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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theun... theundertaker

the answer is YES. kids are getting violent YOUNGER AND YOUNGER and they KNOW that NOBODY can touch them.not the parent not cops and not the court system. if they tried this kid what going to happen. time in juvie hall is the MOST this kid will get. that's summer camp to these kids especially to those who rather be anywhere but home. I agree with lowsawyer comment. What we need to do is start trying these kids as adult at ALOT YOUNGER age. teach them that there is consequencesto your actions. right now there arnt any consequences for these children if your under 18 you can do whatever you want whenever you want and not worry and kids know it. DROP THE AGE TO BE TRIED AS AN ADULT TO 12. In a case like this murder or a capital crime drop it even lower. these kids know right from wrong. they just don't care and they know nothing going to to happen.NO I AM NOT SAYING SEND 12 YEAR OLDS TO THE CHAIR BUT I AM talking about STIFFER PENILTIES to teach these kids that they are NOT above the law. You probibly arnt going to to get to the older ones but the YOUNGER ones might change there mind about there path if there best friend is send to jail for 15 to 30 years

nonmember avatar Faith Brennan

As for the two boys blaming each other, they may have not known at the time it was wrong. Think about it. The mom was told by her son what was happening. How do you think she reacted? I myself am 15 years old, and if someone else's parent is angrily asking if I did something, my first instinct is to deny it.

nonmember avatar Neko

Treatment AND punishment

Karen Summers

My friend was raped by someone her own age when she was 7. It's tragic, but child on child abuse does happen. It's good the 5 year old witness was believed and help was sought or this may have gone unnoticed and caused more psychological harm to all the kids involved. These boys need serious therapy if they are going to grow up to be remotely decent citizens. Rehabilitation is the best thing for them, but I think a short sentence in juvie wouldn't hurt either. They need to know they can not get away with deliberately hurting other people like that. My heart goes out to that poor toddler.

nonmember avatar Jamie Sedlmayer

give me a break, yes they should be punished. Damn bleeding heart liberals need to sit back and look at this as if it were your baby being raped. Raped by anyone that person pays. A boy can become reproductive at the age of 12... 12 years old is just right around the corner from 7 and 9. This is sick and just another story poorly written by another hack on cafemom. What a joke and a disgusting display of writing.

Crystal-Adair Farmer

Those boys knew what they had done was wrong, or else they wouldn't have tried to blame each other first! Kids aren't as stupid as some grown ups would like to believe. And sometimes a child can be just really evil. Naturally. Can come from the most loving and providing home, but it doesn't matter cause some are just born that way.

Linda Carter

They knew what they were doing was wrong.  I am sure the little one cried from pain.  The boys need treatment and consequences.  And I also wonder what they have been exposed to that would allow them to think this type of behavior is alright.


Tree Ethington

There has to be "consequences" but in line with the age of those involved. I wouldn't be real quick to blame the parents. These days look at what our kids are exposed to. Over 200 channels, 24 hour internet, phones with everything, who knows why this happened and it's horrific, but the next things that happen could have a forever impact on all involved. Some serious discussions need to happen with the kids and the parents of course, but going crazy on the boys will harm everyone and not add anything good to this mess. They do need to come out of this at the other end thinking their bodies are special, not weapons, not nasty and gross, but private and with normal feelings. I suspect one of the kids saw something or felt something, by himself or via another person and led the younger one to this act. Just my feelings. I do hope all the parents here have some real decent friends. I can't imagine how awful they must all feel.. particularly the baby's family.. but also the boys. Kindness...

nonmember avatar flame forjustic

YES,they should be punished. They lied/denied/blamed each to covered up their horrible and wrong behavior.

Sharon Gallup

not only should these young boys be punished but also the parents and caregivers that put this toddler in harms way. These boys didn't learn this method on their own. someone taught not to respect their own bodies but that of other people. These boys knew it was wrong in the first place. No slap on the hand would be enough. A dam good whipping , counsilling isn't enough.

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