With the sentencing of the pedophile Graham James, is this an indication of the Canadian justice system not understanding the true effects of sexual abuse against boys?
At least to me, there seems to be a huge void within the official government system in coming to grips with the true reality of the effect of this kind of abuse – against anybody!
How this act of ignorance by the justice system is still allowed to continue is beyond me. In all their history and education, do they not truly hear and feel the effects on victims when their stories are shared? Do they not have information from medical and psychological experts that worked with victims? Do they not have access to cold statistics from agencies that show the cost to society?
The government of Canada is not short of information and resources
to know the evil and life-long negative effects this can have on a victim.
It cannot be avoided in this day and age of wide open communication and personal expression to realize we are only now beginning to see the victims come forward with stories of heinous acts perpetrated against them. What’s becoming more evident, is that we are only starting to see the “tip of the iceberg” on how wide-spread this epidemic will spill into the everyday walking public. And how does the justice system deal with it?
I know one thing for sure, every organization that works, or have worked with young people going back 40 to 50 years ago are certainly shaking in their boots right now as they desperately re-visit their pasts. And sadly, I have no doubt (given the conversations I’ve personally had with victims of pedophiles), that there will be a lot of shocking (or maybe not) news of organizations who have either made the complaints go away or turned a blind eye to the “quiet whispers” within the ranks.
Sadly still, this will not be limited to boys.
I’m sure we will hear about girls’ groups and organizations as well.
But back to the sentencing.
I’ve tried to look at it from different angles so I could firmly get a grip on my emotional rationale. (Isn’t that a contradiction in terms, eh?) Anyways, I was wondering how the public and the Justice System would react to such heinous and evil acts were perpetrated by Graham James if the boys were abused in a different way.
Now, I am just looking at the effects any particular crime would have on a victim. I’ve considered the vulnerability of the victims and how they would relate to my following made-up scenario victims. I’ve chosen that particular type of victim because I personally believe the same types of vulnerability relate. They only differ in that James’ victims have an emotional/psychological disability, whereas the victims in the story below, they are physical.
Would the sentence be different if the boy’s lives were destroyed by James from a criminal misdeed such as this:
As a trusted community leader wielding enormous and unquestioned power (a dream coach), James promises success to blind boys who live by his every directive and hang on his every word as if he was a god. But after their work, James chooses specific vulnerable individuals who are told they must secretly drink a questionable and disgusting muscle-enhancing cocktail – or no more chances at fulfilling their dreams. They simply cannot say no. “Besides”, they think, “it’s not hurting me, and James would never hurt a blind boy trying to reach his dreams”.
After many years of increasing problems, the boys find out the cocktail was not healthy; rather, it was a poison that slowly eats away the brain. James deliberately gave it to them – on purpose – without their regard – with false promises – all for his personal and diabolical satisfaction while knowing that some day those boys would be physically broken, struggling, and never be the same again.
Some time later, James finally gets caught and admits his heinous crimes. As a serial offender with many other blind victims now living in the same shame, guilt, and pain, the epidemic of poisoning blind kids becomes more known to the public (80,000+ in Canada at some estimates).
When James go in front of the judge for sentencing, he tells the judge he’s sorry that he destroyed lives, and families, and CHILDREN who are now walking around quietly suffering without end.
This is what I HEARD IN MY HEAD (that other voice), what Her Honour had to say on passing sentence (interchange the real and made-up events):
“Mr. James, I believe you are truly sorry. I don’t believe you have any more now-adult blind victims out there (out of the thousands you were in contact with) who were forced to drink your poison when they were just boys. So I’m going to be lenient.
Mr James, while statistics show otherwise, I believe someone who poisons blind boys for their own personal satisfaction usually only does it once or twice. I believe that after attending that short program on how to stop poisoning blind boys, you have convinced me that you are honest in being cured of wanting to poison any more blind boys. Your truthfulness calls for leniency.
Mr James, I don’t see any physical issues your victims are currently facing. We can’t see how their minds are still slowly being eaten away after decades. They are walking around and running their lives. The issues they face can be fixed after a short program (something like yours).And finally Mr. James, forget about how their families suffered all those years as the poison quietly ate away at the victim’s brains. They don’t look like they have been or currently are suffering in trying to deal with the horrible effects and how they manifest in the victim’s actions. Besides, all families fight, have secrets, and shame issues. So, I will go easy on you.
Therefore Mr. James, I will only sentence you to 2 years for the following 10 reasons:
admitting your actions (only after you’ve been caught),
feeling sorry (only after you ran out of legal options),
abusing your immense power (and getting away with it your decades),
inflicting life-long pain on your victims (from which they would never recover),
hiding in another country to avoid detection (hoping people will ignore or forget),
being nice and coming back (to save you from a longer sentence),
deceit, lying, coercion, destroying trust (on thousands of kids and adults who believed in you 100% without question),
forcing the victims to risk their identity and shame by having to come forward publicly,
allowing me the opportunity to totally disregard the severe and devastating impact on the his many victims, and
I don’t think this crime is that much of a big deal. They were only blind kids and you only poisoned them a few times many years ago.
I trust this meets with your plea bargain.“
I know I am biased in my opinion when I compare these stories because I chose the scenario. Personally, I believe vulnerable young people who are give their trust, innocence, power to an older and trusted individual, are ripe to sexual predators and pedophiles (whether against boys or girls).
Would you accept James’ actions if it was for poisoning instead of this type of crime (and hidden epidemic)?
After all, they provide the same result.