Police recruit fired, arrested for child molestation – Is any crime lower?

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.

[tnipoll]

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?

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About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, death, gross stuff, life, Police/fire/law and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Police recruit fired, arrested for child molestation – Is any crime lower?

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski. Being a parent makes me want these predators out of circulation, permanently. Some, such as statutory rape with one party being technically under the law’s age limits, but consensual, are not that severe in my opinion. The scum that take advantage of vulnerable young children, who often know and trust them, are the worst. They tend to make me feel the parents should define their punishment, if proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. I’ve heard of some horror stories of investigators at child care facilities, etc., coercing untrue stories from the kids in a sort of witch hunt, only to find the kids made up the whole damn thing.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya radmax,
      i agree the ones who take advantage of small, defenseless children – who are sometimes left in their care – deserve a very severe punishment.
      but you’re also right on the dangers of false accusations. my latest true crime read, ann rule’s new book I Trusted You, starts with a story of a wife who murdered her husband. months after the fact, all of a sudden her defense team was pretending he molested their 5-yr-old. of course, the guy most likely did not and was not alive to defend himself against the charges.
      but in another true crime read some time back, a woman’s boyfriend raped her little baby. a baby.
      enough to make you sick.
      happy monday!

  2. Jennatoolz says:

    Hey Ryn! Hope you had an awesome weekend, I know I did!! 😀

    As for that “oops” guy, child pornography is just the beginning. Who knows what would have happened if he wasn’t caught when he was? He could have gotten bored with the child porn, and moved on to find the real thing. Regardless, I don’t think he should have been killed.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya jennatoolz!
      good point on the child porn serving as a stepping stone to more disgusting things.
      yeah, death for a guy who collects child porn may be a tad harsh – but who knows how many kids that could saved, no?
      p.s. my weekend was awesomely wonderful…thanks for asking! i have an inkling why your weekend was grand, but i’ll let sawyer disclose the reason!

  3. tiponeill says:

    Agreed that the subscriber list for Playboy should be published and used to bring about vigilante justice – it appeals to the self righteousness and blood thirst of subscribers and may be the only way to save journalism.

    • Rynski says:

      since when does playboy count as child pornography?
      do you know something we don’t, tip?

      • tiponeill says:

        “since when does playboy count as child pornography”
         
        it doesn’t – it counts as “pornography” and therefore must act “as a stepping stone to more disgusting things” such as rape, obviously.
        I’m just looking out for responsible journalism here Rynski – like portraying a 23 year old accused of sex with a 16 year old of being a “child molester” and encouraging our current system of prison rape.
        Vigilantism is always popular, and god knows newspapers need more subscribers.

      • Ana says:

        I think you’re totally off here Tip.  Child pornography, taken of unknowing, unwilling minors is totally not the same as Playboy.  We are all entitled to our porn opinions, but I think that men who like looking/reading Playboy, enjoy sex with women. People who look at child porn obviously have an inappropriate, illegal fascination with children.  If my boyfriend had a Playboy mag, whatever.  Kiddie porn on his computer, I’m calling the cops.  In addition, convicts in jail do what they want, to sex offenders and non alike.  If you touched my kid, I’d want to kill you too.  I think it’s a natural instinct, like consensual sex.  Raping children however, isn’t.

      • Ado says:

        Hi Ana,  I would agree with your comments and add that pornography of any nature is turning a person into a sexual object, regardless of the age of the person in a photo or film or whatever.   I believe the making of another human into a mere sexual object  is itself a dehumanizing act, and if a person is able to dehumanize another for any reason,  it tends to make it easier for that person to commit an entire array of crimes against people, ranging from rape to battery, and murder.  I have no problem with artistic nudes, and even artistic photography of the human form,  but Playboy, Hustler, and publications of that ilk, go way beyond artistic(legal definations of “art” notwithstanding).  As  Justice Potter Stewart commented, “Pornography may be hard to define, but I know it when I see it.”.

      • leftfield says:

        I think you’re all missing the point of Tip’s original comment.  I won’t comment for him though. 

        My comment would be that most of us have a very visceral and natural negative reaction to certain crimes; sexual offenses against children being near the top of most lists.  Our emotional reaction though, is not the basis of a rational system of justice.  It’s easy to see how any system based on our emotional reaction to crimes and alleged crimes soon would degenerate to anarchy and mob rule.  

        This begs the question: what is the overall purpose, the intended end result, of our system of justice – revenge, protection, rehabilitation; some combination of these?

      • Rynski says:

        tip – if you are going to quote me, please don’t omit key phrases, such as the below which you happened to leave out the world “child.”
        child porn serving as a stepping stone to more disgusting things.”
        thanks, ana, for helping to point that out.

