Sex offender ordered to keep warning signs on car and house

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141 Responses to “Sex offender ordered to keep warning signs on car and house”

  1. Bonegnawer says:

    @42 (heh, 42)

    Being a lesbian, I think I can answer this pretty easily.

    Acting on Pedophilia = harming a child out of your own will. It doesn’t matter if it’s a craving, or if you’re “naturally” attracted to children. I’m NATURALLY attracted to women, but you don’t see me cornering them and raping them. Gayness = consensual adults while pedophilia = sexually undeveloped, vulnerable children.

    Like Alphan, #36 posted:

    “The rest of us have to resist impulses so that people do not get robbed, raped, killed houses burned down etc. Why should we let them off the hook for their crimes.”

  2. Cefeida says:

    Oh, good. People can throw stones now, the target has been clearly marked, and they will come away from it with a clear conscience and the feeling of a job well done.

    As so many commenters have already said, if this guy is so dangerous that he needs a warning sign, LOCK HIM UP.

    If not, don’t give his neighbours an excuse to pick up their pitchforks. People are all too eager to do that when they feel justified- it’s like the hero in movies, absolved from killing twenty people because they were the bad guys. We all fantasise about punching someone who deserves it, no? But that has nothing to do with justice and everything with the fulfilment of our own abusive desire.

    Hm. Sounds familiar.

    Let’s not teach people that they’re allowed to hurt criminals because they’re bad guys. Punishment is one thing, revenge and the release of frustration are another. What is this, the Wild West?

  3. arkizzle says:

    Hmm.. well I just read the whole thread, and to expand and repeat; this is a damn balanced comment thread on this particularly controversial issue.

    I commend all for the cool headedness.

    Also:

    there is treatment available, and there are alternatives to acting out of the abuser. be it chemical castration or execution

    Well, they are good choices. They’ll all want to register now.

  4. Dberry says:

    So many varied opinions.. I was molested, they believed him more than me, I was never called a victim, I live my life, I see the man who thought at the age of 3 1/2 I was ready to have “love” like the grown ups.. I have never called myself a victim! I am a survivor!

    I deal with it, it is a part of me, it has never left me.. And it never will.

    Growing up, I befriended another SURVIVOR, who’s own teen-aged brother started in on her at the age of five, mom caught them, she told him to stop, DID NOT REPORT HER SON, NOR DID SHE SEEK HIM SOME HELP, he did stop having “sex” with her. Shortly after she turned 11, he took a broom handle to her and punctured her uterus, she will never have children, her mother blamed her when the police came and took her now 20something son away..

    People in prision don’t like people who rape and abuse children.. Shortly after his stay began his torture did too, he was raped himself, and at one point by a broom handle.. He wrote a letter to his sister from prision, “I’m sorry”… It arrived two days after they were notified he had killed himself.. She did to shortly there after, because her mom never let up that of was all her fault,

    I am a mom now, to a daughter, I am over protective at best of her..

    My molester went on to molest his girlfiends nieces.. Yes plural, 3 of them before he was caught, the youngest was 2.

    So if all he got was a sign over prison time, I’m dissapointed in the judge..

    Just like you can’t teach a lion to be a house cat, a child molester can never change, its instincts, they will both always be predators..

  5. Suburbancowboy says:

    If we are to treat everyone as equal under the law, then anyone convicted of a crime should have to let everyone know about their crimes.

    If you get caught stealing, should you have to notify all of your neighbors, and drive around with a sign that says “I am a thief”?

  6. Mike8787 says:

    As a homosexual myself, BONEGNAWER, I completely disagree with your point. This has nothing to do with acting on your urges — I’ve said and said that I don’t think any sexual abuse or rape is wrong. That isn’t the issue. And I’m not comparing homosexuality with pedophilia. They are obviously completely different thing.

    The point is that pedophiles do not choose to be attracted to children. No matter why they have that desire, most often the actions they take are not malicious but desperate. Yes, they shouldn’t be abusing or raping anyone, but imagine if you were told, “You are not allowed to be attracted to who you find attractive, and even if you do hold back and seek help, people will ostracize and judge you simply for your desires.” As a lesbian, I would think you would have more sympathy for people who can’t help how they feel.

    I am not saying anyone who is a sexual offender should get off. I’m saying that making them wear signs detailing their crime is degrading and cruel and unusual punishment. I’m saying that the justice system is supposed to be about rehabilitation, not harassing those whose crimes we have decided are “the worst”.

    No matter what you say, the judge’s sentence is the crime is not about helping the community – it is about branding this man with his crime and forcing him to live under its stigma every day and night. We don’t do this for any other crime, and for good reason. It does nothing but fuel ignorant hatred, and it certainly doesn’t help this man curb his desires in any way. It is the definition of cruel and unusual punishment, and the judge who passed down the judgment should be removed from his post.

  7. Tits McGee says:

    @41: Exactly.

    This whole business of registering and labeling convicted sex offenders only underscores the ineffectiveness of our judicial and corrections systems with respect to their treatment.

    If a sex offender hasn’t been sufficiently rehabilitated, why is he or she being released into the general population?

    For the record, I’m the mother of a young daughter, and would fight tooth and claw to protect her. That said, if she were some day the victim of a crime, I hope I would offer the perpetrator of that crime the same basic human compassion that I would want extended to her if she were herself the perpetrator.

    Pointing fingers is easy, but we’re all of us complex creatures and deserving of understanding.

  8. Elorin says:

    I’m absolutely flabbergasted at the sanity and reason shown on this thread.

    From the BDSM/fetish realm I’m someone who enjoys consensual age play, and I’m used to seeing absolute knee jerk reactions to this topic.

    Huzzah to the sane, reasonable, balanced postings of BoingBoing readers!

  9. xxxxxx says:

    m crs t knw, d y gys cnsdr th strng f ht fml tchrs wh’v bn cnsnslly bngng thr ndrgd stdnts n th pst 10 yrs r s, t b pdphls?

