Amish man in Indiana arrested, accused of sexting girl, 12 - News Review Opinion

William R. Yoder

By: Scott Hall

     Amish man, 21 goes to jail for exchanging inappropriate messages with a minor.  Just that headline alone should be enough to make most go WHOA!  According to a news report filed at CNN, that headline is as real as the homes we live in.  According to the story, 600 texts along with some photos and video messages were exchanged between the two.  William R. Yoder, 21 rode in to town in a single horse carriage for what he thought was going to be sex with a 12 year old girl.  Thankfully, the child’s parents have enough positive influence in her life that when the texts became sexual in nature, the child turned the phone over to her parents, who then turned the phone over to the Indiana State Police. 

     There is something familiar about this story.  Anthony Weiner comes to mind in the exchange of inappropriate communications.  Mr. Yoder, who knew that what he was doing was wrong, as reported in the story, goes to jail.  Mr. Weiner texted a 17 year old, who, says nothing inappropriate occurred and included texting various older women with comments and inappropriate pictures, ends up resigning and going to rehab.  Mr. Yoder texts a 12 year old, tells the truth fully (without lying first), is now looking at a 20 thousand dollar bond.  In both cases, not only was a crime being committed, but both were done with Electronic Media.  Recently, we have heard the news of new domain names that will be offered as the “dot com” era has expanded over the short few years it has been in use.

      Criminology and Justice, has posted several articles in support of curbing several factions of the crimes on the internet, and some possible solutions.  An “.xxx” domain is a good start to controlling the out pouring of internet sex sites that saturate our world and may subconsciously make us think we are safe behind a text or a computer screen and keyboard.  The shear anonyminity of the internet and communication outlets and their use has to concern not just law enforcement, but parents everywhere.  How it allows predatory behavior to occur more easily is becoming more apparent in our everyday world.  Forcing equality under the law to apply to all persons in all places whom violate these laws would be another consideration, especially if the crime occurs across multiple states, where a joint prosecutorial platform might be used.  A suggestion to consider, our internet providers, since they monitor and maintain the servers, may want to send a report of sites visited to the person whom signs up for the internet service, in hard copy, as part of the invoice for payment much like the phone companies that would list numbers called. Remember the "900" lines?

     What we cannot forget is that the victims in these cases, must have reciprocated somewhat in order for it to escalate, surely Mr. Yoder and Mr. Weiner did not act one sided.  Chris Hanson had a nice running show where the public got to see all kinds of predatorily saturated minds at work, and most of them lead normal lives within their communities, were a variety of ages and came from all over our world. All connected to one thing, sexual gratification with a minor that originated from an electronic media device. Not only should we be concerned with computer and internet usage, but now texting devices are serving as “sub stations” to a larger porthole, making communication easier and more mobile.  The Indiana State Police deserve a hand shake in reacting properly and swiftly in this case.  As the technology of our world evolves, the criminal minds can rest assured; law enforcement will keep up the pace and continue to uphold our laws.

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