Two adult men who raped teen girls have walked this week. WTF is wrong with our system?

If you thought the ridiculous outcome of the Brock Turner case was a fluke, think again.

Two stories have come through the news cycle this week that show just how messed up our justice system can be when it comes to sexual assault. Two adult men. Two teen girls. One man luring a 14-year-old to his house, giving her alcohol, then raping her. Another man finding a 15-year-old in an online anorexia forum, convincing her to leave her family to live with him at 16, and then holding her captive for a year as his sex slave.

The former pled guilty and won't spend a single day in jail. The latter served eight months in detention and has been sentenced to time served, meaning he will spend no more time in jail.


If you feel like there must be something missing from these stories, there is—namely, justice for the victims and any semblance of human decency.

Shane Piche raped a 14-year-old he met while driving her school bus.

According to the Watertown Daily News, Shane Piche was 25 when he met his 14-year-old victim as her school bus driver. The fact that the girl rode a school bus should have been a clue to Piche that sex with her was not an option, regardless of consent. But after communicating with her on social media, he lured her to his house with gifts and alcohol, and then he raped her.

The former Watertown City School District bus driver who admitted in a plea deal in February to raping a 14-year-old...

Posted by Watertown Daily Times on Saturday, April 27, 2019

This isn't a he said/she said case. She said "He did this." He admitted, "Yeah, I did that." There is no question that the rape happened.

And somehow, under New York law, the guy was able to walk away as a Level 1 sex offender with no jail time. Level 1 means he is considered low risk and won't be included in online sex offender databases. He's not allowed to be alone with anyone under 17 other than friends and family, and he had to pay around $1400 in fees. He'll receive sex offender counseling while on probation, but no jail time.

Oh, and you know why Judge McClusky designated him a Level 1 sex offender instead of Level 2, which the D.A. requested? Because he had no prior offenses and only had one victim.

Only one victim. Ugh.

Michael Wysolovski spent less time in jail than he did keeping his teenage victim in sexual captivity. Seriously.

If Shane Piche's story didn't leave you scratching your head, this one from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will.

Michael Wysolovski found his victim in an online anorexia forum when she was 15. By the time she was 16, he'd convinced her to run away and live with him. Her family didn't know where she was for a year.

Michael Wysolovski, 31, was arrested on false imprisonment, aggravated sodomy, interference with custody and cruelty to children charges.

Posted by CBS News on Sunday, June 25, 2017

In 2017, she tried to leave, but Wysolovski wouldn't let her. She reached out in an anorexia forum and someone there alerted the FBI. According to her father's statement, when police found her at Wysolovski's home she was malnourished, had ringworm, and suffered from back problems from being repeatedly held in a dog cage.

According to the AJC:

"The victim and Wysolovski agreed to enter a “consensual non-consensual” sexual relationship, a type of BDSM (bondage, domination, submission, masochism) relationship in which the partners agree to simulate non-consensual sex acts, prosecutor Michael DeTardo said during the plea hearing. Over time, Wysolovski violated the set boundaries for this arrangement, refusing to use 'safe words' and using 'excessive force' including biting and physical violence. The victim, who was anorexic, initially encouraged Wysolovski to control her eating habits and kept journals detailing her desire to lose weight, DeTardo said. Wysolovski later used food to punish the victim or force her to perform sexual acts."

The age of consent in Georgia is 16, and prosecutors said there was too much "gray area" to submit the case to a jury. Wsyolovski was indicted on charges of rape, aggravated sodomy, cruelty to children, false imprisonment and interstate interference with custody, but the rape and aggravated sodomy charges were dropped as part of his plea deal. He was held for eight months before he made bail. He has to register as a sex offender and is on probation for 10 years.

For holding a teen girl hostage and sexually abusing her for a year, this fully grown adult man who should know right from heinously wrong was detained for eight months and will serve no further jail time.

Eight months. That's it.

Our justice system seems to forget that teens are still children—and that women are actual human beings.

Some people will try to blame the victims here, claiming that they put themselves in the situations they ended up in. But these girls were 14 and 15 when they met their rapists. Young teens. Impressionable youths. No adult male in his right mind should be thinking about having sex with these girls, much less coercing them or forcing them to do anything that's been described in these cases.

But to actually commit these crimes and not even go to jail? How did we get here? How do we place more value on the life of a grown man who victimizes girls than on the life of the girl he victimizes? How can our justice system fail so miserably at dispensing justice?

There are people serving jail sentences for marijuana possession, a crime which is no longer a crime in 10 states. And yet admitted rapists walk among us having served no time? How do they get away with that?

Someone explain how any of this makes sense, please, because I've grown tired of trying to understand it every time it happens.

lop
More

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture