I might sound crass. I might sound unsympathetic. I might sound tired, or bored. I assure you I'm not, certainly not towards the victim. I just have to keep wondering how things like this are allowed to happen, over and over. The story plays like a broken record. A thirty-three year old man is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl. Louis McRae was a youth program coordinator at Joseph Brant Senior Public School in Toronto. He ran, or co-ran or whatever, the after school program. After school programs, as you may or may not know, are designed to keep youth out of trouble after school hours. As a result, predators flock to them. Especially predators with sexual assault records. And, true to form, in 2008-2009 McRae was charged with sexual exploitation and two counts of assault. Most likely involving a minor or someone significantly younger than himself, but details are unavailable.
Since Louis signed a peace bond, the case was closed. And since the case was closed, I guess that makes it all well and good for him to be hired on at a school and help run an after school program where he'd have access to vulnerable children. He found one, befriended her and built a relationship of trust, which he then violated without hesitation. Two counts of sexual interference and one count of invitation to sexual touching. Do these charges sound vague? Let me clear them up. Section 151 of the Canadian Criminal Code defines Sexual Interference: "If you are under 16 years old, it is a criminal offence for someone to touch your body for a sexual purpose with a part of their body or any object, directly or indirectly." From this definition, we know that the victim is a minor, and we know that McRae touched her. For sexual purpose. Already he should be fucking shot.
Section 152 of the Canadian Criminal Code defines Invitation To Sexual Touching:
"If you are under 16 years old, it is a criminal offence for someone to invite, counsel or incite you to touch, directly or indirectly, their body, the body of someone else or your own body, for a sexual purpose (with a part of your body or any object)." This one is self-explanatory, I think, especially in conjunction with the previous charge.
So, this pervert with a history of sexual assault and exploitation is allowed to get a school job with apparent unfettered access to youth and what does he do? No doy, he abuses them. Why the fucking FUCK do school boards let anyone with a criminal record near children, whether the case was closed or not? It defies logic! He was not proven innocent, he signed a fucking PEACE BOND! That's a goddamn get out of jail free card! What the fuck?!!?
But of course, it gets worse, because we'd hate to assume this manly man is guilty, even if he does have a history of sexual abuse. Quote David LaRochelle, full-time school principal/douchebag and part-time rape apologist:
"While it is important to remember that laying criminal charges does not constitute guilt, and that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, we also cannot and do not take these allegations lightly,"No, he absolutely does fucking not take these allegations lightly, which is more then can be said of the allegations of three years ago, which McRae bought exemption from. Apparently those allegations get you a job at a school. But, of course, it's important to remember that criminal charges do not equal guilt. Unless you're not a white male, 'cuz then well, fuck you, I guess.
And here, another of my favorites, the anonymous neighbor quote:
"My kids always talk to him. He's very good. Always helping at playground, homework."
This from a "concerned parent" in the neighborhood, who is "surprised" by the allegations. You always fucking hear this. No matter what the crime, what the circumstances. People always say "He was a good neighbor, a stand-up guy, give you the shirt off his back, I never suspected a thing." This is what is allows things like this to keep happening. I'm not saying we have to suspect everyone, but why are people always so fucking surprised? Like they couldn't have possibly been living next door to a predator, he didn't even put up his neon pervert sign! The "Not My Nigel" attitude extends from ones' immediate relations to their neighbors and acquaintances in situations like this without fucking fail. "Jerry always took out the trash on Wednesdays! He just couldn't be a rapist!" I fucking hate that shit. No one says "Shirley was only thirteen years old and trusted this adult, she just couldn't be lying!" No, women and girls are always branded as having some ulterior motive when reporting sexual assault or rape and this has to stop. No woman or girl has ever "gotten rich or famous" from accusing a goddamn high school program coordinator of rape. She was abused. She wants justice for herself, and probably wants to put this guy away so he can't hurt anyone else. That takes extraordinary bravery, especially when living in a rape culture, where victims are all too often shamed to silence. The stupid reverberations of "Well I thought he was a good guy..." only serve to silence the victims' testimony and undermine her claims, as well as make her feel further victimized and isolated from the community that should fucking be rallying around her.
These things DO happen, and they DO happen all the time, and they DO happen in your neighborhood, and they DO happen under your nose but they DO NOT happen in a fucking vacuum. These monsters get away with these acts because people think that they would've known. That their neighbors couldn't have possibly eluded their sixth sense, their Holmes-esque intuition. This isn't a fucking game of Clue, people. This is the life of a young girl, of every young girl. Victim-blaming goes hand in hand with the "good neighbor" defense. It is in the interest of the children that we examine closely why these things keep happening and what will happen when we finally run out of "good neighbors" to believe.