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Revisiting the case of Joseph DuMarce: an opinion piece

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Joseph Alfredo DuMarce, 20, is a Sacramento man caught after approaching a minor, exposing himself and attempting to kidnap the child in a quiet Sacramento suburb as the 13-year-old walked to school. Sacramento Police quickly located DuMarce and he was charged with two misdemeanors and two felonies. While it is appropriate that he was charged with the additional felonies of Attempted Kidnapping, as well as with False Imprisonment (as that’s most likely what would have happened), my concern comes with the offenses of both Indecent Exposure in a Public Place and more concerningly the Molestation of a Child being misdemeanors.

According to the California Criminal Justice System’s Legislative Analyst’s Office Primer “a misdemeanor is a less serious offence for which the offender may be sentenced to probation, county jail, a fine, or some combination of the three. Misdemeanors include crimes such as assault, petty theft and public drunkenness.” The charge of “Indecent Exposure” has been a controversial and flexible term applied to public urination (typically associated with intoxication) almost always referring to adults, was recently applied to an eight-months pregnant mother of a 3-year-old in New York who publicly urinated in a gas station parking lot. These contradictions  within the justice system allowing an innocent mother and child to be issued a citation that may come to jail time, also allow an attempted sex trafficker to be charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony for what should be the most serious charge within his crimes, the one that has a victim who has that image and experience burned into her memory for the rest of her life. The people most often wrongfully accused of public exposure are not the college students who are too intoxicated to stop themselves, they are most often the homeless and mentally ill who can’t stop themselves for whatever reasons outside of their control and they are repeatedly and unlawfully arrested for, convicted of and even required to register as sex offender and is a way to criminalize vagrancy without having the law itself as proof as a violation of unprotected citizens civil rights. These things destroy the public’s faith in the Megan’s Law registry and allow for loopholes of serious sexual offenders to be convicted of a misdemeanor that likens petty theft and public drunkenness to child molestation and inevitably leads to actual offenders being quickly released for a crime known for a high-rate of repeated offending. Why is it more important to protect sex offenders then the homeless or mentally ill? Why is it more important to protect criminals convicted of an actual sex offense than even their minor victims?

DuMarce’s bail is currently set at $100,000.00 and his court date is April 30, 2019, hopefully Sacramento will address the seriousness of his crime and provide his victim with a sort of peace after a terrifying and disgusting experience.

 

Article written by and submitted to RuralJournal.Net by Jozzelle Commerford

Categories: news

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