It happened again. Another CA registrant was murdered by vigilantes for no reason other than he was required to register as a sex offender.
This horror began when four men went shopping together to buy pliers and bolt cutters, common tools later used to torture and kill a registrant. A 61-year-old man who had paid his debt to society and was living peacefully in the community.
The men used the pliers they bought to break into the registrant’s home. It is not known, but can only be imagined, how they used the bolt cutters to murder the registrant who was taking a shower at the time they entered his home.
This vigilante attack and murder is an outrage and must be remembered! Just like the murder of Michael Dodele who was stabbed to death in Lake County in 2010. Just like Bobby Ray Rainwater who was stabbed to death in Orange County in 2012. And just like Donald Crisp who was shot to death in Monterey County in 2013
Future vigilante attacks must be prevented. But how?
We are a non-violent community and this is not a call to arms. Instead, it is a call to travel down a path of peace and justice.
First, we must hold accountable reporters and newspapers that write and print stories that are not based in truth. For example, the report of this recent tragic death falsely states that the registrant had a “sordid past” even though he was convicted of a single offense. The same report includes additional false statements such as that his victim was a minor when instead he was a 32-year-old adult. Finally, the report included unsubstantiated reports that police detectives were investigating sexual assault allegations previously made against him more than 30 years ago.
Second, we must ensure that those who murder registrants are held accountable. That means their charges and convictions must reflect that the reason the perpetrators chose their victim was because the victim was required to register as a sex offender. It also means that the perpetrators must be properly sentenced, a sentence that is not reduced because their victim was a registrant.
Finally, we must continue, if not redouble, our efforts to educate the public about the truth regarding registrants, including the true rates of re-offense and the fact that most people (more than 90 percent) who sexually assault children are not on the registry, but instead are family members, teachers, coaches and members of the clergy.
We can only accomplish this essential and humane task by Showing Up, Standing Up and Speaking Up. It’s easy to do so by joining us at a monthly meeting. We hope to see you there soon!
— by Janice Bellucci
Read all Janice’s Journals