Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Perpetrator of child sexual abuse walks free from court

Gina Owen, who pled guilty to two counts of 'causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity' was sentenced only to a two-year conditional discharge, ordered to pay £500 compensation to the victim and placed on the  sexual offenders registry for only 2 years. The judge's summation claimed that:

"community order could put you in the path of abuse, and all of the courses run for sexual offenders are only available to men."

Whilst we understand the constraints of the justice system in dealing with transgender criminals, we share the concerns of Kidscape and the NSPCC that this sentence does not reflect the severity of the crime. Two counts of child sexual abuse should have resulted in a jail sentence, being placed on the sexual offenders list for an extended period of time and attending the course to prevent reoffending. Certainly Owen's statement on leaving court do not speak of an offender who understands the severity of their crime:

"I am free - that is all there is to it. I was slaughtered by the press before all the facts were known and was treated appallingly.

"I am not going to say anymore as me and my family have been through enough. I am free and I have walked out of court - what does that tell you?

"The judge set me free. That's the end of it and I will now move on."

As Claude Knight of Kidscape says: 

There is no sign of remorse and no indication that either the requirement to sign the sex offender's register for two years or the £500 compensation to the victim were seen as robust deterrents.

We need to ask what message this sends out to others who prey on children and sexually abuse them.

This sentence is unduly lenient and worsened by a perpetrator who shows no remorse for their crime. This is simply a travesty for both the victim and for justice.

 

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