WALSH: Iowa Allows Child Molester Who Admitted To Molesting More Than 15 Victims To Go Free

Joseph Matthew Smith
Photo: Buena Vista County Jail

Correction: The following opinion piece incorrectly cites Smith’s identification as a woman as the reason for the convicted child molester’s release from prison. As a report by USA Today details, Smith’s original prison sentence did not shorten due to Smith’s gender identity change. The title of this op-ed has been revised and this correction has been added to address this issue.

Smith “had begun receiving treatment for gender reassignment at the correctional facility after expressing the desire to switch gender identities in October 2017,” more than two years before Smith’s release, USA Today fact-checker Ian Richardson reports. Under Iowa’s “Sexually Violent Predators Act” (1998), the Iowa Attorney General’s Office had planned to pursue actions that would commit Smith to an Iowa mental health institute program at the completion of Smith’s sentence, “which actually kept Smith in the correctional facility beyond the initially scheduled time for [Smith’s] release,” according to the attorney general’s office.

However, when a state expert’s evaluation found that Smith did “not meet the criteria as a sexually violent predator,” the Iowa Attorney General’s Office filed a motion to dismiss its case for civil commitment, allowing Smith to be released rather than being required to enter a mental health facility, Richardson explains. 

As for whether Smith’s identification as a woman played a role in the state expert determining that Smith did not pose enough of a risk to be required to be committed to a mental health institute, a spokesperson for the attorney general “said he could not comment on the contents of the state expert’s report, which is now sealed,” but also said that “an offender’s hormone levels are an important part of substantiating an offender’s likelihood of recidivism,” Richardson notes.

Original Op-Ed:

The Des Moines Register recently reported that convicted child molester Joseph Matthew Smith will be released from prison despite sexually abusing up to 15 children, including a 1-year-old. It seems that Smith — now Josie, he calls himself — has begun the process of “transitioning” into a “woman.” Attorney general spokesman Lynn Hicks informs us that Smith’s hormone treatment render him less of a threat to offend again, thus justifying his release. Excuse me, “her” release.

Indeed, Hicks was very careful to use the child rapist’s preferred pronouns as he explained why the public shouldn’t be concerned when a serial pedophile moves in down the street. “Josie Smith will be subject to strict sex-offender reporting required of those who commit the crimes she did,” Hicks clarified, adding that “she” will be under careful “supervision.”

However, the state’s own report does not engender much confidence.

From the Register:

A preliminary report prepared by the state’s expert, Dr. Jeffrey Davis, says Smith molested as many as 15 victims, ranging from ages 1 to 13, before being sentenced to prison in December 2015.

The report found the likelihood of re-offending within five years of release exceeded 20% because victims were of both genders, and because Smith was under age 25 and never had a long-term relationship.

“Mr. Smith has not had an intimate relationship,” the report says. “His sexual encounters appear to have primarily involved molestation, including his own molestation by multiple perpetrators, or his victimization of others.”

There are many reasons why all of this is quite insane. Let’s peel back the putrid onion one layer at a time and see if we can get a more complete picture.

First of all, it’s not true that Smith’s hormone pills make him less likely to commit future crimes. A longterm study of several hundred transgender individuals found that male-to-female transgenders “retained a male pattern regarding criminality.” This included sex crimes. As it turns out, you can’t change a predator’s soul by changing his sex. Come to think of it, you can’t change his sex either.

Second, even if you could reduce the hazard a child molester poses by giving him pills, that would not even begin to justify releasing him from prison after he rapes a baby. The state of Iowa seems to be forgetting that segregation is only part of the reason for our justice system. And not the most important part. The most important part is right there in the name: justice. Justice calls for the harshest penalties against people who commit the most heinous crimes, no matter if they’re a continuing threat or not. Serial child molestation should be a ticket to a life sentence, if not a firing squad.

Third, we’re told this man was molested repeatedly as a child. In short order, he had switched places and become a predator himself. The state expert says all of Smith’s sexual interactions to this point have been molestations, whether as the victim or the perpetrator. Point being, this is a very sick person whose sexual appetites have obviously been warped from a young age. Is it reasonable to believe that a person like this just so happened to discover his inner feminine identity, as if all of the rape and molestation is incidental to the point? That seems extremely unlikely. My radical theory is that he discovered his inner woman because he is delusional and disordered, not because he actually is a woman.

Fourth, let’s not overlook the fact that Smith began his hormone treatments in prison. The state will be burdening the public with a sex predator’s presence in their communities only after burdening the public with the responsibility to pay for his gender transition. Injustice on top of injustice, insanity on top of insanity. And what exactly is the justification for using tax money to help a man in prison become a woman? There is no justification, as far as I can see, other than the fact that it makes the sex criminal feel good. That argument strikes me as unpersuasive.

And, again, why does he want to transition? Is it because he’s located some deep, mystical truth about his inner self, or is it because this is another of his perverse sexual fantasies? It seems we now have prisons spending tax money to help pedophiles live out their fantasies. What if he identified as a furry? Would they buy him a dog costume?

Fifth, quick logistical question for any reader of a leftist persuasion to consider: which bathroom should this guy use?