EDITORIAL: Sentence wasn't excessive given the horrible crime
Society has to break the chain of sexual violence, and Wednesday's sentence of Eric A. Olson certainly showed strong support for that effort. The 39-year-old Superior man was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison for videotaping sex with a fo...
Society has to break the chain of sexual violence, and Wednesday's sentence of Eric A. Olson certainly showed strong support for that effort.
The 39-year-old Superior man was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison for videotaping sex with a four-year-old girl. Charges against Olson included production and possession of child pornography.
Olson's attorney deemed the sentence "life-shattering for someone whose wife and family sits in the courtroom and (listens) as he has to admit what he's done."
Fortunately, Judge Barbara Crabb was more concerned about the life-shattering experience endured by the four-year-old child who became a victim of his depravity.
The investigation brought out that Olson endured a dismal childhood. The judge referred to his "alcoholic mother who brought men into the house for her own sexual gratification."
It's not always true, but it's not unusual to find that those who commit horrific acts of sexual violence themselves were sexually victimized as children. Among that group, many have never recovered nor received the psychological treatment they desperately need. So they re-offend, not fully understanding their motivation.
That's sad for everyone involved. But it doesn't lessen the new suffering they have caused. And it extends a generation-to-generation chain of sexual violence that needs to be stopped.
Although harsh, Crabb's sentence creates a firewall that might halt at least a small amount of the violence. It's unfortunate that Olson's upbringing didn't adequately prepare him for life as an adult, but society now must break the chain that could link him to even further crimes against young, innocent victims.
Meanwhile, people should be cognizant that many more individuals of the same ilk lie in waiting to commit equally hurtful crimes. The education never begins too soon. Children need to know when they're being abused -- whether the abuser is a stranger or a close family member.