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

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Naanpie Naanpie

They have been exposed but i agree they need to be punished and educated. I knew someone dear to me who a similar thing happened. She was i believe 5 or 6 when it started until about 7 and he was about 7. When she told him she didn't like it and her parents were moving he told her he hated her and she couldn't be his girlfriend anymore (as if). All the while she begged him to stop and told him he was hurting her, he didn't care. When he was caught sodomizing he as well, his mother told her that it was her fault. She is like 30 now and still has issues from that. I hope they help her as well this young girl.

Naanpie Naanpie

sodomizing her*

nonmember avatar Margaret

Definitely punished, and they need serious psychological help. 7 and 9 is young, but not so young that they didn't know what they were doing. This was not "playing doctor" like kids might do with their peers, this was a baby and they knew she couldn't fight back. These kids are obviously very troubled and if they don't get help now God knows what they will end up like as teenagers and adults. And mom probably should not have left the baby with these kids unsupervised (although I am sure there is no way she could have imagined what would happen). Probably these kids were abused themselves, giving them the idea, but that is just the point- the abused become abusers and the fact that they are starting so young is not good. I hope they get punishment and also the help they need. I also hope that there is not some crazy overeaction such as labeling them sex offenders- that i believe is going too far. Unless, and i mean UNLESS counseling does not seem to work and they are likely to reoffend, at that age it would be an unfair label to pin to them.

Betty... BettyBookWorm

I think the boys should be punished AND treated.


I think they knew what they did was wrong, but they need therapy to uncover WHY they did it and prevent it from happening again.

William Carl Meyers

Those of you who say they should be punished and treated, if they were punished, the punishment would be psychological treatment, so its not like it isnt already going to happen.

nonmember avatar Kitty

Its pretty fucking sad that people would excuse behavior due to someone's age. Just because you were sexually abused does not mean you rape other children. I was sexually abused as a child and i dont run around raping children or other people! People need to stop making excuses for other people's damn actions. No wonder American society is going to shit!

nonmember avatar Mat Baker

All the people suggesting these boys should be punished...

How should they be punished, exactly? How do you punish a seven year old boy for doing something that no seven year old boy should even be aware of?

Any why should they be punished? What is the purpose of it?

Roseg... Rosegirl7

These boys should be punished and treated. Their punishment should be community service in an animal shelter cleaning out the pens or picking up trash in public places under supervision and not for just a few months either. They should have deeply serious mandated lessons on "self control" and respect for others. It also should be mandated that they attend Sunday School and Church every single Sunday for at least two years or more. The parents should also be investigated... Help should be given to the little innocent baby who suffered this horrible attack as well as her brother and parents. I also think the parents of the boys should be given a hefty fine and the proceeds go to the victim. Somewhere along the way they missed or caused something to go awry..

nonmember avatar momof3

Where were the parents when all this was happening? Maybe 7 and 9 yr olds are big to leave the parents site, but a 2 yr old? My 2 yr old is never out of my site. Even in her own room im constantly checking on her. When my son has playmates over she is by my side because sadly you just never know. I was 5 when a neighbor of mine wated to play "mommie & daddy" he was the same age as me & trying to have sex. Luckily his parents checked on us. You just never know :(

LauraLee Wiz

Supervison. Activities for the children. School. Church. Chores. Responsibilites. parenting models roles.


do the children have both parents? does the family live on low-income? how is the neighbor? are there many friends for the children to interact with?  is there alot of tv?  etc etc etc  Punishment is not truly the answer, it just makes it worse if all what I have stated above is not working for them.  What they need is to be educated, work with them, let them know what  is out there to keep their minds going in the right way, and also educate the parents.

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