For the past five years, I can’t remember a month that went by without hearing about one or more teachers that were charged with sexual abuse or rape concerning students. Contrary to what a lot of locals think, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area is far from being a large metropolitan area compared to others and if the sexual misconduct of teachers is rampant here, how much more so in those other larger areas?
From the number of occurrences to be happening on a regular basis, I can’t help but think that the penalty for violating a child placed in your care is not nearly severe enough to deter others from trying the same thing. Case in point is the latest of many in our local area.
Thirty-four year old Kenneth Owens has just pleaded guilty to one of several charges of having sexual relations with a 14 year old girl and now he is also facing charges for the same thing with a 16 year old girl. All in all, Owens is facing charges in Grant, Boone, Kenton and Rowan counties. His charges range from rape to sodomy and sexual abuse with a minor.
When Owens pleaded guilty Monday to rape, sodomy and sexual abuse with a female under 16, the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorney’s Office said that they agreed to a 10 year sentence. He will be sentenced this week for his crimes in Grant County and on March 25 for his crimes in Kenton County, but officials are saying that his sentences will run at the same time. Then Rob Sanders, the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorney said that Owens will most likely be paroled much earlier than what he is sentenced to.
This is what infuriates me with our judicial system. To begin with, I believe the crimes of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of a minor under 16 should carry a much longer sentence than just 10 years. Then I believe that each sentence received in the different counties should run consecutively instead of concurrently. Lastly, I’m not a supporter of parole to begin with as I’ve seen or read about far too many people who have been victimized by someone out on parole.
If it were left up to me, and many people are probably glad it isn’t, I would sentence Owens and others like him to a minimum of 25 years in prison in each county with the sentences to run consecutively. That means that Owens would have to serve a total minimum of 75 years before being eligible for parole. Since he is 34 now, that would make him 109 years old upon parole at which time I doubt if he would be a threat to any other young person.
If this happened more often, we might have fewer teachers taking unfair advantage of our children and grandchildren. But as long as these sexual predators are only given slaps on the wrist and turned loose in a couple of years to continue their perverted ways, we’ll continue to read or hear about them at least once a month or more.
I’m curious, how would you sentence teachers, male and female like Owens who sexually prey on our children that we entrust to their care?