Sexual abuse a life sentence for victims

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Juneau Empire headline dated July 7, 2005, should have read "Man sentenced to four years for sex assault - 7 year old girl receives life." For a more accurate picture to be given to the public the victims' sentence should always be included.

If I understood the article correctly, a grand jury indicted Mr. Peden on 29 counts but he was only tried on two. Twenty-seven offenses were a gift to Mr. Peden and for the two, for which he pleaded guilty, he could have received 10 years. Let's see ... that would be 20 years, right? Instead of 20 years, he actually received two years of incarceration, with some suspended, some probation and registering as a sex offender. Does this seem like a tough sentence? Compare that sentence to the life sentence his victim received?

This seduction/sexual abuse occurred over a seven-month period which is hardly an "oops" slip of judgment. The article seemed to hint at the possibility of Mr. Peden suing the state of Alaska if they don't provide and pay for the mental health counseling needed to change a mindset that was in the making for 20 years before this event occurred. Is it the state, the victim, the system? Everyone but Mr. Peden it seems.

Kathleen Schmitz


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