Sex crimes are some of the most disturbing crimes committed in a civilized society. When that crime is perpetrated against a child the offense is particularly heinous. For that reason, police departments across the country have created specialized units whose primary function is to find these perpetrators and put them in prison.
In Albuquerque, the unit charged with protecting children from sexual predators is the Crimes Against Children Unit.
Our Eyes tell us about a recent case where a 4 year old and a 7 year old were allegedly being molested over a period of years by a family friend who had been babysitting the pair pretty much all of their young lives. The allegations came to light in early July and the parents of the children did what parents should do - they reported the 40 something babysitter to the authorities.
The case was referred to the Crimes Against Children unit who - following procedure - interviewed the children in a safe house to determine the veracity of the children's story. In addition, the detectives obtained a restraining order the required the babysitter to stay away from the children.
At that point the parents believed that the case was progressing and that something would be done about the sexual predator that they believe molested their child. However, this is where the story ends or at least the official investigation.
Our Eyes tell us that APD detectives stopped returning phone calls seeking to determine the status of the investigation. After repeated attempts, the frustrated parents went up the chain of command to the sergeant in charge. On the second phone call they were told that since there was no penetration involved, the case was not a priority.
We find that attitude more than a little disturbing. Pedophiles are among the most dangerous of sexual predators. More importantly, they are among the least likely to ever be rehabilitated. The attitude that repeated molestation over a period of seven years isn't a priority is simply appalling.
The Crimes Against Children unit has a duty to investigate every allegation of criminal sexual behavior against children no matter how small - today's molester is tomorrow's rapist. Failing to prosecute molesters simply because there's no penetration not only fails the victims in this case but places other children at risk.
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Seems that our typos are showing... We initially entitled this post Distrubing Attitude. What we meant was Disturbing Attitude. Oops! It has been corrected above.