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Warning: Integrity of judicial process at risk

This may also be seen at Criminal Legal News

By Sandy Rozek . . . Testimony from individuals at a sentencing hearing has one primary purpose: to give the court additional information on which to base a sentencing decision.

Victim impact statements focus on the harm done, while statements on behalf of the convicted are intended to paint as thorough a picture as possible of the person, with an appeal to mitigating circumstances.

A sentencing hearing recognizes that an individual is more than the crime for which he or she has been convicted, more than the harm that he or she has inflicted on another or on society. People are encouraged to give testimony that better gives the court a feel for the totality of the person about to be sentenced.

Kristie Torbick, through a plea agreement, was convicted in early July 2018 for the sexual assault of a student, one whom Ms. Torbick in her position as a guidance counselor at Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire, was counseling.

At her plea-and-sentencing hearing, colleagues and friends did what colleagues and friends do at sentencing hearings: Some had written letters; others spoke on her behalf. They were not supporting her choice to commit a crime. They were not supporting her illegal behavior. They were supporting her as an individual whom they knew to be more than someone who had crossed a line that should not be crossed.

One said she was the strongest school counselor in the department. Another spoke of her skill in dealing with troubled students and dedication to her profession. A former university professor said she was one of the top high school counselors in the state, and co-volunteers at a summer camp for children with cancer praised her abilities with these especially fragile children. Among the writers of 23 letters offered on her behalf were college professors, high school guidance counselors, attorneys, and psychologists.

These persons immediately came under fire for their support of Kristie Torbick. At this point, at least three of the persons have lost their jobs over this, and more are being investigated. Parents of students are demanding additional firings. A law firm has been hired by the school district to investigate the situation.

When people are afraid of losing their jobs for speaking their beliefs at a sentencing hearing, the entire judicial process is disrupted. If in court we are not safe sharing, through the spoken and the written word, what we know and believe about an individual, where are we safe? It is an abomination for persons to be forced to choose between risking their livelihood and following the dictates of their consciences in performing a civic and humanitarian duty.

The totality of the judicial system should be alarmed. A dangerous, dangerous precedent is being set.

The only foreseeable result of this is a snowball effect that will be detrimental to the entire system. With the threat and the intimidation of the loss of their jobs hanging over their heads, who would bravely step forward in defense of anyone convicted or even accused of not only the crime that society has decided is beyond redemption, a sexual offense against a minor, but any crime against which public indignation is aroused?

The premises on which our sense of fair play rests are in jeopardy.

Victims of crime are entitled to their day in court. They have the power of the state representing their interests. The accused is entitled to certain constitutional protections that the court is responsible for assuring. At sentencing, victim impact statements are allowed with the purpose of influencing the court against the now-convicted person. If words intended to offer mitigating factors to the court on behalf of the convicted are repressed with intimidation and fear, the process is corrupted.

The totality of the justice system should be not only alarmed but outraged. New Hampshire Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform, a state affiliate of the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (“NARSOL”) is closely monitoring the situation, especially whether more people lose their jobs over this. They may be reached here.

Peripherally intersecting this case is that of a man named Kevin Patrick Smith. At a recent sentencing hearing in Oregon for a former minister convicted of surreptitiously photographing girls in the bathroom and the shower at church retreats, Smith, the father of a victim, attacked the convicted man and pummeled him in the face until courtroom security pulled him off. The injuries included broken bones and required hospitalization.

Smith gave a statement to the press saying that what enraged him to the extent that it did were statements given in support of the convicted man, especially one that said he has found him to be a “…remarkably kind, giving human being.”

It appears that anyone giving testimony favorable to a convicted sexual offender at a hearing now must consider the possibility of losing his job AND being physically assaulted. Smith could just as easily have turned his rage and his fists on the witness.

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

This topic contains 39 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Sandy Rozek Sandy Rozek 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #46683 Reply
    Sandy Rozek
    Sandy Rozek
    Admin

    This may also be seen at Criminal Legal News By Sandy Rozek . . . Testimony from individuals at a sentencing hearing has one primary purpose: to give
    [See the full post at: Warning: Integrity of judicial process at risk]

  • #46684 Reply

    Anthony

    These people are hypocrites as they espouse a different standard of Justice for a certain class of people sex offenders. Additional punishment before and after the fact. The encouragements today fair play in the Criminal Justice system is in jeopardy as scum bags are convinced they are meeting out their brand of justice.

  • #46701 Reply

    Obvious answers

    And you behave as if the system has not aways been corrupt… The courts say murdering baby’s by tearing the poor living creatures apart limb from limb is acceptable. The courts said burning and beheading and drowning witches was acceptable punishment.. The courts said nuetering and spading “intellectually or physically ” challenged people was acceptable. The courts said incarcerating people based on birth heritage alone was acceprable, the courts ruled blacks are not human,..the list goes on in a nonstop litany of judivial horror. .you better learn your history.. Your disgusting courts have always been corrupt..

  • #46695 Reply

    Timothy DA Lawver

    Sandy,
    The father’s rage was motivated by something else under the surface. He felt betrayed and thus presumed the sentence hearing was about his daughter. That is a result of every plea out case! If a trial by jury had ensued, as our founders set forth, the girl could have been heard and her father placated somewhat. There is catharsis in a trial that a plea out always lacks. Worse yet, the assailant never actually gets the punishment deserved, as other charges are often dropped. That was the reasoning behind courts adopting victim’s advocate administration in the first place.

