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Villains Surface in the Vermont Child Rape Case

Plenty of villains are surfacing in that terrible Vermont child rape case. Villain number one, the Vermont print media with the exception of The Burlington Free Press.

Today in a shocking editorial, the far left Brattleboro Reformer editorialized, "The national conservative media, without knowing any of the facts of the case, presented [Judge] Cashman as, in the words of conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly last week, `the worst judge in the USA.' Cashman is forcing the citizens of the state to think long and hard about crime and punishment and the costs all of us must share. Lengthy jail terms without rehabilitation will not accomplish anything. A different approach is needed, one divorced from cheap political demagoguery."

This is how insane things are now in Vermont. This newspaper believes long prison terms for child rapists accomplish nothing. Somehow I thought protecting kids by keeping vicious child predators locked up, somehow I thought that was part of America's justice system. I guess I was wrong.

But Vermont may not even be part of America anymore. While general crime in that state is down in 2004, sex crimes rose 59 percent and half the victims were children.

When a six-year-old girl is raped over a four year period by a 34-year old man, and that man gets all but 60 days of his prison sentence suspended, there is no justice system.

The editor of The Brattleboro paper, Sabina Haskel, is clueless. And that editorial is grossly irresponsible.

Now yesterday, Vermont Judge Patricia Zimmerman sentenced a guy who cursed at her, Ralph Page, to 60 days in jail. So here's Vermont justice. Curse at a judge, two months. Rape a six-year-old, two months.

Vermont Judge Amy Davenport has also emerged as a villain. She could remove Cashman from criminal cases and put him in civil court. Ms. Davenport has not done that.

And where are the good citizens of the state? Where are the demonstrations against Cashman's brutal verdict? Tomorrow night in Williston, they'll be a meeting, but unless the folks begin standing up, Vermont will be tainted with a permanent stigma.

Our Billoreilly.com poll question asked if Judge Cashman is not removed from criminal cases, will you boycott Vermont?" More than 50,000 of you have voted so far. 91 percent say yes. Nine percent, no.

Bottom line, few powerful people care about this little girl, who was brutalized and terrorized for four long years. The network newscasts, the big newspapers are ignoring the story.

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, a Republican, hiding. And even the child protection groups in Vermont are mute.

The little girl is poor. She's now a ward of the state. And she must be very frightened and confused. How could something like this happen in the United States of America? How could it happen? And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

As you may know, Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha has emerged as a major critic of the war in Iraq. Murtha's a Democrat, and was awarded two Purple Hearts in Vietnam.

Now, some right-wing web sites are questioning Murtha's war record. And that is not good. Unless there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the congressman did something wrong, his service should be respected and these kinds of attacks should cease immediately.

Enough of this kind of stuff on both sides. It is ridiculous and loathsome.

—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com

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Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly