Quote indicates retaliation could be all right

I advocate for nationwide sex-crime legislation reform and was horrified by this quote from Cpl. Suess Beyer: “Retaliation against sexual assault offenders is discouraged and can be illegal,” (Herald, March 23).

What an irresponsible thing to say. Retaliation is “discouraged” and “can be illegal?” What kind of retaliation is acceptable then?

I suppose Beyer didn’t think it was important enough to mention that harassment, threats, and other forms of violence toward registrants affect their innocent children and families as well. Anything to paint registrants as disposable, inhuman members of society, I guess. It fits in with the whole “the registry is a necessary tool to protect children and families” argument that law enforcement loves to use. Except it endangers the children and families of registrants and does nothing to help the majority of sex crime victims, whose attackers are not on the registry, nor does it help us avoid other criminals. Ironic, considering innumerable studies show sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rates other than murderers.

If law enforcement’s bias against sex offenders wasn’t clear enough, neither the article nor William Vollert’s registry entry indicate the age of the “child” in question. Common sense, as well as science, shows us that a 21-year-old man in a consenting sexual relationship with 17-year-old “child” is significantly different than a forcible act against a pre-pubescent child. It seems silly and dangerous to treat them as exactly the same, don’t you think?

Shana Rowan

Oneida, NY