    IMHO no plea should be allowed in felony sex cases. All victims should testify in an open and public court. Taping can be used for the very young to keep them off venue. That way all facts are made public, and appropriate actions taken. Anonymity may not fly either if complainants demand official state legal action. For a nation who claims to demand transparency we sure do hide a lot of stuff. Especially when it comes to naked human bodies, until we get over that aspect we go only backwards. Proof is in the pudding. Akin to treason.

    • #46739 Reply

      JZ

      Timothy,

      I respectfully disagree that no plea should be allowed in felony sex cases and that they should be tried by jury. No other crime category evokes the hatred that sex crimes do. IMHO, no one accused of a sex crime can get a fair trial by jury since a truly impartial jury could never be assembled. What surprises me is that stiffer sentences are routinely given for possession of child pornography than for actually sexually assaulting a child. That’s crazy. What defendant would take a chance of going to trial for such possession when he/she faces five years per image? But even when taking a plea deal, I also respectfully disagree that “…the assailant never actually gets the punishment deserved…” I’m not aware of any other crime category, save murder, that would give a 15 year prison sentence followed by 20 years of probation followed by a lifetime on a registry which makes it near impossible to find a decent place to live and to get and keep a job. What more punishment would you like to see?

    • #46768 Reply

      Obvious answers

      Timothy while I agree with much of what you say I completely disagree with your statement of “the punishment deserved never gets metted out”. persecuting attorneys are very cagey creatures and have over the years worked very aptly to stack the legal system in their favor. my wife was a persecuting attorney for many years (she is now a judge) and she completely concurs that the charges are ALWAYS deliberately stacked to include charges and allegations for which the persecuting attorneys know full well they will never get a conviction. The intent is simply to scare the defendant so bad that even if they are completely innocent they will accept a plea rather then risk the unknown fate.. And as my wife pointed out.. the plea is always still much greater then that which the persecuting attorneys feels they could have ever gotten in a trial anyways…The only time a plea is not greater then that which a persecuting attorney feels they could “win in conviction” is when they make side room deals with high power expensive attorneys to “sandbag” cases in order to garner favors and or success in other cases. …The court system is such a rigged joke that if you ever understood what really happens you would want to hang ever single one of the criminals that participate in it. I know I have heard and witnessed first hand more then i can stomach..

      • #46831 Reply

        Timothy

        @JZ, Obvious Answers,

        I refused a plea offer of “deferred prosecution” in 1992 and demanded trial by jury. The charges against me were false. I know better than most how easy it is to shift burden in sexual assault case, especially cases which involve kids. That is how wrongful convictions occur so often that innocence projects, and conviction integrity units have long ago became necessary. By default that should be setting off alarm bells to the general public but not much is made of it. That fact says alot!
        JUST LIKE……ahhhh just another school of work shooting. Talk about a numb group.
        As far as plea agreements go, I agree people do get punished by plea process, as they should for hurting another, but too often 4 felonies become 1felony. Or 1felony and 5 misdemeanors by plea turn into 2 misdemeanors. It’s the side effects of that process that play a role in the rage expressed by the revenge motivated father. Simply put, no meaningful processes (public trial), no catharsis! No punishment no delta.

        Do DAs unconscionably use threat of incarceration, Yes! My latest FTR, I was threatened by DA himself pretrial with 980, civil commitment of, if I didn’t plea to failure to provide. I told him prepare for trial! I will do so again.

        The ugly truth is, not only can good citizens be made felon for the wrong doing of another, the citizen can also suffer ad nauseam ex post punishments justified inaccurately & in an invalid manner by so called truth finders. Too many of the numb and dumb do not see the obvious insanity of taking the short run view at the expense of long term survival. I believe our constitutional republic is long gone. Who needs it when you have a database?

  • #46696 Reply

    Timothy DA Lawver

    @Judicial process integrity.
    Several conviction integrity units are being used in a few states. My state has none to my knowledge. I had a conversation in open court with judge in FTR case.

    Me: Judge I heard a judge in 1992 tell me I’d a 5 years commitment to the state and they (DA) are now turning it into life! Why would I believe you today? You can see for yourself the judgement notice to the department of corrections says not to exceed 5 years consecutive. Where’s the one that says I got a life commitment? That IS the less evidence as in Calder V Bull .4 (1892), and he knew it too. After trial judge suddenly took medical leave, when he’d said he’d hear my appeal on constitutional ground. When the date came around I showed up to find a replacement judge on the bench. On my mom!

    Mr. Kaepernick knows exactly what I’m talking about with Wisconsin’s legal system.

  • #46697 Reply

    Timothy DA Lawver

    @ Mr Roberts deserves a petition. No friend to liberty he. Call me crazy.

  • #46698 Reply

    Todd

    As a sex offender and someone who supports changes in the registry as well as the judicial process I do not feel I need to support every sex offender. Kristie Torbick was in a position of authority and used her position of power and her demeanor to not only victimize a student but to undermine her peers. She manipulated the people around her to believe she was such a wonderful person. The people who spoke on her behalf had a right to do so but tje school board and the parents of students also have a right to call into question the character of those who supported her. If it was my child and those people supported the molester and went as far as to insinuate my kid was victimizing her (which they did) I would suggest firing every single one of them.

