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I hate people. -- And also, did you see this on the news yet? [Sep. 22nd, 2007|07:05 am]
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[mood |bitchybitchy]
[music |Running On Empty - Jackson Browne]

Seems to me this should be getting more press then it is...


DETROIT (AP) - An assistant U.S. attorney from Florida was arrested in an Internet sting operation after flying to Michigan to have sex with a 5-year-old girl, authorities said Monday.
John D.R. Atchison, 53, was arrested Sunday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after several weeks of Internet conversations between the prosecutor and a detective posing as the mother of a 5-year-old girl, authorities say.

"There wasn't much reaction from him at all," Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said. Atchison was cooperative with authorities, he said.

He was charged with using interstate communication to entice a minor to have sexual contact and traveling across state lines with the intent of engaging in illicit sexual contact. If convicted of both charges, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

According to court records, Atchison initiated an online chat Aug. 29 with an undercover officer posing as a mother interested in letting men have sex with her daughter.

At one point, Atchison said: "I'm always gentle and loving; not to worry; no damage ever; no rough stuff ever ever," according to an affidavit filed in court.

Atchison, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., is a prosecutor for the U.S. attorney's office for northern Florida, based in Tallahassee. He requested a court-appointed lawyer at his hearing Monday.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

My question to you... how should this bastard be punished? Feel free not to mince words.

I have a few ideas but I'd like to hear yours too.


And because I try not to make all of my entry horrific at any given time, here's some happy Ukrainian Eurovision dancing.

[User Picture]From: maudelynn
2007-09-22 05:29 pm (UTC)
It is called criminal intent.
Intent to commit a crime when he crossed state lines in order to commit a crime.

if i buy baby powder, thinking it is cocaine, i will still be charged. period.

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[User Picture]From: smadaf
2007-09-22 05:33 pm (UTC)
If I have criminal intent to blow up a building, you show what building I intended to blow up.  When it turns out the building was only in my imagination, you say "Oh, well.&nbps; Poor crazy person.  Never mind."

The intent is to commit a crime that requires a victim.  The victim doesn't exist.

Waste of money that could've been spent more effectively catching real people who are aiming themselves at real kids.  A gross injustice to divert money from the real kids to the imaginary ones.  Plain sickening.
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[User Picture]From: maudelynn
2007-09-22 05:39 pm (UTC)
i agree that there needs to be more money on this but your example has a few flaws.

there was a real person doing the talking... she/he just wasn't 5 years old. Your example would be a different thing all together. This case would be more like if you were to think you were intending to blow up a real building that turned out to be a card board building that did not have people in it inside.

They aren't charging him with child rape.
You would not be charged with blowing up a building

So we should have waited until this man raped and permanently damaged a real 5 year old until something was done?
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[User Picture]From: smadaf
2007-09-22 05:49 pm (UTC)
The problem is that the victim of this crime can only be a victim if, in fact, she was either below the age of consent or an unwilling participant.  Here, the person was neither.

And, no, we would not have waited for him to damage a real five-year-old.  Instead, we would not have egged him on, and we would have spent our resources stopping people who were about to do something to real five-year-olds.

It's all fine and good to talk about preventing crimes that may end up happening.  But we have to draw the line somewhere.  For example, we don't cut out everybody's tongue just because he might one day use it for criminal speech inciting violence.  I simply propose that the line be drawn at reality: real victims.  This is where we draw the line in most areas of law.

And, yes, I understand I wouldn't be charged with blowing up a building.  I'd be charged with intending to blow up a building.  Then they'd find out the building didn't even exist, and neither would the charge.  Here, they're charging him with an intention.  When we go so far as to prosecute people for their intentions, rather than their actions, (in conspiracy to commit murder, for example), courts usually require that the state state specifically who the victim would have been (e.g., the person against whom the potential murderers were conspiring).

This isn't about questioning the motives of people who employ, or support, this attempt to reduce child abuse.  It's about questioning the effectiveness and the justice of it.
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[User Picture]From: maudelynn
2007-09-22 05:53 pm (UTC)
and in this case wouldn't the say it was the person who was lying about their age?
it is a grey area, to be sure, and it needs work.

