Sex

Listening to Sex Offenders

Their stories are stereotypical and repetitive in ways we've all heard a million times, all our lives-and mostly not from sexual offenders.

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Rutgers

Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control, by Diana Rickard, Rutgers University Press, 216 pp., $44.95

Last year, Lenore Skenazy hosted a brunch at her home in New York City. The "free range kids" advocate invited journalists, fed them quiche, and introduced them to two guest speakers. Both were young men who had served time for sex crimes against minors.

As videotape rolled, one man told the audience about entering puberty with great sexual confusion. He said he'd been raised in a fundamentalist Christian family, homeschooled, and kept isolated from other kids, including girls. He talked about sexually touching his little sister, and he talked about being incarcerated for this offense while he himself was still a child.

The other man described a statutory crime. He is gay, and as a very young adult, he said, he began a relationship—including sex—with a gay teen younger than the legal age of consent. The young man served his time in prison, but then an effort began to "civilly commit" him to a locked mental hospital for sex offenders, probably for the rest of his life. That effort was irrational and vicious, he said; he certainly was not a continuing danger to children.

The reporters scribbled notes. They looked spellbound.

I was at the brunch. It was a terrific event, one whose time had come. (Reason ran video from it online, and Skenazy wrote about it in the July 2015 issue.) Skenazy has spent the past several years writing and speaking about what she feels is a modern-day panic about imagined danger to children. She talks about parents reluctant to let their kids roam the neighborhood, about children not allowed even to play on their lawns for fear of being kidnapped or molested. One big trigger for that panic, Skenazy believes, is erroneous attitudes about sex offenders.

Research by the U.S. Department of Justice shows that the vast majority of sex offenders pose no further threat to children after they do their time. Nevertheless, they get put on public sex offender registries, and residence restrictions banish them from parts of cities and even entire cities. They can't get work. They fear vigilantes visiting their addresses, which are publicized on the registry. Thus do irrationality and paranoia quarantine a group from society.

That was the message of Skenazy's brunch, with its Sunday-morning quiche, its ex-cons, and the favorable press that followed. But the event's success was marred months later, when the gay man who had spoken there was re-arrested. He'd been caught texting with a teenaged boy. He was jailed again, amid a new round of publicity.

For the fledgling movement for sex offenders' civil and human rights, the incident was disheartening. The movement's nascent efforts remain swamped by cultural noise about sex offenders, noise that is often wrong.

Take the claim that sex offenders are incorrigible even after being punished—that most can't or won't control themselves, and they inevitably re-offend. Sometimes they do. But a raft of research, including studies by both the U.S. and Canadian governments, have shown that adjudicated sex offenders have a very low recidivism rate. The U.S. study found that rates for first-time offenders are as low as five percent during the first three years after release. That's the lowest rate for any violent crime except murder.

Nor is it true that people who sexually assault kids tend to be strangers to their victims. That's the idea that fuels sex offender registries and residency restrictions, but the vast majority of offenders are family members or friends of victims. Every time you see sex-crime law christened with the first name of a dead child who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered by a stranger, remember that these scenarios are about as rare as death by lightning.

But child sex abuse is common. Trusted stepfathers, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, teachers, family friends, religious leaders—these are typical offenders. Police, prosecutors, and court-mandated psychotherapists characterize them as notorious and unrepentant minimizers. They're said to downplay their crimes, to omit damning details, to shirk responsibility. These claims are untested but do not sound unreasonable. True or false, they're another rationale for endless punishment. These men's sneaky accounts of who they are and what they did mean nothing. We should listen only to their victims.

Diana Rickard strongly disagrees. Rickard, a sociologist at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, recruited half a dozen former and very typical offenders, then asked them their life stories, including why they committed their crimes. Rickard spent hours talking with each man. She could have taken a prosecutorial or journalistic approach, cross-checking their stories with their criminal records, interviewing their prosecutors, maybe even calling in polygraphers. She did none of this. She wasn't interested in the legal factuality of the men's cases as much as she was in the stories they told. Their stories, she felt, might in themselves say something about their future dangerousness or lack thereof.