    • #46718 Reply
      Sandy Rozek
      Sandy Rozek
      Admin

      Your exception is noted, and certainly you are free to support or not support whom you wish, but I believe that you may be missing the point. This piece is not asking for support for Kristie Torbick. It is asking for support for the respect of testimony on behalf of the convicted equal to that given to testimony on behalf of the victim. I disagree that it is appropriate to call into question the character of those giving testimony; no attempt is made or allowed to call into question the character of those speaking for the victim. And what was done and is being done in the aftermath is not calling into question their character. It is calling into question their right to even offer support, and THAT is what this piece addresses.

      You must also recognize that your statements regarding Ms. Torbick’s manipulation skills are totally your opinion. Not ever having met or interacted with her (as I presume you have not), I do not feel qualified to form an opinion about her; however, I have doubts that so many people in so many different phases and times of her life could have all been so universally fooled by her. She would have to be a charismatic manipulator on par with Hitler.

    • #46740 Reply

      WC_TN

      Todd, you say you are a convicted sexual offender and that you oppose the registry and support changes in the judicial process and then you move on to totally ignore (not miss, but ignore) the point of the article. In fact, I find it discrediting that you went on to pretty much uphold everything described in the article. You verbalized verbatim the same “I’ll destroy you come hell or high water and nobody better get in my way!!” mentality this article is attacking.

      None of us approves of what this woman did, but I’m going to tell you point-blank something you don’t want to hear but somebody needs to have the courage to tell the truth and I’m going to be the one to tell it.

      Yes, what this guidance counselor did was wrong. She crossed the line of ethical conduct by engaging in a sexual relationship with who was very likely a willing participant. This boy was 14 years old. He’s not a little 5-year-old. When you or I were in school Don we both know that it would have been a badge of honor for a male student to score with a female faculty member they liked. I get so tired of hearing older teens talked about as if they’re every bit as naive as a 5-year-old kindergartener. That’s why even the law makes a distinction between the molestation of a 5-year-old or a child under 12 and sex with teens 14 and older which is statutory rape. It’s statutory because there’s no coercion; simply an age difference.

      What this “victim” said in his “victim impact statement” sounds exactly like the typical victim narrative dictated by the prosecuting attorney. He talked of trust issues with adults, affecting not only himself, but the whole student body at large, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum.

      Now, get off your high horse and read this and tell ME YOU HONESTLY BELIEVE these are the words that originated from a 14-year-old:

      “I now have trust issues with adults, and I am unable to form normal relationships with them. I fear being taken advantage of again. There were no physical injuries sustained but there was emotional and mental manipulation that I’m still struggling to suffer through. This caused me to have significantly less self-esteem and mistrust of others. The trauma of it all is debilitating in my daily life. This crime not only impacted me, but other Exeter students as well, as some of my closest friends trusted her to provide counseling to them as well.”

      Like I said, this, as far as I’m concerned, is a line of bull dictated to the kid by the prosecutor. This is what you called COACHED TESTIMONY.

      14 is young, but I remember when I was in school at that age and any male that age would have worn it as a badge of honor to have scored with an attractive faculty member! This “innocent baby” crap gets pushed too far. I’m willing to bet these kids only develop these “life-long trauma syndromes” after being coached by the prosecutor.

    • #46750 Reply

      DK

      In your comment you stated:

      “The people who spoke on her behalf had a right to do so but tje school board and the parents of students also have a right to call into question the character of those who supported her.”

      The so called “call into question” of those who supported have evidently become much more than just a “call into question”!
      In fact the effectively have served as a sort of pseudo civil prosecution of those particular witnesses, resulting in promoting the termination of their jobs, public condemnation, and possibly even risking the safety of them and their families.
      In other words, it is as if those who are character witnesses for a convicted criminal are in effect considered to be somehow complicit of the convicted person’s crimes and are guilty by association.
      Should a mother, father, brother or sister of a convicted criminal feel safe to express their honest and reasonable sentiment that might be in favor of the convicted criminal?
      What about a friend or a colleague?
      The trial is over. The person is already convicted. Those who are character witnesses, whether it be pro or con toward the convicted person, are not considered as “expert witnesses” and their statements are not considered as evidence by the court. They are recognized only as personal opinions concerning the convicted person, to consider in deciding the sentencing for the crime(s).
      A character witness in the sentencing process does not serve to relitigate the case pro or con.
      A character witness can express sentiment toward the convicted criminal in a completely favorable manner, unfavorable manner or both.
      Just because a character witness expresses only favorable sentiment does not mean that he or she excuses or condones the criminal activity the person was convicted of.
      However, it seems that as reported here in this case there are certain character witnesses that have been judged by the public and by their employers to somehow be supportive of the criminal activity which the person is convicted of!
      In my opinion, I think it would be best, in the interest for the safety of character witnesses in the sentencing process, that they would be able to do so in a private session with the court, without their names being publicly disclosed.
      Character witnesses are not being prosecuted on trial, and they
      should not feel intimidated or fearful of the consequences of testifying in court!
      It should be for only the court to consider what validity and weight their testimonies should have in the sentencing process.

