Saturday, October 10, 2009

Child Molester Gets Probation, Part One

The content of today's blog is serious and graphic in nature, and should not be read by minors without parental permission. Any young readers of this blog should stop now and get mom or dad to preview this post before reading further.

I purchased the following article from The Chicago Tribune archives.  I retyped it here.  There are some errors from the original print edition that I left in tact. 

March 31, 1978

Chicago Tribune, page 5

Child Molester Gets Probation

By Michael Sneed

A convicted child molester, who was described by the police as a “one man child molestation ring,” was placed four years’ probation Thursday by Circuit Judge Warren D. Wolfson.

Judge Wolfson also ordered Robert Cleveland, 53, of 2440 N. Hamlin Av., convicted Feb 15 of taking indecent liberties with a 10-year-old-boy, to spend 52 weekends in jail, pay a $2,000 fine, and to receive psychiatric care.

“I feel rage – I wanted that man permanently removed from society,” said the mother of the 10-year-old victim. “That is why we decided to take a stand against this kind of horror in our society,” she said and then broke into tears.

“When he hurt my child, he hurt me. And if I had to do it again, I’d do it again. You have no idea how sick and heinous and damaging a situation like this can be.”

Cleveland, president of a South Side furniture company, was convicted of taking indecent liberties on Oct. 11, 1975, with a boy he had seen during mass in Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church.

“Cleveland is a one-man ring who has been recruiting kids by the busload for his own sexual pleasure,” said Ed Flynn, an investigator with the Illinois Legislative Investigating Commission. The commission has been probing cases of child molestation and pornography under a resolution passes in Springfield a year ago.

The child pornography probe was fueled, in part, by a series of articles on the problem in The Tribune last year, he said.

“Cleveland not only took pictures of these kids, but he also stag movies of them,” Flynn said. Investigators became involved in the case when Cleveland’s name kept cropping up in their probes of both sexual abuse and child pornography, according to Ron Ewert, the commission director.

“We have been able to trace his sexual contacts back about 15 years and with children as young as seven,” he said.

In an unusual pre-sentence hearing several weeks ago, a 13-year-old-boy testified he periodically spent time with Cleveland, playing “strip poker,” viewing child pornography, and engaging in sex in Cleveland’s home.

“He had great ability to con families into allowing boys to travel all over with him,” Evert said.

Dr. Gershon Kaplan, a psychiatrist who testified for the prosecution, said he was “not optimistic” that would be successful and in his opinion Cleveland would continue seeking the company of young males.

However, a psychiatrist testifying for the defense said “there was very good likelihood that treatment would be successful.”

In reaching his decision, Judge Wolfson said, “The easiest thing to do would be to take the popular view and put this man in the penitentiary. But whenever a crime of this nature has been committed in the past, this offense wasn’t deterred by harsh sentence.”

End of story

Yeah, harsh prison sentences don’t deter this type of criminal action, so the best thing to do is keep him on the street where he can harm other children. Brilliant.

The police never recovered the stag films in which I was filmed.


CrossView said...

But harsh prison sentences do keep them off the street. The liberal mindset of rehabilitation for the criminal always boggles my mind. And I've often read where rehab does nothing to deter that type of behavior. But prison is supposed to be punitive. Physical bars for the criminal are better than the mental bars that lock up the victim.

*sarcasm* He had a whopping 2G fine? So he could pay that since he got to stay in business. And weekends in jail? I'm sure he learned lots of new ploys in there. Psychiatric care? Uh, for him and not the victims? Taxpayer's expense, I'm sure." *end sarcasm*

One victim was too many. But how many more were there even after the authorities knew...

I hope that millstone is huge.

Teacher Mommy said...

When I hear stories like this, it's hard not to feel such rage over the injustices of our justice system (though there are plenty on the "conservative" side of politics too--this is NOT a "liberal issue").

I keep having to remind myself that the ultimate justice is not for Man to administer. No one will escape it in the end.

That has to be enough at times, otherwise that way lies despair.

TobyBo said...

I am sorry.

Brownie said...

If prisons were more punitive and less rehab they may become more of a place to avoid. I don't mind inmates getting their GED's or training to get a job. Weekend jail time? good grief.

Kathleen said...

"52 weekends in jail, pay a $2,000 fine, and to receive psychiatric care"

Unbelievable. I had to read it a couple times to be sure.

The_Kid said...

I know there's more coming but I have to say:

- The object of prison isn't so much punishment as the protection of society. In fact, prison is a step up in lifestyle to many of the vermin that end up there. Why don't judges understand the protection of society responsibility?
- Children should be protected as a prime objective of society. In my opinion, crimes involving adult perps and child victims should carry the longest sentences. I'd say a man over the age of X having sex consensual or not with a child under the age of Y should be a life sentence. Fill in the X and Y. But 53 and 10 would be no question.

I can't remember the names now, but I saw a clip on TV (maybe court TV) where the child who was taken by a man and abused for months, caught and being brought back for trial was met at one of the airport walkways by the child's father who drew a pistol and shot him in the head on the spot, even tho the perp was being escorted by a Marshall of some sort. The man was acquitted.

I'd acquit if I were on that Jury. I'm like Ted Nugent. I don't like repeat offenders, I like dead offenders.

Arby said...

Kid, you'll get no argument out of me.

CrossView said...

Sorry to sidetrack... But as far as the "liberal" reference I made, I was referring NOT to the politics of today.

"In the 1960s, the Supreme Court placed forceful restrictions on capital punishment..."

Recent Social Trends in the United States, 1960-1990
By Theodore Caplow, Howard M. Bahr, John Modell, Bruce A. Chadwick

And for the reference I made to "punitive":
"By the late 18th century, incarceration was championed as a more humane form of punishment, at which time the first United States prisons were opened in New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania."

As to both references:

"Rehabilitation philosophy reached its zenith in the 1960s. The Medical Model — based on the theory that inmates’ criminal tendencies could be diagnosed and treated in a manner similar to physical disease —"

This guy didn't merit the considerations he was given, period.

Anonymous said...

Had to read it twice to make sure I didn't misread. Sorry this happened.


Thanks for your candor.

Linda said...

I think I can honestly say that he would not have made it to trial in my small home town, with my family. We're of the Nugent set.

Anonymous said...

I lived with a guy, Matt Mansur in Reno. He told me that he molested his 8yo daughter and never got caught. It's like, he bragged about it. I don't live with him anymore because he broke into his ex girlfriends car and now has a restraining order from her. He was a creep.