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Should sex offender be allowed to attend her son's graduation?

posted 3/31/2009 11:30:02 PM |
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FORT MITCHELL - The son of registered sex offender Jeni Lee Dinkel publicly pleaded with school officials Tuesday to reverse their decision banning his mother from his May 19 high school graduation.

“My parents are the only reason that I’m alive, and they deserve to be there with their son,” said Alex Dinkel, 18. “It’s something that you dream about, having your parents at your high school graduation.”

In March 2007, Alex was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma skull-based tumor.

Although he’s now in remission from the cancer, last Aug. 10, Alex suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, and his parents had to perform CPR on him. The college-bound senior now has a defibrillator to prevent cardiac arrests and to allow him to continue with normal activities.

Alex Dinkel, part of the 2006 Covington Catholic Colonels state championship football team, and his father, Tom, a former Bengals linebacker, discussed Covington Catholic High School’s decision at a press conference at the Drawbridge Inn.

Both Tom and Alex said their Catholic faith stresses forgiveness, especially during Lent. They asked the Covington Diocese to allow Jeni Lee Dinkel to join her family at her son’s graduation.

“It’s been two years, two long, strenuous years,” Alex said…“It’s one little favor that we’re asking…I’m not asking for sympathy. Just please, do the right thing.”

In spring 2007, Jeni Lee Dinkel pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree rape for having sex with a then-15-year-old classmate of her son, Alex. After completing a 60-day sentence in fall 2007, she was ordered to serve five years probation. She also has to register as a sex offender for 20 years.

Jeni Lee Dinkel, who’s prohibited by the terms of her probation from talking to the media, was not at the press conference.

In a March 24 letter, school officials told Jeni Lee Dinkel that she’ll be arrested if she tries to attend the school’s Mass, baccalaureate luncheon and/or commencement.

The letter from Principal Robert J. Rowe and Margaret Schack, chancellor of the Diocese of Covington, was in response to Jeni Lee Dinkel’s Feb. 13 letter informing school officials that she had permission from her probation officer to attend graduation. School officials said that permission is not binding.

Attorney Eric Deters, who is representing Tom and Jeni Lee Dinkel in a civil lawsuit filed in Kenton Circuit Court by the victim’s mother, said his client has served her jail sentence, is in compliance with her probation, and that her victim no longer attends Covington Catholic High School. In a letter to school and diocesan officials, Deters suggested that the 53-year-old Villa Hills mother of two be allowed to show up at the last minute for Mass and commencement and sit in the last row.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Diocese said its decision is final.

“We regret that the family and their attorney have chosen to turn this matter into a public debate about the propriety of Mrs. Dinkel attending the graduation ceremonies,” Diocesan spokesman Tim Fitzgerald said.. “We believe we have made the right decision in this matter, and the decision is final. We believe we are acting in the best interest of the graduating seniors and their families.”

Tom and Alex Dinkel also say they are upset that the school rejected their family’s offer of a $1,000 scholarship from the Alex Dinkel Foundation for a graduating senior. They said the school rebuffed their scholarship offer – despite accepting an ad for the foundation in the school yearbook and a sports program.

“Christ doesn’t punish people,” Tom Dinkel said. “Christ forgives people.
“All we’re asking is for the Diocese, Principal Rowe, school board members, and others to just consider Alex Dinkel.”

Tom Dinkel said he’s not sure what the family’s next move will be. Deters said he may organize a protest outside Covington Catholic’s graduation ceremonies.


I got this from The Cincinnati Enquirer. I had been following this since yesterday when I first heard about this on WLWT-TV5 (NBC) out of Cincinnati. The poll from this tv station showed her with a 55% in her favor on attending, while 45% think she should be allowed. I feel like she should be allowed to see her son graduate. What do you think?

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Mar 31 @ 11:44PM  
i think she should be able to go if they feel she is that much of a danger they could always get some cops to keep an eye on her while it's going on

Mar 31 @ 11:50PM  
I can see a double standard here. Lets say this happened to be this kid's dad having been involved with a female classmate of his son....would the same supporters of this woman be in support of him attending his son's graduation? Makes ya wonder if they would...

Mar 31 @ 11:53PM  
thats true they would be raising more than a little hell over that or his ass would be in jail some place

Apr 1 @ 5:13AM  
Looks like this blog is bombing. I may pull it soon

Apr 1 @ 6:22AM  
On the one hand, the woman shouldn't be around children I know how i would feel if i was at that graduation I wouldn't want her around my child. But on the other hand, he only graduates once maybe if they have a police officer sit with her in an off section til he graduates then she can leave that might be a good compromise. Excellent blog Shawn.

Apr 1 @ 7:46AM  
I dunno - am I missing something here?

Rape implies an unwillingness of one party in a sexual act.

A gal isn't going to rape a guy unless he has a stiff dick.

A guy isn't going to have a stiff dick unless on some level he WANTS to fuck her. Fifteen year-old or sixty - that's the way it is.

So, it seems the statute on 'rape' in this case doesn't exactly align with the mechanics of things.

It could be argued that junior's ugly mamma got pissed that he porked some 51 year-old hottie.

Way to go junior

Apr 1 @ 8:45AM  
I would have to agree with the general consensus here....let her go, but with an escort of a police officer. Graduation does come once in a lifetime....but if she were in prison for this, would they let her out for it? Don't think so!! There are consequences for our actions.....I just may be changing my mind here!!

It's early yet and I've only had one cup of coffee....

Apr 1 @ 10:30AM  
ya know i don't see her sneaking a student under the stands to have sex..geez! there are all diff kinds of preditors and this isn't one u have to worry about. *sighs*

Apr 1 @ 10:52AM  
Not enough info, here......If She has gone to confession, and been forgiven of her sins, by the church, then the School has no authority to ban her from attending.

Her crime was having sex with ONE consenting 15 YO....She wasn't randomly grabbing teenage boys and raping them....

Any Judge should have no problem issuing a restraining order preventing the School from banning her from attending, since she will be totally supervissed the entire time.

And, yes, I'd feel the same way if it were a man instead of a woman....

Apr 1 @ 5:23PM  
60 days?!?!

What do men who have consenting sex with 15-year-old girls get, like 10 years?

Seriously, whiskey tango foxtrot.

Apr 1 @ 7:27PM  
60 days?!?!

What do men who have consenting sex with 15-year-old girls get, like 10 years?
Yep, I agree with you. I hate double standards!

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Should sex offender be allowed to attend her son's graduation?