Dayton, Ohio – Two child rapists walked out of jail this week without a trial when investigators determined that the child victims were too young and traumatized to testify on the stand. The abuse allegedly occured in 2007 while the children were visiting their grandmother, who lived nearby.
Ronald Pruiett, 30 (pictured above), and Larry Joe Smith, 47, both have previous records of sex offenses. Pruiett pled guilty in 2005 to gross sexual imposition, and Smith has a 1982 conviction of gross sexual imposition involving a four-year-old child.
The victims, a five-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy, are reported to be so terrified of their attackers that they are unable to face them or even speak about what happened in a courtroom. The five-year-old female victim has been treated for a sexually transmitted disease as a result of the abuse and apparently disclosed what had been happening when she had to be treated for the STD.
The children’s mother states that she feels the men should have been held in jail until her children could testify, and I wish that was possible. I think there’s got to be a better answer than “if you can’t testify, they walk.” If the little girl has herpes, for example, some labs are able to get DNA on the strain of the virus. That could be compared to the accused men to see who transmitted the disease. Granted, it may not be enough for a conviction, but it’s something. Combined with therapist testimony, it might get the job done.
This is a case where the abuse was horrific, the children have been terrorized, and now Ohio is telling these kids that they will not be safe or protected. This kind of system failure is why vigilante crimes happen. Someone’s gonna take care of these guys before they hurt another child (or go back for the same kids). And that person will do jail time for doing what the state of Ohio should have already done.
One-strike child sexual abuse legislation would have kept these children safe in the first place. Now they have to go to sleep every night afraid that these monsters will come back and hurt or kill them, as they probably threatened to do during the abuse. And you know what? Now Pruiett and Smith are out walking around free, with nothing stopping them from doing just that.
I actually started writing about this yesterday, but a combination of bourbon and disgust left me unable to get this posted until today. If you live in Ohio, write some people. Make some noise. Get some laws changed so this kind of bullshit doesn’t keep happening. Because someone’s gonna get killed because of this. I just hope it’s not a child.Tags: Pedophile