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New target nominee for O'Reilly's war on lenient judges

Reported by Chrish - April 27, 2006

Bill O'Reilly, activist, has spearheaded several witch-hunts against judges who've handed out sentences that are not strict or punitive enough for O'Reilly's taste. He called for removal of Vermont's Judge Cashman for not incarcerating a retarded child molester. He had to back down for his demand for immediate removal of Ohio's Democratic Judge Connor when it was found that numerous Republican judges had given similar sentences.

Tonight 4/27/06 he brought up both those judges as he discussed with guest John Walsh the need for a national database to track sexual offenders, specifically child molesters. (See previous post.) He remarked to Walsh about his previous crusades against those two judges specifically and asks, what's with this?

Walsh replies that he's seen this, making deals with prosecutors, and they're pompous, not involved, unaware of recividism rates, they don't get it. When O'Reilly says "how can they not get it?" Walsh doesn't know, but says O'Reilly is doing "God's work" to which the big BORe says (humbly, of course) "thank you."

"Those judges" are brought up several times. I think O'Reilly needs some new material, some new targets. It just so happens that two young men who sodomized 18 11-to-14-year-old boys in their care at a leadership camp, multiple times, and have confessed to the crimes, "have been offered a plea agreement that may net them little jail time and no record of sexual assault."

From the Arizona Daily Sun:

Clifton Bennett, 18, the son of Arizona Senate President Ken Bennett, and his co-defendant, Kyle Wheeler, 19, were charged in January with 18 counts of aggravated assault and 18 counts of kidnapping for the incidents, which happened at a youth camp last June.

The younger Bennett confessed to police that he and Wheeler sodomized the 11- to 14-year-old boys with broomsticks and flashlights in at least 40 incidents, court documents show.

Yavapai County prosecutors now say they'll drop all but one assault charge and likely recommend little or no jail time if Bennett agrees to plead guilty.

Wheeler has been offered a similar deal but faces an additional assault charge for choking three boys until they passed out.

The plea agreements were presented in court last week and could be finalized Monday.

The plea deal infuriated parents of some of the boys, who say their sons were sexually assaulted and traumatized. They want Bennett and Wheeler to face sexual-assault charges, undergo mental evaluations and do more jail time.

The boys have had trouble going to the bathroom, sleep with clothes on, are afraid at night, and have undergone sexual-assault counseling, parents said.

"Our biggest concern is that these kids are going to do it again," the mother of an 11-year-old Tucson boy told The Arizona Republic. "My son had something shoved up his butt seven or eight times. If that's not sexual assault, what is?"

Prosecutor James Landis told a judge at last week's hearing that the "broomsticking" was a hazing ritual and a punishment, not sexual assault.

(snip)

Bennett apologized for his role in court last week, saying he was "trying every way he can to rectify the situation."

His father, Sen. Ken Bennett, R-Prescott, sat behind him. A Prescott native and businessman, he hasn't spoken about his son's arrest except to issue a brief statement expressing concern as a parent.

Lawyers for the younger Bennett declined to comment but wrote the county attorney saying he "took responsibility for his role, showed remorse and admitted that this "hazing' was inappropriate."

The letter said Bennett was an honor student and active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who plans to go on a mission in September.

"A felony conviction for assault will make his desire to complete his mission impossible," they wrote.

Prosecutors told parents they plan to ask for five days in jail on the one count for each defendant, said Lynne Cadigan, a lawyer for two victims. They could face a maximum two years in prison under terms of the plea deal, but the judge could reduce the charges to a misdemeanor and no jail time.

Oooohhh.

If it's not political then O'Reilly should be going after the lawyers and that judge with both barrels. (Judge Thomas W. O'Toole in Maricopa County Superior Court. O'Toole took the case after two Yavapai County judges recused themselves.) If he does I'll be happy to let y'all know. If he doesn't we'll know his selctive outrage is just that - selective and politically motivated.

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