Friday, August 27, 2010

Oshkosh Plan Commision member, former Common Council candidate facing sexual assault charges

According to this story from the Oshkosh Northwestern and court records, Kent Monte, a former candidate for the Oshkosh Common Council and a current member of the city's Plan Commission, is facing sexual assault charges. He is suspected of repeated sexual assault of a child, child enticement and exposing genitals. According to the article, if convicted, Monte faces 65 years, nine months in prison and $210,000 in fines.  While presumed innocent until proven guilty, and whatever the actual circumstances surrounding this case, the one true victim in this situation is the child - not only for having to be subjected to the alleged assault, but also for having to undergo police interviews and all else that may follow. It would be a lot for anyone to deal with, but especially for someone of such a tender, innocent age.

This case, of course, will play out in our judicial system where there are laws, rules and guidelines that must be followed as the case proceeds. What remains less clear, however, is what, if anything will happen to Monte's position on the Plan Commission while the legal proceedings play out. Will the city feel there is cause for his removal from the Plan Commission while he's presumed innocent? If so, is there a policy in place to bring about such a removal? Will he simply resign? Or will he remain on the commission with the possibility, even likelihood of his being unable to attend meetings? And if convicted, I suspect he would resign, but what if he wouldn't? Is there then a policy in place for removing him? There are more questions than answers at this point. Perhaps in time, we'll know more. In the meantime, let's hope and pray the child gets whatever help or counseling may be needed as a result of this situation.


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