Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jack Etter Running For Aldermen Seat, Facing Sex Abuse Charge In Dallas, North Carolina; LDS Member Since 1955

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is running for elective office -- and facing a felony child sex abuse charge in Dallas, North Carolina. Jack Etter, who served on the Dallas Board of Aldermen from 2008-2010 and is running for a new four-year term, is also accused of sexually touching a four-year-old girl.

The incident allegedly took place at a residence on January 4th, 2011. Sexual touching was involved, but there was no intercourse. The purported victim, a four-year-old girl, reported the incident to her parents, who contacted the Department of Social Services. DSS then reported the incident to police, who arrested him. He was charged on January 21st and originally held on a $1 million secured bond, later reduced to a $25,000 unsecured bond. Etter entered a not guilty plea to the felony charge in Gaston County Superior Court in April. He went ahead and filed his candidacy on July 15th. Yet the district attorney seems reluctant to even schedule a trial; ten months later, no trial has yet been scheduled. They're keeping this guy in limbo.

Etter strongly denies the charge. “There’s no argument,” Etter said. “The only thing I could tell them was that I did not do anything and I am not guilty of anything. I have not done anything … therefore, I’m not hiding.” Etter also says it's not affecting his political campaign so far -- he describes his campaign support as “overwhelming” and said people don’t bring up the issue of his pending felony charge. The election is scheduled for November 8th. The 75-year-old Etter, who's married with four adult children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, joined the LDS Church in 1955.

I'm thinking this whole thing's a tragic misunderstanding. They not only sharply reduced Etter's bail, but have yet to schedule a trial. This tells me the prosecution may have doubts about the case. What may have happened is that the little girl's mother overreacted to what her daughter said, pushed the panic button, and launched this entire legal process. That doesn't make her a bad person; it's simply a manifestation of pedophilia hysteria. North Carolina prosecutors seem unusually reluctant to let go of a flawed sex case; the notorious Duke lacrosse rape case also took place in North Carolina, and prosecutor Mike Nifong became so obsessed with convicting the accused "rapists" that it cost him his job and his career.

We need to be concerned about this upsurge in pedophilia hysteria; it may be scaring men away from getting involved with kids. Case in point: About 20 years ago, I was at an airport using a water cooler when a little girl came up and asked me if I would lift her up so she could drink. Thinking nothing of it, I did so, and she was appreciative. What would happen if I did it today? Would some paranoid freak have me arrested for improper touching?


Cleansweep said...

You need to take the link to the comments on this case down as the Gaston Gazette has denied readers the chance to make comments without a facebook sign in, How ever,I too that something is wrong in this case....

Jack Mormon said...

Not only did they switch to a Facebook-based commenting system during the past 24 hours, but they deleted the previous 5 comments in which people were piling on Etters. So I excised the reference from my post.

Thanks for bring that to my attention.

markinPNW said...

About a year ago while in the local LDS chapel for an evening activity, a 2 or 3 year old girl asked me if I would lift her up to the drinking fountain for a drink. You better believe, I checked with her mother first (in case she had reservations, or wanted to help her daughter herself), after the mother said ok, then I responded to the girl's request and helped her get the drink.