A Pennsylvania man and already convicted felon was re-arrested on Monday for abducting and raping an 18-year-old student from Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) at gunpoint ... allegedly because he wanted to go back to prison.
The accused kidnapper and rapist Clarence Shaffer said the attack was "completely random." He's been charged with six felonies and is in prison on $2 million bail. What's most terrifying is that Shaffer isn't denying anything. And according to the local news, he said after the attack, "I am going home" (which they took to mean back to prison!). Chilling, isn't it? Although I don't know what's more frightening, that he did it on purpose to go back to prison or that it really was completely random.
The details of the crime are horrifying. Shaffer abducted the woman from a campus parking lot and forced her into the passenger seat of her own car. According to police, he drove to a pier and then forced her at gunpoint into the woods. He tried to choke her before sexually assaulting her.
He then reportedly put the gun down and when the alleged victim tried to escape, Shaffer picked it back up and said, "I could kill you now." He then fled. Holy sh*t.
My heart goes out to this poor young woman whose life has been so tragically, horribly altered forever. To suffer that kind of brutal attack and live is a miracle, but her emotional and physical wounds will take a long time to recover from. But what else is horrible is Shaffer's possible motivation for the attack. He wanted to go "home." To prison.
We seriously need to do better as a society if we're going to give people prison sentences for their crimes and then release them back into the world without any rehabilitation or plan for living out in the world again. This man clearly wasn't ready to be back in society, and his solution was to be arrested and jailed again. For a violent, brutal attack on a woman. Why couldn't he just steal a car or rob a bank? It's tragic and I can't help but wonder if it could have been avoided if we'd had some kind of safety net for people like Shaffer.
I don't feel sorry for him. But I do wish our prison system had done better and not let a man like him out to torture and assault women.
Do you think that our prison system needs to do more to support inmates once they're released?
Image via derekskey/Flickr