Every day whilst looking for topical news stories in education I am forced to sift through the myriad of articles relating to teachers who have sexually groomed and assaulted their students. To say this is a heinous crime is a gross understatement.
But how are we as a society supposed to adequately safeguard our precious children when many of these convicted criminals are spared any jail time at all!
Take this case for example:
A St. Charles County teacher accused of molesting students four different times will not spend time in prison.
Joseph Maddock, 34, is out on the streets, free to walk, but he is now a registered sex offender, has lost his teaching license and will be monitored for the next five years. Also, the victim’s mother is okay with all of this.
Prosecutors say Joseph Maddock has a pattern of “grooming” young boys that he teaches, not fully sexually abusing them, but getting too close to them and touching them.
Maddock has taught in 11 different schools mostly in the St. Louis area, but most recently at Andrews Academy and Dynamic Pathways both of Lake St. Louis.
Prosecutors say the “grooming” has happened four times, once in Florida, twice in the St. Louis area, but most recently in St. Charles County, where he has been charged and convicted of the sexual act. On Monday, he was sentenced to five years probation and no jail time.
“He needs to be in jail because children are very susceptible to grown ups and what they think is right and wrong and this was definitely wrong,” said Brian Voss, a St. Charles resident.
“I hate to say it, but it sounds fair to me because nothing really happened,” said Patti Bussgude, another resident.
St. Charles County assistant prosecutor Jillian Anderson says they had to make a decision.
“Perhaps we do not file it at all because we don’t have the full commission of sexual abuse or perhaps we decide that the community is best served by intervening early and doing something,” said Anderson.
She says no, this sentence is not as severe as it would be if the assault had been worse. If Maddock had fully sexually assaulted the child, jail time would have most likely been given. For this prosecuting attorney’s office, doing nothing is not an option.
“We certainly don’t want to be in a position and are not going to be in a position in our office where we wait, we sit back and we don’t file charges until this defendant or any other defendant actually fully commits the crime of sexual abuse,” said Anderson.
Monitored for the next five years? Come on! After four separate offenses? He should be monitored to his dying breath!
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