The discussion about tougher punishment for pedophiles resumed after the tragedy in Kiselevsk, where two ten-year-old schoolgirls were raped and killed by 41-year-old Viktor Pesternikov. He had previously been convicted of crimes against the sexual integrity of children and spent ten years behind bars. After Pesternikov was released from prison, administrative supervision was established. However, the former prisoner ignored all court orders. How is the supervision of pedophiles carried out, and what, according to experts, needs to be done to reduce the number of crimes – in the material RT.
A bill that toughens criminal liability for pedophiles has been submitted to the State Duma. It provides for life imprisonment for repeated offenses against minors. The same punishment threatens pedophiles who have not been previously prosecuted under the relevant articles for similar crimes against two or more minors, as well as in cases where the crime is associated with the commission of another grave or especially grave one.
Earlier, the corresponding initiative shortly after the Kemerovo tragedy was voiced by the Commissioner for Children’s Rights Anna Kuznetsova. “We are persistently fighting year after year for tougher punishment for crimes against the sexual integrity of children. <…> Since 2018, a bill has been pending in the State Duma; it provides for life punishment for pedophiles and other measures that should increase the protection of children. We participated in the development of the document and received support from many departments. What other arguments need to be cited? ”, TASS quotes her as saying.
Experts agree with this idea. “I am in favor of life imprisonment for pedophiles, as well as the transfer of crimes related to the dissemination of intimate images of children from the category of average to the category of serious,” says the deputy Oksana Pushkina.
According to her, the State Duma has already developed appropriate amendments. “But for some reason, this bill did not pass beyond the first reading in the State Duma,” the deputy adds.
Speaking about the risks of abuse, Pushkina does not exclude that with such a tightening of the law, they may take place. “There is undoubtedly a lack of confidence in our judicial system. There are fears that innocent people will be imprisoned. Therefore, it seems to me, in this case, exceptional requirements for the evidence base and special prosecutor’s supervision are necessary. But criminals who commit lewd acts against children should not go free. Otherwise, we cannot avoid lynching, ”she concludes.
“We have short terms for pedophilia, very short ones. Unless the perpetrator killed the victim, there are already other terms, yes, ”says Mikhail Ignatov, a former operative of the RUOP Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow.
“But there are no ex-pedophiles. If he has a sexual craving for children, she will remain, no matter what prison or colony he visited. Therefore, in no case should these people be released back into society, ”Ignatov is convinced.
“I am exclusively for life for maniacs and pedophiles who seduced more than one child, for the punishment to be mandatory and inevitable, so that the latency of this category of crimes is reduced,” says Anna Levchenko.
We will remind, on September 7 in the city of Kiselevsk, Kemerovo region, the bodies of two ten-year-old schoolgirls were found. According to the investigation, the girls were raped and killed by 41-year-old Viktor Pesternikov, who had previously been convicted of sexual assault against minors.
Pesternikov was placed under administrative supervision after his release from prison. The court ordered him to regularly report to the local police department and stay at home after 10 pm. He was also banned from attending sports competitions, mass events, public places where alcohol is sold and to travel outside his native village.
But Pesternikov ignored the court orders. He quietly moved to Kiselevsk and did not register with the police. A criminal case under the article “Negligence” was initiated against the law enforcement officers who were supposed to follow Pesternikov after his release.
After the tragedy that happened in the public space, the discussion about how to deal with pedophilia and pedophiles-recidivists resumed.
One of the proposed measures is the introduction of electronic bracelets for those convicted of sexual crimes against children who have been released from prison. This proposal was made by the deputy of the State Duma Alexander Khinshtein.
Thus, according to him, all movements of pedophiles after release from prison can be tracked.
“There is a possibility of fixing movements and monitoring movements. At least, such a bracelet will always allow you to restore a clear picture of events. And this will be, among other things, a deterrent for such non-people, ”Khinshtein told reporters.
State Duma Deputy Oksana Pushkina agrees with her colleague. “The first thing that needs to be done is to tighten the supervision of pedophiles. Install GPS trackers on everyone as soon as he crosses the prison territory and goes free, “Pushkina said to RT.
The MP proposes other measures as well. “We need a mandatory register of pedophiles, a unified database for the country, notifying people in neighborhoods about the residence of such a citizen next to them, as is done, for example, in the United States. We have been talking about this for the last five years, all proposals were sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. But things are still there, as they say, ”continues Pushkina.
