Editorial: Justice for the peace

Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Alisa Corey

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Jerry Martin

— Newspaper representative

• Patt McCaffrey

— Community representative

• Joshua Roberts

— Newspaper representative

Our View

Law enforcement is an oft-criticized occupation and one seemingly thankless at times. Let the editorial board rectify some of that today: The Craig Police Department deserves the public’s thanks for taking a predatory child pornographer off the streets, out of the community and putting him in prison for years to come. His punishment, while too light given the vulgarity of his crimes, makes our community a safer place.

Heinous.

Vulgar.

Predatory.

Pick any adjective with the worst connotation, and it still wouldn’t aptly describe the atrocities outlined in court documents concerning the child pornography case against a 39-year-old Craig man.

The man, whose name is being withheld until after his Aug. 7 sentencing, was arrested in December 2011.

He recently agreed to a plea deal with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office to possession of sexually exploitative material, a Class 3 felony; possession of child pornography, a Class 4 felony; and solicitation to commit sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust, also a Class 4 felony.

Some of the court documents from early on in the case were enough to make a person’s skin crawl.

Luckily this wolf in sheep’s clothing won’t be in a position to reoffend for some time: he will most likely be sent to prison for 12 years and then face a probationary period of anywhere from 5 years to life.

Inevitably, this man has family and for them the editorial board offers its condolences. However, the board’s sympathies end there.

Our community is a safer place today because the offender is off the streets and behind bars.

Our state is, too, and given the man’s crimes extended to cyberspace, it’s easy to believe the world is better with him stripped of his freedom. There is a child out there today, or children, who won’t be exploited, or at least not by him.

That and his eviction from Craig and Moffat County are reasons to be grateful.

Who do we have to thank for removing the predator from our community, making our children and families safer?

Largely, the Craig Police Department.

The department was on this case the minute suspicions about the offender arose.

They worked the investigation, which included involvement with the FBI and other jurisdictions, thoroughly and yielded a just result — locking the man up.

Law enforcement is a sometimes thankless service, and to be fair, the police department has been its own worst enemy at times considering the behavior of some officers.

But, those instances are prologue, and the department and its’ officers deserve the public’s appreciation today for not only producing a conviction, but also being put through the emotional ringer from investigations such as this one, all in the name of community service.

The court documents alone were enough to produce nausea. Keep in mind those documents describe interactions police officers had and information they had to sift through.

We see the headlines and the end results of cases, but the human element is often lost in the shuffle, an abstract concept we rarely consider.

Our cops made our community a better place by putting the offender away, which should give residents additional peace of mind.

But, the editorial board sincerely hopes the personal price they paid wasn’t too high, though we suspect it may have been.

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