Justin Rabon – Repeat Sex Offender – escaped registry by pleading down

When we crunched the numbers, we learned that the majority of sex crimes in our state are either dropped or plead down.

“The problem is they’re not convicted of the appropriate sexual crime they are committing and there’s no tracking of that,” says Westbrook.

ERSHAW COUNTY, SC A mother says her son was sexually abused, but the person accused was never convicted of a sex crime.

Now she questions the system set up to keep our kids safe. What she has to say might make you take a second look at who you and your children are hanging out with.

“I can’t see how it’s not rape. You’re taking the innocence of a child,” the woman says.

She says her four-year-old son was sexually assaulted by a 17-year-old. She still remembers the shock when her kindergartner told her something on a car ride that she couldn’t ignore.

“He said this person licked his pee pee and then he also said ‘umm, he put his pee pee in my bottom,” the mother says.

Seven years later, the suspect in her son’s case is now 22, according to his MySpace page. He was charged for having sex with a 14-year-old girl in Kershaw County.

Three days later he faced similar charges, according to a police report, this time in Fairfield County.

At this point, Justin Rabon has never been convicted of a sex crime, and he’s never served a day in jail.

“He’s still walking the streets,” the mother says, she feels in part because of a difficult decision she had to make on behalf of her little boy

“I don’t think we got justice for him,” she says.

Back then she gave it long hard thought: Should she put her four-year-old son on the stand? At first the answer seemed clear: yes.

But she says it never occurred to her how long it would take for her son’s case to actually make it before a judge. She says after three years and three different prosecutors, her family finally got a court date. It’s time her son spent in counseling trying to heal.

“For it to take three years and then have to go back and do that to him again, we couldn’t do that,” she says.

She says she was told that without her child’s testimony, the case wasn’t a surefire win, she says she agreed to a plea bargain. The court found him guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and Rabon was sentenced to probation and counseling.

“The charge we had to plea bargain had no sexual reference whatsoever,” the mother says.

“It doesn’t indicate the sex crime that it really was. That is a huge problem,” says BeBe Westbrook, an advocate for victims of sexual assault.

When we crunched the numbers, we learned that the majority of sex crimes in our state are either dropped or plead down.

“The problem is they’re not convicted of the appropriate sexual crime they are committing and there’s no tracking of that,” says Westbrook.

That’s part of the reason the mom says she wants you to hear her story. She says the system is broken, starting with the time it takes for a young victim to get to court.

“I know they have their plate full, but we need to find a way to get the child’s story while it’s fresh, not wait two years, three years. Even a year, that’s just too long,” the mother says.

Her other reason for talking now, according to the statement in a police report the 14-year-old made back in June 2008, her mother doesn’t know she had sex with Rabon.

The girl told police she’s afraid he may be having sex with another middle school student, prompting the 4-year-old’s mom to wonder if it would have made a difference now if she had made a different decision back then.

Justin Rabon’s attorney said he does not want to comment on the case right now. Prosecutors say they hope to call the Kershaw County case to court sometime this summer.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

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