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#340966 - 09/27/10 07:36 PM Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1242
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Of course he was severely inappropriate, especially as a teacher's aide, and of course should be face some kind of punishment... but 14 years in prison for love letters? What do you think?

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/bs-md-ho-abuse-letters-case-20100924,0,4722026.story

Former Columbia teacher's aide found guilty of child sex abuse

Case sets Md. precedent for conviction without evidence of inappropriate physical act

A 38-year-old Columbia teacher's aide was found guilty Friday of sexually abusing a third-grader by writing her dozens of explicit love letters, setting a new precedent in Maryland for a sex crime conviction without evidence of inappropriate physical contact.

Howard County Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure ruled that Karl Marshall Walker Jr., who worked at Bryant Woods Elementary School for three years, sexually exploited an 8-year-old girl by giving her notes that spoke of his passion for her, his desire to kiss her and his request that she keep their correspondence secret.

"Sexual acts are not only limited to physical acts," Leasure said. "The totality of these letters, the hugging and the hand-holding were exploitative."

Leasure cited notes that read: "When you hug me tight, it's the best part of my day"; "I don't think perverted thoughts about you, I just care about you"; "tear this up after you read it, tear the other notes too"; "I am sad because I really love you and I am not supposed to"; and "I do think about kissing you sometimes."
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Leasure noted that the content of the notes, which began in late 2009 and ended when the abuse was discovered in March, became more "passionate" as time progressed. She said that the notes "did border on being obsessive" and that they were "sexual in nature."

The judge's decision is the first in Maryland to convict a predator based on letters. The state's child abuse statute says that someone can be convicted of child abuse if "molestation or exploitation" occurs and "whether physical injuries are sustained or not."

In handing down her decision, Leasure noted that "exploitation itself is not defined in the statute."

Howard County State's Attorney Dario Broccolino said the decision was "right on the money." He said his office received criticism for pursuing the case even though Walker never touched the girl in a sexual way, and some critics called his office "the thought police."

He said the letters were undoubtedly sexual and that the sexual abuse statute "relies on reasonable judges, reasonable prosecutors."

"It wasn't a difficult case; it was just a different case to prove," Broccolino said after the verdict. "It wasn't that complicated of a case in truth; the key ... was the victim keeping the letters."

Walker and his attorney, Lou Willemin, declined to comment. Broccolino said he expects Walker will appeal the decision, but he is confident the outcome will be in the state's favor.

Lisae C. Jordan, general counsel at the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, agreed that Walker was guilty of sexually abusing the student.

"Typically, people who molest children start with a grooming phase where they test whether the child can keep a secret and how the child is going to respond, and then over time, they move closer to the sexual acts that they want to perform on the child," Jordan said. "This is a teacher's aide that seems to be well down that path, [and] I really appreciate that the prosecutor recognized that."

She added: "The interpretation of the statue is a reasonable one. That's what these laws are designed to protect children from the inappropriate attempts of contact."

But other advocates for victims of abuse worry that the decision could intimidate teachers. Krista McKee, the director of the Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, is one such advocate.

"Where are the lines going to be drawn when teachers are trying to communicate? What are the consequences to finding a guilty verdict on something that's written?" McKee wondered. "He was inappropriate, he definitely crossed lines, but I am not quite sure [it was sexual child abuse]."

Broccolino said the decision "is not after" teachers showing reasonable affection to their students.

According to sentencing guidelines, Walker could face up to 14 years in prison. Leasure set a sentencing date in January. Walker has been placed on supervised probation pending his sentencing.

Leasure ordered Walker not to have contact with children younger than 18, though she allowed an exception for his sons, an infant and a 10-year-old.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Walker's fantasies became an 8-year-old girl's reality," Leasure said as she handed down the guilty verdict. "He unjustly and improperly used her for his own benefit."

kwoodhouse@patuxent.com

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#340970 - 09/27/10 08:15 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: AndyJB2005]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
Krista McKee, the director of the Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, is one such advocate.

"Where are the lines going to be drawn when teachers are trying to communicate? What are the consequences to finding a guilty verdict on something that's written?" McKee wondered. "He was inappropriate, he definitely crossed lines, but I am not quite sure [it was sexual child abuse]."

I feel sorry for anyone who may have to rely upon this woman for help. How is it she is this dumb? "What are the consequences to finding a guilty verdict on something that's written?" Can she possibly be serious? The LINE (singular) is drawn at sexual contact, verbal or otherwise. Her not comprehending this is sexual abuse is a pretty big deal to me. Besides this remark is rather stupid ransom notes, notes to rob banks, and so on are written things that are used to convict. She's out there.