Here is what Rickard heard from five of the six men.

One liked to spend time on internet chat sites, and he ended up talking sexually to someone he assumed was a woman. About a month into their chatting, she said she was 14 years old. But he continued talking anyway, and arranged to meet her. That's when he learned that she was not a girl but a police officer. He was arrested.

A guy in his fifties said he went to a bachelor party where a bevy of strippers were entertaining the guests. He and a stripper began a sexual relationship. She said she was 19, but later he learned she was 16. Her mother found out when she read the girl's diary.

Another middle-aged man met his longtime friend's daughter, whom he hadn't seen since she was a child. She was now a teen; he wasn't sure how old. One day they started kissing and fondling each other. He stopped but she called her father, who called the police. The girl was 15.

One man got angry with his wife. He went into his 13-year-old stepdaughter's room, took two photographs of her genitalia, and mockingly showed them to his partner.

And then there was Karl, a 30-year-old high school teacher. A gay freshman asked Karl if he could come to his house for private tutoring. Karl said yes. They had oral sex. Someone found out.

These men lost their jobs and careers, served time in prison or on probation, were placed on sex-offender registries for decades, and were sent for years to sex-offender group therapy. But they are not pedophiles—people sexually attracted to prepubescents.

The man who photographed his stepdaughter clearly went beyond the pale of any notion of consensuality. But the others, if their stories are true, fall into areas that different democratic societies treat in different ways. In most parts of America, the man who fell for the stripper wouldn't have been doing anything illegal, since most states' age of consent is 16. But he was in New York, where it's 17. Similarly, the guy who engaged in mutual fondling with his friend's daughter would have been fine if he'd happened to live in France, Sweden, and Denmark, where the age of consent is 15. The gay teacher could legally have had sex with his 14-year-old student if they'd been in Germany. That's also true for the man in the chat room and his faux teen friend whom the police invented. (Though in Germany cops don't conduct internet sex stings—at least, not with the totalizing vigor that they do in America.)

All of these men broke the law, and most of them sound like jerks, but they do not seem to be sexual deviants. Even so, they've been caught, punished, and sent to therapy. (One man has to go every day.) The four who touched minors—even when the minors eagerly touched back—now freely describe those teens as their victims. They say they did wrong, and to Rickard they seem sincere. Even the man who committed the computer crime with the imaginary girl apologizes.

It's when they try to explain why they did what they did that their stories get fascinating.

The man who got fooled on the internet said that he hung out online because he was disabled and homebound. He says he still doesn't know why he made a date to meet someone who claimed to be a 14-year-old girl, but now he knows not to do it again.

The middle-aged man who took up with the 16-year-old stripper took one look at her, and she at him, and they felt an immediate connection. The man was married but the couple weren't getting along. The stripper looked a lot older than 16. She acted older, too, and lied about his age. How, he asks, could he have known?

Likewise the man who fondled his friend's daughter. He should have known better. But she was making eyes at him, and she looked and acted older than 15. He says he'll never do anything like that again. In fact, he's really attracted to women his age.

Karl grew up attending a homophobic church. At age 30, he was still working to accept that he was gay. At times he became very stressed, and when that happened he did drugs and drank. He was in this state when his student asked him for private tutoring. He shouldn't have said yes, but he felt overwhelmed. He insists he would never do this again.

The man with who took the genitalia photos knows it was a terrible thing to do. But he and his wife had five children: two of their own and three of hers by a previous marriage, including the 13-year-old stepdaughter. He'd recently lost his job, felt terrible, and started drinking and drugging. His wife got work and began an affair with a fellow employee. The man felt cuckolded. He remembered that his wife had said her ex had molested two of the children. The man had always treated his stepdaughter as his own daughter, but now he exacted revenge by rejecting her. He shot the photos, showed them to his wife, and felt glee.

