The Houston Press has released a list of the “10 Hottest Women on the Texas Sex Offenders List.”
Next to the mugshots (for which the Village Voice affiliate warns, “In some cases, we picked out the best of a series of mugshots. Alternative choices were starkly different. So click on each link before you send any marriage proposals.”) the blogger lists the women’s city, crime and victim information.
The offending “hotties” have assaulted boys and girls ranging from two to 16 years old.
“This kind of thinking that female sex offenders are harmless seductresses rather than predators or perpetrators can set us back decades,” said Torie Camp, deputy director the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA).
According to TAASA, approximately 25,000 adults and 25,000 children are sexually assaulted in Texas every year. Only 18 percent report the crime to the police.
In a response to those who have been “riled up” by the article, list compiler Richard Connelly added the note:
"I can understand how some people might react to this. On the other hand, it's a way of getting readers to look at the info, maybe get them to realize there are people out there like this and they all don't look like the obvious stereotypical pervert."
What’s next in the Houston Press’ series of public service announcements? A calendar of the state’s sexiest pedophiles, maybe? Most eligible sex traffickers?
Change.org has created a petition asking the Houston Press to apologize for the list.
UPDATE: Richard Connelly issued an apology for his post last night. He wrote:
In an attempt to catch attention (and yes, eyeballs and clicks), I thought of the ten hottest female sex offenders. "Hottest" because it's a Web-headline staple for such listicles.
I also wrote an over-the-top intro, trusting that the outrageous headline (Anything putting "hottest" near "sex offenders," I thought, would clearly show over-the-topness) would indicate this was fully intended to shock.
That's why I made the conscious decision to include the victims' ages: To show that "normal-looking" people, people you could pass any day on the street -- or who you might think are "hot" -- are capable of monstrous things.
Glamorizing or trivializing child rape? It did not cross my mind that I was doing that. It should have, it now seems clear.