Here’s a story that will probably leave you wondering about the state of the human condition, one to live through it and the other to destroy it…
On his eight birthday Robbie Middleton was tied to a tree doused in gasoline and set on fire. Somehow he was able to survive the incident even if it left him with horrific third degree burns to 99% of his body.
At the time no one expected him to survive. But Robbie did survive until he passed away recently, 13 years after the assault as a result of recurring complications. He passed away a few weeks short of what many would consider to be a milestone, that of his 21st birthday.
During the thirteen years since the incident Robbie was forced to undergo excruciating surgery (a total of 200 operations) as well as endless therapy in order to deal with his substantive injuries, all the while maintaining the will to survive until cancer caught up with him.
What though went unsolved was the identity of the perpetrator of the horrific crimes against this young boy until that is Robbie Middleton finally found the courage on his deathbed to publicly release the name of his attacker. The same attacker that Robbie claims raped him two weeks prior to him being set alight.
With the identity of his perpetrator, Don Collins, a former thirteen year old neighbor revealed authorities have now moved to charge Mr Collins, a 27 year old convicted sex offender with felony murder.
Alleges Robbie in a video he made whilst on his deathbed the attempt on his life was made so as to permanently silence him and not divulge details of the rape that he had endured by a then 13 year old Mr Don Collins.
Asserts the dailymail.co.uk: Montgomery County attorney David Walker is changing the charges in order to be able to prosecute Don Collins as an adult, despite the fact that committed the crime as a juvenile.
Mr Walker also hopes that the additional accusations of sexual assault will not only explain the torching, but also explain why it took so long for Mr Collins to be prosecuted.
‘It was done to prevent Middleton from talking,’ Walker told the Houston Chronicle. ‘It provides the bridge that we needed for the delay, rather than saying we didn’t have sufficient staffing or something else.’
Reflected Colleen Middleton, Robbie’s mother:
‘It was so hard to take in what my eyes were seeing.
‘All of his hair was scorched, and there was skin hanging around his ankles.
‘A little while later, I walked down to the tree where it happened. There was a perfect outline of Robbie’s body scorched intuit the bark of the tree.’
At the time of incident Don Collins was detained by authorities but later released after it became apparent that there was no clear or compelling evidence directly correlating him to Robbie Middleton being tied up and burned. Then of course there was the matter that Robbie’s injuries were so horrific that he was physically unable to communicate with anyone let alone reach out to authorities.
Huffpo goes on to tell how the boy’s parents were awarded $150 billion in a civil lawsuit against Collins in December 2011, while Collins was serving prison time for failing to register as a sex offender. He had been convicted in 2001 of sexually assaulting a child in a case unrelated to Middleton.
The award is largely perceived to be symbolic and the parents don’t expect to ever see any money. According to the Schulenburg Sticker, the family hoped the verdict would pressure the county into prosecuting Collins for murder.
Since Collins was released from prison in September, Montgomery County attorney David Walker has filed murder charges against Collins, charging him as an adult, rather than a juvenile.
Reflects one commentator that perhaps puts the whole situation in a compelling light that on reflection has a lot of veracity:
To me the root of the problem is HOMOPHOBIA.
1. More than likely Collins was himself a victim of abuse that simply tried to get away from being a victim by “acting like a man” and raping Robbie. Yes – I know it is a speculation but given the amount of child abuse – it is a likely scenario.
2. Then Robbie – raped – has to deal with the stigma. If we lived in a society that did not blame the victim for “asking for it” and did not put such incredible amount of shame on homosexual contact – Robbie could have told somebody about the rape and Collins would be arrested. Instead Robbie tried to “take it like a man” and did not want to add a shame of “being a sissy” raped by another male.
3. Then Collins decides to murder Robbie – or perhaps just “teach him a lesson” by setting him on fire.
If both Collins and Robbie did not face huge stigma of being victims of abuse and rape and if they reported the crimes – there would be two kids in therapy (maybe) today instead one going onto become a rapist and another dying horrible death.
Wanna blame homosexuals? Look at ourselves and the culture we create. If a little girl is raped and set on fire do we “blame it on heterosexual lifestyle” ? No – that is nonsense. Most people that rape kids are heterosexual anyways.