The kid had a hard life. His mother died when he was young, so there’s that excuse. Besides, with the quaint rape laws we have, who’s to say this wasn’t just young love and he’s a victim of our puritanical judicial system? Who are we to judge!?!?
The son of a Washington state senator has pleaded guilty to rape after a younger boy reported a series of incidents that occurred at the lawmaker’s home.
Lewis County court records show the 15-year-old pleaded guilty Tuesday to four charges of child molestation and four charges of raping a child. The 11-year-old victim in the case told authorities that state Sen. Brian Hatfield’s son had abused him at Hatfield’s home in Raymond and at another home in Chehalis, according to law enforcement documents.
The records say that Hatfield became aware of the abuse in mid-February and had worked to keep the boys apart but did not report the matter to authorities. Lewis County investigators first began examining the issue two weeks ago after school officials reported that a student had disclosed details of sexual abuse.
He worked to keep the boys apart? Really?
John Meyer, the prosecuting attorney in Lewis County, said he did not expect charges would be filed against Hatfield for failing to report the abuse because Hatfield is not required to report under state law.
“There’s no basis to file any charges,” Meyer said.
So an elected official can be aware of child rape in his own home, do nothing, and face no consequences? Geez.
Hatfield, a Democrat, first joined the Legislature in 1994 and was re-elected last year to the state Senate, where he is a leader on issues relating to agriculture and rural economic development. He and his wife have four children, and the law enforcement documents say the couple maintains residences in both Pacific County and Lewis County.
Beckwith said Hatfield’s son has had several catastrophic losses in his life, including the death of his biological mother at a young age.
“His extremely difficult childhood is a contributing factor in this case, and is not an uncommon history of other juvenile offenders,” Beckwith said in a statement.
Um, OK. So any of you out there who lost your mother at a young age are hereby excused for any future criminal behavior. Heck, you might even get a nice 30-day sentence for four counts of rape.
Plea documents indicate that officials will recommend the boy be sentenced to 30 days in custody and two years of sex-offender counseling, among other provisions.
Harsh. Check out this mealy-mouthed excuse.
“The Hatfield family has been asked to respond regarding Senator Brian Hatfield’s son being accused of criminal offenses. Senator Hatfield was told by his wife that she had witnessed some inappropriate behavior by his son B.A.H. towards the end of February 2013. In abundance of caution, Senator Hatfield called our office for a consultation for his son to see what the best course of action would be.
“I privately interviewed B.A.H. in a conversation that is and was protected by attorney/client privilege. That information was never disclosed to Senator Hatfield or his wife. There was never any information that was disclosed to Senator Hatfield that would trigger a legal requirement for him to report any conduct to legal authorities.
“Upon my advice, Senator Hatfield changed his supervision plan for his son and was in the process of setting up appropriate counseling at my direction. When those things were in place it was the intention of B.A.H. to turn himself in to the proper authorities to address the underlying criminal offenses. Prior to being able to do that there was a report to law enforcement, and B.A.H. turned himself in to law enforcement without incident.