By Doug Wyllie
Late last week, police in Nevada ended a weeks-long search for a man who had fled after he reportedly raped a 16-year-old girl. Court documents indicate that the rape allegedly occurred—in a place called Bountiful, Utah—”while the victim was asleep and was forceful.”
Almost immediately after committing the sexual attack, 36-year-old Christopher Law reportedly confessed the crime to a witness—saying that he “couldn’t help himself”—and asked the witness to “wait a while” before calling the police so he could “get his things together.”
The witness called 911 immediately, but by the time police arrived, the assailant was already in the wind.
According to KSL-TV News, the suspect had initially bolted to Colorado, where he was briefly wanted in connection with a missing person case out of Grand Junction. The woman in that incident returned home unharmed, but the alleged offender was once again nowhere to be found.
Investigators then began working on reports of a possible appearance in California, but the trail ran cold until officers with the Nevada Violent Offenders Task Force of the US Marshals Service arrested the fugitive without further incident.
He now faces a charge of first-degree felony rape. Because of his prior conviction of a grievous sexual offense, a conviction on this new charge would result in a mandatory life sentence without parole.
We’ll have to wait and see about that.
“Compulsion” Doesn’t Excuse Recidivism
At the time of the alleged sexual assault on the Utah teen last month, Christopher Law was on parole (of course he was, because, why not?) after a short prison term for the 2009 sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl. In that case, he somehow lured the child into a cemetery and raped her. He was subsequently convicted of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and was sentenced to a term of six-years-to-life in prison.
Then, in early 2020, Utah’s Board of Pardons and Parole held a hearing during which the convicted sex offender stated, “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to reintroduce myself into society and prove that I can be a productive member.”
The Board apparently took him at his word (of course they did, because, why not?) and he was supposedly “in compliance” with the terms of his parole … right up until the time he was quite clearly NOT in compliance with the terms of his parole.
His “word” to the Board about becoming a “productive member” of society was totally hollow, but let’s consider Law’s own words to the witness—that he “couldn’t help himself”—which are quite possibly closer to the truth.
Unlike some criminal acts—even the most willfully depraved and wantonly brutal offenses like armed robbery, felonious assault, vehicular manslaughter, and even first-degree murder—sexual crimes are sometimes (if not oftentimes) driven by a deep-seeded compulsion.
Some psychologists opine—based on empirical research data about the traits of sex offenders—that individuals who commit such crimes suffer from chronic self-regulation and impulse control problems. They say that poor interpersonal skills, weak coping skills, low self-esteem, and unpleasant childhood experiences somehow lead to the presence of antisocial attitudes and misogynist behaviors.
Further, according to findings compiled by DOJ’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking, many sex offenders have “cognitive distortions or thinking errors” and “distorted thinking patterns” that appear to be involved urges toward deviant sexual behavior. Finally, variations of paraphilic disorders—such as pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, and necrophilia—are also commonly present in sex offenders.
Whatever the “root causes” may be, it’s an indisputable fact that the behaviors and actions of sex offenders go against socially acceptable norms as well as the responsibilities expected of individuals in civilized societies.
Addressing a Nationwide Problem
Regardless of the obvious inherent risk of recidivism, parole boards in today’s America regularly release these demons from prison. Before we proceed on a virtual cross-country journey, let’s consider a few other cases from Utah.
In December 2022, a Utah woman reported to law enforcement that she had been raped by a man who had invited her to his residence in a place called Vineland. The two initially “connected” through an online dating app and the victim was completely unaware of the fact that her “date” that day had just been released from the county jail, where he had served a total of nine days in jail for sex crimes involving a 16-year-old victim.
According to Newsweek, 26-year-old Joshua Homer has been arrested at least nine times during his life for cases involving domestic violence and sex crimes, and has been convicted of seven crimes committed while on probation.
In January 2023, a Utah man—who had served 24 years of a 100-year prison sentence for rape and burglary and was recently granted parole—walked away from the halfway house to which he was released and reportedly raped a woman in a place called Taylorsville.
According to KUTV-News, 43-year-old Christopher Browning was released on parole less than two months prior to his most recent arrest—and attacked the unidentified woman on the same day he absconded from his assigned halfway house. Police say that Browning and his latest victim “knew each other but were not in a romantic relationship.”
In February 2023, a 14-year-old Arizona girl was found held in the basement of a Utah man who had previously been convicted of first-degree felony aggravated sexual extortion of a child.
According to KSL-TV, 26-year-old Jordan Daniel Sorenson sentenced to five years behind bars in 2020, but that sentence was soon suspended and was on probation when he reportedly left the state, kidnapped the Arizona teen, placed her phone in “airplane mode” so she couldn’t be tracked or contacted, and brought her back to his residence in a place called West Valley City.
Those are just a handful of very recent cases in Utah. Appallingly, tragically, and predictably, this problem isn’t confined to the Beehive State. Consider these events making “headlines” across the country recently.
- California Sex Offender Arrested on Suspicion of Sharing Obscene Material with Teen Girl
- Warrant Issued for Level II Sex Offender on Parole in Arkansas Who Removed Ankle Monitor
- South Dakota Sex Offender Arrested for Attempting to Lure Children to Car with Candy Gifts
- Sex Offender in New Jersey Found Guilty of Producing Child Pornography Gets 14 Years in Jail
- Convicted Sex Offender on Parole “For Life” in Ohio Arrested for Failing to Notify/Register
This is not even close to a complete or exhaustive list—there are dreadfully similar headlines out of Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin.
These are all individuals that some parole board—someplace, at some point, for some reason—thought was “okay” to put back on the street. Those parole boards are frequently comprised of “progressives” who imprecisely throw around phrases like “risk assessment” and “restorative justice” and “harm reduction.”
Paroling violent sex offenders—people who are very rarely “rehabilitated” in the carceral system—ignores any reasonable “risk assessment” and is farthest thing from “restorative justice” and is the exact opposite of “harm reduction.”
In fact, irresponsibly allowing these monsters out into the world—in almost every instance and for all practical purposes, basically unsupervised—does little more than create an avoidable nexus point for violent sexual assault and recidivism.
This article originally appeared at the National Police Association and was reprinted with permission.