The teacher abuse double standard

Originally posted on May 23, 2013

Teachers sexually abusing students has unfortunately become a normal news item in the last twenty years. Female teachers abusing male students garners the most media attention. That coverage may lead some to believe that women who abuse students face harsher sentences when convicted. However, it appears the opposite is true. According to a Star-Ledger investigation of 97 cases in New Jersey, male teachers are more often convicted and face longer sentences:

The data about 72 men and 25 women also shows:

  • Male defendants went to prison in 54 percent of cases compared with 44 percent of cases for female defendants;
  • Men averaged 2.4 years in prison compared with 1.6 years in prison for women, or 50 percent more time;
  • Ninety-three of the 97 cases ended in plea deals;
  • €…Forty-seven cases ended in noncustodial sentences, which typically involved pre-trial intervention programs or probation.

This comes as no surprise to anyone following the media coverage of these cases. As the paper noted: Continue reading

Too racist to molest a child

Over the years, we have heard sex offenders use a number of excuses to rationalize their actions. We have also heard them use a number of excuses to explain why they should not go to prison. But never have we heard this:

A first-grade teacher at an Humble prep school cited her racial prejudice against black students in denying allegations that she fondled a girl in her classroom last month, according to court records.

Esther Irene Stokes, 61, of Montgomery, was charged with indecency with a child April 10, court records show.

The 7-year-old student told police that Stokes, her teacher at Northwest Preparatory Academy Charter School, sent all the students out of the classroom and touched her on her “private part” on the outside of her clothes on March 1, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.

Humble police met with Stokes after she failed a polygraph examination. Stokes denied touching the girl “on any part of her body,” prosecutors said.

“The defendant stated that she doesn’t like black students because she was prejudiced,” the complaint states. She told police that “she does not like the complainant” and has “very little to no interaction” with her.

Continue reading

Bulletin Board v187

Accuser in Sex Slave Case Allowed Restitution — A 25-year-old Vermont man who says two former West Haven firefighters sexually assaulted him since childhood has been allowed to seize a house and bank accounts belonging to one of the men he accused. Earlier this year, state police charged Frank Meyer, 39, of West Haven, and Brett Bartolotta, 42, of Cavendish, Vermont, with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking.

Former teacher is jailed for sexually abusing boy — A former teacher who watched teenage boys being beaten with a whip before sexually abusing them has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years’ imprisonment. Mario Bugeja, 45, from Qala had been accused of abusing four boys but three of them withdrew complaints against him, placing the blame instead on another former teacher, Martin Cefai, as the one who “ruined” their lives. Mr Cefai is currently appealing against a custodial sentence.

Former voice of Elmo hit with 5th sex abuse suit — A fifth man has filed a lawsuit alleging sex abuse by Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who gave Sesame Street’s Elmo his voice. The allegations that Kevin Kiadii, 25, made against Clash, 52, are similar to those made by four other men who said they were courted and seduced by Clash when they were underage teenagers. The lawyer defending Clash called the other suits “meritless and barred by the statute of limitations,” but he did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the newest filing. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v185

Art teacher sexually abused boy for years, court told — A high school art teacher on Sydney’s northern beaches gave drugs to a teenage student and then performed sex acts on him on multiple occasions, subjecting him to years of abuse, a Sydney court has heard. Peter Wayne Scott, 62, is facing child sex and drug supply charges over a series of incidents at Cromer High School in the mid-1980s with a boy then aged between 14 and 16.

Evangelical church accused of ignoring sexual abuse, “pedophilia ring” — I was not surprised when Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), the church group I grew up in as a teen and young adult, was served with a lawsuit this past October, alleging clergy cover-ups of sexual abuse. Sadly, I was even less surprised when the suit was amended in January to include Covenant Life Church (CLC), the congregation I had attended for nine years, and to add new charges of physical and sexual abuse by pastors, as well as allegations of abuse on church property.

Exploited boys remain invisible — Yoyo was 14 when he was thrown out of his house. He knew even then he was gay, but coming out to his family left him homeless and broke. He lost one job after another. He thought about suicide. He traveled around, voguing in ballroom dance events and looking for work. Then one of his women friends suggested they try to make money “escorting,” to use the popular euphemism. Soon enough, Yoyo was in “the life.” Continue reading

Sex abuse double standard

I often write about the double standard in sex abuse cases. When women commit the same sex offense as men, women often receive lighter sentences and social praise for their actions. Prosecutors, judges, and juries tend to take female-perpetrated sexual violence less seriously, and one need only watch late-night talk shows to see how the public regards the issue.

Since Mary Kay Letourneau made national news for being convicted of raping her 13-year-old student, female sex offenders no longer remain hidden. There has been more research and discussion about women who commit sexual violence. However, we do not see what the situation is like for prosecutors. We do not get to see the double-bind they are in, and that ignorance may make some more cynical about prosecutors’ attitudes (see the previous paragraph). A recent article provides an insight into what prosecutors go through: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v168

Ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier says he was abused as a kid — Hoping to fight the perception he aided in the coverup of Jerry Sandusky’s pattern of child molestation, ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier sent a three-page letter Monday to the school’s board of trustees defending himself. The letter, which has since been obtained by the Patriot-News and other media outlets, insists that he would not have turned “a blind eye” to Sandusky’s victims because of Spanier’s own abuse history.

Former quarterback admits to sexual abuse of 11-yr-old, says ‘We are gay.’ — New details have been released leading up to the arrest of a former Edinburg North quarterback on child sex charges. Police documents indicate 18-year-old Joel Cuellar admitted to sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy continuously over a three month period before his arrest last Friday at a McAllen soccer park. In the report, Cuellar admits that he was supposed to take the unnamed male to the movies on the night officers discovered them in a parked car, shirtless with Cuellar’s pants down.

Monsignor Lynn sentenced to jail for role in church sex abuse — In a soft and clear voice, disgraced Catholic Monsignor William Lynn stood Tuesday before a packed courtroom and apologized for the years of sexual abuse a young man suffered at the hands of defrocked priest Edward Avery, whom Lynn transferred to the boy’s parish despite knowing that he had abused another boy. “I did my best,” said Lynn, 61, who served as secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004.

New California Law Protects Military Parents Child Custody Rights — Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed into law AB 1807, protecting child custody rights for military parents. Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, introduced the legislation to protect our military parents. Fathers and Families has lobbied and advocated for the rights of our military in child custody. This legislation is another success. When a divorced couple shares custody of a child and one of the parents is deployed due to military orders, full custody of the child is given temporarily to the non-deployed parent.  Continue reading