Let’s talk about North Country’s flood of rape, sex violence

The North Country faces a constant drum beat of sexual assault and violence against women and children. Stephen Howells (left) was accused of abducting two Amish girls last month in the St. Lawrence Valley; he was hardly alone. Michael Geraci (center) is accused of choking and threatening to kill a woman in Oswegatchie. Eric Davis (right) is accused by State Police of engaging in sexual behavior with a 9-year-old child. Photos: NYS police agencies

The North Country faces a constant drum beat of sexual assault and violence against women and children. Stephen Howells (left) was accused of abducting two Amish girls last month in the St. Lawrence Valley; he was hardly alone. Michael Geraci (center) is accused of choking and threatening to kill a woman in Oswegatchie. Eric Davis (right) is accused of engaging in sexual behavior with a 9-year-old child. Photos: NYS police agencies

The last few months, North Country Public Radio has reported extensively on the heroin and prescription drug epidemics here in our rural region.  We’ve seen law enforcement ramp up its arrests, calling for task forces, better coordination and new funding.  Lawmakers have held public hearings and the scourge has dominated headlines.

The weird thing is that there’s another, arguably far more serious epidemic in the North Country that doesn’t get talked about much, doesn’t get treated as a pattern or as a problem that needs an ‘all hands on deck, boots on the ground’ response.

I’m talking about rape, sexual and domestic violence, and the sexual assault and exploitation of children.

This issue drew big banner headlines last month, when two Amish girls were abducted and allegedly sexually assaulted in St. Lawrence County, a horror that drew national headlines.  But the reality is that this horror is a near daily event, and a constant danger in our small towns.

A drumbeat of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence

Scroll through the New York State Police bulletins for our region and you find a flood of sickening accounts of men — and yes, they’re almost always men — facing accusations of horrific sexual violence toward women and children.

On September 16, 2014, State Police arrested 27-year-old Daniel A. Horacek of Jay in Essex County for “forcibly engaging in various sexual acts with two female victims. The abuse occurred over the course of several years, prior to 2004.”

That same day, State Police arrested and charged 43-year-old Ralph E. Planty of Liverpool, New York, allegedly engaging in “inappropriate sexual contact with a 12-year-old female victim at a residence in the town of Potsdam.”

The day before, State Police arrested 23-year-old Derrick J. Terry of Keeseville for allegedly raping a 30-year-old victim.  “Terry forcibly raped the victim at a residence in Ausable Forks in the early morning hours of June 4, 2014,” according to their report.

A couple of days before that, State Police arrested 30-year-old Michael T. Geraci of Oswegatchie following a domestic dispute in which Geraci allegedly “choked the 32-year-old female victim, and punched her in the face, causing visible injuries.”

Geraci allegedly chased the woman through the neighborhood, threatening to kill her and snatching her cell phone away so that she couldn’t call for help.  Fortunately, a neighbor intervened.

That same day, State Police in Watertown arrested Chad Lacey, age 25, after a two-year-old child was hospitalized with a “facial injury” that was “attributed to Lacey.”  Two days earlier, on September 9th, Eric Davis, age 41, from Evans Mills in Jefferson County was arraigned for allegedly “subjecting a 9 year old female to sexual contact.”

We still have a week to go but September has already been an atrocious shameful month and it’s not out of the ordinary.

On August 29, State Police in Alexandria Bay arrested 25-year-old Tyler Reason for rape in the first degree after “a 24 year-old female victim reported to investigators that Reason had sexual intercourse against her will.”

Two days earlier, State Police arrested Jaquine Ali-El, 23 years old, for allegedly striking his wife with his car “causing physical injury” during an incident in Evans Mills.

It’s important to note that all these men are innocent until proved guilty.  But the cycle of arrests goes on and on and on, week after week, month after month.  And it’s hard to believe that we’re not just scratching the surface.

Are doing enough?  Hell, no.