  10. Antinous says:

    “anyone convicted of a crime should have to let everyone know about their crimes”

    Washington DC would be so papered over with confessions that you wouldn’t recognize the White House or the Capital Building. I do like the idea of Winona Ryder driving a car with “shoplifter” painted on the side. Or Mel Gibson wearing a sandwich board reading “drunk driver” on the front and “I called a cop Sugartits” on the back.

  11. Mike8787 says:

    I am making many errors tonight.

    First paragraph should read:

    “I have said and said again that I think ANY sexual abuse and rape is wrong.”

    That was a biggie.

  12. Antinous says:

    “I’m curious to know, do you guys consider the string of hot female teachers who’ve been consensually banging their underaged students in the past 10 years or so, to be pedophiles?”

    Fucking someone over whom you have authority is non-consensual regardless of age.

  13. Takuan says:

    more study,more research, more money. Who wants to pay for it? Is it money taken away from more deserving places? Is jail cheaper?

    I agree nothing much seems to be improving in terms of clinical knowledge.

    I disagree that any social pressure should be taken off those that might offend in the interim until our knowledge improves. Yes, everyone has rights,but the child’s rights come first.

    Someone mentioned a mushrooming of sex “offences”, the teenage sex example was given. This is indeed a tragedy, but such ignorance and stupidity is a different issue. I daresay half the readership here would be in jail. Sex laws are to protect people in unequal power situations, not give the religious loonies more leverage.

  14. arkizzle says:

    Mike8787:

    I’ve said and said that I don’t think any sexual abuse or rape is wrong.

    Presumeably the “don’t” was misplaced :)

  15. arkizzle says:

    Oh, looks like you caught it :)

  16. Jamie Sue says:

    @5 and @14

    The mental illness comparison is the most correct. The behavior can not be corrected. All rehab attempts fail in the same way that rehab for gay people fails (not compairing pedophiles to gay people, but I’ve never heard of someone going to hetro rehab so I have to draw the comparison at that level.) A person’s sexual desires can not be corrected or curbed.

    What to do? No punishment is sufficient, the crime is horrendous and life scarring, BUT on the other hand prison is not just a place for punishment, it is a place for rehabilitation and these individuals, by nature of their mental illness, can not be rehabbed.

    So the only alternative is long term confinement in a facility for the criminally insane. But, the cost is prohibitive to the state and probably considered cruel and unusual so they are sent back to re-offend.

    What options are there? Can the collective heads of boing boing readers come up with an option that does not perpetually punish the offenders for thier mental illness while protecting the innocent from potential assault?

    @14 – I get the impression that you do not have children. If you do have children I hope they have at least one responsible parent in the household who be able to handle a tragedy with more comforting words than “get over it.” After all about 1 in 4 children experience sexual abuse so the cases that it could be your child next are saddenly high. f y r thnkng f hvng chldrn pls by pt nstd. Y wll b hppr n th lng trm cnsdrng chldrn rqr sgnfgnt mtnl cmmtmnt… nd y bvsly rn’t cpbl f tht.

  17. Antinous says:

    A lot of people have talked about pedophilia as a sexual orientation involving compulsion. There may be pedophiles who fit that category, but I would have a hard time believing that more than a tiny fraction of offenders fits that description. Some people are acting out their own abuse issues. Some are just rapists who rape children because they’re easier to overcome and less likely to report it. There are a host of potential motivators, all of which would require different solutions ranging from therapy to permanent imprisonment or a trip to the vet. None of them involve signage.

  18. hellhead says:

    #105 To answer your question, yeah I’m not serious. I’m not likening homosexuals to pedophiles, I’m not that rediculous. I’m saying that you can cure a pedophile of his sexual orientation like you could someone that is heterosexual or homosexual. Plainly put you can’t.

    It’s just how people are wired.

  19. arkizzle says:

    Takuan, presumably the same kind of money that pays to find ways of treating psycopathy and similar imbalances that result in criminal behaviour.

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that we leave the pedophiles to the kids untill we can “fix” them, but it would do society the world of good to find ways to efectively remove pedophiles’ criminal needs rather then demonizing and hand-wringing.

    It’s probably money well spent, compared to the money that would be saved on newspaper ink alone.

  20. arkizzle says:

    After all about 1 in 4 children experience sexual abuse..

    Really?
    Whilst shockingly high, this figure tends to support the notion that people are resiliant and to a degree “get over it”, society goes on, without 1/4 being reduced to basketcases forever more.

    That figure is incredibly sad and at the same time somewhat encouraging.

  21. Takuan says:

    I do wonder if there wasn’t a certain cynical money saving intent with the signage. After all, if this person is murdered, no one expects the police to try very hard to solve the case.

  22. Takuan says:

    Dear Pipenta:

    Your last most sentence; do you think there is more than one species present?

  23. Mark Temporis says:

    The issue of a sex offender registry is different from pedophile registration. In some locales, PISSING IN PUBLIC gets you tagged as a sex offender for life.

  24. Christovir says:

    38, yes you are right that most professionals are very good about not over-victimizing. I’m not too satisfied with the currently popular term “survivor”, but that’s beside the point. However, many lay-people do seem to think abuse is a fate worse than death. That outlook is neither rare nor helpful.

    Speaking of pedo-hysterics, have you heard of the pediatrician whose home was attacked by a mob who thought pediatrician meant pedophile?

  25. codesuidae says:

    Seems to me that sex offenders (of the type of interest, not the sort that innocently pee on walls) are much like drug addicts. The process of recovery and avoiding relapse is similar.

    I find it remarkable that the boiling, vitriolic hate for these people that is so common (and remarkably absent here) is so socially acceptable.

    If we had such public, in-your-face hate for alcoholics, how successful would their daily fight to stay sober be? How much harder would it be for them to ask for help when they needed it?

  26. Antinous says:

    The best argument for this being a really bad idea is the fact that all of the comments at The Sun’s article say that it’s a really good idea.

  27. Pteryxx says:

    In response to Arkizzle #64 and others, who make the point that if 25% of children (to choose a likely number) are sexually abused, then it must not be that big a deal because our society is chugging along pretty well, I say: Are you sure?

