Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cougars and other predators

Over the last couple of weeks I have been irked by the reports of Denise Harvey, the woman from Florida who is hiding out in Canada to avoid the American judicial system. In today's Letters to the Editor a writer rants on that she should be given refuge status and not returned to the USA because in his opinion the actions she was convicted of and the sentence meted out is draconian. Part of me feels that because the victim was male it seems to be a lesser crime. And from earlier reports in the newspaper this sexual assault was not her only shortcoming.

In Canada we protect our youth from many actions believing they are too young to understand the consequence of their actions. Yet we judge another state/country for their laws protecting their youth. I don't know the evidence presented that warranted her conviction and the sentence meted out. But her appeals should be to the higher courts of that country not to the Canadian justice system. She is not under threat of death and thus Canada should not be aiding and abetting American felons.

This same writer states that while our justice system sits idly American bounty hunters may illegally enter our country to abduct her back to the US. There seems to be no concern that she entered and resides in this country illegally. How did she get into the country?

On the other hand residents in this country that are classified as illegal immigrants are deported. It doesn't matter that they may have been here for decades, raised a family, worked and paid taxes and conducted themselves as law abiding citizens. Why do we deport them? Because they broke our laws. The only thing that saves an illegal immigrant from deportation is the threat of death if they are returned. Personally I will take hard-working immigrants before convicted felons.

Are we sending a message to the global community that we are a safe haven for felons fleeing a country whose laws we don't agree with? Are we insinuating that sexual assault is not taken seriously in Canada?

We will spend gobs of money and create some ill will with our neighbours with this stance. And if this women breaks our laws we will howl that she was given protection here. And if the US refuses our extradition requests in the future we will howl again at the unfairness of it all.


  1. I've been bothered by this story as well, and agree that had the genders been reversed (an adult male having predatory instincts on a young girl) then there would be far less sympathy.

    You may not always agree with the rules of a society, but if you agree to abide by them then you must live with the consequences when you break them. If this predator (I use that term like I use it for any adult who preys on children) broke the laws of her land then she must answer to them, not seek refuge in Canada.

    I do think the sentence was quite stiff but then again I was not able to hear all the evidence against her. If people in Florida feel this is truly an outrage they can appeal to have the laws changed of the Governor pardon her. It is ridiculous to allow her refuge in Canada.

    Is this really what was intended when we created our refugee policy? To allow a safe haven for convicted child predators who are fleeing punishment in their home land? I wouldn't exactly say that this woman was facing persecution, harm, or death in her homeland.

    It is not Canada's business to mettle in the judicial punishment doled out by other jurisdictions. To do so is to impose our views on their society, is that what Canadians really want?

  2. Sadly, Mrs Harvey was planning her run to Canada before she was even tried. She knew that there would be some sort of prison time and was adamant that she would not even serve a month in prison. Her bail bondsman was only one of the people who lost money because of her actions, although his forfeiture of 150,000 dollars in bond is only second to the money lost by the bank that foreclosed on her home. As she was keeping in phone contact with the bail bondsman she was pretending to be in Florida, then laughing her head off at this naive man who considers her a friend. (I learned this from someone who knew she was in Canada a full year before she was caught).
    If Canada decides to send her back to the US, they better sent a member of the RCMP to tell her & escort her to the border, as her new plan is to flee Pike Lake as soon as her attorney tells her which way the case is leaning if it is not favorable.
    Denise & her husband have lots of cash squirreled away, are capable of breaking any laws the United States or Canada sets forth, and will convince others that she is innocent, that she is broke, and that she is truly a "victim" of her country's judicial system.
    Before the Canadian courts make one decision about Mrs Harvey, I hope they get a hold of the court transcripts from Vero Beach, FL. The best part is when she tells her teenage lover that he must lie to the cops, as she is going to do. This kid was her son's friend and she had sex with him 5 times. Her son was nearly destroyed when this case hit the papers. She tried to play the US legal system & failed. So she came to Canada to peddle her goods up there.
    IF one is seeking refugee status, one should have to declare that right away. NOT wait a year, costing taxpayers in two countries thousands of dollars as she appeals, jumps bail, and sneaks into your country.
    I also hope the Canadian officials get a hold of her old police records. Mrs Harvey was arrested TWICE before, for assault & battery--once battery on a pregnant woman.
    In Vero Beach she appeared at church for the first time in decades once she was arrested. Of course she has done the same thing in Pike Lake. "Look at me, I'm a good woman!" Who gets her way or ELSE. Watch out Pike Lake & wherever she runs to next. Trust this Vero Beach citizen.

