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07/02/2005

The End ...

               ... of the world had better be nigh, because I am losing patience.

   Item. A sexual predator, with at least a 25 year history of being a sexual predator, is found with Shasta Groene.

   Item. A step grandmother is charged with the murder of her 4 year old grandson.

   Item. A level 3 sexual predator kills a young mother in a parking lot in Westchester County. In broad daylight. He arrived there by city transit provided for the disabled. The parking lot is 3 blocks from the prosecutor's office.

   Item. A multiple repeat sexual offender buries a beautiful child ALIVE and CONFESSES. His confession will most likely be thrown out as will all the evidence obtained with it.

   Item. A multiple sexual molester is accquited by reason of insufficient proof. Even though, he has paid an estimated 45 million dollars in the settlement of previous cases of molestation.

   Item. A man impregnates a 10 year old girl.

   Item. A neighbor boy RAPES his neighbor's DOG.

   Item. The Catholic Church has paid over 1.2 BILLION dollars to settle sexual molestation accusations and will still allow priest accused of same to remain in the chuch.

   Item. A prominent film director is accused of having sexual relations with a 13 year old girl. Rather than face those charges, he moves to France. After 15 years, he lives there still.

   Item. A convicted sexual predator, wanted in several states, convicted multiple times in several states, having served time in multiple states, is apprehended with notebooks detailing over 36,000 molestations.

   Item. A famous actor marries his adopted daughter. She was 15 when they first had sexual relations.

   What I have itemized occured over the last decade or two.

   Is this a new phenomenon? Honestly? I wish I knew the answer to that question.

   I suspect this may have been going on since forever. I also suspect it has come to our attention of late by virtue of the media we have extant. I  further suspect that the media may play a role in the ... increasing frequency of these occurrences.

   But whether it has been with us forever or is just now being brought to our collective attention is NOT the question.

   The question is ... WTF are we going to do about it?

   Personally, I have some ideas. I will keep them to myself for awhile.

   I am so fucking sick about it all that I think I might turn some of the focus of this blog to activism in this arena.

   I'll ask YOU. Yeah YOU.

   Where do we go from here?

   Can we make this world safer for our kids? Can we?

   How?

                        ... because if we don't we are, as a species ... DOOMED.

   

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Comments

Steel,

Having worked in a prosecutor's office in a prominent county in my state, I can tell you that it happens way way way more often than the average citizen realizes. Juvenile courts are over wraught with such cases. The cases you mentiond are ones that got some type of national media attention. For every one of those, there are thousnads that don't.

It's sickening.

Steel,

Having worked in a prosecutor's office in a prominent county in my state, I can tell you that it happens way way way more often than the average citizen realizes. Juvenile courts are over wraught with such cases. The cases you mentiond are ones that got some type of national media attention. For every one of those, there are thousnads that don't.

It's sickening.

>> Can we make this world safer for our kids? Can we? How?

...here's how. unleash a parent:

June 26, 2005

London: Taking the law in her own hands, a Spanish mother set afire a man who raped her teenaged daughter and allegedly taunted her about the assault, a report here said today.

http://web.mid-day.com/news/world/2005/june/112450.htm

The confession of the "thing" who buried the little girl alive may be THROWN OUT?!!!!
WHY?!!!
Being that I was "emotionally molested"-basically clothes-on sexual abuse- by my father this cases rips me apart.
When a child is inappropriately touched by and adult it affects the rest of their lives.
The "molester." can sometimes move on-but many times the victim can't.
To THIS DAY there are relatives that STILL think I was "making things up".
I'm sorry-it just gives me the chills.
As far as those who MURDER children-The first concern should be justice for the victim.
My husband believes that anyone who murders a child-see the Hobbs case is My state(The sperm-donor who murdered his 8 year old daughter and 9 year old friend)-should get an AUTOMATIC death penalty.
Who would murder a 4 year old?
Who would rape and then bury a 9 year old alive?
Who would molest a member of their parish?
Why do the courts seem to be more concerned that those who commit crimes like these don't get their "rights' trampled on-rather than bringing justice to the victims and their families?!!!
WHY?!!!!