      • #46760 Reply

        Jerry

        You are exactly right WC_TN! When I was 14 and if I scored with a “hot” female teacher, the only one to be hurt over the matter and “victimized” would have been my mother because I became a man with an older woman and I was no longer “her little boy.” That 14 year-old adolescent male is no victim regardless of the latest psychobabble paradigm of the month or any legislator or judge says UNLESS he has a mental defect that would prevent him from not consenting to what happened with the guidance counselor (Yeah, yeah, age of consent 16; that’s arbitrary too! Good thing that wasn’t the law back at the turn of the twentieth century or our grandfathers would be on sex offender registries).

        Okay, the law says the female guidance counselor was wrong. Meet out appropriate punishment, not retribution for the 14 year-old adolescent male’s mother (in private, if he has a father, his father probably high-fived him just like his friends did). But to say this woman is totally no good because of this? Give me a break! He or she without sin, throw the first stone!

        I’m so sick and tired of our laws being based on Puritanic religious views. Like another commenter mentioned in this thread, the penalty for possession of child pornography is worse than actually attempting or sexually assaulting someone under 18, which is absurd. Plus, the definition for child pornography in four states is simply a semi-nude, non-sexually graphic depiction of a person under the age of 18 if it was the intent of the maker of the depiction to sexually entice the viewer. So you download that and you get a felony just like you had adolescent or worse yet–kiddy porn–and you get jail time and placed on the sex offender registry and someone actually attempts to or molests a live child victim and it can be dropped to a misdemeanor and not a sex offender registry offense? This is what our country has become ever since the dawn of the age of 24/7 cable news and the false reporting that there was/is a “wave” of sex offense crimes and something needs to be done about it.

        So no, I do not agree with what the female guidance counselor did, but she shouldn’t be ostracized for the rest of her life. That 14 year-old adolescent male was not traumatized by his experience with her. Only his mother was!

        • #46819 Reply

          Todd

          Jerry: she was not a “hot” teacher. She was a mess.

          And the people who spoke on her behalf where administrators of a high school. They took this relationship way to lightly and then tried to defend Kristy as if she was the victim. so while she is sitting in prison with her slap-on-the-wrist I hope that she thinks about the lives she destroyed including her children and all these careers that she ruined. if she had been a male should be doing 20 years and we wouldn’t be defending her in this public forum. She begged the court to think about her children when passing sentence on her. I wonder if she was thinking about her children when she was having sex with a teenager in her marital bed feet from where her children sleep at night.

          Just to reiterate the people who defended her in court deserve to lose their jobs. all of them.

        • #46828 Reply
          Sandy Rozek
          Sandy Rozek
          Admin

          Todd, you would do well to read more carefully before making proclamations that do not fit the facts.
          “Among the writers of 23 letters offered on her behalf were college professors, high school guidance counselors, attorneys, and psychologists.” There were also counselors with whom she had worked in volunteering at a summer camp for children with cancer.

          And surely whether one is “hot” or a “mess” is an individual assessment, beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all.

          And, once again, this is not in defense of her or her actions. It is in defense of the right to speak one’s beliefs in a court setting without being fearful of losing one’s job or being intimidated into remaining silent.

        • #46841 Reply

          Jerry

          Yes, Sandy, you are 100% correct.

          No one, including me, is defending her for what she did.

          In our criminal justice system, which I think is long overdue for a complete overhaul, the guidance counselor has an absolute right to present character witnesses on her behalf before sentencing regardless if the victim and/or the victim’s family likes it or not. If they want another pound of flesh, go get it in civil court. I’m sick of the retribution mindset regarding criminal punishment. I’ve had family members who have been victims of crimes, too!

          Employers, private or government, have no right to fire someone for exercising their First Amendment right.
          I hope the people fired for testifying in favor of the guidance counselor get their 10 pounds of flesh in civil court and taxpayers have to pay the price if it is a government entity that fired anyone for expressing their First Amendment right! This isn’t Iran, China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia. Unliked minorities have rights in the United States no matter who doesn’t like it! That includes those convicted of crimes.

          The issue is that society has been falsely led by the media making money on their latest “victim,” such as someone who has committed an offense that a legislature has arbitrarily labeled to be a “sex offense” and then politicians using it as a vehicle to “get tough on crime” and push creating laws that “one size fits all,” and all sex offenders are now “the lowest of life on earth” who deserve severe shunning and no one testifying on their behalf. As I previously mentioned in my first reply to this strand, the media hyperbole has led to absurd laws such as four states arbitrarily declaring that possession of a mere depiction of a semi-nude, non-sexually posed person under age 18 being grouped in with kiddie porn and punishing the person with either the same way.

          Unfortunately, Sandy, people like Todd do not understand that just because we don’t like what someone says, there is a First Amendment, which I agree that it doesn’t mean one has the right to yell, “fire” in a crowded movie theater when there is no fire, but just because I might not like it, they have that right.

          Not all people who violate a law that has been labeled a sex offense are terrible people. Again, at the turn of the twentieth century and before, there were no such things as Romeo Laws. Is someone who is 20 today and has a consensual relationship with someone 16 really committing statutory rape? Just because there is a law that says so doesn’t mean it is so. There are many ridiculous laws on the books created by full-time legislatures that really should be part time so they don’t have the time to think up such absurd laws then pat themselves on the backs and go campaign for more special interest money, but that’s for another time and argument.

