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Judges aren’t always geniuses

sheboygan.jpgThe only good part of this story is that it takes place in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - Sheboygan is just a damn fun word to say. Try it? Go ahead, I’ll wait … great, right?

Anyway, a scumbum by the name of Mitchell D. Pask was recently convicted by a jury of felony child enticement for trying to lure a 9-year-old girl into a park shelter. He apparently went up to this girl, who was in the park with some friends, and said “look at those sexy little salty girls,” trying to get her into the park shelter with the enticement of candy. Luckily, the young girl refused. During the trial, the jury only needed 30 minutes of deliberation to find this prick guilty, ensuring he’d spend a nice long time in the clink.

However, Judge Van Akkeren decided to overturn the verdict because, in his wise estimation, a park shelter isn’t “secluded,” and felony child enticement requires the prosecution to establish that the child was lured to “a secluded place.” The county’s district attorney said he was “stunned, just absolutely stunned” by Judge Van Akkeren’s decision, because the jury had been instructed that it had to determine that the shelter was a secluded place. It obviously did so, so why should the Judge overturn the jury’s decision?

In our opinion, any area can be ‘secluded,’ including a park shelter, trees and large bushes — any area where a child may be sexually assaulted out of the view of other persons. The jury, having visited the site of the incident, obviously concluded we had met that burden beyond a reasonable doubt.

Which sounds about right to me, and I gotta figure this is going to be overturned on appeal, because I’m just not getting what the Judge was thinking here.