Lisa ...

Sadly, I know this. I'm afraid it'll never get better.

tbr ...

I saw that when it came out. I liked the part where it said ... 'and she calmly walked away'.

Barb ...

Apparently, the cops didn't get him a lawyer before his confession and he claims he asked for one. The Miranda decision requires that all evidence secured with the confession is then inadmissable. This is also the reason the other 3 were not charged ... they MAY be required to testify AGAINST him and could not be if it meant SELF INCRIMINATION.

Yup, I'd rather err on the side of children and kill the perps after a cursory trial. I prefer burning at the stake in a public square.

I had a visitor who came to my site searching for "stop persecuting sex offenders."

I agree! Once they stop offending, we can stop persecuting!

Hey ya Tall Glass ... long time no see.

Do you suppose it might have been him?

I agree too ... but I would it thus ...

...once they stop breathing we can stop persecuting.

Two links for the average Joe (or Steel): Here and here. Both links to Court Appointed Special Advocates for children. Links to your state's organization can be found there.

I've been working on that one myself. Meantime, here's a good place to start:
http://www.vachss.com/help_text/index.html

You want suggestions for what to do? I have one for you.

Get over it.

The human race has always been this disgusting, and it's only because of today's global media that we can see all the worst parts of the race at once. Some amount of vileness is part of being human, and so there will always be some level of vile behavior in the world. Satisfy yourself that it's still rare, that it's still illegal, and that it's still passionately hated by any sane individual or government. We, as a race, are already doing the best we can to suppress the worst of us. We can't do any more without causing harm to what makes us human.

One big step would be for our sentencing laws to be changed to reflect what we all know: violent sexual predators cannot be rehabilitated. They need to be jailed for much longer sentences, probably for life, not as a punitive measure but to protect the public. The state of our psychiatric knowledge is such that there is nothing we can do to prevent them from re-offending. Let's acknoledge that and put them away for good.
And to all those who, instead of thinking about what might really help, jump in shrieking about burning at the stake, pulling out the fingernails etc. You are part of the problem!

1) Go work at at-risk youth centers. Juvee halls. After-school programs. Give kids a good mentor, someone they can trust to talk to, someone they can speak to their abuse about without fear. Help abused kids heal and break the cycle.

2) Go work at community centers and help out with classes on parenting, debt management, family planning, child care, job training . . . All of these stressors lead to abusive situations in families.

You can't really hunt down current abusers, at least not until the abused child talks and then it's a police matter. But you can do a lot to help prevent future abuse.

Steel, good for you for caring. It's good to be upset about things like this.

That said, you're asking rhetorical questions. Yes, this has been with us forever. Yes, the media now let us know not only what happens in our town, but what happens in the next town over, the next state over, and by the way, on the other side of the world too. It's a big world.

Let me share a small issue with you. Air travel around the world drops every time a plane crashes somewhere. Some experts are worrying that soon, the volume of air traffic around the entire globe will ensure that even with optimal safety there are crashes frequently enough to scare away travelers on other airlines in other countries from ever flying. Not because United Airlines is unsafe, but because the national airline of upper Tuvanastan can't keep the baling wire tied tight.

So some perspective helps.

I would also look again at your statements and be sure they are factual. For example, Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn, who was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and André Prevn, not Allen himself, were discovered having their affair when she was aged 22. Whether they ever had sex when she was underage is something only the two of them know. Allen was never charged with any crime for this relationship. Although Farrow did accuse him of molesting the son they had mutually adopted, Allen was acquitted.

The 36,000 number you cite is unverified. There are, allegedly, 36,000 notations in his personal papers, but whether he molested that many children is simply unknown (and somewhat improbable).