We as a society are beginning to think more seriously and aggressively about dealing with this shameful problem.  We’ve come to realize that sexually predatory behavior goes well beyond the Roman Catholic priesthood, or college campuses, or the US military, or the Boy Scouts, or the NFL.  There is in our society an epidemic of sexual and domestic violence.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has made these kinds of assaults and rapes — particularly on campuses and in the armed services — a major part of her agenda in Washington.  “[The] price of a college education should not include a 1 in 5 chance of being sexually assaulted,” Gillibrand has argued.

The truth is, we have a long way to go.  While local and state police are getting better at targeting sexual predators and domestic abusers, there is still a lot of resistance.  Many organizations still insist on dealing with accusations of sexual criminality “in house,” without reporting alleged assaults to police.

But even in the law enforcement community we haven’t created the same kind of big-picture, coordinated strategy that we’ve seen with drugs.  It turns out that nationwide there’s a backlog of more than 400,000 rape kits — evidence gathered after women were assaulted — that have never been processed.

“There is good evidence that pulling out old rape kits makes a difference,” reported the New Republic earlier this year.  “After New York City processed its 17,000-kit backlog in 2001, the arrest rate for rape cases jumped from 40 percent to 70 percent,” the magazine found.

But the rape kit issue is only a symbol for the larger lack of a zero-tolerance, coordinated strategy.

Why don’t we just say No to sexual violence?

It’s important to ask why this is.  Why do we regularly trot out statewide campaigns against things like prescription drugs, cocaine, and marijuana, or driving while texting?  Why do we see protest marches around abortion issues and the environment?  Meanwhile, we fail to take on a desperately overdue crusade to sharply curb rape, domestic and sexual violence.

How is it that we’ve spent decades talking about performance enhancing drugs in college- and pro-sports, but we haven’t had a big conversation about the role that athletic departments have played in minimizing or covering up sexual violence by athletes on campuses?

Why are there huge cash incentives and rewards for law enforcement agencies that crack down on even small amounts of illegal drugs, while there are almost no resources or rewards available for cops and police departments who focus their energies on stopping rapists and child molesters?

I suspect that in part it’s because so many of the most dangerous predators are people living in our neighborhoods, in our homes, and in our bedrooms.

We hate to confront the fact that so many of the men in our communities and our families — a small minority, but still a dangerous minority — are predators.  These are people we know.  They’re our sons, our brothers, our fathers.  In some cases, they’re our sports heroes, or our pastors, or our teachers.

The intimacy of this threat makes it one we would rather ignore.

But I think the long, dreary chapter of willful blindness is coming to an end.  We’re starting to think bigger about ways to make our families and our schools and our streets safer from sexual and domestic predators.  We’re starting to hold people accountable when they fail to create safe environments.

These are baby steps.  With more rapes and sexual assaults being reported every single week in the North Country, we need to push aside sacred cows and small town pride and all the old squeamish barriers and ask ourselves tough, self-critical questions.

The alternative — the price for complacency and silence —  is just too awful for any decent community to tolerate.

51 Comments on “Let’s talk about North Country’s flood of rape, sex violence”

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  1. Kelly says:

    Thank you, Brian, for once again saying what needs to be said. In a former job, I had the blessing of bringing rape prevention education to hundreds of children & youth. I delivered age-appropriate information about touching rules, saying no, telling-vs.-tattling, and for older youth sexual harassment. Do you know what was most likely to make adults angry? It was when I would tell youth to ask for help if they felt they wanted to hurt or annoy someone else in a sexual way.
    As long as I stuck to telling victims not to be victims most people were OK. As soon as the message included don’t hurt others, people got riled up.
    But there is new hope. There is a lot of work being done to educate men about using their power in the right way and not simply being a bystander in a culture that perpetuates violence against women and children.

  2. Michael Greer says:

    Three thoughts…. Are we suffering a “flood” of new cases, or are simply seeing better reporting? Is there more sexual violence these days, or are more coming forward than did in the old days?
    Is the system overloaded with cases that don’t get much traction, but get counted as statistics anyway? I’ve been told that as many as a third of the North Country’s sex offenders are 16 year old boys with 15 year old girlfriends…boyfriends that someone’s mother didn’t like.
    Is this focus on sexual violence, and violence against children in any way related to the rest of the violence in our society? Are turning a blind eye on our nations long held belief that military force is justified in some cases, and simply useful in others. Do we arm our “peace officers” with sticks, tasers, and guns, and give permission to beat, shock and shoot citizens, and then claim to be offended by violent acts. Do we focus on what little people do to one another while ignoring the violence done to the whole class of poor people by the rich and powerful?
    Our culture has condoned….while pretending not to….this kind of violence forever. It will take more than a governor’s task force to re-train and reform this society. Despite the headlines, I think we’re moving (slowly) in the right direction.

