A newspaper editor has been forced to apologise after he published an outrageous article on his area’s ”hottest” child abusers.
Red-faced Richard Connelly shocked readers when he uploaded mugshots of ten female Texan sex offenders.
The controversial article attracted thousands of readers on the Houston Press website – with many venting their fury at the way Connelly ”trivialised” a number of heinous crimes.
His inspiration for the ill-thought feature came after a meeting with two prosecutors who explained to him that child predators don’t fit a certain category.
It triggered the idea to do a piece on ”sex offenders who don’t look like sex offenders” – with the writer opting for the titillating term ‘hottest’ to generate more page views.
The feature said: ”We combed through 15 of the biggest counties in Texas and came up with the ten hottest women in the database.
”In some cases, we picked out the best of a series of mugshots. Alternative choices were starkly different. So click on each link before you send any marriage proposals.”
Each mugshot was accompanied by details of the sex crime – with some of the offenders guilty of abusing children as young as two.
The tasteless article has led to calls for Connelly to be fired with the journalist forced to issue a grovelling apology.
He said: ”Glamorising or trivialising child rape? It did not cross my mind that I was doing that. It should have, it now seems clear.
”That was never the intent. I hope that would be obvious, but it seems not.
”No one ever likes apologies to ”anyone who was offended” because they seem half-hearted.
”I can only say the intention was to shock (in what I hoped would be a positive way) and not to offend. To a lot of people, I failed miserably. I can understand that, and I apologise to them.”