I predicted it.

I take no satisfaction in being right about this. I sincerely wish I had been wrong.

But I warned you that a laissez faire attitude by Nevada’s Clark County district attorney’s office toward child-sex predators would have broad ramifications. I cautioned that the DA’s treatment of the Vinten Hartung case would provide a license to act on child-sex fantasies.

For those of you who missed the Hartung case, he was a Las Vegas police vice detective charged with preying on a 15-year-old boy and luring him into a sexual relationship with alcohol. Charges were dropped against him because, as the DA explained, it would be discriminatory toward homosexuals to prosecute him.

Now the chicken hawks are coming home to roost.

Earlier this month, a Clark County School District employee was arrested on charges of having sexual relations with a student — the sixth such incident in less than two months!

This time, a hall monitor at West Middle School is accused of cultivating a two-year “relationship” with a 14-year-old boy.
Police say Nakia Matthews, 26, started the relationship in 1999 when the boy was 12.

Police did not disclose the type of sexual conduct between the two other than to say it was “consensual.” Did you catch that? It was consensual. It was a “relationship.” A 26-year-old school hall monitor had a “consensual” sexual “relationship” with a 12-year-old boy. How do you like that, Mom and Dad?

“It’s always disappointing to hear of these type of cases,” said Edward Goldman, the school district’s assistant superintendent for staff relations. “These are the people we entrust to protect our students.”

Disappointing? I would say “shocking.” I would say “disgraceful.” I would say “intolerable.” I would say “criminal.” “Disappointing” is not one of the vocabulary words that would come to mind for me.

Now get this. How was he caught?

Las Vegas police Lt. Tom Monahan said Matthews was beaten by outraged members of the victim’s family before his arrest. The family members then reported the incident to police.

That’s also just what I warned would inevitably occur when the state stops enforcing the laws against preying on children. Vigilantism is alive and well in Las Vegas, and you can bet your bottom dollar (since it’s legal in Las Vegas) that it will increase as the state turns a blind eye to such offenses.

Matthews is in custody on nine counts of felony statutory sexual seduction. Monahan said Matthews met the boy in his capacity as a hall monitor. Hall monitors are responsible for providing some security measures at school, and also to make sure students aren’t loitering.

Goldman said termination proceedings have been initiated against Matthews.

Other school district employees arrested just since February include:

  • Duane Johnson, 36, of Las Vegas. The teacher at Child Haven is accused of felony lewdness with a minor student there. Child Haven is a facility for abused and neglected youths.

  • James Fiore Gabriele, 38, of Las Vegas. The Western High School social studies teacher was arrested in Escondido, Calif., on Feb. 23. Police there say they caught Gabriele engaged in a sex act with one of his students in a parked car.

  • Michael Vicious, a 30-year-old theater manager at the Las Vegas Academy. Vicious was formally charged with 15 felony counts of sexual conduct between certain employees of a school and a student. Vicious is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old girl at the school and also repeatedly masturbating in front of her.

  • Jeremy Green, 27. The Mojave High School special education teacher was arrested on eight felony counts of statutory sexual seduction. He is accused of having repeated sexual contact with a 14-year-old female student at Mojave.

  • Newell Leavitt, 48. The Burkholder Middle School teacher was arrested in early February on allegations that he had sex with a 15-year-old girl on school grounds.

You can read all the gory details as reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal for yourself.

This is what happens when, in effect, you decriminalize child molestation. There’s a laboratory for this approach, and it’s called Clark County, Nev.

Can you not sympathize with the parents in this latest school case? Why should they bother going through legal channels? It didn’t work for the father in the Vinten Hartung case. No charges have yet been brought against the former policeman, who was allowed to retire from the force. Maybe he’ll get a job now at the school district as a hall monitor.

I sincerely hope the nation as a whole is awakened to the breakdown of the law in Clark County, Nev., and what it portends for the rest of us if we don’t stop pretending that there is not a real threat to our children from sexual predators — heterosexual as well as homosexual.

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