In case you missed it Byron Alston, AKA Indiana DOC Inmate # 894878, made headlines a few weeks ago when IMPD Interim Chief Rick Hite wrote a character reference letter at his most recent probation hearing. As head of “Save The Youth Ministries,” Interim Chief Hite touted Mr. Alston’s unique skillset and criminal history as giving him the street cred necessary to put youth at risk, oops, deal with at-risk youth. Byron was sentenced to house arrest and probation for pleading guilty to a litany of charges, including locking one potential employee/victim into a room and refusing her exit, forcibly attempting to unbuckle her pants while she repeatedly said no, and exposing/touching himself when she managed to push him away from her. Surely a macabre series of events, but what’s so disturbing is that this animal used his position of authority to solicit sex and sexual favors from those who trusted in him. Byron’s position was created by our tax dollars to “help” at-risk children. Instead he exploited that trust to intimidate and sexually assault prospective employees (similar to when high school teachers seduce students of age, except that’s normally consensual and teachers get fired for that.) It seems only logical to conclude this isn’t the first time. So we’re to believe Alston can’t even practice self-control in prison but he can run a youth shelter for 10 years without keeping his hands off anybody? Yes, you read that right, Byron picked up ONE OF HIS SEXUAL BATTERY CONVICTIONS WHILE AN INMATE IN PLAINFIELD. I won’t go into detail; I believe readers can connect the dots on that one. But wait, it gets even more depressing.
Despite being sentenced to a year of house arrest, he continued to attend community gatherings, political functions, and go pretty much wherever he wanted. During his probation hearing it came to light that despite his “paint the town” mentality he had failed to make any of his probation appointments. Sources say he even flaunted this lawlessness by showing up at various community meetings attended by law enforcement officials, ALL while on house arrest. I wonder how the victim(s) feel?
To summarize, we have somebody with multiple major felony convictions, ranging from sexual battery (IN PRISON) to criminal confinement to several armed robberies, who has presented himself as a reformed gang member but yet can’t stop sexually assaulting. He demonstrated a wanton disregard for the criminal justice system by failing to jump over even the lowest hurdles set out for him by probation. Interim Chief Hite responds by issuing an official correspondence on department letterhead saying that this two-time robber/two-time sexual batterer does a lot of good work in the community, if you just overlook the sexually violent criminal charges committed while he was working in the community. I wonder how the victim(s) feel? Any thinking person would obviously conclude the Interim Chief owes the victims, the court, and his police officers an apology for the shameful way in which he represented the police department. Or does he?
Last week, Byron was a guest on Afternoons with Amos, a daily radio show hosted by shock jock Amos Brown. Amos summed up the most recent animalistic, barbaric acts of this monster as “pleading guilty to some… stuff.” He says that by pleading guilty Byron has already paid his debt to society and that the uproar is just about politics. Pardon me, but I didn’t realize sexual assault was a political issue. Furthermore, how on earth has Byron paid his debt to society? I highly doubt he’s contacted the myriad of people he has preyed upon over the years to express remorse. For Pete’s sake the guy can’t even stay in his house when he’s told to by the court. Heck, he can’t even refrain from forcing himself on other inmates! How can our city accept that Inmate # 894878 is reformed despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary? Amos went on to denigrate the alleged victims, asking how they could still be scared of Byron when “they’re thousands of miles away. They didn’t even show up to the hearing.” He didn’t even challenge a few of his callers who called the victims liars and suggested they could have been ‘lily white,’ as if that makes a difference. Now, in Amos’ defense, he also doesn’t challenge callers who make bigoted comments towards Jews, interracial marriage, etc. However, as an occasional listener I can tell you that this is a new low in talk radio. Certainly Amos doesn’t have what anybody would consider a large talk audience, but where’s the outrage? Has our society declined to the point where moral plurality and fear of judgment has led to misogyny and the further exploitation of victims of sexual abuse?