I have no doubt that this man would have found another 'victim' had he not been caught this way. It is not a perfect system, or way obviously, but I will not lose any sleep about his arrest and incarceration at all.

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[User Picture]From: smadaf
2007-09-22 06:05 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure about your first paragraph.  I just don't understand it.  Can you reword, explain, please?

To your second paragraph:  this is a difference between us.  You have no doubts about predicting the future of a single individual, whom, I assume, you've never met and not read that many words—which I find an impressive stance, to say the least.

I cannot condone giving our future-predicting resources first to dealing with imaginary children and only second to dealing with real ones.  In these stings, that is what's happening.

I seriously would be happier if our society took all the resources used in these stings and instead put them into dealing with people who go after real children, and people who actually have done things to real children, and to educating real children and ... just real everybody ... about how to watch out for this stuff ahead of time, how to do one's best to avoid it, and how to deal with it if these horrific situations come along.

Sometimes I wonder how much better children would be in dealing with potential sexual abusers if (1) the kids were well taught about dealing with potentially abusive people and (2) the kids were taught about sex.

When someone is doing things to you that feel uncomfortable, isn't it easier to deal with those actions if you at least have a clue what's going on, as opposed to just thinking "What's happening to me?  I don't like this!  I don't understand!"

Not that this is directly related; but it's something else about this topic that just disgusts me.  I have a cousin who, starting when she was about 3, was repeatedly penetrated by the son (about 13, I think) of her babysitter.  Years later, when these events had long since stopped and those involved had dealt with the justice system, my cousin asked her mother what sex was.  My aunt's answer?  That it was what that boy had done to her.  Now, yes, technically, when he put his penis in her vagina, it was sex (among other things).  But I'm just disgusted that my aunt chose to define sex for her daughter, the first time she ever asked about it, as (1) something that you do to someone else, and (2) something that 13-year-olds do to 3-year-olds.  What a great way to start your kid's sex education, eh?  And she left it at that!
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2007-09-23 01:07 am (UTC)
I know I'm jumping in mid debate here.. but comparing cutting out peoples tongues to prevent them from saying something we don't like is different then arresting a man who flew to another state to rape what he thought ws a very existant five year old who he wanted to be "gentle" with..
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2007-09-23 12:57 am (UTC)
You don't think he would have attacked a "real girl" given the opportunity? Or bought her from her Mother?

You don't think he all ready has?
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[User Picture]From: smadaf
2007-09-22 05:35 pm (UTC)
Similarly, if you're charged with (worse, convicted of) buying nonexistent cocaine, I'd call that stupid and an unjust use of the government's anti-cocaine resources.
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[User Picture]From: maudelynn
2007-09-22 05:41 pm (UTC)
i would not be charged with buying, only the intent to buy.

my mother was arrested when i was 11 for having a green leafy substance in her home...
it was oregano but they had to "test" it.

believe me, i don't always agree with the law but i believe protecting children deserves extra vilgilance
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[User Picture]From: smadaf
2007-09-22 05:51 pm (UTC)
Exactly.  Again.  Intent to buy something that didn't exist in the first place.  Imaginary drugs, imaginary girl, imaginary crime.  Meanwhile, the real drugs are being bought, and the real children are being abused, by the real criminals.  This is what sickens me.

I understand that the motive behind these methods is essentially the same.  But, in my view, one method is just unconscionably unfair and wasteful.
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[User Picture]From: smadaf
2007-09-22 05:52 pm (UTC)
Unfair not just to the people arrested and charged, but to the real victims of the real criminals.
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[User Picture]From: maudelynn
2007-09-22 05:54 pm (UTC)
So you do not think he is a criminal at all?
Or is it the semantics you disagree with?

(and i ask that with respect, which is hard to tell on a comp screen)
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2007-09-23 01:10 am (UTC)
Don't you think that the same kind of person who would respond to these sting operations is the same kind of person who would seek out other children to injure?
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2007-09-23 01:03 am (UTC)
Oh my Lord!! Seriously!? What happened with that? I mean.. flipping oregano?

And I agree with you. If 1 third of what they spent on drug enforcement went to protecting children I would be much happier.
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