The patterns of these stories are a drumbeat. Getting turned on and knowing better than to follow through, but just not being able to help oneself. Being tricked. Beer and weed, drunk and stoned. Bitchy wives, bad marriages, the economy. If I'd only known then what I know now. I used to have a bad side and a good side. Today I'm different. The good me is the real me.

Reading these men's explanations is like listening to a low-rent version of The Moth. They are stereotypical and repetitive in ways we've all heard a million times, all our lives—and mostly not from sexual offenders. Tales of men having sex with minors, it turns out, are just a blip in the schlemiel-ish and sometimes brutal narrative of everyday American masculinity, straight and gay.

And this is a major reason why Rickard thinks we should calm down about sex offenders. We can all agree that they shouldn't have broken the law. We concur that, regardless of the variability of age-of-consent laws, their actions were probably immoral, even if they aren't everywhere illegal. Rickard's research shows how similar "deviant" men are to "non-deviants"—including in their potential to feel remorse and to correct their "behaving badly" behavior.

In their own eyes, in fact, these men are so rehabilitated now that they draw a line between themselves and the "true" deviants: the people who abuse little kids instead of teens, who penetrate instead of fondle, who operate with force instead of flirtation, who can't help molesting again. It's the real deviants, according to Rickard's interviewees, whom we need protection from. The sex-offender registry is fine, as long as it lists the right people.

These drab but credible-sounding expressions of "normalcy" are food for thought, but maybe comfort food compared to the unsettling story told by Rickard's sixth interviewee. He is Terry, formerly an upstanding member of his community: a church leader and associate at local financial institutions. Terry is no one-time sex offender. For years before he was put on the registry, he was a serial habitué of public spaces, such as shopping malls, where he publicly masturbated, rubbed up against women and girls, and grabbed their breasts.

Terry started committing his crimes in high school, and in ensuing years he racked up many victims. He was arrested a few times, but because of his "respectability" judges and prosecutors let him off with slaps on the wrist and obscured his name from the media. He was finally caught in flagrante delicto by a mall security camera. The video was picked up by the press, and the local criminal justice system could no longer coddle Terry.

Like the five other men, he told Rickard he'd done wrong. Unlike them, he defined himself as mentally ill and sexually deviant, and he wondered if he should be surgically castrated. His story sounds far less "normal" than the other five men's. It could be taken as evidence that we really do need a sex offender registry and related restrictions.

But Rickard opposes such moves even for offenders like Terry, preferring more conventional responses. What, she asks, if Terry's first offense had been dealt with seriously by the criminal justice system instead of being minimized? He might have been scared straight or given psychotherapy and medication. If those interventions hadn't controlled him, subsequent offenses would have landed him back in jail, away from women and girls. In America, we're supposed to remove people like Terry from society after they've hurt others, not before. Then, after they've done their time, we're not supposed to punish them all over again with states of exception like registries.

Yet we do. American's national sex offender registry has been in place for two decades, and it now contains almost has 850,000 people. (People under age 18, including some as young as 12, number about a quarter of the total.) Some cities ban these people from living in every neighborhood containing houses, so they huddle in tents and sleeping bags in no man's lands. Human Rights Watch notes this population's remarkably high rates of suicide.

All these shamings, torturings and breachings of civil liberties are intended to protect children, but studies overwhelmingly conclude that they don't. They are senseless. Except, perhaps, as proxies for social rage and panic.

As Rickard shows with her Moth-like stories, even sex offenders have bought into these feelings. Like most Americans, they believe in the registry—as long as they're not on it. Like most Americans, they cling to this side of humanity by asserting their "normalcy."

It's pretty clear they really are "normal," whatever that means. Having served their time, paid their dues, they wish to go to brunch. To eat some eggs, talk, feel empathy, to live on Sunday morning in the land of the free.

