I've always had an extra dose of respect for the people who turn criminals into the police. It's the right thing to do, but that doesn't mean it's easily done. Take the mom accused of selling her teenage daughter off to a pedophile as debt relief.
The mother, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of her now 15-year-old daughter, is accused of arranging for 44-year-old Bejarni Rivas to have sex with the child. According to cops, each rape (because that's exactly what it was) would knock $100 off mom's $5,000 debt.
It took the girl going to a relative, and the relative turning the mother and Rivas in, for this horror to stop. The girl is safe, and Rivas is facing 13 charges for the alleged rape of this child. The mom faces 11 charges for trading her child for debt reduction. The charges range from second-degree rape to human trafficking.
Turning these people in was the right thing to do. It was the only thing to do.
But in reality, not everyone would have done it. There's a code among certain families, whereby relatives look the other way when even the worst crimes are going on because "hey, it's family." People have a sick way of justifying not reporting crimes. There's a sense that as long as they don't get involved directly, they're not doing anything wrong.
It takes a strong person to stand up and turn in any criminal but an even stronger one to turn in a family member. They risk not only the retribution that any criminal might exact, but also anger and recrimination from within their own family.
But in the end, their reward is one that's unmatched. A child is safe from the pedophile who raped her and from the mother who allegedly let it happen. And all because someone was brave enough to speak up.
Have you had to turn in someone to the police? What happened?
Image via Montgomery County Police