Judge gives okay to lure children, as long as place has only four poles and a roof

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mitchell Pask was convicted in 1992 of sexual assault. But, that didn't stop him from walking past a group of preteen girls and after saying "'Look at those sexy little salty girls'", motioning one (who was 9) to follow him towards a shelter made of four poles and a roof at a local park.

The girl was smart enough to not follow him, police were smart enough to arrest him, and a jury was smart enough to convict him.

A judge however, believed that because the "shelter" was in view of a a street, and was a sort of "open air" shelter as we call them- that the crime for which Pask was charged- Wisconsin's child enticement statute- didn't occur.

After deliberating for just half an hour, a jury found 44-year-old Mitchell Pask guilty of trying to lure a 9-year-old girl to a park shelter for sex.

But after the verdict was read Wednesday, Judge Timothy Van Akkeren stepped in. In a rare move, he overturned it and found Pask, who was convicted of sexual assault in 1992, not guilty. The reason?

He said the park shelter wasn't secluded enough to satisfy Wisconsin's child enticement statute.

Of course, there is nothing to say that once Pask had her at the shelter- alone and in a more controllable situation- he wouldn't have attempted to get her to walk elsewhere with him. There is nothing to say that he wouldn't have diverted away from the shelter house and into another area. And, of course, there is nothing to say that he isn't sick enough to attempt to rape someone in a public place. But... at least he now has a good excuse for the next time he gets caught- "no, no judge... I was attempting to take her not into the woods, but to the open air shelter on the other side of the woods".
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