I want to teach my sons to respect women, even when those women don't respect themselves. I'll need to teach my daughter to not seek attention and validation from boys, because if I do my job she won't need to. Still, when all else fails, I'm going to have to teach myself how to respond (not react) as a parent.
When I read tragic stories like the following, I can't help but wonder what lessons the kids involved did and didn't get at home, and what I as a parent might personally take away.
A McLennan County grand jury Wednesday indicted six men on a total of 91 counts that could bring them prison terms of more than 1,300 years in the alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl.Much of the media attention surrounding this story has been about the stiff prison sentences the alleged rapists are facing. I suppose I get the point here. Judicial systems across the country have been plagued with double standards in sentencing for as long as judicial systems have existed. If these men are being given a stiffer than normal sentence because of the race (which we don't know) of the girl, then that would obviously be an area of concern. If the "acting in concert" aspect of this law hasn't been equally applied to other similar crimes, that's something the court will have to answer for.
Five of the men were indicted on 13 counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony.
The men are Devoric Javon Evans, 20; Lamont Tray Davis, 19; Day’tron Derrell Smith, 18; Da’Juan Oshea Degrate, 18; and Cory Darnell Hall, 18.
A sixth man, Douglas Demond Canada, 19, was indicted on 13 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and three counts of sexual assault of a child.
The girl told police she planned to skip school with fellow Waco High School students Canada and Degrate that day, and they drove her to a home in the 800 block of North Fourth Street.
When they got there, four other men were at the house, she told police.
“She went with a couple of boys she thought she knew, and then a bad situation became much worse,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said after the men were arrested.
The indictments allege the men “acted in concert” with each other, making each responsible for the actions of the others. That is why the indictments allege so many counts against each man, court officials said.
According to records filed in the case, the men asked the girl if she was “freaky.”
The victim said she started having sex with Canada in a bathroom. Hall reportedly heard the victim telling Canada to stop while they were in the bathroom, and Hall said he told Canada “to chill,” according to arrest warrant affidavits.
“I told him to stop, but he wouldn’t,” the girl told police. “Then he walked me out to the bedroom and the other boys were there. They all had sex with me one at a time.”
After the assaults, Degrate gave Davis $5 to drive the girl back to school before 4 p.m., records indicate.
The girl reported the incident and she was taken to a hospital.
If the men are convicted on each count and a judge stacks the counts, or orders them to serve the sentences consecutively, Canada faces a maximum sentence of 1,360 years in prison, while the other five face 1,340 years, court officials said.
That said, the alleged crime here is indefensible and reprehensible. This isn't a question of whether these men should go to prison, it's how long.
As a father, this is a nightmarish situation. I wonder what it was about the boys that made this girl think skipping school was a good idea. She obviously had no idea what they had planned, but what made her put herself in that situation in the first place? What, as a parent, can one take away from this?
As a father of boys, I think you have to teach your kids that they have to pick their friends wisely. Show me your friends and I'll show you your future. If those friends are filling out college applications and studying for the SAT, your future might include a full ride. If those friends are guys who run bustos on underaged girls, your future is prolly gonna include some jail time. And when your friends are doing something that doesn't square with your moral compass (as seemingly happened to Mr. Hall here) don't tell your friend to "chill", remove yourself from the environment and call the cops. Snitching after the fact doesn't make you noble, it makes your dumb ass an accomplice.
Send your prayers to the family of this girl. And please don't talk about how "she had it coming" in the comments section, or I will drop the ban hammer with authority!
Question: Is this crime worth the 13 centuries (!!!) these men will likely serve if convicted?