A Critical Glitch

If you don’t live in Ottawa (and even if you do) you probably didn’t see this story on the weekend about 57-year-old Ottawa man, Robert Randall.  It’s a pretty common story and one that doesn’t seem to get anyone too excited. People seem to get a lot more excited about a mayor getting married, (again) or whether the noise levels at Bluesfest are too high.

But, I guess they have to report stuff like when Robert Randall of Barrhaven gets sentenced for sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl who was being looked after in his wife’s home daycare.

It has taken 2 years to sentence this guy and his sentence is — are you sitting down? —  NINETY DAYS. To be served on weekends.  So he can keep working at his job with Statistics Canada.

Robert Randall is the only breadwinner in the family now that the wife’s daycare is down the toilet, so I guess it’s real nice that he doesn’t have to worry about losing any pay, benefits or pensionable time.

It must be kind of weird, though having to work next to the guy. Oh, he was very sorry and explained that he lost his wife’s trust for a while there. And, he told the victim’s family he hoped that, “as time goes by, your lives will get on track and that one day you will understand what happened.” (Huh?)

The victim’s family was a bit disappointed at the sentence Robert Randall received. Of course, no amount of prison or therapy is going to change how Robert Randall is wired. If his sexual attraction was for anything that involved activities with inanimate objects and/or consenting adults, we’d say, “whatever – go for it!”

But, pedophiles prey on vulnerable children. They do untold and lasting damage to young lives. They’re lowest of the low – even in the criminal community.

Sexual desire is a probably one of our most powerful motivators. People do a lot of wonderful and horrible things driven by sexual desire. It’s easy to stand back and say, too bad pedophiles are oriented sexually toward children; they need to suppress that because it’s immoral and illegal.

Maybe not so easy to achieve.

And there’s no help; no answer. No one seems to know exactly what to do with pedophiles. Sentences like Robert Randall’s don’t send much of a message.

To convolute the message even more, society as a whole sexualizes children all the time from how we dress them to how they’re portrayed on TV and movies.

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22 responses to “A Critical Glitch

  1. He has to serve 90 days … sadly, that child is going to live with the fallout from what he did for the rest of his/her life.

  2. Again. It seems to be a theme in Canada that pedophiles barely get a slap on the wrist.

    When is a judge going to put these guys away for a good long time like they deserve?

    How about putting them away as long as it takes the child to deal with the trauma?

    These sentences drive me crazy.

  3. Actually there has been one treatment found to be quite effective; castration. Almost all pedophiles are male. There are of course a few women but usually male. Almost all are trusted or known to the child, not the boogey man abductor most people think of and almost all pedophiles will repeat their offense as soon as they are given a chance. Castration has been shown to correct this problem but f course that would infringe on the perpetrators rights. Ah well maybe some day we as a society will start protecting children instead of criminals.

  4. Castration is the answer. Cheaper too!

    If the weirdo, (for lack of a more accurate term) exercises his right, (that I still understand why he still has) not to be castrated, well then lock him up for 90 years, not days. After all, we already know he cant make good decisions, so we should make them for him.

    Keep in mind, whatever the decision should be heavily weighted, for the consideration of the child(ren), not the weirdo(s).

  5. Tania – As I’ve mentioned once or twice before, I used to work for Corrections Canada. A guy who had beaten and raped his girlfriends 6-year-old daughter was sentenced to 3 years, was paroled after 1 and was absolutely certain he’d done nothing wrong. He figured “the kid” will have forgotten the whole thing in a day or two while he had to rot in prison for a whole year.

    Jazz- The problem is unless you lock them up forever, it’s not going to do any good. It’s not like other crimes where people make a rational decision to commit a crime and can be rehabilitated. I think the legal/medical system is quite ambivalent about these offenders. Hence the short sentences.

    Bandobras – Some actually request this remedy because they are so disgusted with themselves for their orientation and know they’ll never be able to stop themselves. Children seem to be regarded quite cheaply by the legal system. You get 3 and 4 times the sentence for armed robbery, for instance.

    Hunter – As a parent, and on a gut level, I would agree. However, the rational part of me can’t help thinking that this is a lot more complicated. There are a lot of people with this proclivity. Are they born with it. Is it a psychological problem? Can it be called a “sexual orientation”? Do we let our 13-year-olds out dressed like table dancers and then try to tell pedophiles that children are not to objects of sexual desire?

