October 24, 2020

Why was this sex fiend allowed out?

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Jeffrey Barnes was let out of prison after serving a minimal prison sentence for RAPE. His victim then was a 16 year old girl and he received a time in prison of just over a year! He didn’t waste anytime to allegedly commit the same crime again. A few weeks later, an eleven year old schoolgirl was lucky to escape this allegedly sexual predator’s vile assault. There is also a report he allegedly sexually assaulted a family member.

Rape is the most intimate and heinous of crimes. Can a male judge really know what it must be like for a woman who has had this crime inflicted upon her? Time and time again rapists get a “slap on the wrist sentence”. The scars the rapist leaves behind are much worse than the physical ones. I am talking about the mental ones that last a lifetime.

The victim has to endure a physical check up after the rape has been reported. She has to report it in great detail describing every vile detail of the assault. She has to relive the crime over and over again. Then when the perpetrator has been caught she has to identify him. Then the trial. The prosecutor is gentle with her but the defense lawyer can be anything but that. She can be made to feel she is the one at fault. Then the sentence. A year, maybe two and then he is out on our streets and the person lives in fear again because lightning does strike twice.

It is proven by statistics that the majority of rape crimes are NEVER reported to the police. The victim does not want to have to live through all indignities I have described above.

Mary Dickson, a reporter with PBS, said in 1996: “We live in a culture where we are taught that we have choices about our lives and that we’re responsible for what happens to us. As feminist author Gloria Steinem says, “If you are beaten, you’re said to have incited it, if you’re raped you’re said to have invited it. We all know that these things run very deep in the culture.”

“From the time a child is very, very small, we’re teaching that they’re responsible for the things that happen in their life both positive and negative,” says C.Y. Roby, a Psychologist in Salt Lake City. “So when a rape situation occurs, usually what I see going through a victim’s mind is what did I do that was wrong.”

It’s not only the victim who blames herself. Society is quick to blame her as well. “Even the innocence of children is questioned,” says Abby Maestas, executive director of the Salt lake City Rape Recovery Centre. “Often times I have sat with a police officer or a client and have heard that a four-year-old girl was responsible for seducing her perpetrator who was an adult. Now what are we saying? What we’re saying is that we don’t know how to take responsibility as a society. Therefore, we will continue to blame the victim.”

Rape is a devastating crime. Some women are badly injured. Some become pregnant. Some contract HIV. But the emotional trauma can be worse than any physical injury. Women who are raped have nightmares, panic attacks, waves of self-doubt, an overwhelming sense of distrust. The lives of women who are raped are forever changed. Some say they will never be the same, that it’s like dying. “I know that I will never really recover from this,” says Maggie (a rape victim). “The impact will always be with me and I will never trust the same way and I know I can’t even be tested for HIV for six months. So I have to even keep that in mind. I’ll never be able to get away from this.”

Why, then, don’t the sentences fit the crime? In my immediate family, one member was raped and the other managed to escape the perpetrator. In both instances they were asleep in their own homes when the fiend broke in. Neither women was the same again. Both had a knife brandished at them. The rapist was convicted in the case of the first family victim but received a one year sentence and then after three months was let out on a technicality. He immediately raped someone else and received another ridiculously small sentence. The man who attempted a sexual assault on my second family member was finally caught – after he had raped someone else.

There are conflicting statistics out there as to whether rapists are likely to repeat the same offence again. However, when they do, shouldn’t we make sure it is a very long time before they do it again?

Jeffery Barnes was already wanted for another criminal act when he raped again. The man is sick. Keep him locked away until he is cured. And the cure may be never.

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