According to a press release I was recently sent a copy of, there will be a claim filed against San Mateo County for failing to protect a young sex abuse victim.
Crime Victims United of California and Marc Klaas will join with local legislators for a rally/press announcement about the claim that will be filed against San Mateo County, asking them to re-open a previously dismissed child molestation case.
According to the press release, CVUC President Harriet Salarno said this in response to a recent article in the San Mateo Daily Journal about sex offenders in San Mateo County not being properly monitored:
“[...] the truth is that only 10% of children are abused by strangers — the greatest risk is from people they know and trust, as is what happened in this case. Yet in San Mateo County, it appears children are not being protected from predators either inside or outside their own homes. It’s unconscionable and the DA should be ashamed.”The specific case that this action relates to is the case against Anthony Sadek, which was dismissed after irregularities were found in the toxicology test results of the accused's wife. As these cases often are, the details appear to be complicated and not at all straightforward. However, the dismissal of the charges is apparently related to the complication in testimony of the victim's MOTHER, not the victim. This is where CVUC feels that the ball was dropped. Read some more background about this case in the San Mateo Daily Journal.
It IS a complicated matter, but I agree that it's important to separate out the complications with the victim's mother and deal with those issues separately, and the victim needs to have a chance at justice. According to the San Mateo Daily Journal article, The District Attorney's office says that they re-evaluated at the time of the complications, and apparently decided that they could not win the case.
Either way, I feel that on the whole, child sex crimes are not given any real priority in San Mateo County, and someone DOES need to start digging to fix the problem. When you look at the news in recent past, you'll find articles time and time again about San Mateo County judges and prosecutors asking for and doling out very lightweight sentences to criminals who have molested or engaged in sexual relationships with young children. Many of these (including cases with full sexual penetration) do not even result in the perp having to register as a sex offender.
It seems that no one is interested in the actual damage done to victims of these crimes, and I know that they're walking around feeling that not only were they betrayed by their families and/or people they trusted, but that even the legal system does not consider their often life-long suffering and struggles to be worthy of more than a slap on the wrist to the perps. While unintentional, the message that is being sent to these victims by San Mateo County is that children are there for the sexual whims and enjoyment of adults.
So if you want to go to the "rally" and probably get a chance to hear Marc Klaas and others speak, Here's where you go:
Crime Victims United of California / Marc Klaas News Conference
Superior Court/South Branch
400 County Center, Redwood City
Monday, August 9, 2010: 11:00am PST.
San Mateo County: Come Have Sex with Our Children.