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Media makes light of sexual assault on 8-year-old boy

Canada Free Press, by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor, November 12, 2004

Earlier this week, a 29-year-old Connecticut woman, Tammy Imre was charged with one count each of sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. The charges stem from sexual assaults committed on an 8-year-old boy, who was a playmate of her 7-year-old daughter. Imre claimed that the little boy was her "boyfriend" whom she planned to marry some day and did not know how many times she had sexually assaulted him. On some occasions these assaults took place in front of the single mother's little girl.

Some in the mainline media saw no need to report the story of the sexual abuse of such a young boy in the same way that they would have reported alleged sexual assaults by a 29-year-old man on an 8-year-old girl. The most egregious was the New York Post. The Post's headline read, "CRADLE ROBBER — GAL WHO SEDUCED BOY, 8". There is no doubt that the newspaper would not have described an alleged male who assaulted a young girl as a "cradle robber"; nor would they have used an equivalent of the word "gal" to describe him. And there is an equally unlikely chance that the act of getting the child to have sex with him would be referred to as "seduction". The New York Post obviously thinks that a sexual assault committed by an attractive blonde woman in her 20s upon a very young boy is cute.

The Associated Press was not quite in the same league as the New York Post, but they described what the woman is charged with as "having a sexual relationship with an 8-year-old". Makes it sound consensual. If a man raped and then killed a very young girl would AP report that he murdered her after they had a short sexual relationship? Of course not. Associated Press is clearly implying that when a young boy is sexually assaulted by a woman, it is somehow not very serious. The Connecticut Post also used the term, reporting that Tammy Imre was charged with sexual assault "after admitting that she had a long-term relationship with an 8-year-old-boy". By use of the words "long-term" the paper is definitely implying that this was something other than a criminal sex act committed upon a very young child.

Perhaps there always will be a double standard when it comes to reporting sexual offences committed by women against children. Unless there is a huge outcry, things will probably not change.

Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work as appeared on Newsmax.com, Men's News Daily, the Drudge Report, Foxnews.com and The Rant. He can be reached at: letters@canadafreepress.com