Need proof of that old adage "better late than never"? That's the way I'm looking at the arrest this week of accused child molester Jeffrey Reed Parrish. It's been 18 years since police in Santa Barbara, California say he took off as a fugitive from justice. Now he's been shipped from Guatemala to the United States to face a judge.
I think that deserves an AMEN! Don't you? This poor girl -- scratch that, the 4-year-old victim is a woman now -- has been waiting long enough for justice.
Parish was supposed to go to trial in 1994 for allegedly committing lewd acts on a child and oral copulation. At the time cops thought he might have molested other kids too, but this was one case they had enough to prosecute. And then he vanished. Into thin air.
Some might say, OK, well, now he's Guatemala's problem. I wouldn't even blame California taxpayers for heaving a sigh that they have to foot the bill for a trial when their state is in financial crisis.
But I'm just imagining what the disappearance was like for all the kids Parish allegedly molested. Here they thought he was finally going to face prosecution, and they could begin to heal from the nightmare, and a new nightmare began.
Try to think of this from the perspective of a child who is already feeling vulnerable. Not knowing where he was might actually have been worse than seeing him walking around. You never knew if he'd pop up and strike like the monsters in the closet only much, much worse.
Here's hoping a speedy trial ... for the sake of all those alleged victims out there. They shouldn't have to wait anymore.
What do you think they should do with Jeffrey Parish now?
Image via Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office