  3. Terence says:

    Good article! Framing the problem so that people can think about as their own problem is the most important first step. It probably is true that better reporting and more willingness to speak out have made us more aware of a problem that has always existed — but it’s hard to shake the suspicion that toxic aggression is also increasing among men in some places in the North Country. Is it tied to more pornography, harder drug use, resentment at being left behind economically and socially?

  4. Phil says:

    The heroin and prescription drug epidemic is such a huge burden on law enforcement, medical, social and insurance agencies that it attracts much more public attention than does sexual and domestic violence. I raise the question as to how much of the sexual assault and domestic violence is fueled by a drug addiction? Unfortunately, until we the public raise the awareness level of sexual assault and domestic violence much of it will continue to be swept under the rug.

  5. Pissed Donator says:

    Condemning people before the court has even handed out verdicts or heard the accused party’s defenses? Poor form.

  6. shovel says:

    Michael, I agree it is hard to reconcile the central role that violence plays in our mainly peaceful culture. It’s just so big that we sometimes can’t step far enough back to see it, but you are pointing to something real when you see parallels between domestic violence and the urge to use military force in so many of the world’s conflicts. Was it always thus? I don’t have a strong grasp of history, but I think there is something in the national id that claws towards violence, which grows worse in unrestrained times.

  7. Sarah says:

    I second that thank you for writing on a much under-addressed topic. For anyone in the Watertown area, please join AAUW Jefferson County tomorrow, Sept. 23 from 6:30-8:00 PM at Flower Library to discuss and learn more about “Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention” (SHARP) – how it affects women, girls, and our community as a whole. A team of experts from the Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division SHARP program will join the event.

  8. Brian Mann says:

    Whether the flood was always there or whether it’s new, I don’t know. Maybe we’ll be able to provide more and better reporting on that as this conversation moves forward. Is there a flood of sexual and domestic violence against women and children now? I think the answer is pretty clearly yes. My quick, non-exhaustive survey of one law enforcement agency’s blotter found roughly two men a week being arrested in our region for really serious act of predatory behavior. I’m guessing that if you added in the statistics from sheriffs’ offices, city police, village agencies, campus police and other agencies, the sense of a dangerous pattern would be even more clear.

    -Brian, NCPR

  9. Peter Hahn says:

    Its an interesting question – why isn’t it a bigger story?

  10. Dina says:

    Such an important article Brian, that, sadly, will once again go nowhere. And the 1 in 5 college women statistic? I’d venture to say that’s optimistic. Probably more like 1 in 3. At best. And what about the sexual predators that the state has been moving into neighborhood homes for the disabled? What’s not being reported to police or disclosed to communities there?

  11. Peter Hahn says:

    If there were that many 11 year old girls being raped the story would be world news. For some reason stories about sex/violence crimes against women over the age of 18 are boring unless there is some unique interesting twist like they were locked in a dungeon for years.

  12. Brian Mann says:

    P Donator –

    You raise a really legitimate issue. This is a tough topic to talk about while respecting the rights of the accused. As I say in the piece, these men are innocent until proved guilty.

    In this case, I think the importance of a more robust conversation about sexual and domestic violence makes it, on balance, an acceptable thing to quote public police records and documents.

    –Brian, NCPR

  13. Judy Aldrich says:

    Unfortunately, for too long women have been held to blame for acts of violence towards them. And it has become increasingly easier for people to pretend they don’t notice when a man is treating a woman with disrespect whether it is verbal or physical because no one wants to be involved or perhaps have violence turned on them. Then there is the issue of where does a woman go to get away from a violent situation? Without a lot of support and often a wholesale shedding of “friends”, the woman ends up in a similar situation or back with the same man.

