Monday, May 15, 2006

Pedophilia Hysteria In Connecticut

WFSB Channel 13 News reports that a priest in New Britain, Connecticut has been accused of molesting a 12-year old girl but that his parishioners are standing behind him. Click here for the full story. I've posted an excerpt below:

NEW BRITAIN -- Parishioners in New Britain are standing behind their priest even though he has been accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl.
The members of St. Stephen's Armenian Church say they believe their priest of 12 years, Grigoris Keshishian, was wrongly accused.
"I think the people who are giving the wrong accusation should be punished themselves," said parishioner Marinisa Sahakyam.
Keshishian led a prayer service on Sunday morning to a packed room of parishioners. His supporters say the child who has accused him of abuse was playing on a table during a church event when she slipped and fell. They say Keshishian then attempted to catch her and that is when the little girl says the touching happened. It is an accusation no one at Sunday's service seemed to believe.
"My daughter is 8 years old," said Sahakyam. "Last year as a priest he took her to Armenia and that was a 30-hour trip and I trusted him to take my daughter with him."

Analysis: This accusation, by all accounts, has got to be a world-class misunderstanding. Would a priest actually try to molest a girl in front of a roomful of worshippers? That is insane!

We don't know what the 12-year old girl's frame of mind is, or what "standards" she was taught. It could be that she honestly believes she was molested. If so, what is her mother's role in all this. There's got to be more to this story.

However, even with a favorable outcome, the priest's reputation will be damaged. Who will compensate him for that damage? The anti-pedophile fanatics don't think about this as they demand successively greater restrictions against pedophiles, and are even willing to consider breaching the traditional "presumption of innocence". I blogged on a story regarding a man in Scotland who refused to stop to help an obviously lost toddler because he was afraid of being mistaken for a pedophile. There was also the story about Eric Haskett's ordeal in Maryland. Pretty soon, groups like Big Brothers will find it more difficult to find mentors for fatherless boys because men will not want to expose themselves to the risk of false accusations of pedophilia and sexual misconduct.

It's one thing to pass laws increasing the penalties for sexual misconduct against children, as the Alaska State Legislature recently did with SB 218. It's another thing to foment a climate of vigilantiism against anyone merely accused of sexual misconduct against children. The disgusting ratings-trolling entrapment tactics of NBC Dateline, a cheap reality show thinly-disguised as "journalism", further fuel the flames of hysteria. The witch-hunting needs to stop - like it or not, the presumption of innocence applies to ALL American citizens.

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