    One citation states that 25% of children in the US experience a significant traumatic event by age 16, and that about 20% of those will go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, with sexual abuse being more likely to produce PTSD than the average. That’s 5% of the total US population clinically impaired, of which direct abuse and sexual abuse contribute some unknown fraction. If 1 in 4 children are in fact sexually abused *to the point of being traumatized*, then that alone would produce the rate of at least 5% PTSD in the adult population.

    The incidence of major depression in the US is 6.5% for women, 3.3% for men, with an additional 13 to 27% of the population suffering subclinical depression that still results in lost productivity and increased use of health care services. A history of abuse isn’t the only reason for depression, but current research is starting to indicate it may be a major contributor. Both past abuse and current depression are associated with lowered self-esteem, which in turn tends to lead to both criminal behavior and victimhood in adults. How much lower would the prison population be without the contribution of sexual abuse? How much would the gender gap in salaries be narrowed if women weren’t abused at twice the rate of men? How much spouse abuse would be prevented if a lower percentage of women had low self-esteem? And in general, wouldn’t our society be better off if that one person in 20 were not impaired by their past?

    Numbers for incidence of depression:
    http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/d/depression/prevalence.htm

    Numbers for incidence of abuse and PTSD in children:
    http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2650.htm

  28. Jamie Sue says:

    @64 Last I read I think it was 25 % of females and 20% of males. And yes, it is good that most people are not reduced to rubble. BUT, the path is long and the path is hard and not every one makes it to the point where they can function socially, romatically, etc after abuse. I’m sure the same amount of kids get beaten by adults and live to tell about it, but it doesn’t make it right. The good thing is that human beings are wonderfully resilient creatures. The bad thing is that the more we accept instances of abuse the more they will occur.

    @66 I agree that the laws surrounding “sex offenders” need to be reigned in. In my personal opinion pissing in public or flashing people is not enough to brand a person a sex offender for life… to me it is worth about 300 hours community service and a 500$ fine. I’ve heard many instances of alcoholics who pissed in public and later found themselves in worlds of hurt not because of thier drinking but because of thier pissing.

  29. Takuan says:

    @67
    yes, Thatcher’s legacy does live on

  30. mikesum32 says:

    There are pedophiles that prefer just prepubescent children, while others prefer pubescent “children.” The latter is not technically a pedophile, but almost always labelled as such. It’s most likely illegal, the age of consent varies.

    Now some “pedophiles” are attracted to adults and “children,” while other sex crimes against young people are crimes of opportunity(e.g. she was alone) or substitution(e.g. I couldn’t find a woman my own age)

    Now-a-days the law arbitrarily dictates what is illegal. In some states it’s okay to have sex at 16, others 18.

    Don’t dare defend a registered sex offender, you’ll be labeled a pedophile.

    Will someone please think of the children!?

  31. Elorin says:

    #54 “do you guys consider the string of hot female teachers who’ve been consensually banging their underaged students in the past 10 years or so, to be pedophiles?”

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I consider someone to be a pedophile if they are over the age of puberty and act on feelings of attraction for someone under the age of puberty.

    I don’t know the ages of all of the students you are referring to, but I think my answer would be “I consider some of them to be pedophiles, but all of them to be guilty of crimes.”

  32. alphan says:

    #61

    Wht ptns r thr? Cn th cllctv hds f bng bng rdrs cm p wth n ptn tht ds nt prptlly pnsh th ffndrs fr thr mntl llnss whl prtctng th nncnt frm ptntl sslt?

    Whn th CHLDMLSTR (nt sd lttl msndrstd pdphls) r cght…

    Cll n mblnc… thn myb th plc.

  33. Takuan says:

    What options?

    Guard your children. Raise them to be so self-confident and sure of their own place and value in this world that they will tell you or tell someone at the very first signs of any potential abuse. You don’t have to rob their innocence to immunize them.

  34. alphan says:

    and with Takuans comment – it ends all of this discussion.

    It’s not about what to do with them after – it’s about preventing it in the first place.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  35. Foppie says:

    Classic Mr. Show take on the issue:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DeikFMnHwU

  36. Anonymous says:

    Here’s one of the problems I have with laws against this kind of stuff:

    First of all, at the moment, I could be arrested for having naked pictures _of myself_. It’s happened to people before in fact. That alone is utter bullshit.

    Secondly, Quite often the kids know exactly what they’re doing. I was 14 the first time I had sex. So was the girl. So what? I know a decent number of kids who started even earlier than that. I’ve been with girls that could be arrested for being with me. Bullshit. I’ll be 18 in a month, I still wouldn’t change anything I’ve done. I wasn’t harmed in any way. But, had my parents been jerks, they could have had her arrested on my behalf, without any say from me. Great legal system. The supposed victim doesn’t even have a say in the matter. And it’s been abused like that before.

    Yes, if you’re doing something with 9 and 11 year olds, something needs to be done. But personally, I think by 13, or at the very least 16, any kid knows what’s going on and should be able to consent. But these laws are supposed to protect children, and I honestly can’t figure out what child is being abused if I take a bunch of pictures of myself and hang on to them…or even plaster them all over the internet in a couple years. And yet, people get arrested for it.

    You can generally at least somewhat fix rape and abuse. You can’t fix death. So why do pedophiles seem to get worse treatment than murderers? Yes, it’s a horrible act, but the people need _help_. Exiling them from society is only going to make their problems worse.

  37. Foppie says:

    Classic Mr. Show take on the issue:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DeikFMnHwU

  38. hellhead says:

    Can you cure a pedophile like you can cure a homosexual? Can they both be rehabbed?

    I don’t care if it is an illness or a sickness or a choice. If you make the choice to do anything to my daughter you get what’s coming.

    I think that should go for anyone’s son or daughter. He should be happy he ‘just’ has to put a sign on his car. His life could be much worse, he could have been that little boy or girl.

  39. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    MBirdsong, what you’re saying is wrong.

    No one has attempted to “justify pedophilia.”

    You don’t know that Leroy Schad “raped little children.” In fact, it’s extremely unlikely that he did so. Rape generally merits a least an assault charge. In this case, the charge was four counts of taking indecent liberties with a nine-year-old girl and an eleven-year-old boy.

