by Clyde Verner
Update: After an international furor, on 10 November 1999 the charges against Raoul were dismissed. He had faced a sentence of two years in juvenile detention for allegedly doing the sort of things that many, if not most young children do. One must stop to consider what happens to those children who do not have the kind of support that got Raoul freed.
In a case that both pits state against family and typifies what is happening to males in America, a ten-year-old Swiss boy named Raoul was taken from his family for allegedly kissing his sister on her genitals. Raoul, now eleven and in state care, denies that he ever kissed her.
Some might think such issues are better discussed within the family, but Raoul’s family is not getting that opportunity. Instead, the family has fled to Switzerland, fearing that their other children might be taken as well. They are doing everything they can to get their son returned to them.
Their task may be difficult, because the lawyers and therapists who profit from such cases are delighted with Colorado’s seizure of the boy.
Commenting on the boy’s case, feminist JoAnn Farver described herself as a developmental psychologist, yet expressed only her concern that the girl may have actually suffered the boy’s kiss. “There’s a point where we need to err on the side of protecting children because, often times, terrible things do happen to children and we don’t know about it.”
Ms. Farver errs too far. Yet with the help of the Colorado court system, therapists like Ms. Farver may now get a chance to exercise their radical feminist values by acting out their own version of developmental therapy on Raoul.
Howard Davidson, director of the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law, appears eager to help therapists like Ms. Farver get their hands on “clients” like Raoul. According to CNN, Mr. Davidson said “Courts need to take cases of alleged juvenile sex offenders very seriously because this is the time when we probably do the most good in terms of treatment intervention.”
Mr. Davidson’s shockingly inappropriate statement raises serious questions. He clumsily refers to interventive treatment as treatment intervention. (Quite the opposite, and just what’s needed!) Whose needs motivated him to make this botched but heartfelt statement of concern? Was it really just his tender and deep understanding of the needs of children, or could he have been influenced by the financial interests of the lawyers he works with daily and represents? Either way, Mr. Davidson makes it clear that he wants more of this.
Any offense caused by the behavior of children pales in comparison to the offensive behavior of adults like these. Maximized litigation may be good for lawyers, but if the legal profession is content to let itself be represented as biased in this way, then where are distraught parents to turn for help when their child is taken? To the gun?
Individuals wishing to help protect Raoul can comment on the case at the Colorado Department of Human Services and The American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law.
CNN covers this story in more detail: