The Campaign For DA

10.10.2005

Sensitive Subject

You have a poor, uneducated mother of two girls, ages 9 0r 10 and the other 7. Both girls go to visit the mom's father (the girl's grandfather for a weekend). When they return, the older girl tells her mom that "her grandfather entered the bathroom while she was taking a shower and told her he needed to wash her. Despite the girl's protests, the man washed and fondled her and later exposed himself to her. " Mom doesn't call the authorities and, a week later, sends the seven year old back to visit the mom's dad. She is fondled during that visit. (It is unclear if the younger girl knew what happened to her older sister during the first visit). One of the girls finally tells their stepmother. Cops get involved. The molester receives a 15 year sentence. Question: Should the mom be charged? And, if so, should she get pen time (Huntsville), jail time (local county jail) or probation? What if she didn't believe her daughter? This week, the mom pled guilty to two counts of Failure to Report Child Abuse, a Class B misdemeanor, which has a maximum of 180 days in the county jail. (She received the maximum on both cases to run concurrently). I noted, however, that the plea was heard before a district judge. This tells me one thing: The case against the mom was originally filed as a felony but the case was reduced to a misdemeanor by a plea bargain. The story is in the Star Telegram is here.