In a recent letter Dr. Geoffrey E. King wondered about the disparity of sentencing for two convicted child molesters:
Kenneth Price, a 42-year-old with previous drug and burglary convictions, and Dr. Bruce Craft, a 57-year-old psychologist. Mr. Price received a 10-year prison term followed by 10 years of probation. Dr. Craft received a 20-year prison term followed by 20 years of probation.
The writer felt this was unjust because Dr. Craft "was never shown to have harmed any child." All I know is what I have read in the paper, but there are some differences between the two cases that the writer failed to mention.
Mr. Price pled guilty to having sexual relations on one occasion with an 11-year-old girl four years ago. Dr. Craft, on the other hand, never admitted to anything, but was convicted of 99 felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and 15 felony counts of child molestation.
Before feeling too badly for Dr. Craft, realize that he will be eligible for parole after serving five years. I am not trying to downplay the seriousness of what Mr. Price did. However, there is a huge difference between the two men that probably is the reason for the sentencing disparity.
As a parent, I probably would know enough to keep my daughter or son away from a person like Mr. Price. I'm guessing he would be a rather obvious shady character. But who would know enough to protect a child from someone as "harmless" as Dr. Craft?
In fact, the most vulnerable children in the community were brought willingly to Dr. Craft by unsuspecting parents. Some even trusted him enough (though very foolishly) to allow their child to spend the night at Dr. Craft's home, where he bathed them, etc. I seriously doubt any parent would consent to having Mr. Price baby-sit their child for even a moment. ...
I thank God for Judge Carl Brown's wisdom and willingness to protect our children from both of these child molesters.
Gary Heffner, Augusta