Last updated: August 24. 2013 9:52PM - 78 Views

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How would it feel to be a 13-year-old victim of sexual assault, and then two years later to be victimized by the court system you turned to for justice? This could happen in Hardin County according to media reports.

The tragic tale recounts the July 2006 sexual violation of a then 13-year-old girl by Kenton resident Derek Kaufman. The teen had been invited to the family home for a sleepover with Kaufman's minor sister when, at 2 a.m., the victim was awakened by a 20-year-old Kaufman and sexually assaulted.

Sentencing for Kaufman who has pled guilty to a reduced charge of gross sexual imposition is set for June 16 in the Hardin County Common Pleas Court before visiting Judge William Finnegan of Marion County. Kaufman might only spend 20 days in jail for his crime, yet his victim could suffer a lifetime of consequences for his behavior.

As a past two-term board member for the Ohio Coalition against Sexual Assault, I am grieved with the court's recommendation for such a lenient sentence. If Finnegan accepts the terms of this agreement when sentencing the now 22-year-old Kaufman, he will be free to harm other children.

Before sentencing takes place for Derek Kaufman, those concerned about the safety of the children in the Hardin County community and elsewhere need to send letters to Judge William Finnegan, Marion County Court of Common Pleas, 100 N. Main St., Marion, OH 43302-3089 to voice their concerns.

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