    We all have to be more willing to address the issue head on and step up to make sure the resources and support are there for women in abusive relationships.

    But it is more than that…young boys need to have good strong mentors who will guide them as they grow because it is a fact, boys repeat what they see growing up. Men need others who will support them in changing too. And, yes, I know most will not change by the time they are adults but some will.

  14. Kelly says:

    One reason there is not more outrage is the popular “sport” of victim blaming. I cannot remember the last case when I didn’t hear someone blaming the victim or his/her parents. I’ve heard that a 13 y.o. girl encouraged her 60 y.o. predator; a 7 y.o. boy should have fought off his 20 y.o. relative; and that the young woman was asking for it because…Hell, I even heard once that a 60 y.o. nun should not have been driving by herself at night.
    Why? because as long as we shift the blame onto the victim then we can feel safe about ourselves and our children because WE would never encourage violence.

  15. Michelle says:

    So why to institutions like schools and colleges let students go unpunished when this happens? If young adults go unpunished, they will grow up thinking this is acceptable behavior. I have a niece that was raped as a high school student and her attacker was given a slap on the hand and allowed to stay in the same high school (not even suspended). She had to face him daily. The school did absolutely nothing to ensure her safety. He was a football player – ring any bells??? What about the incident at JCC where the President says they did enough to punish the attacker? How would she feel if that was her daughter? Why wasn’t he expelled? Is his tuition that important? As a society we continue to let the children and women suffer. Why?

  16. 7.62x54r says:

    Try putting “self defense” on your pistol permit application and see how far that gets you.

  17. Greg F says:

    Some might find this of interest:

    National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey


  18. Mike says:

    There is no woman worth going to jail over, They just aren’t that great, if they are unreasonable all the time pack up and leave they can be someone else’s problem. Getting in an argument with one is asking for trouble if they claim battery or anything else their word is taken as gospel you are guilty unless you have evidence or someone else to back you up your going to jail. They aren’t worth it!

  19. Brian Mann says:

    Mike – The way that you talk about women gets deeply at the heart of the problem. The reason that we men shouldn’t physically or sexually assault women is not that they “aren’t that great” or “aren’t worth it.” The reason we shouldn’t assault women is that it’s disgusting, illegal, and demonstrates the deepest possible gutlessness.

    –Brian, NCPR

  20. The Original Larry says:

    One need only look at the NFL and their handling of the Ray Rice situation, as well as some of the comments on this blog, to understand that society’s attitude towards domestic violence (of any kind) is a large part of the problem, even if it ostensibly anti-violence. Too many explanations, too much parsing of the truth, too many exceptions and too many excuses. It’s wrong, it’s always wrong and should be dealt with summarily and equitably. End of story.

  21. Mark Berninghausen says:

    the sense of a dangerous pattern would be even more clear – See more at: http://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org/inbox/2014/09/22/lets-talk-about-the-north-countrys-epidemic-of-rape-and-domestic-violence/#sthash.FTnpnph2.dpuf

    I think you have made a good start on reporting the story, but until you have actual statistics of what happened in the past ten years or even more calling the cases you site signs of an epidemic or calling them a flood is premature and may be an over reaction.

    Seems kind of trendy to report your findings in the way you do, considering the wider World of News. Not that I think you shouldn’t just because violence against women and children is so prominent in the National News. Keep going.

  22. Brian Mann says:

    Mark B –

    How’s this for trendy? The Centers for Disease Control conducted an exhaustive survey and found that nearly 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime. How’s that for a dangerous pattern? And how about this? Half of those women were raped by an intimate partner. Only 15% were assaulted by a stranger.

    We have exhaustive studies of sexual violence in the military and on college campuses. We know from religious institutions that they’ve been plagued by sexual violence and pedophilia.

    By connecting the dots to our rural area, I’m not being premature or over-reacting. I’m pointing out the opposite: we’re years behind the curve in dealing with this violence. If one out of five men could expect to be raped in their lifetimes, this would be at the top of the agenda.

