It seems the United Kingdom wants to set the record for ridiculous sentences for child rape. In the latest incident, Marie McCarthy admitted to raping a 15-year-old boy 29 years ago:
Lee Bonner, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court today that at the start of the school summer holidays in 1986 McCarthy visited the boy’s mum and when he came downstairs in a towel to get something for his bath she wolf-whistled at him.
As he left the room he heard her telling his mum that if she went after him he “would go up the stairs as a boy and come down as a man.”
While he was in the bath she came in, plunged her hand into the water and grabbed his private parts and after making a sexual remark she left laughing.
A week later he was at her Huyton home looking after her young son when she sat next to him wearing a tight nightdress and after saying everything would be all right began stroking different parts of his body.
She helped him undress, before they had sexual intercourse.
“He did not fancy her but did not know how to stop what was happening,” said Mr Bonner.
McCarthy “orchestrated” about 30 other occasions when they were alone for various sexual activity and he felt coerced into taking part. Eventually he told his mum’s partner who said he would sort it out but McCarthy continued her abuse of him. She would say, “I have to have you” and “I can’t stop myself.”
This is about as clear a case of child rape as one get. As Judge Denis Watson stated:
“Over the course of a six week summer holiday you seduced him, the son of a friend of yours. As you look back now at your behaviour then as a mature 33-year-old towards a 15-year-old boy I hope you realise how shameful and grotesque it was.
“You manipulated him for your own sexual advantage, you groomed him. You knew the riot of emotions he as a 15year-old was going through as adolescence and puberty sent him one way and then the other. You used him as your sexual plaything.”
The “utterly embarrassed” boy eventually told his mum’s partner but when confronted about McCarthy “shrugged it off with ‘it was one of those things’ attitude,” said the judge.
“I hope you now realise your behaviour has cast a shadow over his life for the last 29 and a half years. An appalling shadow which had had a real impact upon him.”
Judge Watson told the 62-year-old grandmother that if anyone thought it was the sort of behaviour a 15-year-old boy would fantasise about “this case gives the live to that very false picture.
“You deserve to go to prison for what you did, it was not a one off but a string of different sexual acts against him that summer. The very fact that he came forward last year to tell someone tells you it is not something he has been able to leave behind at all.”
That is why Watson decided to sentence McCarthy to 21 months imprisonment… and then suspended the sentence for two years. The judge cited McCarthy’s “various health problems, good character and guilty pleas” as the reason. The judge also tacked on a two-year supervision and 10 years on the Sex Offender Register.
The victim stormed out of the court room upon hearing the sentence. Who can blame him? He kept this a secret for three decades. He tried telling someone while it happened, yet nothing was done. When he finally got the courage to come forward last year, he should not have had to listen to a judge say all the right things and then let an admitted child rapist go free.
That is the most baffling part about this. Look at the judge’s comments again:
You manipulated him for your own sexual advantage, you groomed him. You knew the riot of emotions he as a 15year-old was going through as adolescence and puberty sent him one way and then the other. You used him as your sexual plaything. […] I hope you now realise your behaviour has cast a shadow over his life for the last 29 and a half years. An appalling shadow which had had a real impact upon him. […] The very fact that he came forward last year to tell someone tells you it is not something he has been able to leave behind at all.
Why, if you realize “[she deserves] to go to prison for what [she] did [because] it was not a one off but a string of different sexual acts against him that summer,” why would you suspend the sentence? Why would you let her walk?
Is it because she has health problems like angina? Is it because she abused alcohol? Is it because she cared for her family in the intervening decades? Is it because she received threats and abuse following the charges? Is it because she is “genuinely ashamed” now that she is caught?
How do you admit what she did was wrong and that she deserves to go to prison for do it and then let go? How do you do that in front of this man?
The insensitivity and utter blindness it takes to say all the right things and then betray this man’s courage is phenomenal.
If ever there were a clear indication of how little people care about male victims, this is one of them.