I was reading my local paper and came across an article that disturbed me greatly, for a number of reasons, which will become clear beginning with the title of the article: "Ex-Teacher Gets 5 Years For Sex With Teen." My first thought was, "5 years? FIVE? That's it? For having sex with a teenager?" Then I thought, "Well, just how old WAS this teen with whom the teacher had sex?" The answer: 14. She was 14 years old, and yes, she was his student. The teacher was 38. And this happened in the county next to me.
Wow. I imagine teachers everywhere just cringe when they hear about stories like this. Parents, too, I expect. And especially the latter when the child who was sexually assaulted says things like this:
The victim asked the judge not to give him the maximum sentence because he was a nice man.
Holy smokes. "A nice man." Hardly. Her father didn't think so, either. This was his response:
Her father then told the judge that his daughter was emotionally and psychologically scarred and that Judy had a power over her, Strickland said. (Strickland is the spokeswoman for that court district.)
I think we can agree that it goes without saying that the child is "emotionally and psychologically scarred..."
At least Judy acknowledged what he had done:
Judy admitted during the hearing to having sex with the girl, who was 14 at the time, and said he knew what he did was wrong, Strickland said.
I suppose that's something. Better than him insisting the girl was lying, I guess.
Here's the thing - this man COULD have gotten up to 20 years in prison. He has affected this child's life in ways the extent of which cannot possibly known for years to come. Here are the legal particulars:
Tracy Lee Judy, 38, pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation of a minor and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor during an emotional hearing that included testimony from the 15-year-old victim and her father.
Circuit Judge Perry Buckner sentenced Judy to five years in prison and two years probation upon completion of the prison sentence. He also will be on the sex offender registry for life.
Five years in prison, two on probation. That just does not sound like enough to me. And yes, I know he will have a tough time in prison. No doubt, he will be in Protective Custody. That may, or may not, save him. Inmates have their own codes, after all (I worked with prisoners, both men and women, and had the Protective Custody Unit as part of my duties, so I do actually have some experience with that. I just didn't want you to think I was writing, "words, just words." Ahem.).
Oh, and there is one other little piece of this:
Judy tried to kill himself by overdosing on painkillers on May 10, the night before his trial was to begin. In a four-page suicide note, Judy described himself as a mentally ill Gulf War veteran struggling with "panic anxiety disorder, depression, agoraphobia and other undetermined social disorders."
As part of his sentence, Judy must receive counseling through Veterans Affairs, Strickland said.
Let me say right off the bat that I have no doubt whatsoever Judy is experiencing those symptoms. No doubt. And it is terrible the long-lasting effects too many of our men and women in uniform carry with them after their service is done. Too many denied or ignored or minimized by the very entity that sent them in. That being said, it is NOT an excuse for this man to sexually assault this child. Good that he is going to get counseling - clearly he needs it, as the list above indicates, as does the "undetermined social disorders," though I think we have a BIT of a clue as to what ONE of those is, and it is no longer "undetermined": child sexual molestation.
That girl is going to need therapy, too. Probably her parents will also have to participate. Even still, that girl's life will never, never be the same again. Never.
How does this happen? The paper the next day had an article announcing that "Violent Crime Is Down 12%," but rape is up. I'm sorry, but when, exactly, did rape not qualify as a "violent crime"???
This can happen because this kind of mindset is cumulative. You rank rape below, say, bank robbery; have a president make a huge speech abroad in which he minimizes women's rights and human rights ("Yo, Bitches, Wear That Hijab," and "Cairo: The Emptiness Of Obama's Rhetoric" address that issue nicely); and a teacher who gets all of 5 years for repeated sexual molestation of a 14 year old girl. That is some message here in the Good Ol'U.S. of A. to women, isn't it? (I have also written about the use of rape as war tactic, and the treatment of women in other countries numerous times before, but this time, my focus is closer to home.)
Judy gets 5 years in prison, probation, and on the Sex Offender Registry for sexually assaulting this child. And the girl gets life without parole.
UPDATE: Add to this the DISTURBING story of David Watson, a man from Alabama who, ON HIS HONEYMOON, murdered his wife while scuba diving in Australia. He confessed to manslaughter. Wanna guess how much time he got for murdering his new bride? One year. I said, ONE YEAR. One year in prison for killing his wife.
Like I said throughout the Primary and Election Seasons (for instance, HERE and HERE), the treatment of women by those in the media, and those in politics, made it quite clear that it was open season on women. We are seeing the effects of that writ large. And it is disturbing beyond belief.
By the way, friends, I am in my hometown for the next week helping with my mom. I may not get to post every day, but I will try. And Mom is doing somewhat better as she prepares to go to a Skilled Nursing Facility this coming week. Thanks for the support you have already shown me. I appreciate it.