  6. The clothes that places like Walmart market to girls this age make them look like Prosti-tots. It’s gross. And I find it odd when parents, the one’s with the buying power, buy these age-innapropriate clothes for their girls. I mean really, it makes me sick. This whole story has made me sick.

  7. Meanie – Agree and Agree. The whole thing does rather give one a gnawingly ill feeling in the pit of the stomach.

  8. …”Do we let our 13-year-olds out dressed like table dancers and then try to tell pedophiles that children are not objects of sexual desire?”
    Let’s not forget about the music to which those same 13-year-olds have access, which suggests to them that they are, indeed, adults, able to make decisions about things of a sexual nature on their own, without consulting a parent.
    Many pedophiles take advantage of their victims by acting ‘parental’ or ‘fatherly’ toward these confused kids as a ‘way in’, making the kids feel safe when they should feel anything but.
    Parents telling children about the sick people in the world earlier in their young lives than we care to – because, let’s face it, no one wants to rob a child of even a little piece of their innocence – may be the best way to keep them from the scars which abuse will leave.
    This pathetic person suggesting, “one day you will understand what happened” reeks of denial, and a sickness which needs treatment. Or , it could be a carefully contrived statement by his lawyer.
    I am not against castration if there’s DNA evidence of abuse. Less than DNA or photographic/video evidence, and we are risking innocent men being convicted of crimes which they did not commit. It’s a slippery slope…on this, the day which Steven Truscott receives 6.5 million in compensation for having been terrorized by a system which sentenced him to hang at the age of 14 – wth no DNA or physical evidence of any kind.
    I also don’t believe this problem more prevalent now than it was 300 years ago. We are just more aware now, which is at least a step in the right direction.
    Isn’t StatsCan a Federally funded agancy? If enough people wrote to their Members of Parliament, couldn’t we affect change in this case?

  9. JB – What I don’t get about the whole Stats Can job thing, is that we all need to undergo a security screening of some level in order to get a government job. I’m thinking a criminal conviction would negate passing any security clearance — especially if one was still under sentence. So, shouldn’t that security clearance be revoked if one were to be convicted of a crime and were currently under sentence?

  10. 90 days?? 90 days? AND he keeps his government job? As a public servant, I hang my head in shame…
    On the point of dressing your kids a certain way, my sister is soooooooooooooo conscious of how she has my niece and nephew dress. It’s a relief, but it’s actually a lot of work for her because you’re right, most of the stuff out there (even for kids, never mind adults) is super revealing…

  11. I dont care if they are nude! It aint right and castration solves the problem or lock’em up and foot the bill, and that is one bill I can say that I dont mind contributong to. It’s worth to me as it is the lessor of the two evils and can’t yet of understand why we don’t all agree.

    When you have a problem solve it the simplest way possible. Complicate it; and ceate favors for the weirdo party, as it creates loop holes.

    Guilty is guilty of something totally and absolutely inappropriate, period.
    It will continue happen until we deter it. (appalled; as the ‘surprise’ element is no longer present)
    Lets deter it.

    I gave you fair warning, I told you it would favor the child(ren).

  12. God, that makes me physically ill. He serves 90 days (on weekends to add insult to injury) and that girl and her family deal with the fallout for the rest of their lives.

    You are 100% correct about pedophiles being hard wired to abuse kids. Just last month in NJ a man was arrested for raping and killing a young girl. Several years ago, he had been charged with sexual abuse. That girl would alive today if he’d been put away for good.

    My husband thinks pedophiles should be exiled to an island – a la Alcatraz – and never allowed to return to society. He has some kooky ideas, but I have to say, I think he’s onto something with that one.

  13. 90 days? what a joke 😦 It would be better if he didn’t serve at all. At least he wouldn’t cost the taxpayer any money.

  14. I really like the exile idea. Exile and sterilization, to possibly eventually eradicate whatever genetic code creates these kind of freaks. Sorry of that sounds harsh, but I want them off the planet.

  15. Noha – As a fellow public servant, I agree. What exactly do you suppose one would have to do to get fired from the gov’t?

    Hunter – Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the kids. You’re right that no matter what they do or wear it doesn’t give anyone the right to abuse them. Absolutely. And I think we all agree that something needs to be done to those who abuse them. The question is what? Realistically, we can’t lock them up forever. We should be able to castrate them, but that’s not humane and as JB said, we’d have to be damn sure the guy is guilty AND I’m not sure that would solve the whole problem. There are still a lot of things someone like this could do to kids even minus his sex drive. And yes, we have to be humane because we’re a civilized society not barbarians out for revenge.

