We can't afford to be lenient on sex offenders

February 25, 2010

This is in response to Dan Rodricks' Feb. 25 article "Will sex offender have to pay for old crimes?"

I strongly disagree with Mr. Rodricks' opinion piece on "Larry," the man discussed in his column, who was convicted in 1995 of trying to have sex with a 13-year-old prostitute. Mr. Rodicks argues that since Larry's conviction, he has evidently rehabilitated himself. Therefore, he should not have to be subjected to proposed legislation requiring placement on the sex offender registry of those whose convictions are over 15 years old.

According to Mr. Rodricks, such laws would be a manifest injustice and would only serve to publicly shame and seriously disrupt the lives of offenders who are no longer a threat.

While Mr. Rodicks is entitled to express his concern for the welfare of convicted child molesters, I would like to remind him that all of us must live with the consequences of our actions. In fact, some of us, like those who have suffered at the hands of a child sex predator, must live with the consequences of other people's actions.

Given the social costs of these offenses, we cannot afford to be lenient. If this means that a few legitimately rehabilitated pedophiles get hurt in the process, so be it.

I'm sorry, but I cannot muster up much sympathy for anyone who made a choice to seek out sex with a 13 year old child.

Philip Kaplan, Towson

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