A threat against civilized society itself
Re: the article in the Nov. 5 edition titled “Prosecution of international sex tourists proves cumbersome” (World section, page 26), thank you, Barr y Brown, for addressing the horrendous crime of international sex tourism. Society does not grant sex, marriage and intimate relationships the sanctity that they deserve. Until this happens, society will not prosecute sexual crimes, particularly those against children and other disempowered groups, with the diligence that they deserve.
Mr. Brown’s article states that the maximum penalty fo r sex tour ism crimes in the United States is 30 years in prison. Sadly, these crimes and similar crimes such as incest rarely reach the courtroom, and when the courts do get involved, perpetrators often come away with little more than a slap on the wrist despite the broken lives left in their wake. Victims of childhood sexual crimes often do not have a true understanding of the gravity of the offense against them until they reach adulthood and have an adult knowledge of sexuality and its profound emotional impact on their lives. By then, it’s usually too late to pursue any legal action against the perpetrators, and the adults who were abused as children are left to struggle with putting together the pieces of their broken lives.
Pedophiles walk among us every day, committing their crimes against family members and strangers, and many of us fail to see them because they look just like you or me. When their crimes do come to light, pedophiles are often seen as hopelessly diseased and not held fully accountable for what they’ve done. Until we get serious and prosecute pedophilia, incest, and sex tourism as crimes that could happen to anyone’s son or daughter, we do a grave disservice to the victims and, ultimately, to society. Karen Nilsen Old Fort, North Carolina