Rogue Prosecutor Steve Descano Cuts Sweetheart Deal With Child Molester

COMMENTARY Crime and Justice

Rogue Prosecutor Steve Descano Cuts Sweetheart Deal With Child Molester

Oct 20, 2021 4 min read

Commentary By

Zack Smith @tzsmith

Senior Legal Fellow, Meese Center for Legal Studies

Charles “Cully” Stimson @cullystimson

Senior Legal Fellow and Deputy Director, Meese Center

Steve Descano speaks at an event at the Center for American Progress on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

Descano failed in his duty to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.

Rogue prosecutors are zealots. They are pro-criminal, anti-victim.

The criminal Descano cut a deal with locked the victim in a room and raped her—repeatedly—when she was a small child. That’s neither fair nor just.

This commentary is part of a series on the rogue prosecutors around the country who have been backed by liberal billionaires such as George Soros and Cari Tuna and the threat those prosecutors pose to victims and others alike. Previous entries in the series have focused on prosecutors in BaltimorePhiladelphiaChicagoBostonSt. LouisSan Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Do voters in Fairfax County, Virginia, really want their rogue prosecutor, Steve Descano, cutting sweetheart deals with child molesters?

If not, that’s too bad, because that’s exactly what he’s doing.

And it’s not the first time he’s advocated for soft-on-crime plea deals over the vociferous objections of the victims and their families.

In this latest instance, he cut a lenient deal with one defendant who the judge overseeing the case called the “worst kind of predator.” After all, the man molested a “young relative when she was between the ages of 5 and 10,” including “a yearslong stretch when the abuse occurred at least weekly.”

Just how bad was the deal? The judge told the victim, “Make no mistake … [y]our government has failed you.” More accurately, Descano failed in his duty to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.

A recent Washington Post article, which chronicled these and other comments, aptly—and sadly—described the scene: “The Fairfax County judge told the girl who sat sobbing in his courtroom … that she had been victimized twice—once by the man who had sexually abused her for years and a second time by the prosecutors who handled her case.”

While Descano desperately tried to spin the deal as being “tougher than most,” and the judge’s statements as nothing more than “political statements from the bench,” he is simply wrong on both counts. Serial child molesters shouldn’t get sweetheart plea deals in state courts. And judges have every right—indeed a duty in some cases—to call things as they see it.

The fact that Descano didn’t like being accused of victimizing a helpless child molestation victim is too bad—but that’s exactly what he did to the girl. He revictimized her.

While the judge sentenced the child molester to the maximum available under Descano’s deal—approximately 17 years—that’s a far cry from the mandatory life sentence he was originally facing, or the 30-year offer of Descano’s predecessor. After all, there’s always the chance that the defendant could serve substantially less than 17 years in prison, especially since Virginia recently expanded gain time credit for many inmates.

But Soros rogue prosecutors are zealots. They are pro-criminal, anti-victim. So instead of explaining why he gave the molester a sweetheart deal or suggesting that the only reason he gave the deal he gave was because the state had a weak case, Descano went on vacation, sort of.

Descano, and fellow rogue prosecutors, spent part of the next week at a New York City boondoggle hosted by the Soros-sponsored organization called Fair and Just Prosecution. You can scarcely imagine a better way to show that he is a committed foot soldier for the radical ideological agenda of a few leftist billionaires who want to “fundamentally transform” our supposedly systemically racist criminal justice system.

It’s ironic, because he said it’s “invaluable to hear from experts and talk with colleagues about how to build a more fair and just criminal legal system.”

Descano’s actions in this case were neither.

And who are those colleagues? As the saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together.” As we have spotlighted in our Daily Signal “Rogue Prosecutor” series, Descano joined fellow radical rogue prosecutors like Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner and St. Louis’ Kimberly Gardner (who, by the way, has been extensively criticized for her excessive absences from her mismanaged office, with much of the jet-setting travel paid for by Fair and Just Prosecution).

But back to Descano. While at the conference, he tweeted a picturesque view of the New York City skyline, saying it was the “view from the cutting edge of reform prosecution.”


But maybe instead of touting the great view he gets to enjoy at an out-of-district conference, he should consider the view of the victim in this case—literally and figuratively.

There was no picturesque view for her in either sense.

Instead, the criminal Descano cut a deal with locked the victim in a room and raped her—repeatedly—when she was a small child. She’s still dealing with the mental and emotional consequences today.

That’s neither fair nor just. And sadly, neither were Descano’s actions.

The citizens of Fairfax County deserve better.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal


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