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Another one goes free

Another one goes free

Former Florida Gulf Coast University student Joshua Sekulic accepted a plea deal Monday morning in a case of sexual battery that involved three female students at FGCU.

In October 2013, Sekulic was accused of sexually assaulting two women and attacking a third woman over a six-day period. The three women came out and reported the attacks, which all had a similarity pertaining to the bite marks they all received from their attacker.

Sekulic.

Sekulic.

Sekulic pleaded no contest to one count of sexual battery as part of a plea deal. Now, Sekulic faces a total of 10 years of sex offender probation. He must attend regular therapy sessions, and he will be electronically monitored with a curfew. Lastly, he must have no contact with the three victims.

No prison.

After hearing the news that Sekulic would be paying for his crime from outside of a jail cell, I couldn’t help but feel an intense amount of sympathy for the three women he attacked. After spending over a year dealing with this nightmare of a trial, they now have to live the rest of their lives knowing that their attacker walks freely among society.

“I was shocked when I heard the news of Josh’s plea bargain. How are women or men supposed to feel safe coming out and speaking up when they have been attacked, especially if there is no sure way of knowing it will bring them peace of mind?” said Emily Harriott, a freshman majoring in communication at FGCU.

Despite the incident with Sekulic that occurred over a year ago, FGCU was rated one of the safest university campuses in the United States.

“I think he’s lucky that he’s not in jail,” said Jack Lowenstein, a junior  majoring in journalism at FGCU. “I think that any crime like this when there’s multiple parties, it’s really hard to find justice for the multiple people who have been wronged in some way. Hopefully things will mend for the three victims and Sekulic won’t continue to commit crimes like this and bring shame to these families and to his own.”

Because there are crimes where attackers such as Sekulic are getting away with a slap on the wrist, we have created an environment that prevents victims from coming forward when they are being assaulted.

I sincerely hope this case does not detour victims from coming out and speaking up when they have been hurt.

We as a whole must come together and create an environment where it is safe to come forward if you have been attacked. No one wakes up in the morning and decides they would like to be raped and have their entire life change forever. No one deserves to feel as if their life is in danger simply because their attacker is walking among us and they are afraid to get help.

About The Author

Cait Schall

Cait Schall is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinion editor for Eagle News. She is a rollerblading enthusiast who enjoys attending sporting events and concerts. Cait is also a proud member of Chi Omega at FGCU. When you can’t find her writing in the newsroom she most likely can be found outside trying something new that’ll probably result in broken bones or at home binge watching her latest Netflix obsession. (Follow Cait on Twitter: @CaitlinSchall)

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