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43 responses to “Listening to Sex Offenders

  1. Every day, we stray further from God’s light.

  2. One man got angry with his wife. He went into his 13-year-old stepdaughter’s room, took two photographs of her genitalia, and mockingly showed them to his partner.

    I do not understand this. How is this the next move in any fight unless she was yelling at him about never having the guts to take a picture of her underaged daughter’s genitals? And even then, how was doing it going to be a “win?”

    1. I mean who among us hasn’t in the heat of the moment…. wait…. WHAT THE F*CK?

    2. “Here, Debbie! THIS is what normal pussy should look like!”…???

      I mean……….I don’t know how to end that thought, really.

      /Some people are just damaged.

    3. Don’t pretend you haven’t done this.

      1. Stop projecting.

    4. I do not understand this. How is this the next move in any fight unless she was yelling at him about never having the guts to take a picture of her underaged daughter’s genitals? And even then, how was doing it going to be a “win?”

      Argument about Monday Night Football habit suddenly over; left alone to watch in peace rest of iconic Browns/Titans matchup.

    5. It’s easily one of the weirdest revenge tales I’ve ever heard, and utterly incomprehensible. If it really was his motivation to make his wife feel as violated as his step-daughter, he certainly succeeded.

      The weirdest thing of all is, it doesn’t seem like the motivation was sexual gratification, unless details have been omitted. Maybe that fits into the “sex crime is motivated by power, not sex” narrative. It doesn’t fit into the stranger-danger narrative though, and I guess that’s the point of its inclusion here? The viciousness of the act is unquestionable, but the targets narrowly confined to family members he deliberately hurt.

      In our brave new world, an unaccompanied man cannot sit on a park bench anywhere near children playing in the field without being accosted by a gaggle of helicopter moms accusing him of being a sexual predator. Maybe disseminating what real sexual deviants are like might push back against this, and also give the kids some damned breathing space to be kids. As a kid, my parents didn’t really give a damn what I did as long as I didn’t get into trouble and they knew where I’d be. Our current society appears to be extruding fearful children unable to articulate a rational basis for their fears. Then they go to our institutions of higher education and find need of a “safe space” because their moms can’t be there to chase away those “creepy men” sitting on the park bench.

      1. It’s easily one of the weirdest revenge tales I’ve ever heard, and utterly incomprehensible. If it really was his motivation to make his wife feel as violated as his step-daughter, he certainly succeeded.

        The weirdest thing of all is, it doesn’t seem like the motivation was sexual gratification, unless details have been omitted.

        That bothers me a lot about this piece; see other comment below. I’m very much a fan of Debbie Nathan’s writing, but between the 2nd-hand nature of the story (one reporter writing about an event hosted by & reported on by another) & whatever editing it might’ve gone thru for length, it’s unclear.

    6. I’ve been very mad in my life. My ex wife and I would have some ugly fights where we’d say terrible things to each other. Towards the end if she had gotten into a car crash and died I would have shed no tears. At no point did “I’ll go take pictures of a young girl’s genitals. That will show her!” enter my mind.

      1. Disclaimer: Standard social-signaling “not condoning” yadda, yadda…

        It’s not exactly the same thing though. She was fucking around with another man, apparently flagrantly.

        I don’t know what DEFCON 1 nuclear rage is like, and that wouldn’t put me there, but I am not surprised in the least that those circumstances would put someone there. If someone’s already deeply insecure and not a believer in his partner’s self-ownership, that sort of action ought to be especially effective in evoking that rage.

        Consider the parallels with muslims who carry out honor killings on their own wives and daughters over slights to their “honor.”

      2. Before I became the laid-back and easy-going SugarFree you all know and love, I did some pretty crazy fucking things when in a rage* and I can’t imagine dragging a child into it.

        *Like throwing a stop sign like an enormous Frisbee through a car windshield.

