Sympathy for the Molester

Sid Landau is guilty of plenty of things. But now his crime is his harmless appearance.

Landau became the face of Megan's Law when he was driven from his Placentia home after police posted fliers in the neighborhood announcing his past crimes. The year was 1996; Landau had just been paroled from jail for a case of alleged boy-molestation in 1988, and Megan's Law had just gone into effect.

Shortly thereafter, Landau was jailed for various probation violations: he struck a TV reporter (after the press hounded him from hotel to hotel); though ordered to avoid children, authorities discovered a family photograph with him and (gasp) his grand-nephews; worst of all, the sick bastard had stuffed bears. With yarmulkes. Do you have any idea what an experienced molester can do with a yarmulked Teddy Ruxpinstein? Neither do I.

"Our position is steadfast, that he's a danger to the community," said spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder to the LA Times. Yes, but is he dangerous enough to warrant $140,000 a year in care costs? Probably not, especially when he's got radioactive seeds in his body (it's all the rage in prostate treatment) that makes sexual activity painful. Sexual thoughts will quickly be associated with penis pain. A Clockwork Cock, if you will. If conditioning works on lab rats, maybe it'll work on Sid Landau.

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Though it's possible Landau suffers pain from arousal, it's unlikely. Males in their twenties/thirties have 20-30% more difficulty getting an erection after those radioactive seeds are implanted, but there's not usually pain. The erectile dysfunction increases with age; Landau thus has all the difficulties in getting it up that any 67-year old would, compounded with the ever-increasing complications of his procedure. Still, this wouldn't stop him from traumatizing yet more victims if he got creative, but if he were out his family says they won't let him.

There's a standing offer to take him away to Queens, where Sid Landau would really be the least of their problems. Landau's sister-in-law Linda is willing to let Sid live with her and her husband in Queens, but prosecutor Andrea Burke thinks they're a coupla pig-ignorant rednecks. The couple "doesn't realize the risk," said Burke, alleging that "people's guards are going to be down" when dealing with the old man.

Come on Andrea, loosen up a bit. Linda and hubbie (in addition to welcoming a tarnished human with open arms) volunteer their at the local synagogue; not only are they likely to be decent people, but they should have no shortage of humanitarian friends willing to share the burden of monitoring this incredibly dangerous (if toothless) Machiavellian 67-year old with prostate cancer. I'm sure if any kids come to visit, there's a 70-80% chance that Linda will not lock them in the pantry with Sid, some candles and lots of Boy Scout porn.

But at the end of the day, Landau's been incarcerated for the better part of the last 15 years, at great cost to taxpayers. What's the result of a jail system designed to keep from society everyone even potentially dangerous? Not justice, that's for sure. Not rehabilitation. It's sad to say, but if I were a betting man I'd wager that the District Attorney's office is terrified of the bad press that might come from letting off the Megan's Law poster boy. That's all. There's a slight chance that clever, unscrupulous journalists would needle them for it, so they're covering their asses. Now THAT'S justice.


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