First I was dismayed that The Press would give this guy Bill Johnson front page coverage. You never see front page coverage of rape victims and the physical, mental agony that they go through for years to come. How about the shame, humiliation or the number of divorces caused by this terrible act?
Let’s get some facts straight about poor Bill. First he said he did 12 years in prison. The actual time that a rapist does is 5.4 years according to the Department of Justice. His rape must have been pretty brutal for him to have done 12 years.
Bill’s comment that the majority of offenders don’t re-offend is untrue. The rate of recidivism is anywhere between 7-35 percent. Also take into account that the majority of rapes never get reported, because of shame and the fact that the justice system is so stacked against them. Many times it’s a he-said, she-said type of thing. Also, from personal experience, how many rapists get caught their very first time? Very few. The average number of victims for a serial rapist is 14. Fourteen victims, before they ever get caught.
Rapes reported last year range anywhere from 88,097 to 232,960, depending on your source. If you use the figure of 20 percent recidivism, that’s somewhere between 17,619 to 46,592 women who are attacked by a repeat offender per year. Let’s not discount the fact from the FBI reports, that only 37 percent of rapes actually get reported. So now that figure is 37 percent higher. Way too many if that is your wife, daughter or mother.
He complained that every other crime gets a break. Well, Bill, every other crime does not always leave a personal, devastating imprint on their life. Some never recover from your acts of violence. You complain that 25 years to a lifetime is too long to be registered. The victim you violated has to live with your actions cruelly perpetrated on them for their lifetime; why not your lifetime, Bill?
How sad for you that you have to live with the pain you caused every day to your victim. Try living with the fear of not going out and being raped again. Try living with the fear of men in your life. Try feeling what it is like not to be able to make love to your husband again. Bill Johnson, you caused this devastation, then you should damn well live with the consequences for the rest of your life. Your victims have to live with it, why not you ?
I have seen first-hand some of your victims, while doing 26 years with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
George Silva is a Coeur d’Alene resident.