LatinaLista — An appalling story out of St. Anthony, Idaho speeded across the Internet this morning. According to Idaho Falls CBS affiliate, KIDK, a 10-year-old girl gave birth to a 6 lb. baby girl as a result of being raped.
The news story on the KIDK site read in part:
That person is this man, 37-year old Guadalupe Gutierrez-Juarez. Juarez is actually an illegal immigrant, and is now behind bars in the Fremont County Jail on other rape charges.
Since we broke this story exclusively yesterday, we’ve been checking with sources throughout the North Valley for more information.
The criminal complaint against Gutierrez-Juarez says the rape of the 10-year old happened between November and January. As we told you last night the girl gave birth at Madison Memorial this weekend and both mother and child are doing well.
If convicted the illegal immigrant could face life in prison, a $50,000 fine ,or both. Whether he ever serves anytime behind bars will be up to the judge who if he places him on probation, could deport him.
From the way this story reads, “If convicted the illegal immigrant could face life in prison,” dehumanizes not just the intended target, the rapist, but ALL undocumented immigrants. Also, it makes it sound that this was a stranger-on-stranger crime.
The rapist was married to the girl’s mother. Latina Lista has yet to verify if the rapist was the child’s father.
At any rate, it should go without saying that not all undocumented immigrants are rapists but this article definitely plants the connection between the two terms.
A rapist is a rapist regardless if he’s an undocumented immigrant, a church pastor, a police officer, a teacher, etc. In fact, in most articles, the rapist is identified by his/her name and not by an identifier of their legal or immigration status.
By repeatedly referring to this rapist as the “illegal immigrant,” this media story does a disservice to the local community and popular perception of all undocumented immigrant men who are Latino.
To their credit, in subsequent reports, KIDK refrained from identifying Gutierrez-Juarez only as an “illegal immigrant” and used his last name when referring to him. Unfortunately, not all news outlets are doing this.
Yet, the story here is not just that this sick individual committed this horrendous crime but that nobody found out about it nor did anything until this child gave birth.
However, we’re discovering that there is much more to the story.
According to various news reports, the girl’s pregnancy was not reported until the end of April when she went to the hospital to be seen. Ultimately, she delivered the baby by Cesarean.
However, a credible source told Latina Lista that it wasn’t her mother who took her to the hospital but someone from her school â€” hospital officials called the police. That nugget of information opens the door to a host of questions.
If the girl was still attending school, surely someone should have seen that she was pregnant. That she was still living in the same home with the guy, means that the mother is either complicit in the rape and should be arrested as well for endangering her daughter or a victim of abuse herself.
Police report that they don’t have any prior complaints on the 37-year-old rapist which means that he and the girl and the mother, and any other possible children in the family, went about their business as usual for all the world to see.
So why didn’t anyone see anything or say anything?
An interesting theory offered by our source says that for one thing, the privacy and confidentiality rules regarding schools and hospitals are strictly enforced. Our source tells us that the public schools in the area, in over 10 years, have not shared any news with local media.
Another theory is that the community where the girl lives is “close knit.” Evidently, there is a high Mormon population in the state and according to the source, some communities just take care of one another.
Does that mean they condone underage sex, a la the polygamist sect that was recently raided in Central Texas?
No one knows for sure the details until a hearing next week when some things should be made public.
But one thing is certain â€” the rape of a child by anyone should not be condoned nor kept silent due to confidentiality laws or religious practices.
The emotional and physical well-being of children should be the priority of every community.
And when someone is proved to be a rapist, they should be identified as such but the implication, intentional or not, should not be made that others of their group are the same as that one sick person.