Apologies if repost, I searched but didn't find anything.
Did anyone see the news story about the Texas dad who killed his daughter's rapist? Apparently he heard his 5 year old daughter screaming behind his barn and caught a guy in the act of molesting the little girl. Result: he beat the absolute shit out of the guy and accidentally killed him. The father isn't being charged with anything, the police said the use of deadly force was acceptable in defense of the child, as she wasn't able to fight for herself. Plus I'm sure the public would've lashed out on behalf of the dad had he been convicted of anything. Hell, if the girl's father hadn't killed the rapist, the guys in jail probably would've anyway. No one sympathizes with a child molester.
Personally I'm glad the father isn't being punished by the law. By all accounts he sounds like a decent guy who just lost it when he found his baby girl being raped (who wouldn't?). He'll have enough on his plate dealing with the fact that he killed someone and raising a daughter who is, at this point, old enough to remember both being raped AND watching her father beat the guy to death. Gonna be a tough road.
There are several articles about it, but here's one:
A grand jury declined to return an indictment against a father who beat to death a man he found sexually molesting his 5-year-old daughter last week. The grand jury aside, did the dad use excessive force?
TIME.com readers were right: the Texas dad who beat to death a man who was allegedly raping his 5-year-old daughter doesn’t deserve to stand trial.
On Tuesday, a grand jury refused to indict the father, whose name is being kept under wraps to protect the identity of his little girl (her age was being reported as 4 last week). He killed Jesus Mora Flores, a family acquaintance, at a barbecue held at the family’s ranch earlier this month after finding him sexually molesting his daughter behind a barn. The father pulled Flores, 47, off his screaming daughter, then beat him. When he realized the extent of the man’s injuries, he phoned 911 in a panic. “He’s going to die!” the father yelled at the dispatcher. “He’s going to f—— die!”
Investigators confirmed that the scenario played out as it had been described by the father and witnesses. The girl was taken to a hospital and examined, where forensic evidence indicated she’d been sexually abused. Emergency responders found Flores with his pants and underwear pulled down.
The Associated Press reports:
In declining to indict the 23-year-old father in the June 9 killing of Jesus Mora Flores, a Lavaca County grand jury reached the same conclusion as investigators and many of the father’s neighbors: He was authorized to use deadly force to protect his daughter.
“It’s sad a man had to die,” said Michael James Veit, 48, who lives across the street from where the attack happened in this small community run on ranching and the Shiner beer brewery. “But I think anybody would have done that.”
Indeed, in such a horrific and unimaginable moment, it’s easy to believe that many parents would have reacted similarly. I couldn’t see myself having any semblance of self-control. But I wonder about the AP’s conclusion that the father was “authorized to use deadly force to protect his daughter.” One blow probably would have been sufficient to separate the alleged predator from the girl. But the dad pummeled Flores to death. That degree of force was likely unnecessary — but neither investigators, the grand jury nor the general public could muster up much sympathy for Flores. Perhaps it’s because serving as our children’s protector is hard-wired.
Last week, when I wrote about the alleged offense, David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, parsed why a parent might overreact in the case of sexual abuse:
“We have an instinctual desire to protect our kids,” says Finkelhor. “A sexual threat is seen as a mortal threat against their future and their reputation. It is almost like a trigger where we are completely entitled to feel righteous anger.”
Most readers confirmed Finkelhor’s assessement. Among the most popular comments: “This is an extension of the right to self defense. The child cannot defend herself. Most fathers would rather go to jail rather than not act to defend their child. Charges should be dropped.”
Another reader suggested that “lifetime free passes to Disneyland” should be awarded to the dad: “Touch a kid. Die. Done.” A third wrote: “Completely agree. So heinous. Death is deserved.”
Whether that’s true or not, it must be said that there are no winners in this situation. A man is dead, a father killed someone, and a 5-year-old is old enough to remember what happened to her for a very, very long time.