      • tiponeill says:

        No need to misquote you – how about “child molestation – is any crime lower” along with the photo of a 23 year old accused of having sex with a 16 year old , and a poll on the appropriateness of prison rape and vigilante justice ?
        I’m just congratulating you of being in that fine journalistic tradition of gaining readership.

      • Ana says:

        Kind of like relating child porn to Playboy… A little sensational!

  4. azmouse says:

    Happy Monday morning!
    Yes, as a parent, this is one of those fears for your children near the top of the list. For the sake of (avoiding) argument, I’m only speaking about actual, guilty child predators. The only thing I can think of that’s worse, are the ones who kill their victims to try and hide the crime.
    I wish that these kinds of people could seek help for their ‘sexual preference’, which is children, before they commit these horrible, life changing crimes. I also believe they will never change being attracted to kids and they must learn the tools to keep them from acting on their behavior. 

    • Ana says:

      I agree with you but don’t think there is any reforming or abstaining.  Usually a product of their own personal abuse which they continue to act out in a horrible cycle.  NO, I am not saying all abused children act out in such a way as adults.

      • azmouse says:

        Thank you for your reply, Ana.
        I agree, and that was really my point. You cannot reform a child sexual predator. They are what they are and it can’t be changed. I’d like to believe that some can learn to not act on it with the right tools, because most will end up back on the streets with our children.

    • Rynski says:

      mornin’ azmouse – thanks for input.

  5. james says:

    Greetings all, I think this might be too early to tell what is what in this case, sounds like could be more of statutory rape situation than molestation. Don’t blast me here, but I’ve seen first hand how some young ladies act and dress in the upper high school grades, and its sometimes hard to think of them as children. they are shown how to dress via the tv and fashion mags and the stores, so that its hard to judge age in many cases. THAT SAID, I do not condone any behavior with a minor! I just wish the courts could go back to dealing with the crimes individually, and not mandated to use the mandatory sentencing now in use. Might allow some common sense back into courts.

    This guy could be looking at 15 – 25 years unless he pleads out. don’t know if this would be justice or not.

    • azmouse says:

      Hi James,
      I certainly understand where you’re coming from. I agree there are many variables. I think many of us see  someone having sex with a sixteen year old as, for lack of better words, more tolerable or understandable than someone who goes after five year olds.
      The guy in this particular story did this twice though…with a relative no less, assuming he’s guilty. He’s got creepy factor for those reasons.

      • Rynski says:

        i noted those factors as well –
        a 23 year engaging in sexual conduct with a 16 year old is a different situation than an adult preying on a toddler, baby or younger child. but it’s still not right if it is forced or unwanted behavior.
        and DOUBLE YES on the fact that the 16-year-old was a relative and this person was not the only victim.

  6. DannyK says:

    If you’re advocating “prison justice” then why have due process or courts? Let’s let criminals decide what penalty any accused deserve? This mentality totally undermines society’s sense of fair play and any  civilized justice. Prison sentences are designed to punish those convicted by taking away their freedom and keeping them separate from the rest of society. I’ve never heard a judge sentence someone to be  prison raped or beaten but it seems most people are OK with these outcomes as long as it’s kept quiet.

    • Ana says:

      Aren’t prison sentences also supposed to be a deterrent for crime as well?  Not just for punishing, but just so you know, hey, if you do this these will be the consequences & you will be thrown in with the wolves.

      • Rynski says:

        good point, ana. the thought of being thrown to the wolves could be a MAJOR deterrent – better deterrent than something like the threat of no cable except the disney channel…

        also good point from dannyk on how the system is designed and “supposed to” work. but true, some will look the other way – the chamberlain “oops” case scenario caused a big stink when it happened, and much was written about orange county’s theo lacy jail – like this blurb from the oc weekly news:

        The guards and prisoners inside Orange County’s jail system operate in a hierarchical power structure that is strangely symbiotic. Theo Lacy is no exception. To enforce order among the 1,800 inmates housed there, the vastly outnumbered guards rely on the leaders or “shot-callers” of three main jail groups: the “Woods,” or whites; the “Southsiders,” mostly Latino gang members; and the “Paisanos,” mostly illegal immigrants from Mexico.

        Each shot-caller has a “mouse,” or assistant, who is responsible for passing along commands from shot-callers to the rest of the inmates. Helping the shot-callers enforce those orders are “torpedoes,” typically the toughest or most violent members of each clique.

  7. tiponeill says:

    Ana – Kind of like relating child porn to Playboy… A little sensational!

    Hey you’re right – maybe I can get a job as a responsible journalist 🙂

  8. Ado says:

    Perhaps this guy had no priors, and he didn’t show up on the radar screen when the TPD ran him through the various checks and screening that an applicant is put through.  But then again, it’s possible the TPD needs to upgrade it’s screening process to include a more intensive psychological screening of applicants(I don’t know, perhaps they do and this guy slipped through).



