Editorials

Zip-tie rapist escapes prison justice, may have freed child victim

Swansea police chief discusses child rape case

Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson, whose department investigated the rape of a 10-year-old girl, described it as a "very horrific case." Gary M.J. “Mikel” Grodin was sentenced to 56 years in prison.
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Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson, whose department investigated the rape of a 10-year-old girl, described it as a "very horrific case." Gary M.J. “Mikel” Grodin was sentenced to 56 years in prison.

It is especially difficult to keep New Testament beliefs about those who visit evil upon children. They just cry out for the kind of Old Testament punishment that scripture and our constitution forbid.

Gary M.J. “Mikel” Grodin solved that problem. He hanged himself with his bedsheet in his cell at Menard Correctional Center about a month after he started a 56-year sentence for zip-tying the hands of a 10-year-old girl he repeatedly raped and filmed.

Grodin bound the girl’s hands so she couldn’t cover herself as he took nude images of her. Videos show her screaming as Grodin raped her.

Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson has investigated a lot of violent crimes. He said the case against Grodin was his worst case involving children, calling it an “ugly, ugly case.”

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said: “We’ll never know if he took his life out of guilt or because he couldn’t handle the punishment for his evil actions.”

It is hard to believe someone who would torture and leave a child so broken felt remose. Grodin’s autopsy showed he was on an anti-depressant, but that may well have been a monster’s dejection at being denied further opportunities to rape children.

Grodin escaped society’s punishment. He escaped the vengeance of fellow inmates who would have treated him as he had treated a young girl.

Maybe Kelly found the only thread to take from his death.

“I just hope there is some measure of closure to the victim in this case, some comfort in knowing he is no longer on this Earth.”

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