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Oh, Wait…Was That Out Loud?

A man who told Canadian border agents he was visiting Canada to have sex with a 15-year-old girl he met over the Internet has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

I’m not sure what makes me more uncomfortable about this, his reason for crossing the border or the fact that when asked by authorities, he answered truthfully. Planning to have sex with a 15-year-old is pathetic and sick. I should think lying would be relatively easy by comparison.

Unfortunately, among a certain portion of the population, sexual contact with minors (yes, I know, 15 is over the age of consent in BC – that’s presumably why he went trolling in Canada rather than Washington State) has become normative behavior. No longer are pedophiles isolated from one another, but they are able to form groups of like-minded individuals over the Internet. Constant reinforcement of your beliefs and desires by a select few who share your views will make any claimed belief or proclivity ‘normal’ behavior within a reference group. It is certainly possible to receive this reinforcement to the exclusion of all else – without any other human contact, we will adopt the norms of the group we belong to. So, pedophiles are isolated physically, but thanks to the Internet, they can find each other and associate virtually and ideologically. I think that would clearly fall into the category of the ‘Law of Unintended Consequences’. Regular porn, you betcha. Kiddie porn, no freakin’ way.

In my view, as un-liberal as it may seem, penalties for possession and distribution of child pornography, as well as child-luring, should be as harsh and inhumane and final as we can make them. Why governments and courts are accepting probations or a few months in jail as punishment is mind-boggling. 10 years, less time off for a few psychological sessions and good behavior, is nothing. In this case, the girl was not victimized, but in too many other cases, the children suffer for a lot more than a decade.

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5 thoughts on “Oh, Wait…Was That Out Loud?

  1. as un-liberal as it may seem

    I just don’t understand why we have to say this. I totally agree, and why the hell should we be considered “un-liberal” for wanting to prevent child abuse for god’s sake????

    I look around at so many liberals who really do *seem* to care more about the well-being of the abuser than the potentially abused, and I shake my head. If we wonder why Democrats keep losing and flakes like Jack Layton get control of decent parties, if we wonder why the word “liberal” is now a bad word in the USA, it’s because of the people who could call this (sensible) stance “un-liberal”. Those hysterics are the ones who feed Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.

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  2. Point well taken.
    I certainly didn’t feel an appreciable amount of shame as I wrote the words, but the reflexive caveat gene took over. I think we have established fairly definitively that rehabilitation in the ‘free to enter society unrestricted’ sense is not working, and the punishments need to deter, not care for, the offender. In my view, they have consciously given up their rights to consideration as a human being the moment they sexually touch a child.

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  3. This should not be a liberal or conservative debate. Protecting our children from exploitation should be one of our top priorities. And I say this as someone who neither has kids and nor knows when he will.

    The sentence, extremely harsh by Canadian standards, should send out a message we’re not going to tolerate this kind of crap. I just with other judges would actually apply the law rather than let monsters like this off lightly.

    Even some American judges don’t get it. With the news the other day one of the “robed” in Buffalo sentenced a home-grown pedophile to three years of exile in Fort Erie, it’s become more than obvious this is something where we need a lot more co-operation as well.

    The sad fact is, most if not all child abusers can never be rehabilitated. Even if the arranged contact was entirely consensual, an adult has no business having sex with a kid. Period. I hope this dork actually serves his full ten-year sentence; then faces fresh charges when he gets back home.

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  4. I’d like to see them put into the general prison population. They have committed a crime, why should they be entitled to special protection? I’m sure that’s something the prison guards in particular would support. It must be galling to have to protect these creeps.

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  5. As a father of two young girls, I agree with heavy-handed sentances as an active deterrent to this kind of behaviour. However, I draw the line at putting them in open prison population. The prison sentance itself is supposed to be the punishment, it is not supposed facilitate further indignities on the guilty. As odious as it is, these people have committed a crime, and we should punish it like any other. Knowing that they would be ravaged in general population means that we would be knowingly setting them up for greater punishment than other criminals; and that implicates us as well.

    This is not a left/right, liberal/conservative issue. All of us are concerned for the welfare of our fellow citizens, young and old alike.

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