    –Brian, NCPR

  23. Mark Berninghausen says:

    If my use of the word trendy offended you, and w/in the limitations of text communication it seems to me it did, I apologize.

    The survey results from the CDC which you present have been that way for ages and ages. Have things gotten worse?

    I am not surprised about The North Country being behind this issue or any other issue, are you? It’s a symptom of being mostly rural, don’t you think?

    “If one out of five men …” How many men are raped? It is my understanding that in the Military most of the reported rapes or sexual assaults are by men against men. But the focus of the reporting is on the women who get raped. Why is that? Because people don’t want to think that men can get raped too? Because of what it would say about our “Men in Uniform”? Men do get raped and sexually assaulted.

    Show us everything that the “exhaustive studies of sexual violence in the military” shows and let us decide what the studies show. Or, maybe, include a link?

  24. Brian Mann says:

    First, does it matter if things have gotten worse? Second, I don’t actually think the North Country is more behind on this than anyone else in the country. I just thing we need to take it seriously now.

    Here’s the military study.


    Here’s the study about college campuses.


    –Brian, NCPR

  25. shay rounseville says:

    Thank you for your story. I was married to a man up here who beat me and raped me on a daily basis. He was arrested many times finally and 2009 he tried to kill me in front of our children he was sent to prison and has since gotten out. Our family court judge said that he would now get custody of our children because he took classes in prison and because I failed to protect them from seeing him beat me. I do not understand why I and my children are being punished for his actions. My lawyer told me “welcome to the north country” it just seems to me I read in the paper that you get more time for a DWI when you do her brutally beating and raping women and children. The abused should not be punished for the abusers actions. An there should be harsher punishments for these horrible crimes! Thanks again for the great article!

  26. Frankly, I don’t get the sense that things are worse. I think there is more awareness and fewer things are swept under the rug. If this all helps bring the statistic closer to 0, then all the better.

    I suggest everyone read Original Larry’s comment. He is 100% spot on word for word.

    Assault, battery, rape are all crimes regardless of who it’s against. Just because a partner or child is “yours” does not give you license to do whatever the hell you want. Dial your ego down a little bit. You don’t own anyone.

  27. Pete Klein says:

    Rape and assault are always wrong and illegal, no matter the age or sex of either the victim or the perpetrator.
    The only question to me is why are men almost always the perpetrator. My guess is it has something to do with how men believe they need to be dominant to be men. It’s the whole concept of what it means to be a “real man” – always needing to prove they are men, like they need to reassure themselves, like they are not sure.
    If you need to prove something, you probably aren’t what you want to prove.
    A good example is how I guy is laughed at if he is still a virgin at 21.

  28. Mervel says:

    It comes back to a societal acceptance of violence, combined with seeing women as “less” an object to control, manipulate and use. Look at our music, look at the things we like to watch, we like a sport where men beat themselves half to death in a cage. You can’t watch porn and not feel that the other person is anything but an object to be utilized for your pleasure. The list goes on we accept these things as a society and then wonder why young men have horrible attitudes about women and violence.

    I think the North Country in my experience within the Social Work community has a huge problem with male attitudes toward women in general, is this worse today? I don’t know, I do know I meet a lot of men I work with who feel that exerting control of women through intimidation, threats and outbursts is just part of being in a relationship.

  29. Kelly says:

    While the increase in news events can feel overwhelming, there is hope. There is more news because there are more reports to law enforcement and fewer women living in secrecy and shame. There are more reports because victims are hearing the message (from some of us) that it wasn’t their fault–not even a little bit AND because men are becoming part of the solution.
    To quote an expert in this field, Andrew Irwin-Smiler: “We rarely talk about violence against men. When we do, we usually make jokes. That’s a problem. @goodmenproject http://ow.ly/zGabj AND Instead of “why are men violent?” we need to ask “why are most violent people male?” #rayrice @GoodMenProject http://ow.ly/Bolxp

  30. shovel says:

    Shay Rounseville, what an awful story! It sounds like you are getting very poor representation on court. I hope that you can find someone better to take on your case.

