I have read and heard many comments about the leniency of the sentence against Jarod Fogle. I am still amazed that so many are unaware of the reality of prosecuting child molesters. These cases are difficult to prosecute for a variety of reasons. Therefore charges are not pressed, prosecution does not occur, and obviously sentencing is not given nor is the public made aware of the child molesters in their midst. This is the norm. Do I agree with the light sentence of Jarod Fogle—NO! Until, as a society we educate ourselves, advocate for children’s rights, and make our elected officials accountable for supplying funds and creating laws that will curtail the activities of these child molesters, and those that protect them, we will have the same results or lack thereof. Furthermore, I fear that if we continue down this path we will one day normalize this type of crime. As I searched for news articles about the sentencing I had difficulty finding mainstream news articles that did not gloss over the crimes committed by Jarod Fogle. Most did not mention the taped conversations he had about wanting access to younger victims. JDP
I want to show you a brief set of statistics. Look closely at the fifth statistic. Astonishing the short length of the average sentences and the brevity of actual time served. That is our reality. Now imagine how few are even sentenced.
Child Molester Statistics: According to the U. S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 9,700 convicted sex offenders who were released in one year alone.
* Nearly 4,300 of the 9,700 were labeled child molesters.
* Of the 4,300 child molesters that were released in that one year, 3.3% were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within three years of their release.
* A Bureau of Justice Statistics survey shows that the victims of approximately 70% of the convicted sex offenders were children.
* In almost half of the child molestation cases, the child was the convicted sex offender’s son, daughter, or relative.
* The average sentence given to the 4,300 child molesters was approximately seven years, with three of seven years typically being served.
Remember, these are only statistics that were extracted from actual prosecutions. There are multitudes of cases that never come to trial. I am posting a separate follow-up article that is a bit lengthy, but it is a revelation to those who truly do not understand how the system works. Find the time to read the follow-up article A Lawyer Speaks Sentencing and Child Molestation. Of course other factors besides the ones mentioned in the follow-up article come into play with the decision not to prosecute. Athletes have their records to hold and medals to show. Actors have their list of blockbusters and their Emmys or Oscars. Similarly, the team members who work on these cases have records to earn and to protect. No one wants to be on a losing team. However, the more we prosecute the more we create a record of these “alleged” predators. Then when the next incident occurs, and it will, that particular victim has a better chance of being heard, being believed, and gaining freedom. As our current process stands the children remain silenced. We need to rethink the way we handle prosecution and put our children first, not our records. Then those team members who really care about our children can take the actions needed to protect our children. Remember pressure comes from the top down. Keep informed about your elected officials and how they vote on these issues. As we head into an big election year make sexual crimes against children an issue that our candidates must address! JDP