With all due respect, I hope Corbin Breitenbach dies in prison — slowly, painfully, and without mercy.
Of course, I — along with 95% of the population of Wichita, Kansas — am pretty certain, based on the available evidence, that Corbin Breitenbach is guilty of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl on June 11, 2017. As far as I’m concerned — speaking as a father — the only brand of mercy this man deserves is leniency regarding which circle of Hell into which he shall be cast.
Breitenbach is a convicted sex offender who was released from prison on April 28, 2017 after spending time in prison for raping a 22-year-old woman in 2013. Thus, he was only free for a matter of weeks before seeking his next victim. If guilty, this man is a predator of the most dangerous variety because he seeks little-to-no discrepancy between his victims and lacks the self-control and self-discipline to follow the very simple rules of Kansas parole. He is a repeat sex offender, and as I have written before, he should be automatically given a Mandatory Life Sentence — no parole.
Every sex offender in prison is required to attend (and complete) Sex Offender Treatment prior to release. In fact, I credit my treatment program (and the therapist) with helping me break through to the deepest and most difficult event of my life: coming to terms with having been sexually assaulted as a teenager. Without her, I never would have made the progress I’ve made in living a healthy life. Therefore, for those who actively participate, the treatment works.
Then, on top of that, there is one other filter. A month or two prior to release, a Kansas Department of Corrections analyst has a personal (and hard-lined) face-to-face interview with every sex offender who is preparing for release. This interview serves to answer one question: Should this sex offender be held for Civil Commitment?
Civil Commitment is a program in Kansas (housed at the Larned State Mental Health Correctional Facility) which essentially enables the department of corrections to hold and imprison any sex offender they deem to be a “sexually violent predator,” and they can be held for an indefinite amount of time. In fact, it is nearly impossible for anyone in Civil Commitment to ever leave prison, prompting a reporter for the Kansas City Star to say in a headline, “The most common way to leave Kansas’ sexual predator program is to die.”
So this begs the question: How did Corbin Breitenbach get released? If a man is released from prison on a sex crime and subsequently commits a more heinous sex crime weeks later, he was clearly not ready to be released from prison. He is a sexual predator and he should have been a prime candidate for Civil Commitment.
But, as Kevin Bacon said in A Few Good Men, “These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed.”
But that’s not the only thing that bugs me.
Having done my due diligence of research over the years, I have come to the same number as an average for two different facts. And that number: 95
- FACT #1: 95% of convicted sex offenders never commit another sex crime.
- FACT #2: 95% of sex crimes are committed by someone who is not a registered sex offender.
I addressed this issue in a Halloween article I wrote a few years ago for an independent website (which coincided with one of the entries in my Ongoing Commentary), where I point out that sex offenders are actually some of the most compliant post-release parolees in the system. Here’s an interesting fact: According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, the most common parole violations relate to “Failure to Register,” most often caused by the inherent difficulty of finding steady housing and employment — most places won’t rent rooms to sex offenders and most employees won’t hire sex offenders. And since most post-release and registration requirements stipulate steady housing and employment, sex offenders are often sent back to prison on parole violation or Failure to Register, regardless of how hard they try to attain housing and/or employment. However, these are not sex crimes. 95% of sex offenders never commit another sex crime — ever.
Labeling all sex offenders as dangerous predators would be like labeling anyone who has ever gotten a DUI as a raging alcoholic.
But don’t tell that to the general public; they love to fear sex offenders. Ask yourself this question: Would you rather live next door to a convicted murderer or a convicted sex offender? While contemplating that question, contemplate these facts:
- According to the National Crime Victim Survey, only 25% of female rape victims were assaulted by a stranger — three out of four victims were acquainted with their attacker.
- According to the Department of Health and Human Services, less than half of all sexual assault victims are children.
- According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, “23% of reported cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by individuals under the age of 18.”
I’m not saying people should just blindly forgive all sex offenders for their crimes — I shouldn’t be forgiven, and I know this. I admit that my actions in 2010 are deserving of the title I carry; it is part of the punishment I must endure for the choices I made. I am not “pro-sex offender,” nor do I condone any of their (or my) actions; however, I am anti-paranoia, anti-ignorance, and anti-hysteria.
I’m also not saying people shouldn’t be cautious of sex offenders — they should; people should be cautious of everyone. But the facts are clear: 95% of sex crimes are committed by someone who is not a registered sex offender.
If a registered sex offender is fortunate enough to have a social support system which allows him/her to find a stable living situation and viable employment options, that person is more-than-likely the safest person living on the block. Not only does he/she need to keep pace with the normal everyday requirements of living and working productively, but they must also abide by the strict and specific rules set out by the state parole office. Statistically, living next door to a convicted sex offender is one of the safest places a person could live.
Absolutely no sex offender wants to go back to prison!
However, logic and emotion never coincide, and the result is public hysteria. Whenever a sex offender is in the media for committing any crime, the automatic public response is the demand for all sex offenders to be permanently locked up, no matter what their crime, or even promptly executed.
The public carries this errant opinion because, as far as their narrow scope of knowledge is concerned, people like Corbin Breitenbach represent all sex offenders. And this assumption is pure ignorance at its worst. The genuine fact is this: sex offenders who are compliant law-abiding citizens don’t make for good television. The media doesn’t report the successful business owner who happens to be a registered sex offender. The media doesn’t report the gallant family man and good neighbor who happens to be a registered sex offender. The media doesn’t report these people because they’re boring, they follow the law, and they generally go unnoticed. But the reality is, those people represent 95% of all registered sex offenders. However, as has always been the case, media reports target the emotional responses of readers and viewers, not intellectual or educational enlightenment.
I am not Corbin Breitenbach. I am nothing like him. I hope he dies in prison (or sooner) because he was given his second chance at freedom and it only took him a few weeks to completely throw it all away. He is part of the mere 5% of sex offenders who commit another sex crime.
To be honest, it’s not difficult for me (or any sex offender with whom I am acquainted) to remain in the positive 95%. Being a sex offender isn’t a sickness, it’s the result of a very terrible choice. However, being a sexual predator or a pedophile is definitely a sickness, which is exactly why Kansas has the Civil Commitment Program. Therefore, if Corbin Breitenbach was released from prison after finishing his sex offender treatment program and being screened for Civil Commitment, then perhaps some of the blame for the assault on this child is on the arrogant shoulders of the Kansas Department of Corrections; they released a predator into the same city where I am trying to raise a family and live productively. Shame on them.
The average sex offender is just an average citizen, trying to make a living, raise a family, pay the bills, and move on with life. This is a fact, and it is undisputed.
Corbin Breitenbach is an extreme exception — he is not the rule. If every sex offender was as dangerous as Corbin Breitenbach, the world would literally burn to the ground. And yet, our world lives on.
But as far as I can tell, 95% of facts about sex offenders don’t matter to the general public.
Paranoia reigns supreme.