  31. shovel says:

    Domestic violence by women against men exists, although in smaller number. It may be even harder for men to come forward and admit to being a battered partner. (There are also cases of lesbians who hurt and intimidate.) If we want to get a handle on this problem we need to prosecute effectively, and sentence appropriately. Treating domestic violence like a “real crime” is the only way to get the message across.

  32. Pete K: We’re still a culture that values physical force over other kinds of strength. From our favorite sport (football making fun of “wussy’ sports like basketball and soccer; hockey players are the worst for this machismo bs) to our foreign policy (let’s ‘send them a message’ with our bombs and tanks). Anyone who is not completely like that is mocked (Obama is soft because he’ll only bomb most places, not all). A man who cries in public is mocked (John Boehner) or even gives the appearance of crying (think Edmund Muskie in 72). We want women pols to be tough (because feminine is soft) but if they are (Hillary), they are mocked for being too manly. A guy who doesn’t have sex is laughed at. A girl who does is called a slut (but if she doesn’t, she’s a prude). Double standards abound. Ultimately it all boils down to lack of respect for other human beings.

  33. Mike says:

    Brian Mann – I suppose I could have been a bit more clear in my statement because you seem to have missed it’s meaning entirely. First – let me say hitting a woman is never OK and happens far too often. Second – time and time again there are cases where it has been proven that women lie about assault and rape how often no one really knows but one time is too much considering if you are a guy you are guilty until proven innocent. Women’s word that they were assaulted is taken at 100% fact and you have to prove you are innocent and if you can’t you go to jail. One very publicized case would be the accused Duke Lacrosse Team. They lie about it for many reasons anger, shame, money, leverage in a divorce or child custody and I’m sure there are more. It isn’t that uncommon either and it’s sickening but no one ever wants to talk about that, never mind the damage it does.

  34. withheld says:

    As a victim of domestic violence and of rape at the hands of my ex husband. There has been and still nothing being done by the police, courts, or anyone form of law to protect myself and my child. In fact after several arrest and protection orders that were violated time and time again he was allowed to not only take my child but I have to pay the man that raped me for 4 years child support. There is no punishment no justice just my child and I suffering.

  35. Mark Berninghausen says:

    First, does it matter if things have gotten worse? – See more at: http://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org/inbox/2014/09/22/lets-talk-about-the-north-countrys-epidemic-of-rape-and-domestic-violence/#comment-189209

    No, but maybe things have actually gotten better. We would have no idea unless some comparison was made or some chart or graph presented. One could also look at things quite differently and say that 4 out of 5 women don’t get sexually assaulted. That is a good thing, isn’t it? But we always focus on the negative. Positive stories don’t sell well.

    we’re years behind the curve in dealing with this violence. – See more at: http://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org/inbox/2014/09/22/lets-talk-about-the-north-countrys-epidemic-of-rape-and-domestic-violence/#comment-189209

    My mistake, I thought you meant here where we live, not we as a Nation or World.

  36. David E Brown says:


    Thank you for this thoughtful piece, and your subsequent comments about a very troubling and challenging issue.

    I have been working for over 24 years with both victims and perpetrators of interpersonal violence in its many manifestations. While I have learned much, and have reason to hope that progress is possible, I am under no illusion that it will be easy to transform even a large segment of our society into one where a large proportion of citizens will feel respected and therefore safe.

    There is considerable mythology abroad regarding both victims and perpetrators. Victims have a right to feel safe in any circumstances, and it’s not their fault that others too often take undue advantage of their presence and vulnerability. At the same time, perpetrators are not inherently evil, but rather are driven by their own sense of being victims to take advantage of the presence and vulnerability of others in a vain attempt to satisfy their own hitherto unmet needs.

    Progress will come when more of us recognize that taking advantage of others does not enhance our own lives, but rather perpetuates our own pain. When we decide to take responsibility for our own actions and their consequences to make healthy decisions to enhance our own lives, we will be able to move forward.

    Unfortunately, the manner in which we as a society respond to these situations often aggravates, rather than resolves, the underlying issues. As a consequence victims too often feel no safer and/or further victimized, and perpetrators’ sense of being victims is enhanced, which impairs their likelihood of accepting responsibility for their actions and their consequences, let alone moving forward.

