Erik van Mechelen

December 16, 2021

Are We Invested Enough in Our Children's Future? - Public Hearing Today, Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission

Stories like this one, which reveal a producer from a well known international media company "fantasizing about molesting his fiancés daughter," rightfully make most people recoil in disgust. It may pain one to hear that Bonanni, herself a victim at age 13, brought evidence to the Washington TWP Police Department in South Jersey and three other agencies, but "was not taken seriously" despite a child, her own, being involved. When there is no accountability, is it any wonder Bonanni decided to break the story with Project Veritas, an organization which has a track record reliably protecting whistleblowers?

This doesn’t only happen at CNN nor only in New Jersey, but much closer to home…

This morning a local news station reported on the Midwest storm before proceeding into updates on first the Kim Potter case, then the Derek Chauvin federal plea deal in a civil case, and finally to reporting that two teenagers, Halle Kennedy of Anoka and Izaich Mardis of Roseville, were missing.

This moment appeared to present a window of opportunity to report on today's Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission (MSGC) public hearing to reconsider incarceration for convicted criminals of child sexual abuse or possession and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery and related crimes. Instead it seems that on the table is to offer more of these convicted criminals probation.

43 years ago, in 1978, the Minnesota legislature arguably abdicated its responsibility to this committee. Today, is the lack of accountability for convicted criminals somehow incentivizing or making possible more criminal activity? Does releasing on probation more than 85 percent of convicted criminals for crimes related to sexual abuse imagery make our children safer? Isn't it in everyone's interest, regardless of whether you have children or not, to create environments that reduce predatory activity and help our children grow and thrive?

In 2008 USA Today posted a picture of computer IP addresses the feds knew were accessing child porn. There were 7,000 in Minnesota... in 2008.

In the last five years there were 427 convictions for possession of child sexual abuse imagery in Minnesota. Among those held accountable (likely only a fraction of the total offenders), about 90% of them got probation only.

This issue is more than troublesome but can and should be remedied on multiple fronts. If you are interested in holding accountable the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, tune into today's and future monthly meetings here. Today's meeting will review these proposed amendments.

Together we can and should learn more about how our government is—or isn't—working on improving in this area for which Minnesota is among the softest in terms of sentencing.


For further general reading on this issue:

'Minor attracted persons' - a concept being discuss on college campuses surrounding books like A Long, Dark Shadow

It's Perfectly Normal - a book available in school libraries and used in the Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) curriculum promoted by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) and Planned Parenthood.


For more writing from Erik: 

Independent Book Reviews

Midwest Citizen Journalism

Personal Blog