Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Former teacher receives more prison time for abuse of children - - Absurd!

A former Manitoba high school teacher has been ordered to serve another 21 months (1 year, 9 months) in jail after being convicted of physically and sexually abusing his own children.
The 68-year-old man -- who can't be named to protect the identity of his victims – was sentenced Thursday to the additional custody in addition to three years of time already spent behind bars.
The Crown was seeking another five years for the man, while he was asking to be released back into the community immediately. He was also put on probation with conditions not to have any contact with his children, or any child under the age of 16.
All of his crimes occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s on two Manitoba native reserves but weren't revealed until one of his children went to RCMP in 2002. The girl, then 16, said she feared her father might have given her HIV. Tests later came back negative.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Colleen Suche found the man guilty of sexually abusing the girl between 1989 and 1993, beginning when she was three years old. He was also convicted of repeatedly assaulting her and her brother during the same period, beginning when the boy was five. The incidents involved beatings and spankings.
The man has two other older boys who claimed they were never assaulted and actually supported their father at trial. However, several former teachers, neighbours and child-welfare officials testified that all four children have displayed extreme "sexualized behaviour" throughout their lives, which included inappropriate incidents towards other children at school and in the community.
They list a number of disturbing incidents including graphic drawings, sexually explicit language, exposing their genitals in the classroom, masturbating in public, as well as frequently running around their home and yard naked.
All of this was occurring while the father was employed as a teacher. His professional career began in 1976. He married the sister of one of his former students. The couple had four children but their relationship was dysfunctional. The mother was deemed to be extremely "low functioning" and battled alcohol abuse which often took her out of the home for long periods, court was told.
Child and Family Services finally intervened in the early 1990s. The four children were ultimately removed from the home and placed in permanent foster care. Their father repeatedly denied any knowledge of why his kids were acting out, claiming there was no inappropriate behaviour in the home.
At one point, he speculated "they must have learned these things from other kids... and from watching the dogs in the community," court was told. RCMP also began an investigation but it ended without charges. It wouldn't be reopened until the girl came forward in 2002 with her claims.
Police finally laid charges in 2005 after another lengthy investigation. The case dragged through the courts before finally going to trial in 2008. It was adjourned on several occasions, finally concluding last November.
The man's children were conflicted to testify against him, with his now 23-year-old daughter often waving and smiling at her father in court while giving damning evidence against him.
Suche rejected the accused's testimony, saying he "lacked credibility" and appeared to have tried to influence his children to change their stories by writing them several letters since his arrest.

I would be interested in knowing any mitigating factors or other information on this man's own background life, which may have contributed to his criminal behaviour. May he himself was abused? It often perpetuates itself through families. Often men who abuse, deep down, don't want to, but they don't know how to control their impulses. They want help, but don't know where to get it. This man may have denied his involvement, because he was so embarrassed and ashamed of what he had done to his own children.

He has already spent 3 years in prison and I do NOT agree with more prison time. 3 years is long enough. What will more prison do? Absolutely nothing. This man should have been given a conditional sentence with intensive treatment and counseling to uncover the underlying issues contributing to his behaviour and to help him manage his sexual impulses, etc.  

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