Do you have a barf bucket handy? Good. You're going to need it. A judge has apparently over-turned a 60-year-old man's conviction for sexually abusing a child. The reason? The 11-year-old victim says she's in love with her abuser!
Have you ever heard of anything so disturbing?
She's 11! He's 60! That's not love. That's abuse. Period!
The man and the young girl were found in bed together, which is how the geriatric ended up in an Italian courtroom. He was originally sentenced to five years in jail, but according to the BBC, that was "annulled" when the court determined what the two have is actually a "romantic relationship."
Forgive me, but I took French in college. Do those words mean something different in Italian or something? In English, "romantic relationship" indicates there's actual love and caring involved.
When a 60-year-old man is having sexual relations with an 11-year-old girl, there's no love, and there's certainly no caring. That's a man taking advantage of a young girl at an extremely vulnerable stage of development. In many states here on this side of the pond, an 11-year-old can't even be left home alone for an extended period of time. She can't legally drive or drink. And we're supposed to believe that she's made up her mind about LOVE and sex?
I think what's most troubling here isn't the way the girl thinks -- that is very common with abuse victims. They are convinced by their abuser that this is love and natural because that's what abusers DO to young children.
What's troubling is the adults in the court who are abdicating their responsibilities to stick up for this child, to get her out of this so-called "relationship" and into therapy where she can learn what love really is, and hopefully have some semblance of a normal life down the road.
When you take a job as a judge, you have to make hard decisions, but you are putting yourself out there as a paragon of virtue and as someone strong enough to stand up for the little people, the people who are being wronged. You present yourself as someone capable of making the hard choices.
I tend to believe that most people deserve a second chance in life, but there's little excuse for a judge who lets a pedophile get away with hurting a child. This judge should be kicked off the bench, immediately, and the pedophile returned to jail.
What do you think? Who is right here?
Image via J. Elliott/Flickr