  3. "Are we sending a message to the global community that we are a safe haven for felons fleeing a country whose laws we don't agree with?"

    Yes. If someone flees Iran because they were convicted and sentenced to 30 years for "blasphemy" or being gay, or when the sentence is grossly disproportionate to the crime we should abosolutely consider whether their refugee claim is legitimate.

    Harvey gets 30 years for doing something that isn't even illegal in most US states or in Canada, while the wife of a Broward county sherriff does the same thing (and video tapes it-manufacturing child porn) and she gets probation and a sealed record. Hmmm...

    "And from earlier reports in the newspaper this sexual assault was not her only shortcoming."

    What sexual assault? She had consensual sex with a 16 yr old.

    Oh, and doesn't the extradition treaty between the US & Canada specifically say that a person will be extradited

    "...provided these offenses are punishable by the laws of both Contracting Parties by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year"

    In fact don't virtually ALL treaties have a similar provision? The "dual criminality" principle?

    The Extradition Act also contains the "dual criminality" provision.

    The US would not extradite someone to Canada unless the dual criminality standard was met, so shouldn't both countries have to abide by the treaty they agreed to?

    The deportation of someone who entered Canada illegally is a separate issue. The practically reality is that she might get deported on the immigration violation, rather than the US requesting extradition that isn't permitted under the Treaty anyway.

  4. Too bad truly innocent people usually can't scam their own suppliers, sell out their employees, forgo the US tax system, steal a vehicle and run to Canada. Denise not only put her hands on a teen, it was her son's friend. She didn't care about the teen, her husband, her son, her employees or any law we uphold in the US. She ran to Canada & hid, and once she was found began scamming the Canadian system. She sweet talked her bondsman out of 150K, as that is how sociopaths roll. Her supporters are so odd. If Mrs Harvey were an African-American, or Latina, and her crime was the same there would be no protests anywhere. Of course if her crime had been a financial one, not a sexual one, and the penalty the same, there would be no outcry. Every time I read a letter, a post, a petition, supporting this woman whom I've known for 40 years I think,"She got another sucker. The beat goes on."

  5. Ghostryder,

    Please explain how her conviction of sexual assault is not a sexual assault in your mind? I understand you rationalize in your mind that it was 'consensual sex' with a 16 year old. That is precisely what is defined as sexual assault in her jurisdiction. Not only that it can be argued that she was in a position of power of this boy as I can only assume he would have been under her care over the course his growing up from time to time.

    I would love to hear you defend the actions of an male school teacher preying on high school 16 year olds(whether they were in his class or not) at how unjust it is question their lifestyle.

    If you really want to get technical too, she was convicted of unlawful sexual relations with a minor which has a comparable charge in Canada which has a maximum sentence exceeding a year.

    So are you saying that before we extradite someone we need to have a retrial by the Canadian government (or courts) to determine if her case would also be a crime in Canada? Or is just whether the conviction is comparable? Because I would hate to think of every fugitive/refugee seeking asylum in Canada arguing that they are entitled to have the facts and conviction of their case overlooked and judged by Canadian authorities. It is not our duty to determine the innocence of guilt of these people.

    Similarly, our banking laws are quite different than those of the United States, it is possible that someone in one jurisdiction is breaking the law there, whereas they would not be breaking the law in another jurisdiction. Should we also welcome all those fugitives as well, as after all, they weren't convicted based on our laws.

  6. Ghostryder - Only you could take a criminal action by this woman and try to equate it to human right atrocities.

  7. Well, if one is going to do the crime, then be prepared to do the time (whatever laws apply to your jurisdiction of residence). Too bad, so sad. Denise needs to go back and face the consequences of HER actions. Hoppy Easter!


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