Child abusers should stay in jail for life

May 9, 2014

The Cape Gazette recently reported 64-year-old William Zimmerman of Georgetown will serve 15 years in federal prison after police found 2,300 images of child pornography on his computers.

This marks the third time Zimmerman has been convicted for a crime involving children, the first more than 25 years ago, when he was convicted of unlawful sexual contact.

Five years after that, he served four years for possession of child pornography.

This story is not rare. People who use child pornography, often victims of abuse, have been described as addicts whose desire for pornography is matched only by their inability to recognize the horror pornography inflicts on child victims.

Out of prison, Zimmerman was required to attend sex-offender therapy, where he met – not unexpectedly – other sex offenders.

One of them, David Pennington of George­town, was on active probation and was not allowed to have a home computer. No prob­lem – Zimmerman had one, so together they accessed child pornography at Zimmerman’s house.

These two men, and a third, Roger Cordero of New Castle, whom Pennington met while in prison, did not use their prison time or sex-offender therapy to reflect on their crimes or resolve problems that led to their exploitation of children.

No. They used their punishments to network so they could more easily commit thousands more crimes.

Cordero’s case won’t go to trial until June, but prosecutors may get a conviction that will keep all three men behind bars for a long time.

Still, the question remains: Can there be any more obvious proof that a few years in prison and so-called sex-offender therapy do not deter sexual crimes against children?

This type of offender uses prison and therapy not to change, but to improve their ability to satisfy their addiction.

The object of this addiction is not a pill or a bottle. It is our most innocent.

More child pornography is produced and accessed than ever before. Our children need better protection than ever. Predators must be removed from contact with children.


  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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