Commentary

Letters to the Editor

Page 3 of 5

Many believe that castration, or de-sexualization, would rid the world of "these people." Such believers are gravely mistaken. There are documented cases of offenders given large doses of drugs, such as Depo-Provera, which is used to suppress the production of the male hormone testosterone and curb sex drive and sexual fantasies, thus virtually castrating the user. Many of these men will still reoffend. Why? Because nobody has solved the larger issues. These men are still filled with low self-esteem, depression and anger. Understand, I am not excusing the behavior of the perpetrator. I am simply trying to focus on the issue in a rational way -- by digging deeper and looking at the whole person, not just the offense.

I want to feel safe in my community. T.H.E. and other similar "treatment" plans do not give me that feeling. With compassion and understanding, victims and perpetrators can move forward and learn to live healthy and happy lives. I know. I do. (Please withhold my last name, as others are not as at ease with my openness.)

Sherry
Thornton

Suffer the children: As a former newspaper reporter and survivor of chronic incest, I liked that Julie Jargon's "Arrested Development" let convicted child raper Robert Rosberg tell how he procures boys, breaks his probation by phoning children, threatens his victims into silence, grooms his sisters to prepare for destroying their children, and finds the path of least resistance.

I must disagree with Selkin's misrepresentation that sex offenders are not dangerous because they have a low "recidivism" rate. Recidivism used to mean "commits the same crime again," but the state redefined it as "return to conviction" -- and usually within three years of a rapist's first conviction. Surveys of adults have shown about 85 percent of child sexual abuse goes unreported. Of that reported, about 5 percent results in criminal prosecution, of which a fraction results in convictions. Of those convicted, 68 percent do not spend one day in a Colorado prison. Therefore, it is a well-crafted lie to equate a low re-conviction rate of sex offenders within a short time with a low danger of destroying children's lives.

Recidivism does not mean that only 25 percent of sex offenders are porking children -- which, if you do the math on how many innocent victims this produces, is still horribly inhumane. Recidivism means victims don't readily report these crimes because our system does little to stop the abuse or penalize the perpetrators. It means traumatized children don't make good witnesses in our court system. It means our DAs have very low conviction success. It means juries aren't willing to convict on the word of one child. It means incest reporters learn to shut up and take it.

I must also challenge the unsupported theory that mental-health therapy does any good for convicted sex offenders. They are not "sick," which implies they can be healed. They are criminals: intelligent, calculating con artists, disease transmitters, destroyers of families, oppressors, bloodsuckers and deluded torturers.

Sex offenders are causing a huge health-care crisis that we are now paying for in many ways. Sex offenders spread mental illness like a plague and should be quarantined. We should stop cursing future generations, whose futures we also depend on. Preventing this curse on our beloved children is truly paramount. That is humane.

Paula Hook
via the Internet


Onward, Christian Students

There goes the neighborhood: Unlike some recent letter writers, I found the Westword articles dealing with Christianity -- some positive, some negative -- very interesting. David Holthouse's "Houses of God," in the November 28 issue, really raised my interests. Had it been a non-Christian school moving in on that neighborhood, I'm sure that Lakewood officials would have taken action much sooner.

Joe Stein
Denver

Coming clean: Two questions for Mr. McCormick, CCU's vice president of student development, regarding his statements in "Houses of God":

1) Regarding your statement that "where we have a house full of nine women, well, you can just imagine what the heating and water bill is like." Sir, are you implying that the other "theme houses" where male students live are not as clean as the women's house because the male residents are not practicing good hygiene? That the male housing is dirty, as are the residents, because they keep neither clean in an effort to keep their water bill down? And that the men order out more than the "little women" do so they don't have to wash dishes and use more water? Don't think I'd want a bunch of Christian slobs living next to me, either!

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