        1. With a person inside or just property damage?

          The former is a lot more WTF as it might be enough to kill someone if it hit them in the neck (that hockey player who got his throat cut by an errant ice skate while playing hockey comes to mind). The latter is a particularly creative form of property damage, but I’m not sure property damage indicates the mindset to hurt humans or repeat the act or something like it.

          How the fuck did you even get the stop sign off of the post? Aren’t those things bolted on really tight?

        2. (ie; normal hulk rage)

          Hulk smash /= taking naked pictures of a minor

  3. So I have a relative in jail for a crime like this. I won’t go into details, but he deserves to be in there for what he did.

    Having said that, many people do not deserve to be branded for life for thinking she/him was 19 when they were 17, or things like that. Especially when it is legal in other states, but the state you’re in just happens to have a higher age of consent.

    There’s a difference between preying on the 8 year old down the street, forcibly raping someone, etc, and sending a picture of your junk to your partner who happens to be a year or two younger than you and barely not an adult. We are ruining people’s lives over nothing.

    That show to catch a predator, most people think that was about children. It wasn’t a 10 year old kid online, it was people pretending to be 16 and 17 years old. Still illegal, but that’s a world’s difference.

    1. Another problem with attempted violations of the law. There is no victim. With the stings and no actual underage person involved, there is no crime except a thought crime. If the suspect had had sex with the “undercover” cop, it would be sex between consenting adults. The underage person is an imaginary victim.

      It is entrapment and is unlike solicitation for murder, bribery, etc. The solicitation for murder involves someone actually paying for someone to be murdered. There is a victim, the person to be murdered.

      I know people want to protect kids from scary and sick perps. There are just a lot of lives being ruined for things like consensual sex between 16 & 17 years olds because its sex with a minor.

      Don’t even get me started on how unconstitutional civil commitments, sex offender registrations and prohibitions from sex offenders from being able to work or live ____ feet near a school. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the government authority to boss people like that after they are out of jail and not on supervision.

  4. Now if we could just get politicians to be so honest.

    1. I bet that some already think like we do about the drug war. Their constituencies do not. There is nothing to gain by defenestrating your career over something you can’t change.

      Looking at things like this would be orders of magnitude worse.

  5. If you have ever administered a rape kit and performed a full post assault exam (both me and Dr. ZG have – she’s done more than a Dr. should ever have to do), the sense of the rapist perp being, “human,” and, “deserving of empathy,” goes out the window but quick.

    I have no empathy for these people. None.

    1. I don’t think anyone is asking for your empathy. The point of the article does seem muddled, though. Hopefully you’d also realize that you’d be the exact sort of person who would need to recuse yourself from judgment. You’d be thrown off of a jury for advocating that view simply because of the conflict of interest it represents.

      We have to be honest in our society about what we want justice to mean. If we want sex offenders to be punished in perpetuity for their crimes and truly believe that no matter how minor the offense, then we should sentence them to prison for life. Putting them on public lists that ensures vigilantism isn’t justice. If it were, why stop at sex offenses? Why stop at lists? Maybe we should round them up and put them all in camps after they’ve served their time. We can pretend that those lists aren’t “punishment” and therefore aren’t cruel and unusual. Maybe that’s all that justice really is – being able to pretend that we know how to protect people and how to punish people fairly.

      1. I agree the article seems a bit muddled. I think Reason has presented enough clear cases where there was no malfeasance and the Sex offender registry becomes a Khafka-esque system that ruins innocent peoples’ lives.

        But these “explanations”…

        The man who got fooled on the internet said that he hung out online because he was disabled and homebound. He says he still doesn’t know why he made a date to meet someone who claimed to be a 14-year-old girl, but now he knows not to do it again.

        The middle-aged man who took up with the 16-year-old stripper took one look at her, and she at him, and they felt an immediate connection. The man was married but the couple weren’t getting along. The stripper looked a lot older than 16. She acted older, too, and lied about his age. How, he asks, could he have known?

        Likewise the man who fondled his friend’s daughter. He should have known better. But she was making eyes at him, and she looked and acted older than 15. He says he’ll never do anything like that again. In fact, he’s really attracted to women his age.