Ignatov also admits that the introduction of bracelets can help. “If you put bracelets on this category of people so that you can trace where they are at any moment, this will be at least some stopping factor for them. They will know that any step they take is controlled, and it will be possible to find out where he was, ”the expert told RT.
But, according to Ignatov, this will not completely solve the problem. “Yes, it might stop some of them. But the bracelet cannot prevent the crime itself. Only the whereabouts of the pedophile will be visible, not what he is doing. And if such a criminal sees a victim, something has already switched in his brain – no bracelet will stop him, ”the expert explains.
Anna Levchenko, the leader of the all-Russian movement “Hand over the pedophile”, agrees with him. “A maniac or a pedophile – he is not corrected, so he will rape and kill a child with this bracelet, just with a bracelet it will be easier to catch him,” she told RT.
“The latency is awesome.”
Now the latency – that is, crimes that do not fall into the official statistics – are very high. “These are crimes that no one knows about, that are not registered in the system. That is, latent crimes are those for which no one wrote a statement about which law enforcement agencies do not know. And in this category of crimes, the latency is simply awful, more than 80%, ”explains Levchenko.
This is due to the taboo topic of pedophilia in society, Levchenko continues. “At first, the children themselves are silent. On the second round, if they told their parents, they are often silent, they do not want to write a statement. This happens in every second family faced with this. Then comes the silence of the third circle of persons – witnesses who knew about the crime and did not tell, ”she says.
“Every time such a high-profile crime occurs, the media come to the place, they walk around the neighbors. And it turns out that they know everything, tell everything to journalists as if in spirit: “Yes, we had such a strange guy”. They are asked, but why haven’t you reported anywhere? “Yes, this is not our business, so let the guardianship be engaged in this,” they answer. To the question, why did they not call the guardianship, they say in the spirit of “What are we, snitches or what?”. That is, just everyone around is silent, thus supporting indifference in society, ”Levchenko gives an example.
Mikhail Ignatov also agrees with her. “On the cameras it was clear that he (Pesternikov – RT) got into a conversation with the children in the store, invited them somewhere. But there were adults around, why did everyone pass by indifferently? Nobody noticed that an incomprehensible, rumpled-looking uncle was inviting the girls somewhere, and they agreed. How can you pass by this event? This indifference is also a factor that led to this terrible tragedy, ”the expert is convinced.
The importance of prevention
According to experts, the prevention of crimes against the sexual integrity of children could break the silence of victims and eyewitnesses.
“Judging by the video, these girls were absolutely sure that this uncle would just give them candy, and that’s it. They voluntarily, with a brisk step, followed him themselves. This suggests that none of the adults talked to them about security, ”says Anna Levchenko. “Therefore, I always advocate sex education lessons. If you really don’t like the sex gap, you can talk about the problem of pedophilia, about the existence of maniacs, that in no case should you go anywhere with someone else’s adult, and so on. These are basic security measures, but no one talks about this with the children, the state removes itself from this problem and says that the parents should figure it out for themselves, ”she continues.
But these basic safety skills need to be taught to children within the framework of a general educational institution, Levchenko emphasizes.
“It is important to teach a child to say ‘no’ to something that is unpleasant for him. Talk about personal space and available distance for moms, dads, strangers. These simple and straightforward truths begin to protect the child from sexualized abuse in childhood. In other words, if a child knows how to say “no”, understands everything about the permissible distance, then there is a possibility that he will refuse a person who will try to do something with him, ”adds Oksana Pushkina.
According to her, there have been programs for a long time, and they have been developed by Russian psychologists.
But whether it is prevention, toughening punishment or strengthening supervision over those who have already served it, experts do not doubt the need to introduce additional measures to combat pedophilia.
The current version of the law does not cope with its tasks, Mikhail Ignatov is sure.
“The problem with the law on administrative supervision: everything is spelled out in it, but it does not work or is not implemented in practice. For example, restrictions, prohibitions on certain actions. Here is a pedophile released from prison, he had a ban on leaving the house at night. But this is nonsense! This will not in any way affect the commission of such crimes by these subjects, because they do not hunt children at night, children sleep at home at night. They commit their crimes during the day, ”the expert gives an example. The same Pesternikov lured the girls in broad daylight.
“He was supposed to be controlled, but all this control is on paper. But in fact, this district police officer, to whom he was given under supervision, simply has no time to physically go to check his supervised. They came to him to check in – good, but they didn’t come – the district police officer will simply forget about the supervised one, because he just has a lot of material in his work, he is loaded with papers, statements of residents, all sorts of reports and meetings. So it turns out that this is fiction, not work, ”concludes Ignatov.