Toddler sexual abuse

Over the weekend,  there was a breaking news story about a 3 year old girl.  The girl had fallen, and was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead as a result of the fall.  This would be sad enough, but authorities then took a 14 year old relative into custody on suspicion of sexual abuse.  (Due to the age of the victim and suspect, as well as the fact that the investigation is in the early stages, I am choosing to refrain from publishing the names).

It seems like sexual abuse cases involving toddlers is on the rise.  I completely fail to comprehend the mindset of the perpetrators, which I guess is a good thing.  When the victims are teenage girls, I have a loose understanding of how an adult might feel an attraction to the girl, simply because I was once a teenage boy who was attracted to teenage girls.  I definitely do not want to give the impression that I am condoning sexual abuse of teenagers – this is most definitely NOT the case.  I  am just saying that I can get a tiny bit of a glimpse into the twisted mind that would engage in these acts.

When the victim is a toddler, I really struggle to see how the attraction would develop.  I could watch a hundred toddlers all day, every day, and I am confident that no physical attraction would ever develop.  Maybe it’s the human instinct to shelter toddlers (not just our own children) from the dangers in the world (not just sexual predators, but cars, big dogs, and other things that might scare them) that precludes us from developing physical attraction toward them.

I hope that parents use these new stories as reminder to be cautious about the people who are allowed to be in close contact with their children.

On a slight tangent, an Iowa family added a second generation to its roster of pedophiles.  Brothers James and Roger Bentley were involved in crimes against 10 year old Jetseta Gage.  James was found guilty of sexually abusing Jetseta.  Roger, who had previous convictions for sex offenses, was found guilty in Jetseta’s 2005 murder.  Roger is currently serving two consecutive life sentences (one for kidnapping, one for murder) and James is serving 100 years for child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor.  Jetseta’s mother had dated both of the brothers in the past.

In June, Daryl Bentley, nephew of James and Roger, was arrested for sexually abusing a 4 year old girl.

Burr Oak Cemetery

A story that has been getting some national press coverage  are the crimes that have occurred at Burr Oak Cemetery near Chicago.  Burr Oak is a historic African-American cemetery.  I won’t pretend that I am an expert on the historical significance of the cemetery, because I am not.  However, the name was familiar to me, and there are very few cemeteries whose names I would recognize.

The story began when the owners of the cemetery called the cops regarding perceived irregularities.  It turns out that older graves sites were being unofficially excavated and the bodies dumped so that the perpetrators could then re-sell the plot.  They chose plots in the older part of the cemetary at first – grave sites that rarely had visitors.  More recent reports also indicated that they dug up graves in the “babyland” section of the cemetery (children’s graves) as well.  Initial reports indicated that at least 300 graves had been disturbed, but authorities said that this number was sure to rise.

I am saddened that someone would commit crimes against the dead and the families of the dead in order to make a quick buck.  The families have suffered enough from the death of their loved ones.  Now, many of these families will be unable to visit the grave site, because the body is no longer buried there.  It is uncertain how many of the bodies can be identified.

It is worth noting that authorities have repeatedly stated that it is not believed that the owners were involved in the scam.  The owners initially tipped off the police.  I am not exactly sure how the crime grew to such a large scale before the owners realized that there was a problem.  There is always the possibility that the owners are not actively involved in the day-to-day operations, or may not even live in the area.  The size of the cemetery – 158 acres, or nearly a quarter of a square mile – may have also made it easier for the criminals to hide their crimes.

Over the weekend

You might have taken a break from the internet over the weekend, but the staff of The Casual Obsever never sleeps – relentlessly working in an effort to create quality content every single day.  What happened at The Casual Obsever over the weekend?

  • Friday – Kosmo’s eBook was launched.  If you’re not currently a regular visitor or RSS reader, considering subscribing to the RSS feed.  There will be a “footer” in the RSS feed that allows you to access the eBook.  Everything is completely free, of course.  A few clicks, and you’ll have a 50 page PDF of Kosmo’s fiction.  Free is good!
  • Saturday – We cooked up the first pot of Saturday Stew.  Topics included baseball, Michael Jackson, and the auto industry.  On Saturday night, we announced the addition of Jonna Wibelius to the staff of The Soap Boxers.
  • Sunday -The debut edition of Tyson Turner’s “North of the Border” column featured Tyson’s thought about what he finds most appealing about the United States.