|Pedophile killed by victims' parents|
Friday, December 9, 2016
Why did these people take the law in their own hands? Was it because the law failed them?
About six years ago, in Buenos Aires a preschool music teacher, Marcelo Fabián Pecollo, 42, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing five of seven children, ages 3 to 5. Four years later, his sentence was reduced (reason not stated), and he was released from prison. He joined a local orchestra group as a trumpeter.
Pecollo, 42, was playing the trumpet in a church on October 30th when a mob of angry parents stormed in. “There is a pedophile and a rapist in the church and he is playing in this orchestra!” they yelled. He tried to run, the parents caught him and beat him and he may have been hit with his own trumpet. The parents had hung posters and wore T-shirts saying “With the children, no!”
Pecollo was hospitalized — later falling into a coma — and died last week, according to Argentine police. A priest in the church, Jorge Oesterheld said: “I think they came to kill him.” No one has been arrested as yet. A witness said that the orchestra members did not know about Pecollo’s criminal record. What about the church who hired him – did they ever check the background of those they let into the church?
What did he do to the children? According to complaints from several parents, the teacher organized a game for his class called “al que le toca, le toca,” which translates roughly to “whoever’s turn it is gets touched.” On other occasions, boys in the class reported the teacher would lower his pants in front of the students and inappropriately touched some of the boys.
Some Argentines tweeted and posted on Facebook in solidarity with the parents in recent days, applauding their attempts to seek justice. Others reluctantly admitted they would likely do the same, if they were in the parents’ positions. “Justice does not work like this, but if they touched my daughter I think I would have done the same thing,” one father wrote.
As far as protecting children from sexual abuse or stopping it when it happens, justice rarely works. There are too many children in situations where they are isolated and can be abused: day care centers, schools, orphanages, churches – and by people who are considered trustworthy: teachers, coaches, scout leaders, nuns and priests.
Until this society, everywhere in the world, starts to value children and protect them and take the perpetrators off the streets permanently it will be left to us to keep them safe.