Sentencing in rape is travesty of justice
State Supreme Court Justice Richard Kloch's recent decision to give a convicted rapist 10 years of probation, 25 weekends of work program and court fees is a failure for the victim, the justice system and our community. It's horrific, since the perpetrator could easily strike again.
I believe Justice Kloch's decision is an easy out for the 38-year-old Newfane man who was convicted of being part "of an illicit sexual triangle with another man and a 16-year-old girl," according to a Buffalo News report on the case.
Justice Kloch told the rapist that "everything" in his life "is dysfunctional," but he decided against a prison sentence for this convicted felon because the man has a full-time job, and incarceration would make his family "a ward of the state."
So anyone who is employed may endanger and engage underage youths in this type of behavior and avoid real prison time because there's already too many people on the welfare roles? A dangerous sexual predator can roam free after such hideous acts? And the victim, who was a baby sitter for the perpetrator's children, may live in fear that this man could seek revenge for her admissions to the court system?
The punishment is supposed to fit the crime. How is he paying for this crime through probation, weekend work program and minimal court fees? Who benefits here? The state? The court? The perpetrator? The victim?
It's a travesty that Justice Kloch has set a dangerous precedent in cases of this type; one that crime victims, their families, the states and family courts should fear. Because it will happen again. And again.