          Thanks, again, Sandy for your reasonable responses to this incident regarding the female guidance counselor. The overwhelming majority of us get this now (I always have), which will hopefully soon mean the public understands that wanting severe retribution for offenders and those who testify on their behalf has no place in a democratic and civil society. Our Constitution is what separates us from such non-democratic societies.

    • #46967 Reply

      Timothy

      @Todd,
      You appear privy to more information than I about this case. Teachers by definition give and take interpersonal relationship from students. What teacher worth a darn doesn’t own up to loving their students! High pay remember is not the motivation for most. Teachers manipulate and psychologically challenge young minds, by definition. This behavior provides delta and growth, we call learning!

      IMHO, teachers and doctors suffer most from the presumption of trust associated with social position. In action, each are purveyors of information that directs future behavior, so therefore most presume expected outcomes. The teacher here went to far but I’m certain in her mind the intimacy was helpful to the child in some way – albeit distorted with her own needs.

  • #46699 Reply

    Don Thurber

    Aside from the impact on the judicial system, these job actions are a brazen assault on the First Amendment.

  • #46700 Reply

    Saddles

    I use to love that game jeopardy when I was growing up. Sandy you got something their. All this not only tells us about court justice today in these types of situations but it also tells us about human greed of others and how others can stab one in the back so to speak.

    While jeopardy was a game on TV and answering questions advanced one with knowledge, and when one gets to the final question that says busted or fired or intimidated. So who advances in a court of justice today. I noticed you mentioned about the preacher and the puncher. While turning the other cheek is good, decking one in a court room is not acceptable. One would have to be in ones shoes to do something like that.

    Getting fired for standing up for someone on their behalf shows good character of others. If one can’t stand up for someone than who’s being the judge, jury, and executor in a lot of this devious justice system involving the one’s being labeled today.

    While different cases have different prescriptions that are unpredictable such as in this Ministers case and this Smith fellow other factors and can be just as bad for those that strive to stick up for one that is accused.

    Reverse the process and now you have those same law enforcements taking advantage of the internet to induce or seduce one in this game of jeopardy. Isn’t life funny when reality meets fiction. Now tell me honestly if police, induce or seduce?

    I’m sure everyone has their opinions on this one when true justice is watered down from a physical game to a fictitious type of reality injustice. So were does free speech come in to protect another.

  • #46702 Reply

    Tom

    For the record I am a former Registered Sex Offender. I do not and have not ever denied committing the crime of which I was convicted. However I strongly disagree with the registry and it’s implications for convicted sex criminals to get on with their lives. And I strongly disagree with the attitudes that have arisen over sex crimes. Sex criminals have become the easiest target for our hate to flourish. It appears that the public does not ever give any kind of personal support for us. We are easy to hate and it is just as easy to hate people who may support us. I have been in court ordered sex offense counseling and met many individuals who I would trust with my life. We need to change the public’s perception of us. I also do not believe that we should vilify the public’s reaction. We have committed crimes. Lashing out st their anger is wrong and foolish on our part. Sex offenders are not saints Nor unredeemable sinners. They are people who made mistakes and just want to live their lives in peace and regain some sense of self respect.

  • #46720 Reply

    WearethePeople

    What makes a victim? Is it the way the laws are written, like ages, and what the age gap is, as well as someone in a position that someone said is a no no. All of this has gotten out of hand! I will always stand up for someone who I think should be given a chance. To me that is everybody, we all make mistakes some more then others. Standing up for someone should not have repercussion. What happened to freedom of Speech? What happened to Freedom? We all are just different people, but we are still people first!

  • #46730 Reply

    WC_TN

    I too am a registered citizen who committed an offense deemed worthy to be placed on lifetime supervision. I have only myself to blame as this is my 3rd time to be in trouble for this, if my juvenile record from age 16 is counted. Each offense involved either actual or attempted sexual contact with a male child under age 12. I accept responsibility for the predicament I’m in today.

    Having given my mea culpa, when I read this article my blood ran cold. So determined is society to utterly destroy us that it has decided to do its best to remove every legal protection that has been put in place to ensure justice is being served as opposed to a mob-rule lynching.

    Let’s put retaliation against anyone who would DARE speak a word in support of anyone accused of a sex crime, particularly a sex crime against a minor alongside of the manner in which Judge Aaron Persky was recalled for handing out what society deemed a far too lenient sentence to Brock Turner. Society is viciously lashing out at anyone who would show the least inkling of either going easy on or speaking out in support of anyone who has committed or at least been convicted of committing a sexual offense.
    It’ the torch and pitchfork mentality in full bloom and every legal maneuver that can be leveraged is being brought into play to ensure those accused or convicted of sexual offenses against minors are utterly destroyed with no protection before, during, or after the fact.

    I see this as society saying, “We’ll chew up and spit out every other law-abiding citizen who comes between us and any scumbag who would dare violate the innocence of a minor!! We don’t think they deserve a single kind word and if you step forth to give such, we’ll destroy you as well and we are fully willing and capable of fulfilling our threat!”

    The scary part is the only ones this combination of situations gives pause to are the ones these mindless, hell-bent avengers want to utterly destroy if we even so much as open our mouths.

    What think the rest of you about how scary this is when you put it side-by-side with the Brock Turner case with regard to how the public threw a judge off the bench for imposing a perfectly legal sentence that even the pre-investigation parole dept. report recommended?

