Judge slammed for molester’s 60-day sentence

A Burlington Vermont Judge, Edward Cashman, caught “bloody hell” after he sentenced a mentally challenged child molester to only 60 days in prison.

Judge Cashman chose the light sentence so that the 34 year old defendant, Mark Hulett, could receive sex offender treatment, which isn’t available in prison. The judge stated that “the defendant was likely to engage in future crime unless he has proper and timely treatment." And, he ordered Hulett to  undergo treatment and remain under state supervision. If Hulett fails to abide by the terms, he could be sent back to prison for up to 10 years for aggravated sexual assault.  The judge also has added the threat of a potential life sentence to see that he complies…

Hulett began molesting the young girl when she was 6 years old. Understandably the girl’s family was outraged at the judge’s decision.  Vermont governor Jim Douglas condemned the sentence and Vermont House Republicans introduced a resolution calling on Cashman to resign.  A state senator is urging his impeachment.

I am not condoning Hulett’s actions but there are certainly some extenuating circumstances to be taken into consideration here.  First, the defendant was a friend of the girl’s family and frequently stayed overnight in her home.  The girl’s parents were aware that Hulett had an interest in her and the two slept in the same bed on occasion, according to court documents. The family must have recognized that Hulett had the emotional maturity of a 12 to 14 year old.

Sexual urges are as natural for people with mental disabilities as they are for everyone else. But they often aren’t able to understand how to control them.  The Vermont Department of Correction’s sex offender treatment team must have recognized Hulett’s low mental capacity and argued his risk to re-offend was low and according to their own guidelines a low-risk sex offenders  such as he should only be treated in the community.

The judge sentenced Hulett to 60 days arguing his concern that delaying Hulett’s treatment while he served a longer sentence would cause more harm and increase the long-term risk he presented to the community.

What needs to be said is that the Vermont governor and the Republicans in the House are crying out for a mentally challenged man be imprisoned with sexual predators.  Mr. Hulett will not be able to defend himself and will most likely be abused in these circumstances.  Politicians who claim to be “tough on crime” often boast they’d be willing to throw the switch to support their position on the death penalty. Would they also be willing to hold Mr. Hulett down while he is repeatedly sodomized? Are they also willing to inflict a death penalty of HIV or hepatitis?
Maybe they should quit beating their chests and start funding treatment programs or wear a big “H” for hypocrite on their chests.