Tucsonan Gabriel Edwards reportedly found an easy way to lose his job as a police recruit.

Gabriel Edwards/TPD photo

Gabriel Edwards/TPD photo

He allegedly molested a couple of minors, according to a news release from the Tucson Police Department.

Losing his job and getting arrested may be a flowery fate compared to what happens to some convicted child molesters once they are thrown in prison.

In Edwards case, one of the victims was a 16-year-old relative. We don’t know who the other one was.

Edwards, 23, was initially arrested Dec. 2 and booked into Pima County Jail on one count of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of sexual abuse relating to the 16-year-old.

Police learned of the molestation when they were called to a church in the 10300 block of East 29th Street on Dec. 1.

As they investigated further, Tucson police Child Sexual Assault Unit detectives found out about another victim and piled more charges on Edwards. These include three more counts of sexual conduct with a minor and three additional counts of sexual abuse.

Have people no common sense – or decency?

Police statistics help prove many do not. A total of 304 child molestation incidents were reported from Jan. 1 through the beginning of November this year, slightly higher than the 290 reported in 2008 and the 302 for 2007.

Yes, we know, Edwards has not yet been found guilty of these crimes. But others who have been convicted of child molestation often pay a heftier price than simply losing a potentially promising police career.

Child molesters, even by prison standards, are pretty much the scum of the earth. They are the lowest on the prison totem pole. Prison justice is not uncommon and inmates often take the convicted molesters’ fate into their own hands. Literally.

Convicted criminal Sheldon Weinstein, 64, was murdered earlier this year by blunt force trauma in a Maine prison where he was serving time for gross sexual assault of a child.

Former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex abuser John Goeghan, 68, was apparently strangled to death at a Massachusetts prison in 2004.

And then there was the “oops.”

John Derek Chamberlain, 41, was in California’s Theo Lacy Jail in 2007 on a misdemeanor child pornography charge and couldn’t make the $2,500 bail. Someone erroneously tagged him as a child molester.

An angry mob of between 12 and 20 inmates brutally beat him to death.

Prison justice, although sometimes warranted, does have its flaws.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Are you a fan of prison justice?

Is any crime lower than child molestation?

What’s the appropriate punishment for child molesters?

Should the severity of the punishment be based on the age of the child molested?