Harsher sen­tences needed for rape, abuse

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

FROM: ROBIN AL­BRIGHT ELK­TON

Re­cently the Whig re­ported on the story of Mr. Devin­centz, who was sen­tenced to 25 years for sex­u­ally abus­ing a child.

I com­mend Judge Keith Baynes for im­pos­ing such a long sen­tence. The of­fend­ers, ei­ther of child abuse or rape, need to re­al­ize that this be­hav­ior is un­ac­cept­able and will not be tol­er­ated. Too of­ten these of­fend­ers are giv­ing lit­tle or no reper­cus­sions for their ac­tions. They need to be held re­spon­si­ble for their ac­tions.

Re­cently, in two rape cases, judges have given lit­tle time for sex­ual as­saults. In Mas­sachusetts, David Becker re­ceived two years pro­ba­tion in Au­gust 2016 for rap­ing two un­con­scious fe­males. In the Brock Turner sex­ual as­sault case, he raped a 23-yearold un­con­scious vic­tim, but only re­ceived a six-month sen­tence and life­time sex of­fender registration. The judge said he feared a “longer sen­tence” would have a se­vere im­pact on Turner and his fa­ther com­plained that his son’s life has been ru­ined for his “20 min­utes of ac­tion.”

The sen­tences that the judges gave these two rapist anger me greatly. To the judge and the fa­ther, I would like to ask: What about the vic­tims? Don’t they think what hap­pened has af­fected these ladies? How dare the fa­ther of Brock Turner com­plain that his son life has been ru­ined for “20 min­utes of ac­tion.” Is a mur­derer then not re­spon­si­ble for shoot­ing some­one be­cause it only took two sec­onds to pull the trig­ger? I am sure Brock’s fa­ther would feel dif­fer­ent if it was his daugh­ter that was raped. These rapist need to be held re­spon­si­ble for their crimes.

Sur­vivors of child abuse or sex­ual as­sault will con­tinue to have trauma symp­toms for sev­eral years and per­haps a life­time. Many sur­vivors may even take their own lives un­able to deal with what hap­pened. Woman are not asked to be raped, just as chil­dren are not asked to be abused. How can one ex­pect vic­tims of abuse or rape come for­ward if they are not be­lieved, are re-vic­tim­ized, and no jus­tice is re­ally given? Tougher sen­tences need to be given so of­fend­ers know that our so­ci­ety means busi­ness and this be­hav­ior will not be tol­er­ated. We need to speak up for those who are voice­less.

I ap­pre­ci­ate Judge Baynes for tak­ing Mr. Devin­centz’s case se­ri­ously. I wish other judges would im­pose sim­i­lar rul­ings. It is time for the jus­tice sys­tem to stand up for sur­vivors of rape.

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