Monday, February 26, 2007

Raping Society

In a letter to the Journal Times, Kenneth Wagner makes a respectable argument in favor of RUSD paying a settlement to the six year old rape victim at the Red Apple School. Then he loses it.

Wagner says, "Let us not forget there are two victims in this case: there is the tragic occurance for the six year old boy, and there is Joshua Dyess. In the latter instance, Dyess is charged with the assault of the child and may have to pay the price, yet the accused may have been failed by his family, by society, by his teachers, the church, and his neighbors. We may have just begun to realize our failures."

As a member of the society that has failed Joshua Dyess, let me be the first to offer an apology. Please accept my sincerest apology Mr. Dyess. I regret my role in causing you to become a child rapist. I take full responsibility for your actions. It is very difficult to not rape children. I should have been there to help you to not rape the child. I have no doubt that you are disappointed in me. I fully understand. Now please Mr. Dyess, don't misinterpret my apology as an attempt to avoid or lessen the punishment that I should recieve for my failures. My apology is just the beginning. I think you should sue me. I will support your claim against me and my fellow members of society. And if there is any justice in this world, you will be compensated fairly for our failures.

10 comments:

Kathy said...

Mr. Wagner is wrong. According to the Milwaukee Journal Mr. Dyess has been accused of this before in 2005. So who knows how many children have fallen victim to him.

Denis, in regard to your response to Mr. Wagner's letter..."You're scaring me!"

Denis Navratil said...

I was joking as I am sure you realize. Mr. Wagner is serious. I find him and his attitude much more frightening.

Anonymous said...

it was rumor and and stress the fact it was a rumor that joshua dyess was a victim of sexual assault as a child and the family covered it up. now i am not saying that is an excuse to do what he did, but prehaps that is what the letter writer was thinking about when he suggested people failed joshua. if so, he should have stated clearly what he was referring to, because otherwise his comments are out of line.

Denis Navratil said...

I won't speak directly about Mr. Dyess and his history because I don't know anything about it. It is true that many perpetrators of sexual crimes were themselves victims of similar crimes. And this is very sad and disgusting of course. This does not absolve him or anyone else of the crimes they commit as adults. I realize that you said essentially the same thing anon.

also anonymous said...

Regardless of whether or not Mr. Dyess was the victim of sexual assault as a child, he still has free will!

If every child that had a difficult upbringing became a pedophile and rapist, we'd need to build a lot more prisons.

I'm so sick and tired of hearing about how everything is society's fault and there's no personal responsibility for one's actions!

Anonymous said...

anon 2...of course joshua dyess has personal reponsibility. my point was only to try to explain what mr. wagner might have been referring to when he wrote in his letter that joshua was also a victim in his childhood.

Brenda said...

Denis,

Thanks for pushing the envelope - AGAIN!

kat said...

Denis, of course I know that you're joking! If I thought for one minute that you were serious, I'd shut my computer off, unplug it, and throw it in the garbage.

Denis Navratil said...

Kat, I know you know that I was being sarcastic. If I thought otherwise, I would have unplugged my computer and thrown it at you.

But my point overall is that the blame-society-first mindset is quite harmful. Taken to its logical conclusion, it not only absolves criminals of their crimes but also calls for compensation for child rapists. Criminals get their day in court. Society gets tried and convicted without a hearing. I demand due process for society. We are innocent until proven guilty.

eric said...

Mr. Wagner was an outstanding teacher. If I didn't know him I might have exactly the same reaction - good opening, but where did that closing come from? So I wonder when someone who was a distinguished teacher and has survived a few serious heart ailments into his 80's, just what exactly was he getting at and why did he feel compelled to put it that way? Next time I see him I will ask.