BRIDGEPORT -- Federal agents arrested a 31-year-old former Peace Corps volunteer on charges he sexually abused at least five young girls while working in a South African preschool.Reading The Looming Tower, I thought by the end that I could place Osama bin Laden in the human family. He was an evil mass murderer, but Wright refused to take the easy way out and label him insane or inhuman. To grapple with the fact of bin Laden, of Hitler, is to grapple with the depth of human depravity, of what we as a species are capable. Bin Laden was evil, yes, and deserved his fate, but he was not crazy. Mass murder is not that uncommon in history.
Agents from the Peace Corps' Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Jesse Osmun, 32, of Glen Street, Milford, on charges that he traveled from the U.S. to engage in sexual conduct with a minor. The charge carries a maximum 30-year prison term and $250,000 fine. U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons Thursday ordered him detained without bond.
A criminal complaint signed by Special Agent Joyce Shores, of the Peace Corps' Office of Inspector General, alleged that Osmun "provided a written confession" that "he engaged in sexual contact with three underage girls for approximately one year."
This is still fresh, but I cannot do that now. This man commented on my site, back before he came here. Like nearly all Peace Corps volunteers, he wrote a blog. He had a completely normal, even clichéd, title: The Road Less Traveled. He wrote normal posts about normal Peace Corps things. I never met him, but he was notorious for self-righteousness; he even commented to that effect on the infamous post that got one of my best friends kicked out of the Peace Corps. His blog is on my blogroll right now. Yet while doing much the same thing as I have been doing for two years he was allegedly raping little girls. Five years old. It is too close. All I can summon, as a defense mechanism perhaps, is a stunned, disbelieving horror. The only thing that comes to mind is this, from Blood Meridian:
Aye. It's a mystery. A man's at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it. You believe that?The horrible part is, of course, that raping young children, even babies, is also not that uncommon.
I dont know.
NB: Mr. Osmun, though he has apparently confessed, has not yet been convicted of anything. If this turns out to be a mistake—and I will be paying attention—then I will be first to call for his reputation to be rehabilitated.