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.