Regarding the Pa. sexual predator to be released Friday, a reader writes:
I was an assistant district attorney in Pennsylvania for 3 years, 1 of which was spent prosecuting juvenile offenders. The story of Brian Calabrese, unfortunately, is neither rare nor unusual. I have seen several young sexual predators who should be locked up forever, but will be released, without supervision on their 21st birthday. What is maddening is that everyone, from judges, DA’s, defense attorneys, to juvenile probation officers know that these kids are ticking time bombs just waiting to explode, but nothing can be done about them.
It is truly frightening how many kids like Brian Calabrese are out there. A good many are repeat pederasts who have been setting fires and torturing animals since they were 10 years old. Without fail, every one of these kids suffered horrible physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their “parents” and never had a chance to be normal. However, that being said these kids are a clear and present danger, but there is no way to protect society once these kids turn 21. Inevitably someone has to be raped or even killed before the adult system becomes involved.
Do I have a solution? No, I don’t. Off the top of my head, the only possible thing I could think of is what we call a “302 commitment” under the Mental Health Act. This is an involuntary commitment wherein a person could ask the Commonwealth to commit an individual to a mental health facility on the basis that they are a danger to themselves or others. Still, that is not permanent, and sadly, someone is going to have to pay a horrid price for this gap in the law.