This is how some people on YouTube and Gawker are reacting to the conviction and sentencing of Ian Watkins, lyricist and front man for the now-defunct band Lostprophets:
“I hope they chop his penis off in prison, that is pretty much all I care about.”
“Hope the fucking dirtbag rots in his cell.”
“may you rot in jail you sick FUCK, I only hope that pedophiles like you gets raped in there and you realize what you done in the outside world.”
“sing for your dinner in prison .they so going to fuck you up in jail. BEST TO HANG YOURSELF FROM UR CELL WINDOW.”
“He just plead guilty. Hopefully he will get raped and murdered in prison.”
“raped yes. murdered no. He shall suffer, it shall never end.”
“I think he’d enjoy getting raped to be honest, he’s already fucked men , girls with strap on’s . No joke , you can look him up, has his own profile on a porn site lol”*
“I hope he gets raped in prison. A lot.”
As Watkins was charged with 24, but convicted of 13 counts of child sexual abuse, including the attempted rape (not actual rape) of an 11 month-old boy, these responses come as no surprise. Watkins also allegedly had a massive stash of child pornography. What’s further appalling, though not surprising, is that he also possessed videos of himself inflicting the abuse upon children.
According to WalesOnline.com:
“Watkins denied two counts of raping an 11-month-old baby but admitted two counts of attempting to rape the child. His actions were so vile that his pleas were accepted in part to stop the jury having to watch video evidence of what he did. Previous hearings discussed arranging counselling for jurors who might need it.”
I’m doing my best to relay some of the crucial information of this case without regurgitating what others have written, and without letting the persistent rage I feel over this case take over my writing here. But I want to talk about the visceral reactions we have to heinous crimes, particularly against children, that compel us to wish rape or murder upon the convicted party. I am not exempt from this group. I cannot shake the feeling of wanting Ian Watkins to suffer for life. I do entertain the idea of someone hurting him in prison. But what would this even resolve?
I think we want retribution. We want the perpetrators of these depraved crimes to pay so damn dearly for the violence they inflicted upon others. Both Watkins and Castro chose to prey on young people who they could manipulate-that’s the part I find most sickening and ghastly. I felt cheated when Ariel Castro hung himself in his prison cell. He was supposed to hate every living moment of his life after he was sentenced, and then he killed himself to escape that. I wished for Castro to be worn with PTSD at the end of his (hopefully long) life in a terror-riddled prison. And I’m not the only person who wanted a different ending.
I don’t even know if I want Watkins to feel remorseful. After writing off his charges as “mega lolz,” he may not even be capable of remorse. Watkins sexually assaulted children and I comprehend the Hammurabi-style “a rape for a rape” sentiments. But is more violence going to do anything but extinguish our desire for it? It’s easy to fall into a bread and circus way of reading the news, especially because no child is going to be spared from sexual abuse if Watkins is raped in jail. Would his rapist become an international hero?
Further, rape in prison is not a joke. Not for men and not for women-it’s a legitimate threat and one that gets brushed under the carpet in favor of supporting “more worthy” sexual assault survivors. And despite what one of the commenters above believes, I don’t think anyone would like to be raped, regardless of what sexual experiences they have had with men or women in the past. Rape and consensual adult kink are not birds of a feather. Don’t get it twisted, folks.