Set the full record straight
(This letter was originally addressed to Bill McDonough.)Dear Editor:You state in your letter that you feel compelled to “set the record straight” and that you “think it unfair to make more of my crime than the evidence showed,” yet your letter omits some very important details about the events that led to your arrest on child pornography charges. In order to “set the record straight” you should note that you were actively soliciting a person whom you believed to be a 13-year-old girl by the name of “Jenny” to have sex with you, and that was what led to the search warrant that was executed on your home. You also failed to note that you sent “Jenny” and her “friend,” “Missy,” webcams to take pornographic pictures of themselves and send them to you. You also failed to note that you arranged a rendezvous with “Jenny” and offered to bring alcohol for the occasion. The only thing that thwarted your predatory scheme to sexually exploit these young girls was the fact that “Jenny” and “Missy” were actually federal agents.Instead of “setting the record straight” you dispute the number of child pornographic images found on your computer. However, each image found on your computer depicted some child being sexually exploited and/or sexually abused. Some could have died at the hands of their exploiters. Each download of child pornography creates demand for more images, which leads to the further sexual exploitation of children. You are clearly in a state of denial about the gravity of your behavior if you cannot recognize the seriousness of what you had tried to accomplish with “Jenny” and the serious impact that each and every image of child pornography found on your computer had on the lives of the children depicted in those images.I hope you receive adequate treatment while you are serving your sentence so that you do not return to this community with the same predatory instincts that led to your arrest. However, the recidivism rate for child sexual predators is very high and, as a parent, I personally will not be feeling particularly “compassionate” when you return to the community. You are many parents’ worst nightmare: a 68-year-old man who lies, claims to be in his 30s and seeks to have sex with someone else’s teenage daughter and to ply them with alcohol and get them to take pornographic images of themselves. The fact that you seem incapable of accepting responsibility for the full spectrum of your conduct and even seek to trivialize it by writing your self-serving letter to the editor has me concerned about your ability to be rehabilitated.To conclude, I am shocked about the length of your sentence, and you should be shocked, too. According to published reports, you stated to “Jenny,” “Do you know what would happen to me if we are caught? I would go to jail for a long, long time.” Three and a half years just does not seem like a “long, long time” in light of your conduct. Denise Shea MalcolmAspen
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area today for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.