The recent sentencing of a Florida man might have some people questioning how the state determines the length of sentences in sex crime cases. This is especially true when you consider that the 68-year-old man was sentenced to 165 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. It comes in the wake of what some might call a controversial trial that accused the elderly man of travelling to other countries to engage in sexual activities with minors.
Before the accusations came out against the 68-year-old man he worked as an international humanitarian. When abroad, he worked and stayed at a center for impoverished children in Haiti from 1995 until his arrest in May 2011. Sixteen Haitian victims testified against the man in court however, accusing him of forcing them to engage in sexual acts "in order to receive food, remain at the center and/or continue to receive school tuition payments."
On top of these accusations came testimony from four other witnesses who claimed that they were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the 68-year-old man in London. They accused him of traveling to meet them and engaged in the abuse in the 1970s. Reports indicate however that he had been charged with the sexual abuse of children in London but was eventually acquitted of the charges.
But while some people in Florida are happy with the court’s decision, there are others who may feel that the punishment is quite harsh for a 68-year-old man. As we’ve asked in some past cases, is a 165-year sentence really necessary for a person of that age? Reports do not indicate if the man is eligible for parole, which means he could spend the remainder of his life in prison before making it to his supervised release. A question we leave with our readers is: do you think the punishment was right for this man’s situation?
Source: The Livingston Daily, "Court Docket: Former Brighton man sentenced to 165 years," Aug. 1, 2013