I get the Niagara Falls Review delivered daily not because it is an excellent newspaper, but because I like to keep abreast of local events. Most of the news I read is online as the stories in the review are usually a few days old. This morning over my habitual green tea I came across a story that not only had me enraged, it terrified me. It seems a convicted pedophile, Robert Lee Sowell has moved into my neighbourhood while he is awaiting sentencing.
Sowell is convicted of molesting three boys, and one for more than two years. He is not due to face sentencing until December 8, in a St.Catherines court. There are currently seven children residing in the building in which he is staying. There are also two schools, and two parks within a 30 minute walking distance. The closest park is less than 5 minutes away.
It seems that the crown attorney was under the impression that no children were living in the building at which he currently resides when she agreed to his placement there. Even if that was the case, which it is not, residents have a right to be informed that there is a pedophile living in our neighbourhood. We only found out from reading a report in the newspaper. This is a neighbourhood that is full of children. Our parks are often crowded, and filled with the sounds of laughter on beautiful summer days.
Now that this man is free, the park that used to be filled with smiling faces is empty, and children are either inside, or have been driven to parks that are further away to avoid the danger of this man. Sowell is not a man that is awaiting trial, he is a man that has admitted to child abuse, how is it fair that he is free and our children our trapped in their homes in fear? One child was reported in the Review to be scared to walk his dog because Sowell was sitting on the front steps of the apartment building.
Police cautioned residents not to take actions into our own hands. They encourage people to continue to monitor his behaviour. For me this is difficult to do because unfortunately the newspaper did not print a picture of this man, and so I have no idea what he looks like. It seems to me that no one would be in this predicament if Sowell was in jail where he belongs. He is a threat to every single child in this neighbourhood.
Pedophilia is an urge that these monsters cannot control. When a child is sexually assaulted it stays with them for life. We are needlessly risking the safety of our children. I know that it sounds like I am advocating not in my backyard, but I am advocating not in any backyard. Until this man is placed in jail where he belongs, the freedom that my son "Destruction" knew is gone. I will not risk anything happening to him. Even though I reviewed good touch/bad touch with him and not talking to strangers, I no longer feel safe allowing him to go to the local convenience store to blow his allowance, or play tag or basketball for hours like he used to. Until this man is away his freedom will extend no further than my front yard. My child is everything to me, and though this is a cruelty I do not wish to impose, his safety comes first. If only the criminal justice system chose to value the safety of children over a convicted criminal.