Roman Polanski has stayed outside of the United States since 1978, so far as I know, which is 27 years, not 15. (And I'm not sure this supports your contention that this evinces a recent phenomenon.)

"His confession will be thrown out" -- since it appears that confession was obtained contrary to the laws and constitution of the United States, the fault here seems to lie with the law officers who should have known better. That said, a confession alone -- particularly under police duress -- is something I would always be skeptical about. There have been too many cases of false confessions, later proven as such by DNA evidence. If he is guilty, I hope that they can convict without the confession.

"A multiple sexual molester is accquited by reason of insufficient proof" -- I see you do not name this individual. Since there is insufficient proof, naming him would possibly open you to a libel lawsuit. I would hope that anyone accused of a crime, yet with insufficient proof, would always be acquitted in a society based on the rule of law, and not emotion or moral panic.

That last phrase is not chosen lightly. In the past, moral panics have led to, for example, lynchings (and only 2/3 of lynchings in the US were race-related). In England, a moral panic over pedophilia led, in one case, to an attack on a pediatrician at his home office. Overwrought emotional responses, such as "unleashing parents" in the comments, will solve very little of this.

My mother is a social worker. Many of her families have child abuse issues, violent as well as sexual. The programs in my state are probably reasonably advanced; the goal is to work with such families to reduce the conditions which lead to such abuse.

If you are seriously worked up, I suggest that you can probably find a role as a child advocate. In some communities there is a formal position; in some states, they are given legal status before a court. This person can intervene in child abuse cases or custody battles to take the role of the "lawyer for the kid", making sure that the legal standard of "the best interests of the child" are adhered to. If these laws don't exist in your state, you can work for them.

Don't hope that you can stop the headlines tomorrow, though.

Sure there is something you can do. First you can mark off the man with 36,000 entries in notebooks. 3 victims a day, day after day, year after year. He slept, ate, worked and wrote extensively. The notebooks are fantasy.
Parents cut the head off a 3 year-old child using hedge clippers and it hardly makes the news. Are we okay with this?
There are 500,000 registered sex offenders and 499,999 had nothing to do with the horrific death of Jessica Lunsford.
Out of 1000 sex ceimes only 53 will have a previous record. Who are the rest of these people? They are you, me, our kids or anyone else someone decides to point a finger at. The changes of you child being abducted by a predator are almost non-existant. The chances of your child being molested are much higher but it will be within the circle of family and friends. The chances of you or your child being accused as a sex offender increases daily and you are guilty unless you can prove otherwise. That is very difficult when there was no incident.
Guilty or not. you would end up taking a plea. When a prosecutor is promising to send you away for life, twenty years looks pretty damn good.
I am like you. I want prevention but registration and monitors aren't doing it. Registration has been going on for 10 years and has failed to prevent a single incident. Has it ever occurred to you that some people do not want this to stop??? Look at all the people who have used sex crimes to enhance a career? Now Johb Walsh is on the bandwagon. Do you think he wants this to stop?
The sad thing is that recidivism among registered sex offenders could be prevented if the interest were there to do so.
Authorities cannot keep up with this growing number of people. Something as simple as support groups would be a great step in prevention. Allowing offenders to police one another would weed out the predators. Who could do a better job of deeing the signs of someone in trouble?
One lady made the reamark that she would stop her hate campaign when offenders seop offending. Well, according to the Dept of Justice only 5.3 percent commit another sex crime. The remaining 94.7% are no threat. They HAVE stopped so make sure your anger is directed at the right people.
More restrictive laws against those who had nothing to do with the deaths of these children does not lead to prevention. People whi have lost everything, including the hope of a better future, are sometimes driven over the edge. Are we ready for the backlash that is to come? Those who anticipate personal gain can hardly wait.
No, I am not a sex offender.I was a victim and now consider myself a survivor of sexual abuse. The experience left me with the burning desire to educate myself on both sides of the issue. I have learned that society makes victims out of those who would have otherwise been survivors. I have learned that there is such a thing as a one time offender the the thing that keeps them from reoffending is that they don't want to be the source of further pain. I have learned that an offender's spouse, children and other loved one are being punished for things they they did not do.
Sure, we can all look forward to the return of the draft. That is what happens when such a large portion is labeled as felons. That is an automatic exemption, If you committed a crime at the age of 10 and later wanted to enter the military, you would be denied.
Draft dodgers will no longer have to hide out in Canada. They can commit some little felony and they are off the hook. While your neighbors kid sits in prison for having consensual teen sex, your child will be getting his ass blown off in the middle east. Yuur child will be asked to sacrifice his life because of your hysteria and demand for harsher punishment.You are getting what you wanted but at what personal cost?

