Inmate Charged with Human Trafficking, Attempts Suicide
Two individuals, Rondell Lee Peterson and Carolin Mitchell, were arrested on November first for human trafficking, kidnapping and various other charges. Yesterday, just a day after his arrest, 35 year old Rondell Peterson attempted to commit suicide. The inmate had hung himself and was found by a guard who was passing by his cell. The guard immediately cut him down and called for medical assistance.
According to Sheriff Salazar, “It appears we caught him in time.” However, the inmate was placed in a medically induced comma which is never a good sign, something Salazar should know from past experience. And in the KSAT video from today, Salazar says, “I’m hoping that he makes it.” I have no doubt that he is hoping Rondell Peterson survives. I seriously doubt he wants another inmate death right after he just hired his new jail administrator bringing the total of chiefs over the Detention Center up to three.
Blaming the Victim
I thought I couldn’t be stunned anymore by the things that Sheriff Javier Salazar does but he was able to surprise me. When this story first came out, and Salazar ran to get in front of the cameras as usual, he made the following statement:
“…Now granted, this young lady, although she is not of an age where she can consent to sexual activity, was, was involved in some of this activity by social media. And, of course, living that high-risk lifestyle you’re just making it that much more easy to have yourself be victimized. And so, while we never want to blame the victim in any case, I mean, this young lady was just way too young to be engaging in any sort of this activity.
It’s just that much more important for parents to understand that, that they, our kids can be gotten to no matter what kind of kids they are. No matter if you think they’re straight A students. They’re great kids. They wouldn’t get involved in this sort of thing, you just never know.
I had to get the text from the full video on the KENS 4 Facebook page. Salazar starts making the above statement at about the 7m 53s mark. It seems the regular media websites chose to cut off the video before Salazar shoved his foot in his mouth.
Does Sheriff Salazar really think that saying, “we never want to blame the victim” was enough to make us not notice how often he blamed the victim? Was involved in…this activity. High-risk lifestyle. Making it…easy to…be victimized. Engaging in…this activity. No matter what kind of kids. Those are judgmental phrases and that absolutely is blaming the victim.
It’s Still a Damn Crime!
Have we not gotten beyond this yet? He’s right when he says that she was not of an age to agree to sexual activity. She’s 15 years old! But even if she was of age, that doesn’t mean it was her fault that she got raped. Rape is still a crime! Kidnapping is still a crime! Human trafficking is still a crime!
Salazar has no idea what her background is like. For all he knows, her parents could have been grooming her. But even if it was her idea, she was still a victim. It’s illegal to rape, kidnap and traffic an adult prostitute who has gone into the business willingly. It sure as hell is illegal to do any of those things, to include voluntarily sex, with a child. Stop blaming the victim!
Women Judged by Their Lifestyle
This is why women don’t want to report rape. This attitude by officers of; oh, yeah, it’s a crime (wink, wink, but you know she had it coming), should have been tossed out of law enforcement a long time ago. Women should not be judged by their lifestyle. The case is about the crime that was committed against this young woman.
Salazar is the head of the law enforcement agency that polices Bexar County and he just gave a statement to the media that showed he has that ‘blame the victim’ mentality when it comes to sexual crimes against women. He never should have made a comment referring to her high-risk lifestyle or any of those other dog whistles. They never should have even crossed his mind but now that he has commented, it lets us know female assault victims will always have to fight the underlying belief that they asked for it when dealing with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. Unacceptable.