    If you’ve got enough energy to get angry, you’ve got enough energy to first get the facts right. I’ve got a lot of respect for people who are looking for truth and justice. I don’t have much use at all for someone who just wants an excuse to get mad and yell.

    On a previous occasion, Schad pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child, and the original charges were dismissed. That means this is a second offense, yet he still only got house arrest plus five years’ probation plus the signage. That tells me that whatever he’s doing may be objectionable, but it’s not violent. Also, the locals aren’t outraged the way they’d be if any of the kids had been physically hurt.

    (Troy, Lilorfnannie, Bonegnawer, Mintphresh, Pandaterror, DBerry, Alphan, others: please note that molestation does not automatically mean violent assault.)

    There are a lot of different kinds of sexual offenses against underage persons. There are also different kinds of offenders. In Leroy Schad’s case, I suspect that old age has a lot to do with it.

    Moving on to that sentence of yours that now reads “FCK HS CVL LBRTS”: I see. You’re just someone who happens to have been born in the United States. You have no respect for the rule of law or the principles upon which your country was founded.

    That would be consistent with your proposed course of action: “H nds t b cstrtd pblcly, Btn t plp wth bsbll bts pblcly, thn hng frm th bttm f brdg nd lft t d.”

    Christianity preaches forgiveness. Mosaic law at its strictest says an eye for an eye. Islamic law allows the death penalty for various offenses, but I don’t believe it specifies any warm-up exercises. Mormon hardliners believe that some offenses require the shedding of blood, but that just means the condemned is given the option of a firing squad, not turned into the pre-game entertainment. The Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. The court has heard this case. You haven’t. All the kids involved are alive, and I’m not seeing any indications of physical harm.

    Yet here you are, screaming for barbaric punishments followed by open murder. You want us to set aside the court’s ruling, and ignore what even the Bronze Age considered minimal standards of justice. You don’t just want Leroy Schad lynched. You want him maimed and tortured first — treated with the kind of brutality people engage in for sport, not justice. And you want someone else to do it for you.

    When I first saw this story in Boing Boing, my immediate thought was that the judge might as well have ordered the guy to wear a sign saying FAIR GAME :: NO BAG LIMIT :: COME AND GET ME. I think you had the same reaction, only you approved.

    Finally: you said that anyone who thinks other than you do is just as bad as a pedophile. If you ever again say something like that on Boing Boing, I will ban you and block your IP address.

    A general note: I strongly disapprove of advocating violence against specific individuals or identifiable classes. You never know who’s going to read what you write, and you can’t foresee what acts and consequences may follow from it. Readers are always going to misread you to some degree; but that’s all the more reason to not post clear incitements to riot, torture, and murder.

    DBerry: I’m sorry you had such awful experiences, but the guy we’re talking about is not the one who hurt your or your friend. As I said earlier, there’s more than one kind of abuse, and there’s more than one kind of abuser.

    Codesuidae, excellent point. Many abuse-related threads are driven by our guilt over not having prevented the damage, and by the urge to label abusers as the incomprehensibly alien Other because we’re so uncomfortable thinking of them as people we might know. You also get abuse survivors who are going through one of the angrier phases of learning to acknowledge and start dealing with it.

    Beyond that (and forgive me my moderator’s cynicism), there are individuals who get a charge out of getting angry and yelling at people, and other individuals who have a major investment in seeing the world as an exaggeratedly scary place that someone ought to fix.

    The people who can tell the other side of the story are normally a moderating force, but the stigma of being called a child molester is so severe that they hardly ever speak up.

    It helps that we’ve been getting the other other side: people who can discuss abuse in a rational, measured fashion. I’m especially glad to see that we’ve gotten comments from people who were abused as children, and are pointing out that (1.) they weren’t instantly transformed into basket cases for the rest of their lives; and (2.) there are other ways to hurt a child.

    I’m proud of this thread. I live in hope of many more interesting, nuanced conversations to come.

    Antinous (88), nothing quite that direct.

    Pipenta: as Takuan pointed out, they’re members of our species. I’ll add: we couldn’t judge them if they weren’t. If we ever fix these problems, it’ll be because we understand more about the people who cause them.

    By the way? I do respect their rights, and I have the credentials you request.

    Alphan (37), re-read the story. He’s 72, and the specifics suggest his acts were non-violent. The judge ordered him to placard his house and car, which warns people not to enter that area. That’s all. Referring to him as being “on the prowl” is overdramatic.

    Jamie Sue (62), I refuse to participate in a process of figuring out what to do when it starts with propositions like “no punishment is sufficient,” “the crime is horrendous and life scarring,” “these individuals cannot be rehabilitated,” and “one in four children experiences sexual abuse.” None of those propositions are true in their own right, and taken together they yield monstrous conclusions.

    And by the way: if you’re so certain about your facts on child sexual abuse, how come you know so little about other varieties, such as battering?

    The commonest form of child abuse is neglect.

    Mintphresh, this wasn’t about violent physical domination, and I doubt the children in question have had their brains rewired. In fact, if I were one of those children and I found my way to this thread — which is not difficult to imagine — I’d be seriously depressed by all the commenters saying that I was hopelessly damaged, brain rewired, scarred for life, about to go into a social tailspin, nothing to look forward to but years of anguished hard work trying to deal with the sheer angst of it all …

    Come to think of it …

    YO, KIDS! You’re young, you’re resilient, you don’t have to believe any of the stuff in this thread if it isn’t useful to you. Many people who have difficult childhoods (or difficult bits of their childhoods) go on to enjoy splendid lives as adults, and have more fun and do more cool things than any of the people who’ve oppressed them.

  40. arkizzle says:

    One of the cleverest takes on the media’s over-sensationalism of the pedophile thing is the BrassEye special “Peadogeddon

    Seriously genius.

  41. scottfree says:

    I think one problem is, a psychologist would not just be within rights, but depending on the circumstances, legally required to report a paedophile, if one came to him/her for treatment.