I do not condone sex crimes but I do beleive in second chances, the Constitution and America.

Why do we not castrate known sexual predators? Seriously.

And if it's not other people hurting children, it's their own parents! Today's headlines bring this...

Mom let her kid get mauled to death by this...

Hmmm ...

I have received some good ideas. And for those I thank you.

I have been over to the Metafilter site, where my friend Hanan was so kind to mention me.

I have noticed it costs 5 bucks to post there ... heh, I can't justify saying anything THERE that I won't HERE.

That being said, along with my pleasure at having most of you folks come by today and say something ... I will offer a thought or two.

Whether or not this is a new phenomenon is a moot point. Certainly, it is not moot for the victims.

Whether or not the media and our extant technology plays a part in the dissemination of these stories is a moot point.

I see that there are a few ways proposed to approach the ... rectification of this horror.

On the one hand, I say 'burn those bastards at the stake'.

On the other, I see many say we need to ... do many things and do more things and do this and do that and maybe some of that too. And then ... we should do some more.

Heh. This problem is not that complex. It is something that can be stopped in a generation or two.

All the talk and all the feel good bullshit ain't done much to date.

Eliminate the perps and there will be a dramatic decline in crimes perpetuated. Is that so hard to get your brain around?

I wonder ... no ... I demand to know if it was your child would you suggest anything short of DEATH?

Hell no. And ... assuming logic follows ... why in the hell would anyone suggest society be anymore lenient?

The 'problem' is incurable and there's no shortage of studies to support that premise.

We could put them in 'colonies' or monitor them for life. But why?

Would that make you FEEL better about yourself?

FUCK YOU.

Society has no room for such as John Wayne Gacy or Dean Swartzmiller. Society has no obligation to provide for their upkeep.

Society has an obligation to persevere. The new members of 'society' are children. Without them ... society will fail.

The protection of children then becomes paramount vis a vis 'society'.

There was one moron I read at Metafilter. Quoron maybe?

To you I say this ...

...you would be the best evidence to support post-natal abortion. I only wish I could facilitate that procedure.

I wonder ... no ... I demand to know if it was your child would you suggest anything short of DEATH?

First of all, let me compliment you on your excellent use of ellipses.

Anyway, I've never been in that situation, and it's very unlikely that I ever will. So why should I worry about it now?

But, knowing myself as I do, It's very doubtful that I would want to kill someone if they did something like that.

Also, yes. That does make me "FEEL" better. Thanks for asking. :)

delmoi ...

It is not often I find myself in the company of idiots.

As a rule, I avoid them at all cost.

Since you have seen fit to be in my presence ... I find myself to be in that company.

Go fuck yourself. You are self-centric enough to want to do so ... so spare the rest of us your satisfaction in so doing.

What an amazing array of emotions this subject has brought up. Many are sympathetic to the problem and offer sincere solutions, but it seems most want to attack the messenger. That is no big deal, but if you attack, offer a possible alternative. Don't just criticize grammar, hyperbole, a few facts that are wrong. The agony of this crime remains the same whether or not ellipses are used correctly. The intent of the author is to speak of his personal pain and to look for help to erase this misery of the worst crimes against the innocent.

