Another Sex Offender Success Story

A 52 year old sex offender is behind bars and has been denied bail after being arrested for killing an 11 year old boy in Baltimore last week. Melvin Jones, Jr is accused of, and reports indicate he confessed to, killing 11 year old Irvin Harris who went missing on a Friday. There are several tragic twists to this story the first of which is the mother of the child, Shanda Harris, knew that Jones was a convicted sex offender and she let him watch her six children. The local news had an interview with the child’s grandmother who indicated that she was aware, as was her daughter, a year ago and the grandmother expressed a great deal of concern. One might think that this guy deserved a chance and she was giving him that chance. But wait, there’s more:

Jones has a lengthy record dating to 1970, when he was charged with rape, said Joseph Sviatko, a spokesman for the city state’s attorney’s office. The state declined to prosecute that case, but Jones pleaded guilty in January 2002 to a third-degree sex offense and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but one year suspended. The victim in that case was a 15-year-old boy, Sviatko said.

The victim in the 2002 case met Jones when he was walking home from school, and the two had sex several times over a period of about 18 months, according to court documents.

Jones pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in 1989 and served just over seven months in prison, Sviatko said. He was also convicted of indecent exposure in 1994, harassment in 1989 and battery in 1988.

Along with the rape charge, two other charges against Jones were dismissed from court: a second-degree sex offense in 2000 and a third-degree sex offense in 1989.

Jones registered as a sex offender after his 2002 conviction and remains on active probation, Sviatko said. There were no indications he had violated his probation before his arrest.

After the 2002 offense, Jones allegedly told police during questioning “that he was a pedophile who needed help,” according to court documents.

So here is a guy who had quite a record of child sex abuse and he was out on the street. No matter how anyone looks at this, the man belonged behind bars and if he had been there this child would still be alive. I do not know how much Baltimore City had to do with this but given Mayor Martin O’Malley’s dismal record on crime and his continuous attempts to “fudge” crime statistics it would not surprise me if this guy was not in jail because of the lack of adult leadership in Baltimore.

There were several tragedies here. One, the mother let a child sex predator watch her children and two, the system let this animal on the street despite multiple crimes. The biggest tragedy is that a child lost his life because he was failed by his parent and by the city judicial system.


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2 Responses to “Another Sex Offender Success Story”

  1. Jo says:

    What happened to hanging people at dawn?

  2. Melissa In Texas says:

    This is frightening on so many levels.
    What on earth was this woman thinking, to allow a convicted sex offender to watch her children? What makes women believe that a person that is a repeat offender can be trusted again with children? Unfortunately, so many of these men can talk a good game. Their children end up paying the price for the parent’s ignorance.
    Why was he allowed out on the streets again and again?
    I work in property management.
    One of the biggest taboos in approving residents and occupants to live in our communities is background check, which includes a criminal background check, which includes a search of the sex offender database. Sex crimes in a close community are a definite no-no.
    Just last week, a (single) female resident came in with an application for her “new boyfriend”.
    We ran the app, and lo and behold, he just got out of prison for a sex crime against a 13 year old girl.
    I met with her and told her that under no circumstances was he allowed to live at our property.
    She looks at me with tears in her eyes and says, straight faced, tells me: But I am pregnant, what am I supposed to do?
    – You are punishing me because I am pregnant?
    I was so shocked by her statements, that I almost laughed at her.
    I had to explain to her that it was not my fault that she did not consider the consequences of her actions when she brought a known sex offender to her home. I could not and would not approve him to be a resident at our community.
    Oh my stars!
    I work so hard with my own children to explain to them that they are wholly responsible for the decisions they make. That who they decide to associate with can affect their entire lives. I tell them, “if you are going to hang around the cat box, you are gonna get crapped on”!
    It is a crying shame that more families do not teach these lessons to their own children.

    We are in the process of dissolving this woman’s lease.
    I hope the best for her and her children.
    God help them.