Toddler Raped, But Her Attackers Shouldn't Be Punished


sad teddy bearA toddler was raped, but as horrific as the thought is, those who raped her shouldn't be punished. You see, her attackers were just boys -- 7- and 9-year-old boys who shouldn't even know what rape is. Someone is to blame, but it's not them.

It happened in Memphis this past summer. The 2-year-old victim's brother, 5, saw it occurring and told his mom. Thank goodness he did. While the boys first blamed each other, they later admitted to the crime.

The boys are due in court today where prosecutors are recommending they be removed from their families' homes and placed in state custody for treatment, not punishment. They want to determine what these boys have been exposed to that would make them do this to another child. James Sanders, the attorney defending the 9-year-old boy, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

What happened to this victim is horrible, nobody is minimizing that. But my client has a lot of problems and needs some immediate help. Somebody's got to rescue this kid.

Someone has to rescue them all.

This is one of those stories that I recount through tears, because it's so awful and so unimaginable that such vile, evil things can happen to innocent children. And really, at this point, all three should still be innocent. Something has to be very, very wrong in one's life for a mind that young to be infected like this.

But as much as I don't want to blame these boys because of their age, where do we draw a line? Is there really an age at which one suddenly should be able to account for his tragic background, overcome what he's been exposed to, and now be able to stand up and do the right thing? Yes, we have to expect that, but we also have to expect that some won't be able to. It doesn't in any way make what the victim suffered any less horrifying or their actions justifiable in the least, it just make the whole situation more tragic.

Do you think these boys should be punished?

Image via davedehetre/Flickr

crime, in the news, toddler health, safety


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bsawy... bsawyer84

They need to be punished as well as treated. Punished so they learn this is not the way we behave in civilized society, and treated so they know why we don't live this way as well.

dodeem dodeem

I think these boys parents should be punished! Where did these boys learn this from? I dont know the age in which there should be a line... I also agree that the boys need help, fast!

nonmember avatar Jlbaac

As you stated this is absolutely horrifick. I myself am a child abuse survivor, but never once thought that the actions bestowed on me where okay to do to anyone else. As s mother to twin five year olds and a seven year old, I am so apauled that anyone could put their children in an environment tgat made them think this behavior is okay! I bkame the parents 1000% and pray that the boys get help and that the victim and her brother do as well!

Jamie Metzger-Maxaner

I feel that if the boys new enough to try and blame each other then they know what they did was wrong and that they should have never done it in the first place. They should most definitly be punished...but while they are being punished for the horrid things they did to this poor child they should also be evaluated and treated, while their familys are as well investigated and punished in there is need to be done!

Stacy Schofill

Punishment is just as well as treatment. Of course society will jump to blame the parents which may not be the case. You hear all the time about kids having sex at these young ages & let's not forget what they teach each other while in school. Maybe these kids learned this from a schoolmate. Don't just jump to conclusions. Hell, in my apartment complex we have an 11 y/o & 12 y/o girl who've been caught by management giving boys their age B.J.s! So again, don't jump on the parents until you know the full story. Sorry folks but kids today are seriously screwed up.

nonmember avatar Jennie

I agree with the first two commenters. Punished as well as treated. It will be VERY sad if it's determined they were sexually abused themselves. However, an act like this still warrants some kind of punishment right away to make sure they understand it is NOT ok to do it to another person. Also, the article mentions they initially blamed each other. That would indicate they knew on some level this act was not acceptable. Very, very sad for all of them really.

NookB... NookBoookMom

wow! they knew what they were doing they should be punished!

Shelly Frederick Grigoroff

This is a very delicate situation. These boys have been exposed to something due to their parents' lack of attention. They have been exposed to something they really shouldn't have been watching on television or seen it occuring under their own roofs. Investigate the parents, take the children away to live with other family members who are capable of raising respectful and decent human beings. This is sad. The actions are the boys fault because we all know this is a very bad thing to do. The thought of doing something like this is the fault of the parents. They neglected in some way to shelter these kids from this horrendous and disgusting act. That is the job as a parent. Raising kids is tough but these parents should have known better than to expose these kids to sex at such an early age. Who's watching these kids? Who's making sure they are doing age appropriate things? That is the sad state of America. TV, radio, and even parents think kidlets should grow up way too fast. Kids get exposed to way too much. This is sad to me. I have two boys ages 7 and 9. They don't even know what sex is. I'd like to keep it that way until the appropriate time. I am sad for these little boys and for that poor little angel who had to endure this. I am not, however, sad for the parents.

Theresa Young

I think a punishment and treatment is needed for these boys. Although they may be too young to realize that this is wrong, it can't feel right to them either. Obviously they knew it was wrong since they blamed eachother at first. I am deciding if it's time to tell my child about the birds and the bees even at her young age of 5 years old. Obviously I won't tell her all the details but just a general knowledge since I am so scared of turning my back for a minute and someone at school, church or even in our own backyard may be abusing her. My heart goes out to the parent of the toddler. How must she be feeling right now? Does she want hard criminal punishment for these boys or does she just feel sorry for them?  It's definitly some mixed emtions here. Whatever does happen I just pray that other families will learn from this. What if her brother didn't tell on the boys? What if seeing this her brother thought it was okay to do this to his sister and started to do this as well? There could be many more worse ways this could have went down. I would give that brother the "World's Best Brother" award if there was one. He deserves it.

afjen... afjenn480

This is just too awful! I agree with the above comment that if the boys were trying to blame each other, then they knew it was wrong...there should be some sort of punishment, but these boys definitely need help!

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