> We, as a race, are already doing the best we can to suppress the worst of us. We can't do any more without causing harm to what makes us human.<

Mr. Shepherd, how do you know we are doing the best we can? As well, what in the world do you mean by the latter sentence? Do you know what makes us human? Do you know what makes a sexual predator predate on young children? Do you consider his behavior human? If so, why not 'harm' that human behavior?

>But, knowing myself as I do, It's very doubtful that I would want to kill someone if they did something like that.<

Delmoi makes this statement though he is sure he would never be in the position of having a child of his abducted, tortured, raped, and perhaps buried alive. How do you know what you would do, Delmoi? Because this hasn't happened to you, you cannot be bothered to care about the problem, but you can care enough to criticize another who does? Striking, callow, shortsightedness on your part. If it happened to your sister's child, a best friend's child, a neighbor's child, you would just adjust your balls and go play video games? Fine if that is what makes you feel better. With your grammar book at hand perhaps you might post some more profound oratory on someone else's sincere concerns without offering solutions yourself.

There is enough talk about human nature in this thread that it boggles the mind to note a majority of those who commented are preoccupied with transfering the nightmare of this egregious problem onto the good intentions of the person who dares speak of it with nothing more than a desire to find a way to fix the problem.
That that transference is nothing more than empty invective is sickening.

Well, I plan on having 2 or 3 kids so that way I'll have a couple backups.

What, no impotent invective, Delmoi? Just felt the need to scratch your balls, eh?

Let us hope my third word applies itself to you.

First let me say that delmoi is a f****** a**hole who obviously has no children or is not tied to them emotionally at all. No parent that I know would have such a cavalier attitude about how they would act if their child was molested, whether it be by a stranger or by a friend or relative.

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. I've been working on recovery for 18 years. I've gone through just about every mental and physical malady a survivor can go through. But I'm still here, still functioning, still living a productive life, despite being used as a sex toy by four men for 12 years, starting at age 6.

During my recovery, I've met a lot of perpetrators, through various support groups, etc. There is no cure for them and anyone who believes there is is wrong. You can't cure someone of pedophilia any more than you can cure them of heterosexuality or homosexuality. It's how they are programmed. All you can hope to do is control them. If that means prison, so be it. If that means a "colony," so be it.

Culturally and historically, children have been treated as owned property, and society has turned its head as children were abused and tortured, often by their own families. Only in recent history have we as a people started to believe that children need more nurturing if they are to become the best people that they can be. Only in recent history have we started to actually prosecute perpetrators and protect children.

But there is so much work to be done, in every state in the U.S. Laws are still based on "keeping a family together," and not necessarily on protecting the child from a dangerous situation. Witness recent cases of abused children being returned to horrible situations only to end up abused again or dead.

That's where to start folks. Change the laws.

Then keep educating children that their bodies are their own and no one ever should touch them, except in very special cases, like a medical emergency. Teach them about good touch and bad touch. Tell them what's appropriate and not appropriate in every situation. And be sure to tell your male children as well as your female children. Unfortunately, my mother never did tell me such things because in her world, boys weren't molested.

Also keep telling them that there are no secrets they should be keeping from you, especially if someone tells them they should. Teach them to live in a world where there are no secrets, because I'm telling you, secrets ultimately screw your children up.

Keep pushing your schools to start sex education very early, and make sure that sexual abuse prevention is very much a part of the curriculum.

And if you're in a split family, especially guard your children, because predators are like a pack of wolves and really, truly do feed off anyone in strained situations.

To Dan who wrote above, I applaud what you've learned during recovery, and I really am envious of the compassion you show to both sides of this issue. You are obviously a kind and compassionate human being.

But I don't know if I believe in second chances for child sexual abuse perpetrators. I don't know if I believe in a "one time" offender, either. They may exist, but I have never met one. I have, however, met perpetrators who have molested only one child, but really savor the idea of meeting their next one.

Pablo


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