Former Sunday school teacher, Melissa Huckaby, age twenty-nine, has pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of eight year-old Sandra Cantu but the deal includes dropping all charges of rape and lewd or lascivious acts on a child.
(The demon on the left and the innocent angel on the right)
Sandra Cantu was kidnapped in March 2009 and her body was discovered stuffed inside a suitcase in a drainage ditch not long after she went missing. Huckaby was arrested a few days later and charged with kidnapping, raping, and murdering Sandra, who was a friend and playmate of Melissa Huckaby’s daughter. They all lived in the same mobile home park.
I am pretty angry about this plea deal because, once again, a woman having sexually abused a child is being ignored, denied, forgotten –minimized! The act of rape with a foreign object on an innocent child is something that should be prosecuted and spoken about, not shoved under the rug in a plea deal. Huckaby’s deal should have been that she won’t get the death penalty –period. She has no right to be given the benefit of no sexual assault charges. If she does get 25 years, she will most likely get out one day and her sexual assault on Sandra will be non-existent. This means she won’t have to register as a sex offender and little children will be vulnerable to her degeneracy.
Melissa Huckaby kidnapped an eight year-old girl for the purpose of sexually assaulting her. She did not abduct Sandra to murder her, she took the child in order to sexually violate her. The murder was incidental.
If Huckaby had not struck a deal, she would be facing the death penalty. But now, because of this ridiculous deal, she is eligible for as little as 25 years in prison. She might get life without the possibility of parole, but will she? Or will the judge be lenient just because she is a woman? It could happen because -in my mind-she has already gotten away with the sexual abuse of a child merely because she is a woman. If a man had snatched Sandra Cantu, raped and murdered her, and if he had stuffed her body in a suitcase, he would no doubt be facing a trial by jury and the death penalty.
Sandra’s entire story needs to be told. She was the victim of child sexual abuse, including rape, perpetrated by a woman. People need to hear that. Everyone should know about the acts of sex on a child by a woman. But people don’t like to talk about that do they? People don’t want to think about it or hear about it. So prosecutors make deals that cover up the ugly truth, and because of this shoddy deal, Sandra Cantu is being minimized as a human being.
Huckaby is due back in court on June 14, 2010 for sentencing. The judge in this case had better sentence her to life in prison without parole because anything less would be another stab in the back to Sandra Cantu, an innocent child, who was brutally attacked and her lifeless body stuffed inside a suitcase as if she were an old sock.
If you are as outraged about this plea deal as I am, and want Melissa Huckaby kept away from children, please write the judge in the case and ask that she sentence Melissa Huckaby to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Please keep your letters polite and professional. Please write soon because sentencing is scheduled for June 14th. To write to the judge:
JUDGE LINDA LOFTHUS
San Joaquin County Superior Court
222. East Weber Avenue, Room 303
Stockton, CA 95202