Im looking at the braided bracelet on my right wrist and thinking about the woman and 10-year old girl the bracelet honors.
Lori Bresnahan was picking up the girl from a gymnastics class the evening of March 14 near Syracuse, New York when police say the two were kidnapped by David Renz. Renz is charged with raping the child and stabbing Bresnahan to death.
At the time he was arrested, David Renz was already facing criminal charges. On January 9th, the FBI had charged him with receiving and possessing child pornography that he had downloaded from a homemade computer. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said some of the pornography confiscated from Renz mirrored the attack on Bresnahan and the child.
When I first heard the news reports about Renz, I wondered if his scenario was typical of those who view child pornography or if most offenders simply look and don’t take any action. What I have learned through Innocent Justice is that those who just look are in the minority. In fact, a U.S. Commission on Sentencing report released in February 2013 stated that one in three federal child pornography offenders had a known history of committing a physical act of sexual abuse against a child. A study by the National Center for Mission and Exploited Children showed in 2005 that 40% of those arrested for possessing child pornography also admitted to having sexually victimized a child. And in a 2006 study of child pornography offenders in a North Carolina prison, 85% admitted to having child sexual abuse victims.
Now when I look at the bracelet on my wrist, I will remember not only Lori Bresnahan and the little girl raped by an individual who looked at dirty pictures of kids, I will think about all the children who have been physically abused by child sexual abuse and torture image viewers, and those who were molested when the photos were taken and who continue to be abused whenever their photo is accessed, downloaded or shared.
posted by Rochelle Cassella