    While I feel very sorry for his current  victims,  it’s good he was apprehended at this point in his criminal career.  I would shudder to think what else may have  happened if this guy made it through the police academy and ended up out on the streets of Tucson with a gun on his hip, and perhaps even being a liaison officer in a middle school or H.S.

    • azmouse says:

      Hello Ado,
      I agree with you. The fact that he was seeking employment in a position that has some power adds more severity to the situation. 

    • edwardsthana@live.com says:

      oh mama mia… what’s this about his “criminal career?” who the hell are you to make judgements without knowing his history?!?..he had a degree in criminal justice & was raised in a strict catholic family; sometimes i think he was too sheltered & knew nothing of the outside world…i speak from knowing his father very well, he was a former husband

  9. JD Benish says:

    Im a retired homicide detective. I specialized in crimes against children. You can learn how to protect your children from predators by reading my book “Protectus Prol”  Its a short book, and doesnt cost much. You can purchase it at http://www.codefore.com/books.

  10. Keith Richard Radford Jr says:

    We have people making an effort to force people who have had sex contested by a neighbor committed to sex Gulag to/morn/grieve for victims’ families by forcing their lives on people they don’t know or want to with the thinking that their trauma trumps someone else’s trauma like little pig’s who want their offenders homes/money/lives & wants more concern about what caused them to become what unstable? Do they think they are the only ones who have trauma in their lives? Do you think if they married someone eles they might have had a normal life without thugs telling people their life loss/history/problems are what more important? Having unstable people come to your door with guns to tell you about their problems and throw you in jail for them without having committed any crimes except in the dark places in their minds? No our life is far to short for your trash sex law. Our life is more important than anyone else and we will find or sympathy at the barrel of a gun, You have questions and you want to go to someone’s home to make them feel like you? The program was created to help people deal with something never before discussed in public. The victims are now considered to have a pre existing conditions which they keep and the one who has given up everything moves through life with your allowance? Thank you community organizers for making such a completely gross/greedy/unconstitutional illegal and stupid program that has become everything it was not to be and the sooner you shut it down the better you will find yourselves when the proverbial S**T HIT THE FAN. If not, you have been notified. Shut the trash called a sex offender/offered registry data base down now.

  11. KimberMcPher says:

    I think that something to keep in mind here is that the crime is 1) not molestation and 2) there is no record in any real publication of gabe having “another victim.”
    I, of course, like hopefully every other American citizen, that crimes against children are heinous and awful occurrences. However, there is a lot more to consider in these equations:
    -All crimes are alleged. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Crimes such as murder and anything involving a minor tend to stick with an individual even if they are found “not guilty,” but let’s bear in mind that everything is not always as it seems; there is more than one side to every story and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle
    -Minors are becoming overly sexualized due to a number of factors in society. Is this right? No. Is this true? Yes. I know of young adults, of approximately the same age as Gabe meeting girls out and being lied to with regard to their age. Young girls often have fake IDs, pretend to be older, etc. and no one thinks the wiser given the fact that we allow teenagers to dress, talk and act like adults before they are truly ready to understand those ramifications. Luckily, nothing sexual occurred in the examples I’m references, but it easily could have, I imagine. This raises the question of: Are we supposed to card everyone we meet?
    -People lie. That’s fairly self-explanatory.
    The bottom line is to please not condemn everyone accused of crimes. There is often more to the story. It is easy to be disgusted, upset, angry and a hundred other different emotions, but it is important to allow everyone their day in court. I in no way am an advocate for victim-blaming, but we do need to take everything we hear and read with a grain of salt.
    Finally, speaking as someone who supervised Gabe at his undergraduate university in Pennsylvania, I can truly say that reading this broke my heart. I’ve known him for a long time and have a difficult time believing that this is is true–that there isn’t some other explanation for what happened.
    I, too, have no idea what the truth is, but please understand that this young man is someone’s son, brother, employee, friend, etc., and this experience is devastation. Be adults and keep in mind that just as I can only speak to what I know about Gabe as a person, you too have no idea what happened and shouldn’t be publically massacreing a 23-year-old who has absolutely no history of any kind of misconduct and has not been found guilty of anything.

    • KimberMcPher says:

      I do stand corrected. I have been able to locate, in a Pennsylvania newspaper, documentation of a second victim–whereas before in December, there was nothing available.
      This does change things, of course, but I do stand by the importance of letting the truth speak for itself–whatever that truth may be or mean.

    • edwardsthana@live.com says:

      Thank you.

  12. edwardsthana@live.com says:

    Thank you Kimber. I also know Gabe & know there is something fishy here about these girls, their grandmother, & other relatives. I continue to research & won’t stop until I expose them.

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