Monday, January 23, 2006

Another Child Rapist Gets 60 Days in Vermont

State mottos are often coined to make the state look attractive to those that might want to visit or immigrate. For instance, New Jersey is considered the Garden State. It is a lovely image of flowers and greenery and the fresh, sweet smell of color.

Vermont might very well want to change its state motto to "The 60 Day Rapist State," or "We Don't Believe in Punishment State." It wouldn't take too long for serial rapists to discover the genteel, progressive atmosphere of Vermont as a great place to move. You know, just in case you get caught raping a minor.

A county prosecutor said Friday that a 60-day prison term for a man who pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a juvenile was the best the state could impose under the circumstances.

The comment from Windham County State's Attorney Dan Davis came a day after Marc Cartner, 38, of Jamaica pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a minor and two counts of violating his conditions of release.

Judge Katherine Hayes, sitting in Vermont District Court for Windham County, accepted the plea deal Thursday morning.

"You're an adult," Hayes was quoted by the Brattleboro Reformer as telling Cartner during the sentencing hearing. "You're supposed to be mature."

Cartner was given a two- to four-year sentence, with all but 60 days suspended. He'll be on probation when released and must go through the state's sex-offender treatment program. He also will be on the state's sex-offender registry and must provide authorities with a DNA sample for a police database.

Cartner's guilty plea came two weeks and one day after another 60-day minimum sentence for a sex offender, Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston, generated a firestorm of controversy that still has not abated.

Some legislators and commentators around the country have called for the judge in that Chittenden County case, Edward Cashman, to be removed from the bench.

A key difference in the two cases was that Hulett had a four-year sexual relationship with a girl that began when she was 6; the victim in Cartner's case was 15.

"Nobody can really compare a relationship in which the victim is 15 years old to one where she's 6," said Steven Wright, Cartner's lawyer. "While both criminal, they're very different circumstances."
Give me a break. That same logic would say it is a different circumstance to murder an 80 year old than a 20 year old, or to steal from a woman is different than stealing from a man. When we begin to judge the circumstances of victims as to the severity of the crime we are in a dire situation.

All serial rapists wishing to move to Vermont should take residence near Judge Cashman or esquires Dan Davis and Steven Wright. That way the non-punishing judge and attorneys might think twice before assigning relativist sentences.

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