Mandatory Sentencing of Child Sexual Predators

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�PAGE � �PAGE �1� Mandatory Sentencing

Mandatory Sentencing of Child Sexual Predators

Laura Gabbard

Western International University

COM 112 Utilizing Information in College Writing

Maria Sarmiento

December 25, 2005

Mandatory Sentencing of Child Sexual Predators

It was a late, fall day in November 2000 when it happened in the town of Frederick, Maryland. They found the body of 9-year old Christopher Ausherman in the dugout of the Little League field where many children played. Young Christopher had been beaten, raped, and strangled to death. A boy was victimized and murdered for no other reason than the fact that he was just that, a young boy. The culprit was Elmer Spence Jr., a convicted violent sexual predator who had been released from prison less than a week before. Spence had served almost four years of a 10-year sentence for sexual assault. His crimes spanned a quarter of a century. Beginning in 1974, Spence was charged with sex crimes.

In 1982, he was convicted of raping and attempting to kill an 11-year old boy. The beating, rape, and murder of Christopher Ausherman was Spence's fourth sex crime in 25 years. There should be a mandatory 25-year prison sentence without parole for convicted child sexual offenders. If such a law had existed previously, it is almost certain Spence would not have had the last three sex crimes on his record and there would be a 14-year old boy alive today.


Recently the issue of the safety of our nations' children has been in the news. Criminals with a history of preying on young children are turned loose to continue their deviant behavior. In some cases, the behavior escalates to murder. Recidivism rates for rape of any kind are higher than other crimes. Within three years of release, 2.5 % of released...