    As a student of psychoanalysis, Ive not found a lot of literature on the subject, probably for this very reason. I had the misfortune once of knowing someone who throuh a series of events was revealed as a paedophile, and yeah he was a bit odd, but I don’t think it was naivete that never made me suspect him. In fact, as well, he had a creepy crush on one of my adult friends, so obviously he wasn’t exclusive. [I had an American friend as well who's on the registry for having a wee in public, which is ridiculous. If you're that drunk, your choices are wee yourself, or wee behind something, which isn't much of a choice.]

    I don’t think it is wise to say every sexuality is healthy. Obviously in the English speaking world there is no legal requirement to be sane, and plenty of people have sort of innocent perversions, a sexuality that may seem odd, but doesn’t hurt anyone and even if it is against the law [as I understand oral sex is in some states], the police don’t generally pop their heads round peoples windows to see if they’re up to anything. Interestingly, in England, SM is illegal, but the courts have basically [unwittingly?] set the line that straight married couples can do it, but not gay/lesbian couples.

    Also, interestingly, for Lacan, perversion is defined by exclusivity of desire, thereby including heterosexuals in the category, although in the course of events, one rarely encounters someone wishing to be ‘cured’ of heterosexuality. That said, however, someone with perversion will rarely seek psychological help of their own volition, preferring to rationalise or do it in secret. Often the only time someone with perversion ends up in therapy is through a court order, which makes treatment very difficult. Many people have theorised the impossibility of treating perversion, on this basis. I don’t think paedophilia is necessarily perversion; to offer a differential, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility a paedophile is acting out repressed memories as part of an ongoing attempt to solve childhood complexes. But as I say, one rarely gets results when dealing with perversions, although it wouldn’t stop me from trying.

    I don’t mean to be controversial, but strictly speaking, most paedophiles are mothers. We ignore the enjoyment mothers receive from their children, even despite the not uncommon occurrence of orgasm while breastfeeding. Perhaps this is what people are thinking when they react so strongly; because paedophilia really is a horrible crime, and needs to be prevented by law, but we cannot abandon law or sense just because sex is involved. As shown by the transgender threads, for many people, when sex is the issue, common-sense goes straight out.

  42. jimh says:

    So many rational comments in this thread. I believe the signs are less effective in preventing future abuse than in inciting vigilante justice. How many flat tires or broken windshields does this guy get? How many bricks or shots fired through his living room window? How inclined do you think the local police would be to follow up on these crimes or protect him? Of course, that is all speculation. However, I wonder if he can get a comprehensive policy on the car.

    As for #66, I was recently informed that an arrest for taking a piss into the snowbank in the parking lot of a Tahoe area ski resort (something VERY common up there) will get you on The List for life!

  43. santellana says:

    won’t this pedophile ordered by the court to put a sex offender sign on his car- simply take public transportation? i dunno, maybe that town is too small for a bus.

    what i don’t like about the sign thing is that it sounds like the fox guarding the hen house. entrusting a pedophile to openly and honestly warn others of their own status as violators seems to me like trusting a government to not abuse spying on its own citizens. a crudely made wooden sign does not seem effective technology for informing others of potential danger nor for preventing potential violations. but a realistic robot ‘child’ that tends to castrate or exploded when violated in a certain way? maybe that might help.

  44. wrybread says:

    I too take what future generations will call the “Mike8787ian” view on this, with an addendum: the ability to mark people as sex offenders as part of the punishment is quite a lot of power, and we all know power gets abused.

    For example, there’s a rest stop just south of South Francisco on the 280 that is apparently a gay hookup spot. The police put up signs saying “if you’re caught having sex here you’ll be prosecuted as a sex offender”. Hmm, two adults having consensual sex are sex offenders??? Furthermore, have a look at the sex offender website recently? Some of the folks are convicted of “indecent exposure”, which could easily include pissing on a tree in public.

    I’m not saying sex offenders don’t exist, but I do think branding people as sex offenders is a gargantuan amount of power that should be closely watched and regulated.

  45. Kadie says:

    What I find interesting, as an American citizen living in Switzerland, is the law in my canton (Ticino) regarding self-defense in the case of a rape attempt. If I were to use, say, mace to attempt to defend myself, I would get a pretty large fine unless I can prove that the attacker was trying to do me harm, which, I imagine, might be a bit difficult if there were no witnesses (which I doubt there would be considering that the perpetrator would be trying to rape someone).

    So I’m not sure which is better: a way over-reactionary response to sexual offenses (real or imagined) or a way under-reactionary one.

  46. Joel Johnson says:

    I haven’t read this whole thread because I’m tired and it’s too painful, but I was raped as a child and I don’t believe in ostracizing those who commit the crime. It does not make thing any better for the victims, and sometimes makes it worse. These are the actions of those guilty they didn’t do enough in the first place.

  47. Bob says:

    Well said, Takuan.

  48. TomLamond says:

    This judge is trying to protect the public from a guy that probably shouldn’t be free to roam the streets.

  49. kray417 says:

    in response to santellana, I’ll personally attest that public transportation is not an option in Kansas.Walking or riding a bike aren’t feasable either.Without a car out here you are pretty much crippled.

  50. Anonymous says:

    What is wrong with you people? Obviously the ones who “feel bad” for the sex offender, has never been hurt themselves. From personal experience, its a horrible thing to hurt a child like that. I will never forget the man who hurt me as a 12 year old girl, he hurt me for 5 years and took so much away from me that I can never get back. Now that I am a mother of a little girl, I know what to look for and I am such a distrusting adult because of my past experiences.

    A sex offender is the scum of the earth, if you have no experience here…how dare you feel you have the right to comment!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Takuan says:

    Dear Joel:

    Sleep.

    You are right of course. No matter what our primate instincts are to hoot with the troop and rend tooth and nail any that threaten our young, it doesn’t undo anything. You are correct about the guilt too. Any parent knows the pang though the very core of the heart after jerking a child back from danger and then smacking their bottoms in angry, terrified relief, shame and guilt.

    I don’t know the cure for guilt.

  52. sherrold says:

    101 said:
    His life could be much worse; he could have been that boy or girl

    What makes you think he wasn’t? Research into both physical abuse and sexual abuse seems to show abuse seems to perpetuate itself over generations. Does that give you any more empathy for abusers?

