I thought that marrying off a rape victim to the rapist in order to conceal that a crime has been committed was a thing of the past. But that’s not how things are:
A former Brunswick County teacher charged with having sex with a student pleaded guilty last month to a lesser charge after she married the victim, preventing the state from compelling him to testify against her, a prosecutor said this week. . . Shipman was a married Brunswick County Academy teacher when she was arrested in January 2009 on charges of sexual offense with a student, statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a student.
The boy was 15 years old when this predator raped him. Now she will avoid prosecution for her crime because she has “covered his shame”, as people would say two hundred years ago, by marrying him. The victim’s mother is fully complicit in handing him over to the rapist, as usually happens in such cases:
According to the Columbus County register of deeds office, Ison was 17 at the time of the marriage, and his mother, Susan Wilson, signed the paperwork allowing him to marry.
Rape victims’ families still often see their raped children as a problem that needs to be removed out of sight as soon as possible.
Without the testimony from the victim (who cannot now testify in court since he is “married” to his rapist), this is the extent of punishment the predatory teacher got:
Shipman was sentenced to a suspended 30-day jail sentence, 12 months of probation and $345 in restitution. She was also ordered to surrender her teaching license.
We all know that pedophiles never commit a single crime. If there has ever been a recidivist crime, sexual abuse of a minor is it. I find it impossible to believe that this is the rapist’s first or last offense. Unfortunately, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring her to justice and stop her from raping children, albeit temporarily, has been lost. As for the victim, here is what his life will now be about:
On the same day, Ison, now 19, pleaded guilty on unrelated charges to one felony count of breaking and entering and two counts of larceny, Department of Correction records indicate. He received 24 months probation.
Note that his probation is twice as long as that of the criminal who raped him and turned him into an offender. Now that he is “married” to his rapist, I don’t think this young man is likely to receive any help for the trauma that will allow him to heal. And until that happens, his life is likely to be about crime, addiction, depression, and misery.
P.S. In case you are new to the blog, I have to warn you that I have a very intense reaction to child abuse, so don’t even try to justify this horrible crime in any way.