Was dad’s rage against alleged child predator a violent crime?

Upon becoming a parent, there are feelings that most develop toward their kids and with regards to protecting them that they couldn’t have imagined before. Parents want to provide their kids with a safe environment, including the proper food, clothing, home, school and more. Parents want to protect their kids from the dangers of the world.

One of the scariest dangers that a parent might imagine is a sexual predator. It can be hard to teach a child what warning signs to recognize, because, for the most part, the idea of someone victimizing a child is unthinkable even for an adult. For a father who claims he came face to face with that unthinkable, will he be charged with a violent crime for his response to a supposed predator or will the essence of a self-defense argument help him out?

This is an out-of-state case but inspires a question that interests people across the nation. Last weekend, a man was killed by a 4-year-old girl’s father in Texas. The father claims that he walked into a room to find his little girl being sexually assaulted by a man. The sight of the supposed abuse sent the father into a rage and he punched the man. That attack was ultimately fatal.

Some look at this incident and believe that they would have done exactly what the father did. Self-defense is legal when a person’s being harmed. Wasn’t the father just providing the defense that his little girl was incapable of putting forth? Also, it is very possible that the father lost control of himself if he saw what he claims he saw. That point could help mitigate the severity of any charge or sentencing that he might face should the state decide criminal charges are in order.

This is a controversial issue. Within most is the desire to protect children no matter the cost. But upholding the law is also held dear within many Americans. We will follow this story and provide an update when there is a development.

Source: Time, “Should Parents Be Allowed to Kill People Who Sexually Molest their Kids?” Bonnie Rochman, June 12, 2012

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