    I would commend to your attention the Restorative Justice Model, which, while challenging to effectively implement, shows promise for promoting healing in all parties involved in, or otherwise affected by, interpersonal violence.

    I hope you will continue to pursue and shed light upon this important issue which touches upon all of us much more than many of us know.

  37. Mark Berninghausen says:

    When I first saw the Ray Rice story I thought, “How about we just stop hitting?”
    When our Country sent bombers to Afghanistan I thought, “What if we turned the other cheek?” I still wonder about that. Why isn’t that seen as a sign of strength?

    Thanks for bringing this up, Brian. I enjoy your reporting On Air as well. You are an asset to the community.

  38. Hoosier3 says:

    The breakdown of marriage, family and community. Unfortunately, government policy for last 75 years meant to solve these issues have only added fuel to the fire. The moral fabric of America is unraveling due to government policies. We will find the answers to the questions that will breakdown the barriers of government intrusion with our faith in God and restoring individual liberty and responsiblity.

    “Government cannot re-empower religious institutions, for their essential nature is moral and spiritual. But it can be less hostile to their traditional areas of competence and mission. The potential for good among many religiously inspired schools, especially in America’s inner cities, is well-known. But Congress and the courts insist that the price of government cooperation in education is noncooperation among the three nurturing institutions of family, church, and school. This strategy weakens communities.” Patrick F. Fagen, Ph.D.
    Here’s the link:

  39. helloladiesandgentlemen says:

    “Many organizations still insist on dealing with accusations of sexual criminality “in house,” without reporting alleged assaults to police. ”

    Is this legal, if yes– why?

    “We hate to confront the fact that so many of the men in our communities and our families are predators. These are people we know. They’re our sons, our brothers, our fathers, sports heroes, or our pastors, or our teachers.”

    How do we change this? In virtually all sexually predatory cases our people want to (at the very least) ‘lock em up forever’ and (disturbingly) commonly ‘victimize; viagra for bubba, castrate, kill, etc.’ I would speculate we don’t tend to want these things for the faces we know and respect or accept.

    We all rose to the occasion for our modern day witch hunt, where lanterns became infrared and the proverbial ‘White Van’ transformed into a fuel efficient white Obama-mobile. Thus far only one Mann has approached the underlying issues which somehow turns everyone else off, as the hunt ended and the celebration ensues. We currently seem to be trending away from incarceration and toward treatment in our strategy to combat drug addiction. How far are we away from a strategy of prevention, intervention and treatment for those that (will?) offend us most, when there is glaring evidence our current strategy (or lack of one) fails?

  40. Paul says:

    “Whether the flood was always there or whether it’s new, I don’t know.”

    Is a flood something that is always there? No. You are reporting that there is a flood. Either there is a flood or there is a flood, or a flood of reports of what has always been present. Seems like an important difference.

  41. Kelly says:

    It’s interesting that so many people want to nitpick whether there are more instances of sexual and partner violence or just more attention. And then there is the tired old argument that some accusations are false. (Show me a crime where that is not true.) These are just distraction techniques to avoid the central argument. What are each of you going to do to stop the violence?
    1 is 2 Many. http://youtu.be/xLdElcv5qqc

  42. shovel says:

    Hmm. These comments are on an article titled “LET’S TALK about…,” yet many postings here are focused on anything but the steady stream of violence against women perpetrated in this area. Ironic, that.

  43. Mervel says:

    Kelly is right,

    I think many of our arguments often are simply distracting from the real problem which in the end we as a community don’t really want to face. Blaming the victim I think is almost a natural response as we try to understand what is going, on particularly with domestic violence, but it won’t help solve the problem and it certainly won’t help victims. This is largely an issue that men have to face; we as men have to be more involved in standing up and making sure we are clear that this is unacceptable.

  44. Mervel says:

    Abuse needs to be fully criminalized and seen as the crime that it is. It’s not a family issue, its not between the couple, its a crime. So yes we do need the community and our entire criminal justice system to work together to keep victims safe and to put these criminals in jail.

