Robin Jarvis, a retired teacher who admitted 14 sex offenses against boys at a former school in East Sussex has been jailed for eight years. The current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was a pupil at St Peter's in his youth.
I had a beer with Robin Jarvis at a pub opposite St. Peter's School when I was in my late teens. I was hoping that he would explain what had happened.
He never mentioned it.
Nor did I.
His was a memory locked away in the back of my mind for many years. After a period of drugs and an attempt at suicide I tried to find Robin Jarvis again. He sent back a message that he did not want to speak to me.
Some months later another St Peter's Old Boy called me. He too had been abused by Robin Jarvis. He knew many others who had too.
With fear and trepidation in my heart I called the British Police.
Robin was sentenced to over 80 years in prison. Because of consecutive sentencing he will serve 8 years. 10 brave old boys came forward. We know of many, many more who felt that they could not. Robin Jarvis was not the only abuser. The headmaster of the school was recently listed on the UK's Sex Offender register too.
In New York and many other states Robin Jarvis would have been protected by laws called statutes of limitations. After a child victim reaches a certain age they time out from justice. The police are unable to help. When this happens most survivors turn to civil courts. Suing your rapist is a good way of identifying them because otherwise they go unreported and continue to rape other children.
Almost a quarter of children are sexually abused before they are 18 years old and sex offender registers only show the sex offenders that have been identified. As only 3 in every 100 rapists ever goes to jail you can be sure that there are still plenty of rapists on our streets who have not been reported.
In New York State you have to bring a case against your abuser within 5 years of your 18th birthday, in other words by the time you are 23. This despite all the science showing that most children, like me, take over 20 years to be able to report their abuse.
Here's the point, Robin Jarvis was still teaching children when he was arrested. I'm sure you would not have wanted him teaching your child. In New York, and many other states, you won't know, because the laws prevent child victims reporting their abusers.
If you are wondering why this is you'll need to wait for my post next week.