    (FWIW: The word ephebophile seems to be both needed and missing from this conversation. A teacher sleeping with their teenaged students is wrong, regardless of gender, because of the power issues involved — but they’re unlikely to be pedophiles unless they’re sleeping with their *elementary* students.)

  53. Via says:

    @#14 (Restless)

    So many extremely thoughtful responses here.

    But you are a thoughtless asshole.

  54. Antinous says:

    When anyone says to me that people need to ‘just get over’ their childhood, I ask, “Oh, which one of your parents tried to shoot you?” Acknowledging that some trauma is just never going to completely go away is not the same thing as living with a victim mentality. You wouldn’t tell someone who lost a leg to ‘just get over it’. Why would you say it to someone who lost their childhood?

  55. Takuan says:

    as always, case by case. Perhaps sometimes good can be wrought by telling someone; “get over it”. HOW you tell them matters. WHEN might be worth thinking about. WHY? Are you trying to help them? Or you?

    Common sense, a little sensitivity, thinking before speaking. This ties back to the Calpurnia thread.

    Restless; did you have to get over anything?

  56. BadKittyM says:

    I have had personal experience with child molestation. In my case, it was a parent and my older brother. Not to go on and on in detail, but suffice to say that YES…an adult survivor of molestation does indeed have a whole barrel of issues they will either have to deal with, or be dealt with by. Only after years of therapy did I finally reach a place where suicide wasn’t a near-daily thought/desire, and I stopped blaming myself. I mean, as dear old Mum made it perfectly clear, anything bad that happened to a child, was completely the child’s fault.

    I don’t know how common this is, as I find it hard to participate in groups to find out, but for me there was never any desire for ‘revenge.’ It would not displease me if my molesters simply ceased to exist, but I have no want, need or desire to lay hands on either of them. That would change nothing, solve nothing, and I would lose respect for myself to boot. However, show me a child being abused, and the rage comes forth like water overrunning a dam. I don’t know if that is sad or not – that I can feel pure anger on the part of others, but lack it on behalf of myself. I have yet to find the answer to that particular equation. I suspect it is beyond my ken.

    As far as the man in the article, a good part of me thinks “well, he ought to be thrilled the sign doesn’t list his offenses.” Another part thinks sporting the sign is only fair if he’s a repeat offender (which it seems he is). Another part – granted, a very, very small part – thinks perhaps it is a wee bit harsh. That part is the extreme minority, and the voice tiny indeed. Wait, no – now it’s gone. Another part would like to know why this man was able to rack up another conviction…and also is aware that for the two times actually being caught, tried and convicted, there is very likely a string of others where the victim was too frightened or ashamed to say anything. They simply don’t quit, you know. Once a pedophile has crossed the line from “thinking/fantasizing about it” to actually laying hands upon, they don’t stop unless prevented by others. The human will has never been strong enough to overcome compulsion indulged, even when (IF) the person so compelled truly hates themselves for it. Once the line is crossed, there’s no stepping back.

    So…I live my life, at peace with myself finally. What was done cannot be undone, but it also need not dictate my life forever after. I spent 35 years thinking I was crazy; that there was a deep flaw within me, and that I deserved nothing better than contempt and abuse. I was wrong. I am better than they were. I am stronger. I am, simply…me. I would rather die than lay hands on a child in lust or fury, because I KNOW what it does to them. I KNOW just how much it will twist their brains and stain their souls. I have no sympathy in me for those who choose to indulge their twisted desires, and lay hands upon a child. None. Better you put a bullet through your own skull.

  57. Roach says:

    I’m also surprised at the general lack of chest-puffing in this thread. Usually I find everyone trying to one up the other in new ways to torture pedophiles, which is mostly a way of saying “I’d rather yell at someone everyone hates than try to change myself for the better.”

    Hopefully a few of you have seen Fritz Lang’s film M – that’s what I always think of when this topic comes up.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022100/

  58. Takuan says:

    I will say one thing though: If you believe that the human capacity for love, renewal, healing, growth and transcendence is indeed infinite in every individual’s potential – it is.

    I have been wounded along the way, several and many times over. So far, usually at the bottom, the light does finally break through. I am slowly coming ot he conclusion that even if I end my days in a final impaction of all the condensed misery and sorrow I have not yet been able to dispel, even if the last instant of my existence is the only moment when I leave it all behind and rise up again, that will be enough.

  59. technoprayer says:

    #1

    you hear this argument everywhere. why is it okay for people who are not in jail to want to see “sex-offenders” put in jail and raped? more importantly, why do we tolerate rape in jail at all? all it does is remind us that our justice system is hugely flawed. it was never written in someone’s sentencing that they were to be sodomized in jail. i even heard john walsh on that maury show once when he was showing footage of “stupid” criminals in the act (in this case it was a guy looking up girls’ skirts – some young some not) say that he wished the “dirtbag” was caught and put in prison where he could get a “taste of his own medicine.” i wrote maury and told him i thought that was despicable…a spokesperson for law enforcement (i know he’s not a cop, but the america’s most wanted gig puts him in close relation) should not be advocating jail rape as though it were a part of his “rehabilitation.”

    thank you and have a good day.

  60. mneme says:

    according to RAINN, 93% of juveniles who have been sexually assaulted are acquainted with their offenders and 25% of children experience sexual abuse. (remember when looking at these numbers that these crimes are notoriously under-reported and even the most culturally jaded among us are concerned about this impossibly common problem).

    two things to notice here:

    1 – we can all work more on our relationships with our kids so that their absolutely surety that we will help them can serve as some kind of foil against the likelihood that we, as grown-ups, will be the last people they think of telling

    2 – these discussions are necessarily value-laden. RESTLESS (14) resists the label of “victim” and those of us who have been victimized resist RESTLESS. but RESTLESS is only articulating (perhaps a bit abrasively) an authentic social concern about the commodification of “victim” in contemporary culture. we construct our values together and so we muddle through these words together, trying to find some as yet unexposed middle ground between protecting victims and behaving ethically toward offenders. the important things is that we keep trying.

    the last thing i would say to those comments that the widespread experience of abuse speaks to hope and resiliency – i profoundly agree. but i would ask all of us, the next time we are intimately involved with another soul (whether sexually or emotionally because these two are interchangeable and intertwined, varying from person to person) and some inexplicable reaction occurs – whether you notice it outright or you just have the nagging and lingering feeling that something about this response to your attentions is off – think again about the impact of widespread sexual abuse and sexual subjugation. even if it has never happened to you directly, it infects us all by relation.