        They remind me a bit of the old Cheech and Chong comedy record where the guy suddenly starts sputtering, “Hey man, that girl looked at least 16 to me…” then realizing that wasn’t what they were asking him about.

        1. I have no doubt that someone caught in a relationship with an underage kid is going to produce exactly the above explanations. Does that mean we need the Sex Offender registry in its current form or at all? Probably not. But I’m, not sure the above helps the case.

          1. I’m not sure it helps the case either. I think the point was that there are comparable excuses given for other sorts of crimes. From the article:

            Police, prosecutors, and court-mandated psychotherapists characterize them as notorious and unrepentant minimizers

            Aren’t criminals in general “unrepentant minimizers?”

            It’s like the second someone hears that a person went to prison for a sex offense, it’s like one of those cartoon thermometers bursts in people’s heads. They can no longer hear the reason. If it was bad enough for prison, then the person is irredeemable scum. Sexting-while underaged, taking out your Pee Wee Herman in public, having illegal pictures on your computer, having consensual sex in a state without a Romeo-and-Juliet law, etc. are all morally equivalent to forcible rape of a child, case closed. If there were any group of criminals who might be inclined to minimize their crimes, it seems that those guilty of violating taboos would be among them.

              1. This is what the death penalty is for.

  6. But the event’s success was marred months later, when the gay man who had spoken there was re-arrested. He’d been caught texting with a teenaged boy. He was jailed again, amid a new round of publicity.

    But enough about Anthony Weiner.

  7. One man got angry with his wife. He went into his 13-year-old stepdaughter’s room, took two photographs of her genitalia, and mockingly showed them to his partner.

    Ok… what now?

  8. The gay teacher could legally have had sex with his 14-year-old student if they’d been in Germany.

    Look, we expect rules to be different in a place where everyone wears combat boots and leather shorts.

  9. If the definition of rape keeps eating up the massive grey area between ‘No’ and a permission slip; this isn’t going to end well. I’d happily put a bullet into a rapist/child rapist, but the constantly changing definition of rape is really getting out of hand. I think it undermines the true victims and sets a horrible precedent for relationships in the future.

    We just had a bunch of ‘rape’ come out during a presidential election, on both sides. How long before we’re desensitized? Every time someone wants to defame someone do they just file a civil law suit now?

  10. STEVE SMITH NO SEE NEED BE NORMAL. NO READ ARTICLE YET EVEN THOUGH LIKE DEBBIE NATHAN.

  11. He says he still doesn’t know why he made a date to meet someone who claimed to be a 14-year-old girl, but now he knows not to do it again.

    He was in this state when his student asked him for private tutoring. He shouldn’t have said yes, but he felt overwhelmed. He insists he would never do this again.

    Wait a minute! Is this shorthand? Is there something illegal or otherwise wrong with adults merely meeting or tutoring teenagers (or even children)? Is it just to be understood that after meeting or tutoring them, sexual activity between them was inevitable?

    Are children allowed to do nothing with adults? Because of all the things people can do together, sexual activity is presumed to be the focus, or at least included? Or is that true only when they’re adult & child? Something is bizarre here! It seems that now sex with children, while not normal, is presumed to be desirable by the random adult! Am I misanalysing this whole issue, maybe drawing incorrect conclusions from bowdlerized reporting?

    1. Unfortunately, you stick a microphone in someone’s face, let them tell their extremely abridged story, it’s hard to say. You’d have to look at the court case. It’s possible it was proven that he met with the 14 yr old on the explicit intention of having sexual activity. Bottom line, I’m guessing there were other circumstances going on here, beyond just “meeting with a 14 yr old”. When I picked up my daughter and her friends from soccer practice, I was meeting 14 yr olds, putting them into my car and driving away with them.

