges from 24 months to 48 months in prison and may include a $10,000 fine. New York considers this to be a Class D felony and offers a minimum of 1 year up to a maximum of 7 years. Federal law has a maximum of 20 years and those convicted must pay fines to their victim to help cover expenses that are directly related to the crime such as; medical care, physical therapy, attorney fees.
I know that the judge, jury and even the police officer have to determine the details and figure out what actually took place. Was it just two teenagers engaging in sex that started out with consent and one of them changed their mind? Was it a case where a 16-year-old is dating a 20-year-old and the parents of the teenager are upset even though consent was given freely? Was the inappropriate touching over the clothes a mistaken case of clumsiness? My point is that in many cases there is a grey area especially if there aren’t any witnesses to back up either side of the story.
My issue is when the case is cut and dry, there is a witness or proof that there is a victim of sexual assault and the other person is denying it happened, especially if the victim is a child. When are we as a society going to hold people accountable? Sexual contact with a child is a NO-NO that will never change and I don’t care what the legal age of consent is. I’m looking at you Mexico… I’d like to see a minimum of a 10-year sentence for cases where there is no question about what took place.
Sexual contact with your family is off limits, sexual contact with a person that is passed out drunk or impaired is off limits, sexual contact with a person that can’t give their consent (mentally disabled, under the influence of drugs, sleeping, heavily medicated) is off limits. I shouldn’t have to state the obvious, but clearly, there are those that can’t distinguish right from wrong or they feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to take advantage of people when they are vulnerable. No means NO even if that no comes from your spouse. Being married doesn’t mean that you can have your way with your spouse anytime you want.
Having a minimum sentence of 10 years for the cases that don’t have a grey area and making it the standard might help potential abusers keep their filthy hands to themselves. While the victim can have peace of mind (if you want to call it that) that their abuser is in prison for at least 10 years, it’s the taxpayers that are helping to pay for their stay, food, medical care. Most sexual predators get placed together ( as a means of keeping them safe) because in the mind of criminals being a sexual predator is worse than evading taxes, drug dealing, and murder, which is really saying something.
Why don’t we consider putting a system in place where the sexual predators once in prison have to make monthly payments to cover the expenses to their victim? Not like a direct deposit because that would only get abused. But rather the money collected would go into a fund with money collected from other sexual predators and the money is used to help the victims to pay any medical expenses (due to the trauma), pay for therapy, pay for attorney fees. While the prisoner may be unable to make payments while in prison, they should be forced to pay the money back to the government much like a loan once they get out, or like child support but for victim support.
Many victims don’t get the help they deserve, they often don’t seek therapy or have health coverage to offset the expenses from their attack. They don’t get compensated for their pain/suffering or time away from work. This system could also work for murder cases and provide assistance to help the family of the victim with grief counseling, wake/funeral services.
We need to hold people with authority/position of power accountable. Sadly greed plays a huge factor and those sexual predators that are affluent or have a celebrity status like to pay off various people that can influence the outcome as it pertains to the punishment. In some cases, they get off pretty easy and they are back home, back to school, back to work in a few months. Shameful!
I know that some of you might think that once a person is convicted for being a sexual predator, they have to register as a sex offender in the area that they choose to live and that label should be punishment enough. I disagree. If you don’t want to be labeled as a sex offender, then keep your hands to yourself and don’t be a sex offender. But what about those that make false claims with the intention of blackmail or revenge? Those who make false claims should also be punished with more than community service. Those who make false claims intend to benefit in some way and they make it harder for actual victims to be taken seriously and get the help they need.
In any case I think there need to be changes to the criminal justice system and harsher sentencing should be considered and enforced. Those helping to protect a sexual predator ( a person paid to look the other way, a person paid to influence the outcome) is also part of the problem.
I’m tired of seeing these sexual predators being allowed back into the public after a few months. They can’t be trusted not to keep their hands to themselves, they haven’t learned anything except that I’m rich, my family is rich and I can do what I want.