Justin and Jessica Crandall, ages 28 and 27 respectively, of Sidney, NY, pled guilty to federal charges of Sexual Exploitation of a minor. They videoed their sexual abuse of a 17 month- old child, for whom they were babysitters. Justin Crandall indicated he performed some of these acts while under the influence of methamphetamine. He was convicted on three felony counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, which carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in federal prison. Jessica Crandall was convicted of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit a child.
Any sane person will ask how someone could do this to a child. Psychology will offer many theories and reasons why. Objectification of the victim, addiction, sociopathy, failure to progress out of psychosexual stages of development, borderline intellectual functioning, social isolation in a rural area, lack of knowledge of childcare practices, and so on ad infinitum. Justin Crandall implied his methamphetamine use was a factor in his repeated rape of a toddler. Meth addiction does not induce pedophilia. A pedophile will lose inhibitions and whatever self-control they may have secondary to fear of punishment, and commit sex crimes while under the influence. Neither meth, nor crack, nor heroin, not alcohol will make someone offend sexually. Rather who they really are will emerge.
Pedophilia is a paraphilia, or mental illness of sexual desire. When the deviant desires are acted out, it becomes a choice and an evil act. Psychological theory does not excuse evil, though ironically most of psychology has done away with the very concept of evil. Instead, psychology has sanitized the most heinous acts with diagnoses and theory. There are alternative reasons to consider, none of which excuse or in any way diminish the behavior of these two evil people.
- They did it because they had the opportunity.
- They did it because they thought there crimes would go undiscovered.
- They did it because they wanted to.
Another issue is the light sentence they will be facing. This couple could be out at ages 43 and 42. While in prison, they will likely be segregated from the general prison population in their own unit or pod, designed specifically for sex offenders. If they are harmed by other inmates, they or their families can bring a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons for not protecting them. They will complain if their oatmeal is lumpy and their eggs are cold. They will get to play chess and checkers, play cards, watch TV and work out, all on the US taxpayer’s dollar. They will be offered therapy programs which are of doubtful value in habilitating people like these two, and which they have the right to refuse to participate in.If they misbehave, they may not be able to be placed in Segregation, aka the hole, aka solitary confinement. Don’t’ people realize that is an inhumane punishment and a violation of their civil rights? Upon release, they will be on Parole, with their names and faces on the sex offender registry for at least the duration of their parole, possibly for life. Or they will fail to register and slip between the cracks.
What about their victim? All but forgotten. Do lawmakers not understand that sexual assault on a child causes a multitude of psychosexual problems later in life that can last for a lifetime? That is in addition to physical harm, and what the family of the victim will endure. The sex acts were videotaped and photographed. Are they on the internet? How many other pedophiles will view them and fuel their aberrant fantasies, and be motivated to cross the final line and act out their perversions? How many more victims will be created that will endure the above listed torment?
Americans should be outraged over this crime, and demand change from their lawmakers in the sentencing and treatment of child sex offenders.