Child Molester On Probation: The Screwed-Up Ethics of Judge Maria Lopez

If this world were perfect, there would be perfect justice. Bad deeds — if there ever were any — would be accordingly punished with a fit sentence and everybody would look out for the best interests of his fellow man. (If this life were perfect, there wouldn’t be people reading that last sentence and thinking “She should have written “Everybody would look out for the best interests of his or her fellow human beings.”)

The innocence of children would be cherished and protected, and Judge Maria Lopez would be working in a Dairy Queen, if this world were perfect. That way, the worst harm she could inflict would be to put peanuts on someone’s ice cream cone instead of sprinkles.

Since this world isn’t perfect, “transgendered” Boston-area resident Charles Horton was undeterred by whatever remains of his conscience on November 20, 1999 when he — in his female persona — lured a twelve year old boy into his car under the pretense of needing help in looking for a “lost child.” The boy was forced into the car and driven off.

Horton took the boy to a deserted parking lot where he forced the boy to suck on one of his fingers. When the boy resisted, Horton intimidated him by holding a screwdriver at his neck until he complied. According to an account in the Boston Globe, the child was rescued by patrolling police officers, who “noticed a head bobbing in the car.”

“In a statement he gave police after being read his Miranda rights, Horton allegedly admitted kissing the child and said that he had used the lot as a place to perform oral sex on teenagers,” stated Globe reporter John Ellement.

Horton was charged with kidnapping, indecent assault and battery, and assault with intent to rape. His case proceeded to trial and that was where he unfortunately met up with Superior Court Judge Maria I. Lopez.

After hearing all the evidence, Judge Lopez chose to reward evil. She was apparently very concerned about Horton’s status as a sexually confused person and asked Assistant District Attorney David Deakin what kind of prison Horton would be sent to — male or female. When Mr. Deakin replied that either type of prison could keep Horton in protective custody, Lopez snapped at Deakin, asking if Horton would be “locked up for 23 hours a day.” That’s evidently a problem, right?

On Wednesday, September 6, 2000, Lopez denied David Deakin’s request that Horton be sent to prison for 8-10 years and sentenced him to a probation of five years. Horton will be monitored by wearing an electronic ankle bracelet only for the first year of his sentence. He will be permitted to go to church and attend counseling sessions and university classes. You might be interested to know that Judge Lopez handed down this sentence knowing that Horton lives in a housing project that some six hundred children also call home.

(Incidentally, the child Horton molested is now serving a life sentence of painful and terrifying memories, but who cares about him?)

Lopez’s decision to not jail Horton was based upon the psychological evaluation which determined that he is not a predator. Huh?!? I find this inexcusable, since the crime Horton was being tried for was predatory in nature: he kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and threatened a child with bodily harm. What more could it possibly take to prove that a person is willing to prey upon a child? I suppose we should feel grateful that the psychological assessment did admit that Horton has “impulses.” Don’t we all? For example, my own personal impulse at this point is to move to Massachusetts and lobby long and loud from Governor Paul Cellucci’s office to make sure that this woman and her job are soon parted.

Writes Globe staff reporter Frank Phillips: “Lopez appeared to reject prison for the transgender Horton not because of any doubts about his guilt, but because she feared for his safety and emotional well-being behind bars.” She also referred to this crime as a “low-scale” matter. Since Horton expressed regret for what he had done to the boy, that made everything just peachy again. All of you who disagree just need to get over yourselves and stop being so judgmental.

When judges are on the bench in order to assist the villains rather than support the victims, where does that leave us? As long as judges like Maria Lopez are dispensing their peculiar form of “justice,” we’re left with a deep moral quicksand that threatens to suck the innocent under and denies them what they deserve: This twelve-year-old boy deserves to know that Charles Horton is behind bars for a long, long time. What he did was wrong and evil and there are times when saying “Gee, I’m sure sorry” just doesn’t cut it. This is one of them.

Since Lopez couldn’t bring herself to make Horton face the consequences of his actions, she has become his accessory after the fact. If he has another “impulse” and violates his probation by molesting another child, maybe these two girlfriends could share a cozy little cell together. Twenty to thirty years ought to do it.

That’s what would happen if this world were perfect.

September 19, 2000

Shelley McKinney is a political writer whose work regularly appears in several Internet journals. She takes great pleasure in exposing the politically correct for their lack of logical thought.