Letter - Child porn is not victimless crime

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I read with great disappointment the Union-Bulletin’s coverage of former District Court Judge John Junke’s guilty plea for possessing child pornography.

While I have no reason to doubt Mr. Junke’s remorse, or his desire to seek counseling and therapy to deal with his “demons,” I take issue with Mr. McConn’s decision to focus solely on Mr. Junke’s “attempts at redemption” in his coverage of the case.

The U-B articles fail to acknowledge the effects of Mr. Junke’s actions on children and on our community.

Possessing child pornography is not a victimless crime — real children are harmed by the production of these images. Consumers of child pornography, including Mr. Junke, drive the market for the production of images, images in which the sexual abuse of children is a necessary component.

The fact that our county prosecutor and the Walla Walla Police Department detective are recommending no jail time for Mr. Junke, when the “state’s standard-range punishment for the crimes is about 6½ to 8½ years in prison” causes me great concern.

Saving resources by cooperating with an investigation is beneficial, indeed, but our criminal laws and sentencing guidelines treat actions such as Mr. Junke’s seriously for a reason — the child victims, whose lives may be ruined by the criminal sexual abuse to which Mr. Junke’s consumption indirectly contributes.

Jennifer Cohen

Walla Walla

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