Dr. Earl Bradley may have up to 100 victims. While law enforcement reviews over thirteen hours of tape to identify his victims, some parents don't want to hear the outcome. Dr. Bradley created a child friendly environment at his pediatric office. Disney characters welcomed his young patients and toys covered the rooms. Dr. Bradley is said to have abused his victims while they were out of sight of their parents, or while conducting unnecessary exams on the children. Now facing almost 500 separate crimes,Bradley's offices are closed and parents are left wondering if their child or children were victims. Some feel that if their child hasn't been forthcoming with any abuse allegations, then they must be fine. If their child is "okay", then why would they want to find out that they had actually been violated? Others want to know what happened and if their children were victimized. Officials say it is best to identify the children and make sure they get counseling right away, noting that repressed memories may surface in years to come. Who makes that call? Do parents know their children best, and are they the most obvious choice to make these decisions? If they choose not to participate, and it turns out their child is a victim, did they, meaning law enforcement let the child down by not actively pursuing the allegations? Where does this responsibility lie? Wouldn't you want to know either way, so that you can do your best to help your child? Or, because you have guilt as a parent, or can't handle the "awkward" situation, do you go on like nothing has happened? Sexual violence is already so silent, if these parents choose to not participate with the case, let's hope they at least sit down and discuss it at length with their children. Let's hope they open up the dialogue that often gets skipped because parents don't want to discuss "these kind of things".
Monday, February 8, 2010
A woman in Wyoming was raped in her own home and left bound in her living room. One of the men who is being charged with the crime claims to have been fulfilling a "rape fantasy" that the woman had. Ty Oliver McDowell admitted to going to her house and having sex with her, but says he thought that was what she wanted because of his email correspondence with her. Authorities say that McDowell was actually communicating with the woman's ex boyfriend who set up the assault. Days before the crime occurred, the victim had contacted authorities saying someone had posted an online ad with false information about her. Jebidiah James Stipe is the victims ex who is being charged with first-degree sexual assault for his role in this terrible crime. What about McDowell? He is being charged with with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of kidnapping and one count of aggravated burglary. Now, sick as it may sound, what if McDowell is telling the truth? What if he did think he was talking directly to the woman via email and that they had discussed some kinky sexual fantasies? As wrong and uncomfortable as that may seem to some of us, there are a lot of fetishes and sexual encounters that we don't all agree with. If Stipe did pose as his ex girlfriend to put in her harms way, his intentions were nothing short of evil. McDowell could have gone into the situation truly feeling like he was a part of some twisted sex fantasy and nothing more. How do you proceed in a case like this? The evidence should allow us to see what really happened, and who is ultimately responsible. It may be proven that McDowell is a victim too. If he only thought it was a fantasy, when in fact it was a brutal attack, he may have issues to address with himself and what damage he caused the victim. The entire crime seems cruel and complicated. Were the two men working together on this? And what does the victim think? How can we prevent others from impersonating us on the Internet? In 2008, Craigslist agreed to tighten its adult services advertisements as part of an agreement with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They now have different requirements and are working with numerous states to try and prevent some of these things from happening, or at least being able to track people who post the ads. This case shows us just how bad it can get and how horrible people can be to one another.
Elizabeth Smart was abducted and raped repeatedly while being held against her will for nine months. That was in 2002. Wanda Barzee and her husband Brian David Mitchell have been sitting in jail for over eight years awaiting trial for the crimes. Today, prosecutors dropped charges against Barzee in exchange for a guilty plea in a the kidnapping attempt of Smarts cousin. Barzee did plead guilty last fall in kidnapping and charges related to Smart, and could face thirty years in prison. She will also have to cooperate with authorities on charges against her husband. In the past, she was found incompetent to stand trial, but now, under medication and treatment, she has been found to be competent. Mental illness plays a big part in this, but it is not an excuse to commit terrible crimes. The actions that her and other sexual predators and abusers take make you wonder how any of them could be in their right mind to do the deplorable things they do to their victims. Some say Barzee was also a victim of Mitchell's but then we hear from those who knew her. Some of her own children came forward this week to talk about the abuse they endured at the hands of their own mother. Barzee seems to have a long history of treating others poorly. Elizabeth Smart has also said that she believes Barzee, as well as Mitchell, knew exactly what they were doing and deserve to pay for their crimes to the fullest extent. Hopefully during her sentencing, the judge sees to it that she gets the maximum sentence. Also, by her cooperating with officials to help the case against her husband, it will hopefully help speed up his trial and put him in his place. Smart has been waiting far too long to see her captors drag the legal process out and spend more tax dollars. When does she get to see justice prevail? When does she get to put this behind her and move on?