  • #46731 Reply

    Barre Flynn

    It is hard to imagine that this is happening in our society. We are out of control and no longer able to make sensible decisions. I will give you a clue why this is happening. In the late 60’s our society began to downward spiral by proclaiming that God is Dead. As stated in Romans, a letter written by Paul, if we turn our backs on God he will lift his protective hand from us and allow us to discover all the benefits of our corrupt ways and thoughts. Today we are running around in circles chasing our tails unable to make sensible decisions. Our leadership is confounded by corruption. Children are killing children, Half the nation is on drugs. This will not change until we seek The Truth, a plumb line for making wise decisions.

  • #46729 Reply

    Tyrus Young

    To the crowd attacking a sex offender of the 1st century, Jesus remarked, “Let he without sin cast the first stone”.

    More recently, a former pastor of mine (commenting about the church’s view of homosexuality) stated, “Hate the sin, Love the sinner”.

    The lesson taught by both of statements centers around the concept that a person is more than a particular behavior or event. This is supposed to be the concept behind letters or testimony made on behalf of those at a sentencing hearing. A person is far more complex than any particular label.

    I would question the firings of supporters of Ms. Torbick as being a violation of their First Amendment rights if that is the only basis for their terminations. If their support was merely for the self preservation of their own complicity in the event, it makes a little more sense, but ultimately amounts to a lack of due process.

    I sure hope those behind these actions are perfect… karma can be hell.

  • #46741 Reply

    Mike Woodall

    Sandy,
    I absolutely love reading your articles. This one is one of your best. Thank you for all you do.

    Mike Woodall
    ENLIGHTENMENT FOR CHANGE
    We Publish Hope

    • #46747 Reply
      Sandy Rozek
      Sandy Rozek
      Admin

      Thank you. That is so kind of you.

  • #46742 Reply

    JJ

    The author of the dystopian novel 1984, George Orwell, seems to have gotten it right, in my opinion. No one, anymore, dares to express their true thoughts or feelings for fear of life-altering reprisals. And we, in our modern society, openly practice hate. Instead of the “10 minute hate’ we have the 1O’Clock news.

  • #46748 Reply

    Mom

    People should not be defined solely by a poor choice in judgement. It is imperative that others be allowed to testify on the good points of the person accused. They should be allowed to do so without fear of losing employment or other negative retribution for giving their positive opinion of the person being charged. That is bullying people into silence.

  • #46762 Reply

    freedomwriter

    Integrity in the judicial process? That statement alone is hilarious.

  • #46759 Reply

    Saddles

    Sandy I think you opened up a great topic with this article and I have to commend you even though I still think your the Ma Barker of NARSOL. I have enjoyed these opinions on this article. A lot of comments are expressing truth and a lot are trying to understand this whole issue.

    Tyrus hits us with a bible scripture and We the people hits us with who is the victim? So who is the victim… We all are. Course Tyrus sort of thru me off with a bit of karma terminology.

    Sure we are all victims when we drive drunk or steal something or piss someone off or go into court and punch someone out. Is the president a victim of his own doing? are the courts a victim of their own doing? One doesn’t have to have a victim to be a victim, so who misleading today.

    I wonder if we are all punished for our good deeds or misdeeds in society today. The example Sandy used about the Preacher and the puncher can tell one who’s the victim or should we all lash out Good example Sandy.

    While erasing the hate is good and one can use values that are good. And I know Barbara doesn’t want us to use religion as this is a form type of discussion and religion can be up to each individual and is a bit personal to each other, but principals are always good.

    Now here we have Robin mixed up in this. This Pastor that photographed teenagers taking showers, Indifferences in letters to speak up about a persons character and confusion abounds in this confusion. Public notices should inform the American public how justice is treating one class of people.

    Look at our president today and most of the people that voted for him look at him as Making America Great. where is the ironic answer to this? Myself I have said on here I don’t want to win but I do want to prove and thats what we all should strive for.

    Sure NARSOL is in their to win some battles for us but we as upright citizens seemed burned by this system of fair justice to all. Talk about equal opportunity when trying to get employment for having a potty mouth or being indifferent to the status quo. Reminds me of the time when the drug culture was in force in the 60’s

    Of course the drug scene is bad business but it seems the sex offender is the worst of the worst. Lets change that people and I think its time for a change.

  • #46789 Reply

    Glen

    As I’ve stated before, and as the facts of this story illustrate, the totality of our lives are most often judged soley on our very worst mistake; it seems to matter not how much good you may have done in your life. 99.9% of our lives may have been fruitful, beneficial to our communities and nation, and we may have made very positive impacts on many people. But, our shameful .1% is what most of society, the judicial system and law enforcement measure our worth by. No matter how sorry and regretful we may be for any mistake and pain we may have caused, we are given no possibility for redemption or any opportunity to ammend or show we’ve learned from our mistakes.

    The benefit of having someone willing to testify on your character in a matter like this is critical-not just for the defense-but also for society; it can show the court that you may have made positive impacts on people’s lives, in spite of the fact you may also have caused hurt. No one is all bad, nor is anyone on this planet all good. We are all, everyone of us, human. The opportunity for the defense’s character testimonials more importantly shows, that a human, who may have made a bad decision once in their past, has also exhibited some evidence of societal worth and, therefore may indicate a very real possibility of change in the future. To censure and deny the defense’s character testimonials just further reinforces the concept that there is no rehabilitation ever possible, there is no punishment severe enough, nor any chance at all that the defendant can ever earn back any societal worth.

