Toddler Raped, But Her Attackers Shouldn't Be Punished

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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