East Brunswick rabbi deserves death for sex crimes
Since the time of Megan's Law I have been in favor of a death penalty not only for murder but for sex crimes against children. There's the murder of the physical body, then there's the murder of everything the child was going to be before some lecherous monster stole it and changed them forever. Unfortunately Corzine repealed NJ's death penalty. It should not only be brought back but expanded for cases like the East Brunswick rabbi.
Rabbi Aryeh Goodman was charged with engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. According to prosecutors he was a customer of a human trafficking ring and had sex with a teenage girl in a hotel on the first day of February. While a charge is not a conviction, the backstory on this creep is amazing. According to published reports, he appears to have been arrested 5 years ago on charges of molesting a boy under the age of 13 at a camp where he was a counselor. Goodman was also convicted on two counts of indecent assault of a child, again under the age of 13, two and a half years ago. For that he was sentenced to only 11 to 23 months in jail.
11 to 23 months? Perverts like this and their actions cause lifelong damage. In what universe is 11 months fixing the problem? Oh sure, he was also required to take sex offender training. There is no counseling that can scrub this away from a twisted person. He was also supposed to be barred from working with or even being in places where children under the age of 18 are known to congregate and was required to register as a Tier 3 sex offender.
What did all that do? Nothing. If the prosecutors can prove their latest case against him, all it did was allow him to be free to end up paying a teenager for sex. This monster is only 35 years old by the way. Will he be cut more breaks? Probably. Because that's the broken system of justice for child molesters. They repeat and repeat and repeat.
Then there's the story of Harry L. Thomas, a 74 year old pastor of a local church in Medford. Last week he pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, three counts of second-degree sexual assault, and once count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He stood in court and admitted that he sexually assaulted four children over several years. There was also and admission to "inappropriate interaction" with a fifth child. And this was a plea agreement. It makes me wonder if there was a lot more here as often happens in such plea deals.
When he was arrested last year he was a working pastor at the Come Alive Church in Medford. The church suspended him "with deep regret and saddened hearts." I certainly hope that deep regret was having had this monster among them to begin with and the saddened hearts were for his victims and not for him.
Imagine being a parent having your family once being led by either Rabbi Goodman or Pastor Thomas. Imagine the knot in your stomach when you had to wonder if there had ever been a time your religious leader had been alone even for five minutes with one of your children. Imagine the horrible conversation you had to have with your child about this if they had indeed been alone with them.
Worse yet, imagine the parents who already know for sure. Imagine their children, the victims. Imagine the nightmares. Imagine the therapy. Imagine seeing your child turn into a different kid right before your eyes; become ill-confident, guarded, or become reckless, angry. Imagine losing the child you knew to these warped people.
Now imagine your child's pain and their emotional slaughter was supposed to be redeemed by only 11 to 23 months in jail. I don't care who you are, be it a homeless person on the street, a neighbor, a relative, or some monster posing as a religious leader. If you are guilty of sexually assaulting a child, you deserve to be strapped to a gurney and destroyed like an animal. It still won't make everything right, but it will save other children.
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