The sentence of 14 years is not enough. this guy groomed her for half a year and was escalating. These things are only going to loom larger for this poor girl as she matures and goes through puberty and comes to realize the full import of what this guy was up to. Right now she's just confused about things and knows because of what she's been told it was wrong without full comprehension of the lust he was motivated by.
It's sickening to write that.

EDIT
I should say that victim impact is not the only factor in sentencing, I just pointed to it because it's so close to me. There are standards for sentencing that take the emotionalism of the victim out of the calculation.



Edited by kidneythis (09/27/10 08:19 PM)
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#340972 - 09/27/10 08:32 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: kidneythis]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1242
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
I think he should be held legally responsible, but you sometimes don't get 14 years for the charge of MURDER or ARMED ROBBERY, and they're telling me he should get 14 for non-physical abuse aka love letters?

I know this is close to us, but let's not over-react. Will she really get PTSD from a guy saying (in written form) he wants to hold her hand?

I hope courts use a lot more than emotion to convict and sentence people.

In law it's what you DID do, not what you COULD'VE done and how much the world hates you. Thank God.

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Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#340976 - 09/27/10 10:06 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: AndyJB2005]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
He didn't say he wanted to hold her hand. He did in fact sit with her holding her hand. The guy did write "sexual in nature" notes to her. He was grooming her, something the article describes very well. He did groom her and write her sexually explicit notes.
I think I said they do use non-emotional means to determine sentencing. And besides that 14 years is the max possible, he hasn't yet been sentenced.
One does not compare what someone else got for another crime to the crime at hand. (Murder is less henious than soul murder which sexual abuse is) If those sentences you describe are real there was a mistake there.

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As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#341010 - 09/28/10 11:48 AM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: kidneythis]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11046
Loc: Denver, CO
Page 51 of Dr Dan Allender's book The Wounded Heart outlines varieties of sexual abuse, both contact and non-contact. This teacher's aide definitely crossed boundaries. Agreeably, 14 years sounds rather severe.

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#341309 - 10/02/10 10:33 AM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: FormerTexan]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
What I don't understand is those who jump in to defend him and say 14 years is too much. Then they make statements which indicate they have not read the article. I saw this on a newspaper site and it had comments about how he wasn't being treated fair!
Very frustrating to know the level of ignorance of the impact of emotional events on a child let alone perverse emotional events.

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As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#342312 - 10/17/10 09:07 AM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: kidneythis]
AngryA$$hole Offline


Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 7
Child abuse is MURDER - Soul Murder!

14 years sounds about wrong. He deserved more. The fact is more than likely, he hadn't had the opportunity to abuse this little girl, or he was still grooming her.

The letters were certainly inappropriate, but this is a good story of saving a child before he/she becomes victim.

What should we do? Wait until he abuses 15 children before we decide he's a threat to society?

I can only ever wish that someone had intervened in the activities of a Catholic priest who abused me for several years. His list of inappropriate infringements upon little boys was long and distingushed. He had been removed from one school or church and another, 6 times before I even came in contact with the man. SIX TIMES for inappropriate sexual contact toward young boys; pre-adolescents and teenagers.

If only he were doing 15-30 in a Maximum Secuirity Prison, perhaps I wouldn't be so devastated today.

The victims need to be considered first. Fuck the perpatrators!


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#344512 - 11/08/10 07:41 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: AngryA$$hole]
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
14 years is just crazy. Perps don't even get that much time for actually molesting children. I don't know what the heck was going on this judge's mind - maybe the upcoming election.



Edited by melliferal (11/08/10 07:42 PM)
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#344538 - 11/09/10 12:22 AM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: melliferal]
MrEdd Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 317
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: melliferal
14 years is just crazy. Perps don't even get that much time for actually molesting children. I don't know what the heck was going on this judge's mind - maybe the upcoming election.


Odd how crimes against children usually only merit serious jailtime right before elections.

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#344574 - 11/09/10 10:39 AM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: MrEdd]
ComicBookGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
Put it this way if it was going to be never anything more than love letters then it's excessive but that's never how a teacher thinks when they have a crush on student that they're targeting and grooming, is it? "Love letters" to an 8 year old? Jail!