    “There is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit. There’s no prostetic for that….I say you’re executing his soul!”

    -Scent of a woman, Al Pacino

    Indeed…

  • #46821 Reply

    d

    The courts have not had integrity for a very long time. I am proof of this. The courts in Indiana ignore the plain ordinary language of the law when it pleases the people. I have documented hundreds of civil rights violations by the courts Like insufficient evidence and double jeopardy and when I finally am finished with my case I will be presenting these to the world to see on a youtube channel. How do they make it right when someone is harmed by the over-ambitious prosecutors.

  • #46842 Reply

    John Doe

    A brief, abridged history of celebrities ‘grooming’ teen girls: In 1957, 23 year old Jerry Lee Lewis married his cousin, 13 year old Myra Brown. She still believed in Santa. In 1959, Elvis Presley met his future wife. He was 25 and she was 14. In 1975, Steven Tyler purchased the guardianship of a 16 year old girl (Julia Holcomb) from her mother when he was 27 so that he could legally take her with him across state lines while he was on tour. Colored over a “grand romance” and a “decades long relationship”, Celine Dion was 12 years old when 38 year old Rene Angelil became her manager. They went public with their relationship when she was 19.

    In 1984, Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman started dating Mandy Smith. She was 13. Although they did not marry until she was 18, Mandy says she was 14 when they first had sex. Mr. Wyman has never been investigated, much less prosecuted. In 1991, 32 year old director Luc Besson met and eventually married model Maïwenn Le Besco when she was 15. Their relationship inspired his movie Léon: The Professional (1994), which followed an emotional relationship between an adult man and a young girl. In 1993, Jerry Seinfeld picked up a high school student in a public park. He was 39 and she was 17. He and Shoshanna Lonstein dated for four years — through her college years. Noted pedophile R Kelley secretly married R&B singer Aaliyah in 1994 when she was 15 and he was 27. They met when she was 14 and he helped write and produce her first album — “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.”

    In 1997, Woody Allen should have become notorious when he married his step-daughter. Though she was 21 at the time of the wedding, the two met when she 8. No matter the spin, the facts are stark. It’s the early-mid 2000s and “That 70s Show” actor, Wilmer Valderrama, continues to date teenage girls in an effort to deny that he is now over 30. He dated 16-year-old Mandy Moore despite being four years her senior. At age 24, Valderrama dated 17-year-old Lindsay Lohan though they kept the relationship a secret until her 18th birthday in 2004. In 2010, the 30-year-old began dating 17-year-old Demi Lovato.

    Back in 2004, 26 year old Joel Madden and Hilary Duff did the familiar dance of being “just friends” until her 18th birthday in 2006. Rapper Tyga and Kylie Jenner began “hanging out” an awful lot beginning in 2014 when she was 16 and he was 24. They dated on and off after that, though they became a lot more openly “on” after her 18th birthday in 2016. 2018 — yesterday, 14 year old Millie Bobby Brown innocently revealed that rapper, Drake, age 31, has been with her, for the last year giving her advice about boys. They are friends, she says. He texts her, “I miss you.” This is the same Drake who has, more than once, skated around that “just friends until she turns 18” line — most recently with 18 year old model Bella Harris. Don Johnson & Melanie Griffith, he was 22 & she 14 when started “seeing” each other. Also Patrick Swayze & his wife, although he was 18 and she was 14.

    Credit to: Matthew and cutiepetutie for their research and comments on a Yahoo article with headline “Millie Bobby Brown wants people to stop criticizing her friendship with 31-year-old Drake”.

  • #46832 Reply

    Saddles

    @ Glen I’m glad you chimed in on that remark… the scent of a woman, course I wouldn’t of used that statment as women want to stand up for rights as well in a lot of this. And this intergrity thing, well what should we say troday “Honor amoung thieves”.

    Even Brenda Jones feels all this is wrong in a way, and Robin feels a lot of this is wrong. Sure its about intergrity and conducting oneself but being duped is a bit depressing to all involved. So one has the physical aspect of no only the court systems running amuck but also the challange of the internet encounters vs the reality aspects of the encounters.

    Should we all say if Atlanta is not burning don’t worry about it. I can see why the blacks get upset and the indian’s and other races. Even the whites don’t seem to have any accountiblity today. Some preachers can run amuck but thats fewer in number if their are following their principals and understand that I am human. Sure we should all be able to live our lifes free.

    Sure we can all do bad mistakes along the way of life like steal, break ends, get mixed up with the wrong croud, falsfy letters, even blackmai, but when it comes to who’s who that is a sex offender are we all sex offenders in a way or do we offend in though and deed? So who really is the victim in this court room setting today. Is it letters of refferrences talking up for a person or the one that abuses their authority in a court of law or even the abuse of a child.

    Do you know if you paddle a child today one can get tossed in jail if that child goes to school and says my dad paddled me or something like that. Now they are using this for internet purposes to correct one. I wonder who’s playing “Black sheep Squardronz” today in this pridish game of man’s conquest of others and the punishment. Sure a little bit of punishment doesn’t do anyone any harm but we all learn and court systems are no different. I’m sure Robin can tell one a bit about court systems also.

    Since I been on probation I have been violated one time and thats for saying in a polygraph test I was on facebook to sign up to do phone campaigning for Donald trump. Maybe I shouldn’t even done that but I thought Trump might be a change for the USA and now look at what it is today.