  61. IronWolve says:

    With people put on the registry for pissing in alleys, I’m afraid to what they can get away with.
    Wonder how other civilized countries handle this issue….

  62. Village Idiot says:

    After everywhere this thread went, why doesn’t he just take the bus? had me rolling, thanks fer that…

    I bet people don’t bug him for rides very much, so at least that’s a plus; the sign gets kind of ambiguous when there’s more than one person in the car.

  63. alisong76 says:

    However, what about drawings? What if someone was found with drawings of children in compromising situations on their computer, instead of photographs? I somehow doubt people would be happy that the person is satisfying their urges without harming anyone, and let them go on their way.

    That IS illegal in Australia. Gotta look after those pretend children!

  64. trueblue2 says:

    One thing I have not seen mentioned here are things that have been shown to correlate to sex offenders reoffending. One of them is having a difficult social rehabilitation…if someone feels hated, isolated, powerless they are more like to recommit. The scarlet letter of these signs, in my opinion (as a social worker), has definite probability of contributing to that.

    I have a number of friends and acquaintances who have worked with sex offenders, and all of them feel a major reason that doing rehabilitative group work etc. is difficult is because of the wide spectrum of crimes that falls under “sex offenses” now. I am glad that people have brought up public urination; how do you work with someone who has done that (drunk or no) and someone like the man in this story? Most sex offender group homes have “tiers” based on the offense, but still, you’ve got them all under the same roof.

    Re: mental illnesses, technically there isn’t a “cure” for any mental illness. You learn how to manage it through a combination of medicine, coping strategies, and/or life and lifestyle changes. Some people are successful at managing it while others have relapses. I believe an important change needed in the U.S. system is having insurance covering more than 10 therapy sessions. The idea that someone can get everything worked out in 10 sessions is a joke. I think this has potential as a preventative tool if we were to get rid of the fake deadlines. Oh yeah, and having everyone covered by insurance. That would be great too.

  65. Enochrewt says:

    This guy should thank his lucky stars that he’s not in prison being gang raped. Grrrr.

  66. Troy says:

    This guy is lucky the kids’ father didn’t do what he should’ve done. I agree with him — the sign is a useless punishment — though a good tag for the rest of us. The proper punishment would not be considered legal today — and I don’t mean death or dismemberment.

  67. Jaycatt says:

    What if he drives another car? Why can’t they just have it permanently tattooed on his forehead? After all, it’s not like he’ll ever stop being a pedophile, right?

  68. Takuan says:

    “it’s not like he’ll ever stop being a pedophile,”

    why is there no progress here?

  69. Mike8787 says:

    I don’t understand the world’s cruel treatment of pedophiles. Of course they shouldn’t be having sex with children, but people act as if these people are malicious monsters — as if they choose to have these feelings.

    We lessen the punishment for murder when the person is found to be mentally ill, but we crucify any sex offender. But if you look at many of them, they have spent miserable lifetimes doing all they can to curb their desires, only to make one mistake and be treated like the scum of the earth. And it isn’t like these people get any better regard if they seek treatment or help without doing anything.

    Honestly, I am against all kinds of sexual offense, but I find the people who condemn and vilify pedophiles sick. They can’t help they’re feelings, and if people showed them some compassion and made it feasible for them to seek help, a lot of such abuse might disappear.

  70. Anonymous says:

    When I saw this post, and the number of comments, I admit that I was expecting a Cotton Mather style lynch mob thread. All I can say is that I am seriously impressed with the thought provoking commentary presented here. A minimum of flames and only one use of ‘Nazi.’

    Impressive… most impressive.

    ~Will

  71. Mike8787 says:

    Ugh. *their

  72. Jaycatt says:

    @5: I agree Mike, I was kind of making a point with my post. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen pedophiles scorned in forum threads. I feel sorry for them, myself. If something turns you on, it just does. With luck, they have other avenues of gratification they can fall back on.

  73. Takuan says:

    Firstly,when the victims are children, the offense is greater – if not greatest. This is meta-crime, its repercussions carry farther,wider and longer.
    It is possible even worse than murder. It kills futures and blights whole lives over generations.

    I agree it is complex and difficult. I will however continue with immediate reaction and response when encountering it.

    As to being unable to control themselves; we all control ourselves. No excuse.

    As to help, certainly. But not at the expense of children.

  74. Jardine says:

    I imagine if any of you lived near a serial rapist that was twice as strong, big and heavy as you and was on the prowl you’d want notification.

    Hell yes I would. So would the Guinness Book of World Records. A man almost 13 feet tall and weighing *mumble mumble* would be impressive if only that he’s able to walk without his spine being crushed.

  75. smallflightlessbird says:

    Life imitates Mr Show:

    Mr Show – Larry Kleist, Rapist

    “Rapist coming! …Don’t get raped.”

  76. TEKNA2007 says:

    the sign is a useless punishment

    I don’t agree really with that. It basically means that anyone who knows this isn’t going to associate with him, and in a society where no one can stand alone and we all depend on each other for life, this amounts to a major hit. Shunning and expulsion from community are major punishments.

  77. noen says:

    Having been in and around the recovery community, those who are in recovery from childhood sexual/physical abuse, the one thing no one in the community likes is the grandstanding and puffery of wannabe alpha males. Directing your rage at a pedophile in some misguided belief that you are helping is a mistake. You’re not helping, you are only serving to perpetuate the very thing you say you’re against.

    Those who have been molested or abused want the abuse to stop. They want the abusers treated or incarcerated so the abuse stops.

    Stunts like this and those who seek to punish/re-abuse offenders are not helping.

