Freeport, Illinois — As most of you know, we don’t focus too much on crime in Freeport. We do report some when it’s in the interest of safety for our citizens, but it is not the focus of Freeport News Network or Today In The Port from a “news” standpoint. (Here’s something that already happened) However, when it comes to our children, here’s a story that really makes our stomach churn.
On Tuesday May 24, 2016 Brian Karstedt was arrested under allegations that he exposed himself to a 13-year-old child. The event allegedly happened on April 24, 2016, according to Freeport Police.
The reason this story stands out is because this isn’t Karstedt’s first time at the “you’re a creep rodeo” and — it points out a very serious failure in our criminal justice system.
In 2005, in Carroll County Illinois, Karstedt was sentenced to six years in prison for an offense of a similar nature. Not only was he sentenced to prison, he was also convicted for failure to update his place of residence with the sex offenders registry.
We understand the problems in the criminal justice system, but all too often you hear these stories of repeat offenders. Offenders, who have already went through the court system, who have already went through court appointed counseling, prison “reform” and how many times do we see these stories, especially when it comes to sexual crimes against children?
We sentence them to prison for a short period of time and then allow them to live back in our neighborhoods under the pretense of an “offenders website” and a mandate to “report where they live”, not to the community, not to neighbors, but in a virtual world online that most citizens of our communities don’t even know about, much less ever look at. In other words, you probably have a sex offender now living blocks from your home and you don’t even know it.
Without the proper recognition of mitigating circumstances, true reform, accountability and public awareness, you, the public are never going to be protected by this because the only time it is ever brought to your attention is “after” the crime happened the first time and “after” the crime happened again. All the time in between, the news fails you and the system doesn’t protect you. It’s a world of “look, here’s a crime that already happened” and look, “here’s a crime that happened again“. If mitigating circumstances, true reform, accountability and public awareness were done as they should be, this would not happen, your children would be safer and we as a community could bind together to help protect one another.