A Colorado man has been sentenced to more than 3,000 in prison.

What could a man possibly do that would be bad enough to warrant 3,180 years in prison?

  • sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust
  • sexual assault on a child to form a pattern of abuse
  • sexual exploitation of a child
  • invasion of privacy for sexual gratification
  • promotion of obscenity to a minor
  • 280 folders on a hard drive containing thousands of images and videos of a sexual nature

According to the Canon City Daily Record, 65-year-old Garland Root, Sr, of Florence, was sentenced to a minimum of 3,180 years in prison on 53 different counts. The report indicates Root was already a registered sex offender and had been convicted 3 times previously on similar charges.

This is a sick man, no doubt. But, anytime you hear a story like this,  you can't help but think of the children and how their lives have been tragically affected. And you wonder how a man with multiple sex crime convictions was able to strike again.

This man will pay for his crime and will never taste freedom again in the years he has left to live. But, that is little consolation for the parents of these poor children who have been so grievously exploited, and for the children whose lives have been forever changed.

Are we doing enough to protect our children? There are, of course, no easy answers.

One way to protect our kids is to be aware of sexual offenders live in our community. That information is readily available, and if you have kids it would be wise to find out if there is a sex offender in your neighborhood. It's not the only solution by far, but it's one thing that you can do. The sex offender registry for Mesa County is available online if you want to check it out.

This is not a big city problem. It's happening right here at home.

According to the Western Slope Center for Children in Grand Junction, 300 children in Mesa County suffer from sexual or physical abuse every year. I find that number to be staggering. Thank God for WSCC, and I pray that one day their services will no longer be needed in this community.

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