Reactions to molesters human, rational

By Larry Simoneaux

Two stories caught my eye last week. One was local, the other from Texas.

Here, the headline was “Child rapist gets 35 years.” In Texas, it read “Father who killed daughter’s attacker is no vigilante.”

Locally, the career of a child molester is now over unless, at some future date, someone (lacking good sense) decides that he’s been “rehabilitated” and no longer poses a threat to children.

Given the history of such individuals, their likelihood of re-offending, and the horrific nature of this individual’s crimes, one hopes that this never happens, and that he spends the rest of his life staring at the walls of his cell – which should be as stark, severe, and bare as possible.

And, if such were the case, he should consider himself lucky.

That’s because his story could have ended in a manner similar to another lowlife working as a ranch-hand in Shiner, Texas, caught sexually molesting a 4-year-old girl.

There, according to authorities, the 23-year-old father of the victim had been told by a neighbor that he’d seen the ranch hand “forcibly carrying” his daughter away. The young father soon heard his daughter’s screams, took off toward the sound, and found the ranch hand sexually assaulting his daughter.

The story went on to say that the father pulled the man up and then “repeatedly punched him in the head and neck” severely enough enough to “cause death.”

As the father of a daughter and grandfather of a granddaughter, I read that story and believe that I can understand this incident.

If any of you have ever seen a documentary showing what can happen when you come between, say, a mother bear and her cubs or, more likely, if you’ve experienced what happens in your own home when you unexpectedly come between mamma and her puppies or kittens, you’ve witnessed some primal reactions found throughout nature.

Even though we humans like think of ourselves as being on a higher plane, more sophisticated, and more rational, I believe that — if presented with what that young father saw — our “reasoning and rational” faculties would shut down and we’d respond instantly with an adrenaline-fueled ferocity drawn from the part of our brain hard-wired to protect us and ours from any danger we or they might face.

In short, things would get ugly and we, too, would likely — in a fit of black rage — pound the tar out of the perpetrator. In this case, the young father was (thankfully) never arrested, a grand jury reviewed the facts of the case, found that he’d acted within the law, and the district attorney decided not to prosecute.

Further, after hearing the 911 calls from the father, it was obvious, according to news reports, that “there was no sense of nonchalance or satisfaction about what he had done. On the tape, the grand jury heard the father become increasingly agitated about whether EMT’s would reach the remote ranch in time.”

My thoughts regarding this molester are that his actions were: (a) the primary cause of the his own demise; and (b) his subsequent departure for places hot, fiery, and completely unpleasant assures us all that he will never harm another child. Bottom line: “Good riddance.”

Too, the young father’s regret and the testimonials from his neighbors regarding his character and, indeed, his sorrow over what happened make me glad that he’s been spared from prosecution.

It would be great, though, if some of the money that would’ve been spent on the defense, years-long incarceration, and care and feeding of the molester could be used to help in the medical treatment of the young girl and in the counseling that both father and daughter will need in the years to come.

Further, given the prevalence of these creatures amongst us, one wishes that there were some way to have captured the thoughts and, likely, panic of this molester when he saw that father coming at a dead run. Were that possible, it could be made part of a reality series entitled “Uh-Oh!”

Then, one of these lowlifes might actually see it, have a “come to Jesus” moment, and some innocent would be spared the horror of being harmed.

I know. Wishful thinking at best. Still, there are now two fewer goblins amongst us and, any way you look at it, that’s a good thing.

Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to: