Monday, October 24, 2005

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CEO was Wrong to Side with Rapist in Child Custody Dispute, Group Says

KENSINGTON, Md., Oct. 24  -- In a stunning turn of events, the head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was quoted last week taking the side of a convicted rapist in a child custody battle playing out in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania. Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC, appeared on ABC News and said this about keeping a convicted rapist of teenagers away from his own child: "If we create an environment in which someone convicted of a sexual offense effectively cannot live in society in a normal way, what we're doing is forcing them out.
 
We may even be increasing the likelihood of their re-offense."

Michael Paranzino, president of the anti-crime group Throw Away The Key, reacted with shock and outrage to Allen's remarks. "We've all said boneheaded things we regret, but this is not just silly, it is dangerous," Paranzino said. "If Ernie Allen were right, then Megan's Law would have to go, child molester buffer zones around schools and playgrounds would have to go, GPS tracking of sex offenders would have to go, and lifetime probation for sex offenders would have to go. Fortunately, in this case, Ernie Allen is dead wrong."

 

 

The case that led to Allen's unfortunate remarks concerns convicted rapist DaiShin WolfHawk, 53, who was known as John Joseph Lentini when he pleaded guilty to rape, attempted rape, sodomy and attempted sodomy of two teen-agers in the 1980s. In addition, according to the Associated Press, New York state parole records indicate he sodomized his own daughter, a charge WolfHawk denies. His wife recently had a baby, and Schuylkill County Children and Youth Services in Pennsylvania has taken custody of the baby. The ACLU is representing the mother of the baby, who currently does not have custody of her other two children either.

 

 

"There is no evidence that treating rapists and child molesters with the tough measures they deserve in any way leads to their astronomical reoffense rates," Paranzino added. "In fact, it is because their reoffense rates are so high that tough measures need to be taken."

NCMEC is a leading organization in the field of child protection, and received more than $30 million in taxpayer funds last year.

 

Video and text of Allen's quote is available here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=1222311. To learn more about the nonpartisan, nonprofit Throw Away The Key, visit their Web site at http://www.throwawaythekey.org.

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