I read with interest your article about the sentencing of Mr. Flibotte, along with your editorial regarding the seeming discrepancies of the release of a repeat sexual violator compared to Mr. Flibotte’s options. After all, he only spent the last 10 years looking at children being sexually abused on his home and office computer. Why should he have to go to prison for 90 years?
I feel for all the children that were the victims of Mr. Sandefer, but I feel just as much sorrow for all the children that were victimized by persons like Mr. Flibotte, because if people like him were not soliciting these terrible photos, there would be no market for them. I also feel for Judge Cahill, whose judicial judgment was curtailed by an unreasonable requirement.
Having said all that, I do not feel that Mr. Flibotte should get by with probation only.
The first reason is because his crime is greater than that. The second reason is that even now, he still refuses to accept responsibility for his crimes.
He continues to peddle that ridiculous idea that someone else was responsible for putting these horrific images on his home and office computer. Also, he seems to feel that success and honor in the other part of his life should obviate any need for penalties for his crimes. Let’s be clear here, it is criminal to do what he did for all those years, just as it was good to do the more positive things he did with the other part of his life.
His age is irrelevant. He should be sentenced to some actual prison time. The age of the abused children did not concern him. The amount of time served should be contingent on whether or not he comes clean about what he did. If he continues to obfuscate his actual behaviors, then more time should be added on. If he decides to come clean, confess and offer to make some type of amends, then his sentence could be shorter.
But what do I know? I am just thankful that none of my grandchildren are featured in any of his photos. I am also certain that the real estate agents who are supporting him now are also thankful that none of their grandchildren were in those photos. My heart goes out to his family, who through no fault of their own, have been dragged through this mess.