Friday, July 11, 2008

Brooke Bennett – Does Vermont Get It?



~Gov Jim Douglas




It’s been said before; if you are a convicted pedophile, move to Vermont. Little to worry about, they’re soft on child molesters.

The following statement is from Vermont’s Sex Offender registry:

The registry is based on the legislature's decision to facilitate access to publicly available information about persons convicted of sexual offenses. EXCEPT FOR OFFENDERS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED ON THIS SITE AS HIGH-RISK, THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY HAS NOT CONSIDERED OR ASSESSED THE SPECIFIC RISK OF REOFFENSE WITH REGARD TO ANY INDIVIDUAL PRIOR TO HIS OR HER INCLUSION WITHIN THIS REGISTRY AND HAS MADE NO DETERMINATION THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL INCLUDED IN THE REGISTRY IS CURRENTLY DANGEROUS. THE MAIN PURPOSE OF PROVIDING THIS DATA ON THE INTERNET IS TO MAKE INFORMATION MORE EASILY AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE, NOT TO WARN ABOUT ANY SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL
.

Get the picture?

Brooke Bennett’s horrific story has placed Vermont in the national spotlight and everyone is waiting to see what they will do concerning the leniency and blind eye the legislature has shown to sex offenders.

Governor Jim Douglas said the state department of corrections made a mistake when it recommended that probation be ended for convicted sex offender Michael Jacques.

Ya think?

Douglas has come up with a number of statutory changes for lawmakers to consider.

He is calling for civil confinement legislation that would allow sex offenders to be held after they have served their sentences if they hadn't completed treatment or were judged to pose a risk. He also calls for a more detailed sex-offender registry.

He also suggests tougher penalties, including the death penalty or chemical castration.

OK, now go back and read the bold text from the registry.

There have been numerous studies that show chemical castration does not work if the offender does not continue treatment.

From Sex Offenders, recidivism & chemical castration by Marc Alexander:

Among the child molesters the cumulative recidivism rate for new sexual charges was 4 per cent per year, dropping to 3 per cent in the fourth year and peaking at increments of 11 per cent between year five and year ten. The rate of new sexual offenses by the end of the study period was 52 per cent for child molesters.

While some might find such conditions – chemical castration - cruel and unusual, I would argue that pedophilia is even more cruel and has more negative and abnormal effects on the victim. The effect on children is devastating, requiring years of healing and in many cases predisposing the victim to become perpetrators themselves.


Now, back to Governor Douglas. He has no plans to call a special session of the Legislature!

When asked by a reporter, why not call a special session? Douglas replied, "If I thought for a minute that the legislative leaders would embrace a serious package of reforms that we have talked about this afternoon, I'd have them here tomorrow,"

"Their past actions does not give me a lot of confidence that in the aggregate they are prepared to take these steps."

Gee, that makes me feel confident!

Now, what about Vermonters themselves?

ritanita pointed out the following quotes from the Burlington Free Press on the day of Brooke’s funeral:

Low clouds gathered, and the congregation dispersed. Some mourned silently; others speculated on how minors had been entrusted to the care of Michael Jacques, a convicted rapist and registered sex offender. Others suggested people feel guilty about not being able to protect a child in their community.

“There has been a sense that the men in the community let us down as protectors, but that’s just how men are,” said Donna Gerstenmaier of Randolph. “I’ve worked with kids my whole life, so I’ve seen Jacques on the (sex-offender) register. People knew what was going on — of course people knew.”


Jennifer Celley of Braintree has baby-sat for the Jacques family.
“He was pretty weird and quiet,” she said of Michael Jacques, “but they seemed like a normal family. I knew he was a sex offender. But the kids loved him.”

ritanita
and I both want to know –

Hello? What part of sex offender didn't these people get?

5 comments:

Anakerie said...

People knew he was a sex offender and ignored that because "the kids loved him"? OMG.. Those people are living with blinders on! Its amazing that there haven't been more victims like poor Brooke!

donchais said...

ankerie,

I can't even describe what I feel!

Mort Snerd said...

As a man who raised his two children after a woman walked away, you want to make special laws that deal with male sexual predators? I understand the rage that you express as a parent, but men, fathers and husbands also feel the anger.

Mortie

Jennie said...

Try living here... I want to get the kids running shoes and mine and run out of Vermont. One of the safest states...BS!
My children were sexually abused by a man I knew for 22 yrs...since I was 16. I NEVER knew he was like this... we are going through the same courts as Jaques ( the uncle in the Brooke Bennett case). I was told a few weeks ago by the crime victim advocate if he confessed to what he did then he would get probation, have to complete the sex offender treatment program and register... The last one is good with me as long as it's where he shows on the internet. The rest ... Probation ...he should do some sort of jail sentence He was 5 victims 2 were my children... and 3 were friends of theirs . One parent knew what he had done to her daughter and she said NOTHING to NOBODY! My daughters were the brave ones who came forward! He was abusive to us all. He had me beat down mentally I had been misdiagnosed with bipolar and heavily medicated. Today I refuse to take even tylenol ! I want to know what is going on , I don't miss nothing now ! I will protect my children any way I have to ! HE was just the last one I thought I would have to.
September ( if they don't cancel the dates AGAIN) I hope this will be over in the courts for us. It's going to trial and we will probably have to testify. But my girls are strong and what they told to the detective and child services investigator is the same they are telling now. Never adding or changing. I am so proud of my girls.
It's sad that it has taken the death of a beautiful young girl by a sex offender to get Vermont to wake up. It's time they protect our children! Because from where I sit , I don't feel too safe how can the kids?

Anonymous said...

I grew up as a weekender there and moved there full time as an adult. That experience has tarnished Vermont for me always. It was common for women to be raped, for the guys to have sex with kids, as 12 year olds are at that age hitchiking across state, ect. so they LIVE more as adults then other kids.....I guess!!!

Let's just say, I spent 24 years living in and around NYC, being a bad kid, and I was NEVER raped until I moved to Vt full time. Not only was I raped but there were "hippies" in the room, and it happened twice in one night!!!!!! I call them phoney librals. The guy who raped me the first time that night, ( I was slipped something and it was as if my body became paralized but my mind was on) well he was known to rape women. Fat, young, ugly it didn't matter, and we told our guy "friends"...they had us end up apologizing to this serial rapist for getting together and telling about how he raped us all. So, this mentality, I am not suprised.