I could use a whole thesaurus’-worth of synonyms for “appalling” and “disgusting” in describing the jail time given to John Xydias. This man raped eleven women over fifteen years, drugging them first and then filming the sexual assault. And his sentence? 28 years! This is despite the fact that the judge who dealt with this case is a woman. According to Justice Warren, Xydias’ actions were “very serious instances of a very serious crime,” yet he will be walking free by the time he’s 73 (if he doesn’t die in gaol).
Even worse is the fact that his sentence minimum is 20 years – which means he could be out by the time he’s 65. Despite the fact that he has drugged and assaulted so many women so many times, this man could be moving into your neighbourhood in twenty years. That the women were unconscious and don’t remember their experiences in inconsequential; likely every drink they ever have again will be a cause for fear, in case it’s been drugged. Every man casually making eye contact will be a possible attacker. Rape is something that survivors generally have to deal with for the rest of their lives. Why does this “man” have a second chance when he has damaged so many lives? He is sane, he plead guilty, he clearly knew what he was doing and that it was wrong. Maybe twenty years will be enough time for him to change his ways.
Even with the belief that every person deserves a chance at redemption, I can not honestly say in good conscience that I would be unconcerned if, in twenty years, this man moved into my street. Can you?