Jennifer Schuett is an inspiration. She forced herself to remember every detail of her assault. Raped as a child, she didn't want anyone else to be victimized by the same man. After twenty years, she got her wish. As horrendous as this crime was, the story of this woman's courage and determination is what makes this so amazing and empowering. Dennis Earl Bradford had kidnapped and raped eight year old Jennifer before trying to kill her. Thinking she would die, as she almost did, Bradford left her in a field. He went on to assault at least one other woman and served time in prison before he was let out on parole. He had a wife and children, and when confronted with the DNA evidence, confessed to the crimes. As comforting as it is that he is off the streets, he was a coward. Jennifer knew exactly what she would say to him, and wanted him to know that she never gave up looking for him. Before she could face him, he hung himself. Some people say death is what he deserved anyway, but Jennifer Schuett deserved to face him first, and speak the words she waited to say. Jennifer Schuett is a survivor no matter the outcome, and for that and her voice, we applaud her.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Last week, Sacramento was on the lookout for a convicted sex offender who had a $1 million arrest warrant issued for him. Benjamin Dee Kendrick disappeared after police had searched his residence and seized his computer. The images and information found on the computer were highly disturbing. Kendrick had over 100 child pornography images and was maintaining an online relationship with a woman in Brazil who was discussing the transfer of her 7 year old daughter to the United States for sexual purposes over email. The correspondance between Kendrick and this woman was believed to have been going on for at least a few months. Kendrick was arranging for the woman's daughter to come live with him and serve as a sex slave. He even discussed killing the girl. When authorities became aware of these emails, they were unsure if the girl had already gotten into the United States and was in danger. Due to the serious nature of the emails, they scrambled to find Kendrick as soon as possible. Brazilian authorities were cooperating with US officials as well. On May 13, Kendrick was finally arrested in Davis, California which is just a short drive from Sacramento. What became of the young girl remains to be disclosed. Kendrick was also a designer for a website for the National Safe Child Coalition. He admitted to using the site to have access to children to continue to abuse them.
Amy Beck was a teacher. She was also the wife of a police officer and mother of three. Now she will also be registered sex offender. Amy Beck admitted to having a six month affair with a fourteen year old former student. Authorities had no idea the affair had happened, but Beck went to police and told them everything. Her lawyer says she admitted to the affair because it was "the right thing to do". She was given just two years in prison, in which she will probably serve less than one, and three years of probation. Now, this seems like a slap on the wrist for having sex with a child. If she were a man, and the child were female, would it have gone differently? Was the fact that she was married to a police officer a factor? Or that she came forward with the information voluntarily and acted remorseful? It just makes one wonder why an adult who raped a child will serve less than a year behind bars. It would be interesting to hear what the young boys parents think about this, or the victim himself. Whether he was a willing participant was not disclosed, but it doesn't make the situation right regardless.