2010-02-05 / Letters

Molestation Of A Minor

Dear Editor,

I found your coverage of Michael Finnegan’s sentencing abeyance offensive on numerous levels. What Mr. Finnegan engaged in with a minor child was not an affair. The word affair implies a romantic, sexual relationship between unmarried adults.

What transpired in this case was the molestation of a minor. This was never a consensual affair. Your account of the events reads more like a chapter of Twilight than a description of a crime.

What purpose does this romanticizing serve? Your choice of language diminishes his repulsive actions and belittles the distress of both the victim and Finnegan’s long suffering family.

No wonder your sole source of support for Finnegan choose to remain anonymous.

I am likewise troubled by the timeliness and fronting of this article. Finnegan’s arrest, facilitated by his wife, occurred over a year ago. This is also the second time that his sentencing has been held in abeyance. Sheila Cassidy, the defendant’s former wife, having been the primary activist towards his sentencing, has always maintained open discourse with the community regarding her ex’s crime. This story is essentially old news. Running this article on the front page rather than in the interior of the newspaper seemed to serve no other purpose than to further injure those already aggrieved. Fronting the location in which the crime occurred and age of the victim all but reveals her identity. I understand the journalistic obligation to use Finnegan’s former address for identification purposes, but need it have appeared in a page one article, when his family still resides there under the protection of a restraining order?

Doesn’t the picture you feature already satisfy that requirement?

Could you have possibly heaped more heartbreak upon those victimized by the actions of a criminal? Sheila Cassidy has worked relentlessly to ensure that Michael Fin-negan will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Will the individual who slashed her car tires also be in-dicted? Will those tongues that have wagged be silenced? Will her children, just beginning to heal from the loss of their father and fall-out of his ignominious deeds, escape the taunts of their playfellows? Will the victim be able to transcend these events and grow to be an emotionally healthy adult? Mr. Schwach, this was a story to be handled with kid gloves, in your vain attempt at sensationalism you have injured many. Your failure to print this story in a tasteful and timely way speaks of your poor understanding of the community you seek to represent.


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