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November 18, 2004
Strib And Minnesota Bar Try Covering For Judge Carter

Tomorrow's Star Tribune carries a defense for Judge Jospeh T. Carter, who granted permanent custody of three little girls to a known registered sex offender, one of which wasn't even related to him. As I wrote earlier and as anyone with a working cerebrum could guess, the sex offender wound up raping the unrelated young girl for months before she finally sought help from a neighbor.

The Strib reports on the response from Minnesota Bar Association president David Stowman. Stowman spoke on behalf of Judge Carter, who has declined to comment on the case. Carter's decision was based on "numerous factors", according to Stowman:

Farnsworth's prior sexual assault was 10 years ago, and the Dakota County Community Corrections Department has since described him as a "success story."

The court-appointed evaluator conducted a custody study that recommended that Farnsworth be awarded custody of the 9-year-old girl.

The girl's mother asked Carter to award custody to Farnsworth, and no one, including the girl's father, who failed to appear, objected.

Let's take these "factors" one at a time:

Farnsworth managed to stay clean, or at least not get caught, during his probation, which ended in June. Big deal. Perhaps Judge Carter would like to have his children or grandchildren stay with felony sex offenders for a weekend or two if they've managed to get past their probationary period.

The court-appointed evaluator, David Jaehne, apparently has a similar intelligence level of Judge Carter, which explains why they agreed on this matter.

The girls' mother hooked up with a sex offender who'd raped a 13-year-old girl and was on probation for it at the time. She then abandoned the three of them to the pervert for months. Still, Stowman and Crater seem to place great store in her judgment about the welfare of her children. What's wrong with that picture?

It's really quite simple, despite the efforts of the Minnesota Bar and the Strib to distract Minnesotans. Two officers of our courts decided that leaving three young girls with a convicted sex offender was a good idea, despite the option of looking for other relatives or even qualified foster homes. How difficult is it to see that Carter and Jaehne made a terrible decision, one with easily-foreseeable disastrous consequences? Instead of watching out for the best interests of the girls, the two of them latched onto the notion of showing off their "success story".

The worst that can happen to Carter and Jaehne is that they lose their jobs. A young girl, who already had to deal with her mother running out on her, now has to live in the aftermath of months of abuse and rape thanks to Dakota County's Dunderhead Duo. Let's not make a bunch of lame excuses for her suffering on top of it all.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 18, 2004 11:15 PM

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» Stupidity of judges and lawyers from The Key Monk
George Orwell said that some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual would believe them. The corollary to that is some decisions are so dumb only a judge would make them. For instance: granting custody of an unrelated child to a registered sex offender. [Read More]

Tracked on November 19, 2004 10:51 AM

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