    Kimberley – I don’t think there are any islands available are there? There definitely isn’t an easy solution — one that really addresses the problem. Sure, if something happened to my child, I would feel like hunting the guy down myself and submitting him to some unskilled surgery. But, there has to be a less emotional response to people in our society who, for whatever reason, have these insurmountable issues.

    Anonymous – I don’t understand where they came up with that nominal sentence, either.

    JB – You know, not so long ago, people used to talk exactly this way about homosexuals. I absolutely realize there is no real parallel here because we’re talking consenting adults on one hand and people who exploit, abuse and destroy children on the other hand. I’m just saying that calling them freaks and asking for them to be wiped off the face of the earth isn’t very useful, especially if this is the way they were born. I wonder if it might not be more helpful to try and really understand these people in order that we can better find ways to protect our children from them. Because from what I can gather, there are frighteningly many people out there with pedo-sexual tendancies.

  16. I think you’re inviting bigger problems to start by taking the time to understand ‘them’. Don’t we already know in our collective hearts and minds what is right and wrong? Don’t we still instinctively feel that? If so, why are we so Hell-bent on always doubting what we feel?

    There are already cultures in which it is perfectly acceptable for grown men to marry children, so already what might be considered pedo-sexual by some cultures is accepted in others.

    However, if a society is built on and around certain moral guidelines, and those guidelines aren’t adhered to, and we continue to walk down that ‘we need to better understand those who don’t follow the clearly-worded-and-easy-to-use guidebook’ road, I believe that will lead to the continuing erosion of the existing ‘rules’ – rules that many still feel are worth keeping, I might add – and eventually, everyone’ll just throw up their hands, and let what happens happen. THEN, you’ll be able to add North American men to the list of those who are legally allowed to marry children.

    So – do we want to stop it, or understand it?
    If it is genetically coded, I, for one, would rather stop it/end it/eradicate it.

  17. JB – There are many otherwise rational people walking around right now who believe pedophilia is just an alternate lifestyle — not a moral problem. They believe that if we accept and support homosexuality, then we have to accept and support those with other sexual orientations. How the law deals with pedophiles seems to me to be sympathetic to that point of view. There are lobby groups slowly but surely promoting this view even further through various means like lobbying to lower the age of consent, redefining the term “child”. None of this is as outrageous as it seems on the surface. Childhood is being redefined all the time just because so-called children are living adult lifestyles. We clamour to have a 12-year-old who commits a heinous crime tried as an adult, yet that same 12-year-old is not legally able to consent to sex? There are plenty of 9, 10, 11 year-olds having sex, drinking, smoking, doing drugs, working as prostitutes, active in gangs, living and working on the streets. And in our suburbs there are plenty of young children who spend a good part of their day at home alone fending for themselves which is why they’re so vulnerable to internet stalkers. I’m not sure where I’m going with all this, except to say that we may think of pedophiles as slavering monsters that we can wipe out if we just put our minds to it, but they have organized themselves into very strong groups/associations, they have the ear and sympathies of important people, we, as a society have given them fodder for their arguments by the way we’ve eroded our children’s childhoods. I honestly, don’t think the time is far off when the age of consent takes another nosedive and it won’t be long until we are a society where men are allowed to marry what we currently consider to be children.

  18. Luc Pomerleau, a biologist with a 20-year “unblemished record” in government, said he was fired last week for “gross misconduct” and breaching security because he sent the document to his union. Mr. Pomerleau, who is a union steward, was also deemed “unreliable,” which means he no longer has the security clearance to do his job or work again in the public service.

    Well there is the answer to 1 question. If you want to know how to get fired from the silly service just send some info to the union. Molesting children is small potatoes compared to trying to protect your own and other workers jobs.

    Little Stevie once again shows his true colours.

  19. Bandobras – What exactly are we blaming Stevie for now? Being anti-union or being pro-pedophiles? Whatever it is I’m sure he deserves it.

  20. Well I was thinking anti union/ worker but hey who knows.

    Nah it couldn’t be that, he’s for family values and even shakes his kids hands when he sends them off to school.

  21. My prayers go out to that wee girl or boy that will live with what he has done to them for the rest of their lives.

    Other than that, all I can say is sick sick bastard.

  22. I just found out the other day that I live 2 streets over from this sick man. The best part….his house backs onto an elementary school playground one that my daughter attends! As part of his sentence he is not to go to a playground or be around kids. How does this make sense? How does the judge in this case look at himself everyday? I am so disgusted about this…all I want to do is help this family….they suffer in silence.