  45. Peter Hahn says:

    What might help is if every one of these “sexual violence against women” stories were covered by the local news services as front page type stories. As it it, news departments are part of the entertainment industry and try to provide news that people are interested in. “if it bleeds it leads” is a common refrain. For some reason this seems to apply to auto accidents, not sexual violence. NCPR could prominently feature each and every police report about local sexual violence as it happens. OR..; periodically Brian could read off the list for the week or month. Its a pretty powerful device as he did in the “drumbeat” section of the essay above.

  46. Mervel says:


    Also shaming has shown to be a very effective tool. Once people are convicted of this make sure their crimes are well known in the community.

  47. Brian Mann says:

    The latest from the New York State Police:

    On September 24, 2014, State Police arrested 67-year-old Francis P. Jarvis of Altona for sexually abusing an 11-year-old male victim.

    Jarvis was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a class A Misdemeanor, and Course of Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree, a class D Felony. He was arraigned in the Town of Ellenburg Court where he was remanded to Clinton County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail, or $100,000 bond. Jarvis is to reappear on October 9, 2014.

  48. Brian Mann says:

    Yet more from the New York State Police:

    On September 23, 2014, State Police arrested 21-year-old Katelyn L. Way of Altona, New York for having sexual relations with a 16-year-old male.

    Way was charged with Rape 3rd Degree, a class E Felony, Criminal Sex Act 3rd Degree, a class E Felony, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a class A Misdemeanor. Way was arraigned at the Town of Peru Court and remanded to the Clinton County Jail in lieu of $250 cash bail or $500 secured bond. Way is to reappear at the Town of Plattsburgh Court on September 25, 2014, at 4 p.m., and also at the Town of Ausable Court on Spetember 26, 2014, at 10 a.m.

  49. Brian Mann says:

    So, I promise not to keep drum-beating this, but I just want to illustrate how daily and pervasive this is. This from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise today: “A local man was arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly punching a pregnant woman during a domestic dispute.”


    And this from CNYcentral.com: “A [26-year-old] Ausable Forks man is facing charges after Oswego County Sheriff’s deputies say he got two teen girls drunk at a party in Volney and then tried to have sex with one of them.”


    And this from the New York State Police blotter:

    State Police in Marcy arrested Casimir J. Swalgin Jr., age 25, from North Lake Road in Forestport, NY for Attempted Rape in the first degree, a class “B” felony.


    It’s a near-daily event. And again, while some of these men will be found innocent, the pattern is impossible to ignore.

    –Brian, NCPR

  50. Enid says:

    In the Glens Falls area:

    February 2005, Glens Falls, Raymond DiLorenzo, 48, killed estranged wife, Laurie DiLorenzo, 42, by shooting her while their teenage daughter was present..

    October 2007, Glens Falls, Michael Flint, Jr., 23, killed Colbi Bullock, 7 months old, the son of a friend, by battering him.

    July 2011, Lake George, Douglas Cunningham, 52, killed estranged wife, Kathleen Bardos, 47, by shooting her. He then killed himself, making their teenage daughter an orphan.

    September 2011 Lake George, Adam Parcells, 29, killed his daughters Noel Parcells,10 and Mia Parcells 3, by shooting them.

    October 2011, Glens Falls, Richard Velazquez, 24, severely injured both a 7 week old baby and his mother by battering them.

    February 2012 Glens Falls, Gary Lee Waite, 28, killed his son, Jesse Smith, 15 months old, by battering him.

    November 2012 Glens Falls, Brandon Warrington, 24, killed Gary Carpenter, 5, the son of a friend, by battering him.

    August 2013 Hudson Falls, Kevin King, 30, killed his son, Brett King, 3 months old, by battering him.

    December 2013, Lake Luzerne, Clifford R. Burns, 46, killed estranged wife Patricia Canavan Burns, 42,and injured his teen daughter and step daughter by stabbing them.

    June 2014, Malta, Saratoga County, Charles L. Wilkinson, 69, a retired Nassau County NY police officer, has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing Kathleen Wilkinson, 65, his wife.

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