Western News

Let there be more arrests, punishment

The Sporting Edge

With Paul Reid

Thursday, February 15, 2018

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Less than a week after American doctor and osteopathic physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40-175 years for decades of molesting hundreds of young women, yet another male coach – a Jamaican – has been arrested and charged with sexual assault of one of his students.

According to reports, the 30-year-old male track and field coach is facing charges of abduction, indecent assault and rape.

In the United States, for the past few weeks, the case involving the 54-year-old Nassar in Michigan revealed heart-rending details of how this monster systematically abused young women and even children from as young as six years old, many of them world-class gymnasts who were Olympic medallists.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina allowed many of Nassar's victims the opportunity to address him during the sentencing phase, and it was painful to watch as dozens of women stepped up to face the man who had caused them so much pain and taken away their innocence when they were children.

Child sexual abuse has been the dirty little secret in high school sports in Jamaica for decades, when scores of children have been subjected to abuse by the adults who were entrusted to coach them and guide them through their awkward teenage years.

The rumours have been plentiful, and many claim to have "strong evidence" to help nab the perpetrators, but the arrests have been few in comparison to the reports.

Word on the grapevine is that several coaches have been separated from their jobs because they could not control themselves, and their indiscretions were uncovered by those in authority.

But this is the problem: too many times coaches and teachers have been caught committing serious breaches, whether for sexual abuse, physical abuse of children or even supplying illegal drugs, but they have not been sufficiently punished.

Instead, schools have simply chosen to fire these perverts, who then move on to the next school to commit their dastardly acts on another set of children.

This kind of behaviour makes these principals and school boards, when they are involved in such dismissals, complicit with immoral and illegal behaviour as they seek to wash their hands of that particular problem.

In most cases, the police are not called in, as the school principals or the boards don't wish to get involved in an arrest and court case that could take some time to be resolved, and could drag the good names of their schools into the media. Kudos therefore to those who called the police in the latest sordid affair.

It is time that legislation be put in place and a child offender list be set up to ensure that these individuals cannot work in the school system or have anything to do with children, as they would have a red flag of caution against their names.

Children must be allowed to be children and enjoy their innocence without maladjusted individuals ruining their lives.




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