A Boston cannibal wannabe, identified as Geoffrey Portway, 40, was sentenced to 26 plus years in prison and when released, he will be under supervision for the remainder of his life. Such a sentence seems light for a man who pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography and the intent to commit a criminal act to children. It gets worse. Portway filled his bookcase with books and DVDs of subjects themed in cannibalism. Portway’s urges spanned from child rape, mutilation, and eating the children he planned to imprison. The question is would he have gotten more years had he forgone the plea bargain?
The horrific story of a man who planned to rape and eat children does not set in until the visual of Portway’s home is shown. Pictures of the interior of Portway’s house seem normal until one realizes what Portway had planned to use certain kitchen tools for. A picture of a deluxe butcher set in Portway’s sink is a chilling reminder of what he had planned to do to children he had planned to kidnap. Leading down to Porway’s dungeon, handcuffs, scalpels, and castrating tools are among the many disturbing items which Portway planned to use on potential victims. The basement had cages with beds in them, and the cages had holes big enough for a child’s head to poke out for feeding. Portway had elaborate plans to fatten his victims up and eventually cook them. In the chat forums, he would discuss with like-minded predators his cannibalistic urges of children. In some of the exchanges between his fellow predators were images and videos of Portway purportedly preparing a child to eat.
All of this points to life without parole. Yes, he planned but did not kill a child – not yet, but if given the chance of freedom, men with Portway’s urges of torturing, raping, and eating children do not suddenly stop. Predators in prison still have urges – they do not simply go away.
The re-offending rate of child predators is alarming as according to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice 5.3 percent of American sex offenders are rearrested for a new sex crime within three years. If this is the case, then this Boston cannibal wannabe should not be given only 26 years with a few months over and released with supervision. Perhaps plea bargaining is appreciated by judges, especially with the backlog on a judge’s calendar; however, in cases such as this, one could only hope that the importance of the safety of children could qualify as an exception.
Understandably, laws are laws, and there is no way around them, but in cases where an obvious threat to innocent children plagues communities – even schools, one must think of more ways to err, not on the side of the innocent, but on the grey side of justice that seems to extend to the parties that resort to plea bargaining.
Written by: Dianna Coudriet