When I started this blog, I intended on keeping it as positive as possible. Even when writing about my own challenges, I’ve tried to find the lessons and inspiration within them. I cannot find a positive in what I am about to post, however it has me shaken up enough that I feel I must say something.
Yesterday as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I was confronted with a local news article detailing the outcome of a horrendous case that most people in my area have been following. In 2014, Kraigen Grooms (then 17 years old) was charged with 2nd Degree Sexual Abuse, a class B felony, after a video surfaced which showed him sexually assaulting a 1 year old girl. The video was found in conjunction with a larger ring and evidence pointed to the assault being premeditated, and he was believed to be planning another assault.
If that isn’t enough cause for outrage, after numerous delays, he plead guilty to a lesser charge of lascivious acts with a child, a class C felony, and given a 10 year suspended sentence. Suspended sentence. As in, no jail time.
No jail time. For sexually abusing a 1 year old child.
I suppose we should be thankful that he at least has to register as a sex offender, though. Right? Because that will be enough to stop him from harming another child. *Insert eye roll here.*
I cannot wrap my head around how that is a possible outcome in a case like this. I cannot wrap my head around how our justice system can fail so miserably. How is it possible that people committing non-violent crimes can serve longer sentences than monsters like this? It seems like every other day I’m seeing posts about horrific crimes where the perpetrators are let go with a slap on the wrist. I don’t understand how we have gotten to this point. Is it any wonder that people take the law into their own hands?
It’s taken everything in me to approach this post with a cool head. It would be so easy to rant about all societal flaws that allow such disgusting behaviors to proliferate. It would be easier to spout off all the terrible things I think should happen to this sorry excuse for a human being and the judge who let it slide. However, I know that none of that will make a difference.
What will make a difference is if we all stand up and do something about the state of our justice system. We need to make it known that we do not want to live in a world where abusers are given a free pass. Put cases like this in the spotlight, write or call your representatives, push for legislation reforms, make informed voting choices. Hell, stand around with signs in a good old fashioned protest. Do anything but sit around waiting for someone else to take care of it.
**Edit: since I began writing this post, 2 petitions have cropped up to remove the judges who were responsible for this animal off the hook. Since there seems to be some debate on which judge was actually responsible, I’ll include them both.