      Again, none of this is to defend the sexual predator legal regime here, just noting that I’m guessing he and the 14 yr old weren’t talking about poetry, and agreed to meet in a Starbucks to exchange reading lists. Because any good defense lawyer would eviscerate that case if that was the total sum of their interactions.

      1. Presumably they’d discussed having sex when he thought she was an adult. Maybe the presumption was that the interest was still there once he found out she was 14. Can’t tell from the article.

        Similarly, the teacher might’ve said at some point in the discussion (not recorded, or maybe edited out) that when he arranged tutoring with the student, he’d already intended to have oral sex with the student. Can’t tell from what’s presented here. Frustrating. Not sure Ms. Nathan knows either, maybe not even Ms. Skenazy.

        1. Ms. Skenazy or Ms. Rickard. It’s not clear to me whether Ms. Skenazy’s gathering & Ms. Rickard’s were the same one, or involved the same people, or one a subset of the other. I’m getting a Roshomon vibe here; was this article supposed to be Ms. Nathan’s different-POV account of an event Ms. Rickard wrote a book from?

        2. Speaking as a registered sex offender who had oral sex with my (at the time) 9 year old daughter….I can tell you that, based on 9 years in group therapy…he DID know exactly what he was doing. Sex offenders are not stupid, just the opposite. They are very tactically minded people, who invest a great amount of time and thought into their actions. Although my offense was 16 years ago, and that time being the hardest of my life in that it took a great deal of that in order to re-create myself into the man I am today, I can assure you at the time, that there was now “OMG, I have no idea what made me do that!!”. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen that and similar red herrings used in therapy. Since the interviewer relied on the subject’s accounts, and used no vetting of such information…it was “on their honour” to tell only what they deemed necessary.
          It is like whenever someone prefaces a comment with “Truthfully” or “Honestly”, that a lie is sure to follow.
          Changing one’s stripes is an unlikely feat, but not impossible. Some here will flame me, but before you do….remember this one thing…I did NOT have to reveal this about myself. I am no victim, but I have made a few. I deserved the punishment that I received.

          1. Regarding the “OMG, I have no idea what made me do that!!”.

            Could it be that they (you people) fear civil commitment or similar if you admit to always having these feelings, and that they are a part of who you are, not unlike how an alcoholic is (assumed to) always be an alcoholic, and these “very tactically minded people” fear this urge will always be with them and that there is no cure, no matter how much you want there to be one?

            FWIW, and maybe I’ll be flamed (since it’s been almost a year since your post and it doesn’t appear you’ve been flamed as you’d expected), I believe God can do anything if you ask Him for help?

            (Note: the “one unforgivable sin” is “blaspheming the Holy Ghost” which means saying that He is not able to fix sexual desires. I put this here not for the unbelievers reading this, but for the Christians who would assume “these people” cannot be fixed.)

  12. The U.S. study found that rates for first-time offenders are as low as five percent during the first three years after release.

    One wonders if that might possibly be because they are closely monitored and hectored out of polite society so they have fewer opportunities to re-offend, and not in spite of it. You don’t have to think that’s a good policy to acknowledge that maybe it works as intended.

    1. It takes less than an hour to rape. All of the monitoring in the world will not stop a motivated offender. One reason that the recidivism rate is low, is that in prison, a mass murderer is higher up on the food chain. You can attach the label of justification on ANY crime but sex offenses against children…that gets you killed. Does it create a different person? In a precious few cases, yes. Does it cause one to perhaps re-think the tactics? Too often, yes.
      Making a person live outside of a certain radius is stupid in that a perpetrator can surely walk/pedal/drive that distance and more, in order to commit a crime.
      A great many who were featured on “To Catch A Predator” drove across state lines in order to meet up with supposed minors for sex….so much for proximity laws, yes?

  13. Also, making broad conclusions or public policy based on a sample of 6 interviews by a sympathetic sociologist strikes me as probably not much smarter than the tough on crime alternative.

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    1. Honeymoon in Paris, is France where YOU go to molest children?

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