Later on down the line abuse would have happened and all of us would have been saying "why didn't the courts do something sooner?" Well in this case, they have. It's tough on his own kids whatever the sentence.

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#344588 - 11/09/10 12:39 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: ComicBookGuy]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
How is it you guys keep mis reading this?

He had an active grooming relationship with the girl.
He was writing sexually explicit notes to her.
He was getting very close to the initial abuse.
As of the time of the article he had not yet been sentenced. The 14 years is listed as the max possible, not the sentence he got.

None of you should be minimizing what this scumbag did to this little girl. Now she's probably 9 and seems ok but what is going to happen when she reaches puberty and realizes what was going on? How is she going to misdevelope because of the ugly view of herself as a sex object at the age of 8! What is she going to think of herself that a MAN was sexually interested in her at age 8? How is she going to see her own behavior manipulated as it was by him? Certainly she is going to take responsibility for her own actions and blame herself a little at least. That is only natural, it would be weird and alarming if she didn't. Will she become sexually active and slutty in response to the confusion? Turn to drink or drugs or both? How about the unwanted sexual fantasies of herself with him? (that WILL happen) What is that going to do to her?

You all seem to be missing the real story here. How I do not know. The 14 years if that is what he gets, for what he did is not close to enough time as far as I am concerned.
Murder is finite its over there is no more suffering on the victims part, this will cause lifelong suffering without end. She will always have to work to be "normal" and keep this damage at bay. Like all of us do when we can.

How do all of you miss these facts? I am shocked and wonder at what hes been said to minimize this guys evilness.

_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#344603 - 11/09/10 03:41 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: kidneythis]
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
Being perved over is pretty sickening but it's not even close to actual abuse. I'm not sure what makes you think this girl is going to grow up to have the same exact problems as complex CSA victims because a teacher wrote her inappropriate letters. "What is she going to think of herself that a MAN was sexually interested in her at age 8?" With appropriate counseling I'm guessing she's going to think of herself as having been lucky to avoid being abused and is going to recognize that the man was a sick freak. Why wouldn't she?

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#344607 - 11/09/10 04:33 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: ComicBookGuy]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 280
I'm with Kidney and AngryAsshole. Do you guys REALLY think he's never molested a kid before? Or that he wouldn't almost certainly have dozens of victims if not stopped? Screw this guy, I hope he gets killed in prison.


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#344609 - 11/09/10 04:39 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: melliferal]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
He held her hand! he kissed her! He wrote sexually explicit letters ot her! I'm sure based on the eviudence we did get to see in that article of which I am sure it was only a small part of the sum total of evidence against him and I can conclude he was within days of his fist attempt at an act of abuse that lead to his ejaculating.

The reactions I list are only possibilities until or unless they happen. It is the possibility of these things is why we make doing it illegal. We don't wait to see if there is harm showing up to prosecute a perp which you're implying we should. There is no no harm no foul rule in child sexual abuse. All or none of them might happen. So we should let him stay out of jail until she finally realizes at 35 that the last 10 years of her life were being driven by what he did to her and a subconscious effort to avoid dealing with it? I don't think so. The fact that one or all of them MIGHT happen is enough to jail him if you ask me.

I had forgotten what a provacatuer you are Meliferal.

I can only assume that you and all the rest who are excusing this guy do not know how to read. Or maybe there is some other reason for excusing what is clearly written in the article, by pretending it isn't there and remarking as if it weren't there? Yes I did.



Edited by kidneythis (11/09/10 04:43 PM)
_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#344881 - 11/12/10 12:30 AM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: kidneythis]
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
Originally Posted By: kidneythis
Or maybe there is some other reason for excusing what is clearly written in the article, by pretending it isn't there and remarking as if it weren't there? Yes I did.


Or maybe there's nobody "excusing" anything, but instead just some people pointing out how stupid it is that violent rape of a child gets 7 years in prison and writing inappropriate letters gets 14.

Or maybe I just don't like how you condemned this girl to a life of self-hating slutdom because she was almost sexually molested.



Edited by melliferal (11/12/10 12:31 AM)
_________________________
Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

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#355948 - 03/08/11 06:30 PM Re: Former Columbia teacher aide found guilty of abuse [Re: ComicBookGuy]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
The position of trust and the blatant lust to use the child for his gratification -the coercing the child into silence..
These people need to be rooted out.....`14yrs isn't long enough if he will be able to get out in 5yrs and do it again......This is an intense form of mental illness.....


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