Oregon School Teacher Gets Probation for Sexually Abusing a Minor

MaggianoThe Multnomah County deputy district attorney is satisfied with a probation sentence for a school teacher who lured a minor into performing oral sex. According to the Portland Tribune, the Deputy District Attorney believes the teacher, Jonathan Maggiano, won’t do it again.

How many times have we heard this? Normally, we hear it from institutional officials but not from a prosecutor. It appears decades of experience with sex offenders have had no impact in this case. It is a sad fact but a fact just the same that those who are arrested for a sexual offense tend to repeat their behavior. They are a threat to the public, especially our children.

What I really found disturbing about this story is that his light sentence apparently reflects that Maggiano appeared “remorseful” as shown by the fact that “he sent a couple of texts to the victim talking about the incident but expressing the desire to wait until she turned 18 to engage in any further kind of sexual behavior with her.”

I have seen so many people harmed by exploitative, manipulative relationships with older, trusted, authority figures that started out just this way. The grooming and building of the trust relationship starts when the victim is a minor, but the perpetrator waits for the victim to turn 18 before having sex. While technically the sex may not be child abuse, the exploitation, manipulation, and damage caused by the violation of trust is the same. The only difference is that the victim has no legal recourse under criminal or civil law because of a birthday.

Our first priority must be the protection of children. We can hope that sexual offenders change their behavior. In the meantime, we have to keep the children safe. Sentencing a teacher who committed a sexual act with a child to two years’ probation just because he decided to wait until she turned 18 isn’t in the best interests of public safety.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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