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To The Editor:
I was shocked, dismayed and angered to learn that Ryan Beaulieu was sentenced to a mere 30 days for sexually assaulting a young girl for 10 years. I beg the question, what has happened to our justice system when a crime of this magnitude and violence gets such a minor sentence? Where is the justice for this victim? Victims of sexual assault deserve a lot more from our justice system.
In a 2003 study, "Rape in Vermont: A Report to the State" by Kilpatrick and Ruggiero, an estimated one out of seven adult women in Vermont has been a victim of rape sometime in her lifetime. In 2010 VT Crime Report: There were 136 forcible rapes and 32 statutory rapes reported to law enforcement in Vermont. One of the problems we face in Vermont and nationwide is that there are many more rapes that occur than are reported. It is no wonder, then, that many victims do not report when the outcome is as such. Having to go through the criminal justice system courts is extremely difficult for victims. I know this from both professional and personal experiences. I commend this victim for being brave and going through the criminal justice system. Those with the power and ability should take another look at this case and see what they can do so that the punishment, indeed, fits the crime. How will we ever put an end to violence if our criminal justice system does not provide proper punishment for committing such crimes?
Susan S. Russell