Saturday, May 31, 2014

I want to title this WTF but I'll settle for What the Hell?

This has gone too far. In "If It Saves One Child," I referenced a case where three-year-olds were "investigated" for "sexual fondling" in their pre-school bathroom for looking at and touching each others' wee-wees. The article reports that, in the wake of the publicity about the incident, the mother of another student at the school "...called the state's child abuse hotline to report she witnessed her child, who was not involved in the first incident, touching himself." 

Then there was the case where the mother of a three-year-old was given a ticket when her son, playing outside, couldn't get into his house in time and urinated in his yard in view of horrified--my emphasis and my sarcasm--neighbors and, unfortunately, the policeman who gave the ticket.

What was fortunate is that, in both of these cases, nothing resembling actual charges were filed, and subsequent reports indicate that they were dismissed as being without merit.

However, a six-year-old in Wisconsin was not as lucky. When he and playmates engaged in a "playing doctor" episode and the mother of one of the children pressed charges, she found a district attorney not only willing to prosecute the case but eager to do so. This case is fraught with accusations and a host of issues, but the bottom line is this: this child, charged with and adjudicated for first degree felony sexual assault, will be required to be on the public sex offender registry when he turns 18 for something he did at age 6. In the words of the article, "...District Attorney Lisa Riniker has guaranteed that one local 6-year-old boy will have a series of awkward therapy sessions as an adolescent, and again as a middle-aged man—if he lives that long. In a less-rosy outcome, Riniker’s targeted kid just might succumb to the stress of life as a publicly listed sex offender, and retreat from society, or even kill himself."

This is appalling; this is unacceptable; this is criminal in itself.

And now, today this is printed. A nine-year-old boy in Ohio has been charged with gross sexual imposition for pulling down another child's pants and touching him inappropriately. This is a breaking story, and nothing has yet been finalized as to how it will be handled. Even though the news report stresses how prosecutors use discretion in handling juvenile cases, it is filled with words such as, "sex crime," "criminal," and "criminal charge," and it is titled, "9-year-old boy charged with sex crime."

Nine is older than six. Nevertheless, this, from all appearances, is a case of childish play and curiosity. If it must go beyond the purview of the parents of the children and the possibility of some counseling, why is
family court not adequate? Why are prosecutors and even the possibility of criminal charges and sex crimes part of the equation? If the juvenile prosecutors and the Juvenile Court referenced in the article preclude the possibility of this child having a criminal record and being required to register as a sex offender, then they are doing it right, and I hope that is so. However, my confidence level is not high.

The trend is to criminalize, more and more, behavior that is not criminal, behavior that is merely stupid, and, most disturbingly, behavior that is part of normal childish curiosity and play, behavior that is part of normal child development.

And most disturbing of all is the fact that the sex offender registry, something sold to the public on the grounds that it would protect children, is now a weapon used against children and putting them in unfathomable danger.


  1. My reaction to WTH was WTF!? It's nice to not have hair since I would be pulling it out after reading this! Totally inexcusable! This is what we pay taxes for...for law enforcement and cps to charge children with sex crimes? I guess that makes the majority of us, when we played "Doctor" or other such game decades ago when we were children, all unregistered SO's?

    To harm children while saying these laws save them is horrible! Yes,we must protect the children,protect them by changing these unjust laws that harm them. Sloan44

  2. All this shows me is the breakdown of the family unit. It's ridiculous to think a parent can't handle the moral education of what is essentially a baby without calling in the police. That parent should seriously think twice before she ever gets pregnant again. I've been noticing since the late 70s the moral breakdown of America; it all started with the continuous drive to push our moral compass (God) out of this land.

  3. Both of these situations lack what is called "mens rea", a criminal intent. These children would actually have to be capable of understanding a law before they could break it. It would seem that a prosecutor who is willing to advance his career by charging children with sensationalized "sex crimes" is the criminal in this story and guilty of misconduct in public office.

    In regards to Anon q's lament concerning the breakdown of the family unit...... three year olds have been peeing outside when they gotta for, oh, forever.


No personal attacks, profanity, or obscenities.
Thank you.