    As far as this sex registry it is way out of line when they offer a plea deal because they themselves are breaking the law and if they testify it would have to be bearing false wittness to acheve their means in a court of law in many of these sex offender ordeals or are we all still carnal by nature. Talk about a hurricane and intrgrity. yes I have to laugh sometimes to with this sex issue.

    Where did the Up with people culture go.. Now its the Me2 movement, so who’s fair today in this bias American justice?

  • #46856 Reply

    Chris

    Congratulations to Sandy Rozek for a well-written and important article on the integrity and viability of the courts in proceedings involving sex offenders. I hope this gets published in broader forums. As the father of an S.O. whose crime involved looking at photos of underage girls on the internet in the privacy of his bedroom, I have come face to face with the horrors of the “justice” system in the United States. It’s worth pointing out that more than the excessive incarceration, long probation, cruel registration and other restrictions that sentences impose on offenders; such convictions adversely affect the lives of the offenders families and friends as well. This painful reality is another of the country’s easily overlooked “dirty little secrets.”

    The national neurosis over everything sexual resists cure because it triggers emotions that overtake reason, decency and common sense when conversations about its symptoms occur. Perhaps it’s guilt that causes people to overlook their own transgressions, weaknesses and sexual hang ups when vilifying others in the name of puritanical indignation. Let’s have a national discussion about why priests molest parishioners, and why rich white guys (and athletic heroes beginning in high school) have gotten away with abusing women since the beginning of time while society looks the other way?

    Thus, the social outcry against the human support and compassion by the convicted woman’s co-workers reminds me of the vigilantes who routinely lynched and murdered innocent black men during the course of our history. No one got in their way, because they adopted a mob mentality, which is always unreasonable, uncontrolled, and destructive. I have no doubt that these people thought they were acting with reason to assure justice for the victim. But the accused and convicted and their social networks have rights too, and these deserve an EQUAL level of protection within the system of justice we use in the United States.

    The courts have much to repair, and they can begin by taking a sober look at protecting those who exercise their rights. If people can’t do this with protection in courts of law, what future does the country have as a nation of laws, with individual rights protected by a Constitution? We either return to reason and defeat vigilantes, or anarchy awaits.

  • #46885 Reply

    Saddles

    Wow Chris I’m impressed. Talk about the song Dirty Laundry. Now today a lot of us all have this sex offender ordeal and court Integrity going a bit crazy. I wonder how government is saying .. Come on down and lets play The Prices right game?. I hope one still has free speech to write comments today.

  • #46891 Reply

    Glen

    Interesting day today…by that I mean strange.

    On one hand, 81 year old Bill Cosby will most likely be sentenced to prison for decades old allegations and deemed a Sexually Violent Predator . Meanwhile, simultaneously SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh still remains a viable candidate for the highest court in the land inspite of decades old allegations coming to light regarding attempted forced rape and sexual harrassment by, it appears now, atleast 3 accusers…possibly more coming. And, of course, our FBI thoroughly vetted this candidate yet somehow missed all of this.

    If the Kavanaugh allegations prove true, it seems to further illustrate how inept, unfair, unconstitutional, and hypocritical our justice system has become.

    Finally, What about Bill Clinton and all his alleged victims? What about all the allegations against Trump? I’m not black. I’m not rich. I have no power or influence. But, still I can plainly see there are two kinds of justice in America. Frankly, I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican anymore. Fact is both parties stink in my oppinion. I consider myself a libertarian these days because i have lost all faith and trust in both parties and our political system. They’ve turned the “Great Experiment” into a two party nuclear lab tragedy. They have twisted the old idea of “Justice is blind” into the new meaning that lady justice merely has an occasionally mild case of glaucoma…and with that, I say welcome to our world “Your Honor”…Mr. Brett Kavanaugh. Yet, if the allegations prove true, will we find his name on the registry? Doubtful…

    • #46908 Reply

      d

      Since allegations have proven to be a viable tool of destruction you can count on seeing them on every candidate for any office from now until allegations just become allegations again.

      • #46919 Reply

        Glen

        Agreed. Allegations and the Court of public opinion appears to be the evolution of justice these days.

        I mentioned above the disparity of equal justice that exists for defendants, and low and behold a new example came up yesterday. Apparently, Thomas Ravenel was arrested and charged after allegations of rape were made by a former nanny. Additionally, another woman has made allegations about him as well. Thomas Ravenel is the son of a prominent politician in South Carolina. He also served in politics but was arrested a few years back for cocaine. In any event, he was arrested yesterday by Charleston police based on the rape allegation. But this is what I find interesting:

        In spite of the police report which, if accurate, clearly shows an attempted rape according to the nanny. Yet, he was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. Just goes to show how those with money and influence are able to manipulate the system. Anyone else would most likely be charged with attempted rape. But in this case….Ravenel was able to “somehow” negotiate the allegation down to a misdemeanor A&B charge which has no sexual inference and therefore no possibility to be placed on the registry of found guilty. American justice…

        • #47309 Reply

          Timothy

          @ glen,
          Antebellum rules still alive in modern times and they called it chivalry or gentlemanly or discreet. SC is still very much a plantation, A recent article reported South Carolina threw out members of their supreme court members for lavish spending.

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