Media silence ‘deafening’

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

I have watched, listened and read with interest the news reports and articles about the “racially motivated” crime by three young men in our community against another, and cannot remain silent any longer.

Please don’t misunderstand me when I say I agree with the media that this crime should have been followed and reported on, but what I found appalling was there was another matter in court that day that should have received as much if not more coverage. I know there were newspaper, radio and TV reporters present that day, as I was also there on another matter.

That same day, a man from this community was convicted and sentenced on sexual assault charges on a young person in our community. This convicted sexual offender had a prior conviction in Medicine Hat, Alberta, for the violent kidnapping and rape of a young girl and had been sentenced to 10 years. At that time, he was labelled as a sexual sadist.

When he got out, he came to this community where he has lived for a number of years and re-offended. He has been sentenced to 16 months plus a probationary period to follow with pages of conditions.

It never fails to amaze me that the media once again has chosen not to report this, as it does so often with sexual offences in our courts.

Unless the predator is of some importance, such as chiropractors or others in prominent positions or professions, it seems the media does not feel the need to inform the public.

I know the amount of time, effort and dedication that went into this case by so many professionals in this community …

The police officer who dedicated so many hours and effort to make sure this case went to court to protect the public. The probation officer who spent a lot of time and effort to make sure the community was protected while he awaited trial and made appropriate recommendations to the court for when he is released. The psychologist who spent time and provided a detailed report, again with recommendations to protect the public.

The Crown counsel who did an excellent job presenting the case to the court, and the judge who in sentencing covered every possible avenue he could to ensure the safety of the public when this predator is released.

And he will be released and with all probability come back to this community, as he has family here and owns property here.

Wound our community pride and the public outrage, protests and coverage are loud and long — wound our children and the silence is deafening!

Linda Halliday-Sumner

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