  78. Lilorfnannie says:

    Pedophiles ARE the scum of the earth. They can choose to not rape little children. THEY ARE SCUM. Tht gy ght t gt hs “bsnss” ct ff. t s wll-knwn tht pdphls dn’t gt rhblttd. They ought to just have the death sentence for these creeps. Why not! They just destroyed a child’s life, for the REST of his/her life.

  79. Restless says:

    @5: Now, now, we can’t have that. That’s the humane, non-reactionary way to look at the situation.

    What I hate is that the number of crimes listed as sex offenses is growing, and almost all of them have some perpetual, mandatory punishment like registration in a public database as a sex offender. I fully expect that in time that all people convicted, or perhaps even suspected, of crimes will be registered publicly, because surely your debt to society can never be repaid, can it?

    (To those who would say that “the victim has to live with what happened the rest of their lives,” well… wah. That’s life, deal with the hand you’re dealt rather than expecting everything in your life to go perfectly.

    My puppy had to be put down, daddy didn’t love me and they didn’t have the color Acura I wanted. I got over all of those, including instances when I was a victim of crime. Roll with it, learn from it and stop living in victim mentality.)

  80. alphan says:

    Hell yes I would. So would the Guinness Book of World Records. A man almost 13 feet tall and weighing *mumble mumble* would be impressive if only that he’s able to walk without his spine being crushed.

    #94 – Jardine

    Wth ll f th srs tlk gng n hr, ‘m srprsd y’r nt mbrrssd t hv tht s yr cntrbtn.

    Try mgnng yrslf s n f ths chldrn, nd wht thy wnt thrgh, hlplss nd pwrlss t stp wht ws hppnng t thm.

  81. Bonegnawer says:

    Personally, I see this as a fitting punishment. He had the choice not to RAPE and scar a child mentally. He did this TWICE. He had the CHOICE to try and help himself with a shrink.

    This action tags him as a predator and makes people wary of him. That prevents more children from getting hurt.

  82. Talia says:

    If this guy isn’t safe to be around, he should still be in jail. He needs to be allowed to live his life, not be harrassed constantly every day until he dies/commits suicide what have you.

    I find the juxtaposition of comments 12 and 13 fitting. Quite demonstrative.

  83. manicbassman says:

    anyone else think of The Scarlet Letter?

    or the Star of David being worn by Jews in Nazi Germany?

  84. Jaycatt says:

    Ah, #14, that’s one of the things I tend to despise too… The term “sex offender” covers quite a lot of ground these days. It can mean a 36 year old male with a 6 year old male, but it can also mean a 19 year old male with a 17 year old female.

    I think we need to come up with more terms than “sex offender”, the same way I think we need to come up with more terms than “drugs” to use in our blanket statements when we are trying to get emotions all fired up for whatever reason.

  85. pandaterror says:

    IMO this guy doesn’t deserve any sympathy. People should rather be feeling sorry for the child who’s life has been destroyed vs. the sex offender who’s paying the price for his actions.

    People have a choice. It doesn’t matter how tormented or messed up you are you can choose not to act on your compulsions.

    He said: “I know that I deserve something for that, but I don’t think I deserve what I got.” – You deserve far, far worse. There should be no leniency when it comes to child abuse.

  86. Wingo says:

    Wow, two people beat me to the Mr. Show reference already? Damn.

    Seems like life imitates Mr. Show all too often these days…

  87. hellhead says:

    #101 He could very well have been, not everyone that molests someone though grows up to be a molester.

    And no; I have no empathy or sympathy for a child molester; regardless of if they were themselves molested.

    I would say the same for rapists as well.

  88. Bonegnawer says:

    Also, in addition to what I said before, I have the feeling that he got off easy, and that this punishment was meant to try and get him because he missed out on a jail sentence.

    If there’s a problem with that logic (how people are sentenced/what role the judge has) I’m open to hearing someone else.

  89. Antinous says:

    Alphan,

    1) Jardine is a regular, valued contributor.

    2) Step away from the bold tag.

  90. mellowknees says:

    I agree with Bonegnawer – *being* a pedophile is one thing…choosing to molest a child is another. I don’t care what turns a person on, but if it involves non-consensual abuse of another human being it is wrong.

  91. NonChairperson says:

    Well said, Mike8787. Punishment and persecution of pedophiles and ephebophiles is much closer to this country’s paranoid reaction to the perceived threat of homosexuals than it is to any legitimate judicial policy we might have concocted to deal with the real problems of child exploitation. One of the problems is that we use terms like pedophile to describe too broad a spectrum of people, from those who are naturally sexually oriented towards minors (not a crime) to those rape and abduct to gain sadistic pleasure (criminal). Our policies reflect a fear that the people in the first category are morally weak and liable to do all sorts of terrible things, which is just what was said about homosexuals in the 50s.

  92. Antinous says:

    Stunts like this and those who seek to punish/re-abuse offenders are not helping.< ?i>

    I agree with Noen. It’s all about punishment and revenge and has nothing to do with solving the problem.

    Pedophiles are vilified largely to divert attention from the fact that almost all sexual abuse of children takes place at the hands of their parents or other close relatives. Somebody who looks at child porn online will go to prison and spend the rest of their life on The List, but the system routinely hands bruised and battered children right back to their abusers.

  93. geo the moose says:

    post #5
    “As to being unable to control themselves; we all control ourselves. No excuse.”

    Right. Thats why we have murder/theft/rape and all these wonderful things- we are all controlling ourselves.

    Why is it that sex offenders must register? Because sex titillates us and our puritanical society. I think we can safely assume that murder is a ‘worse’ crime than rape, yet killers of people (and OMG CHILDREN even) dont have to register…

  94. Antinous says:

    I’m getting tired of the comment system deleting half my comments. Let’s try this again.

    This is entirely about revenge and not at all about solving the issue. The anti-pedophile hysteria is an attempt to divert attention from the fact that almost all sexual abuse of children takes place at the hands of their parents or other close relatives. Someone who views child porn online gets a prison sentence and a lifetime on The List. Bruised and battered children are routinely returned to their abusers by the government agencies charged with their protection.

  95. Takuan says:

    Milady, I beg to differ if I might make so bold. I did indeed mean to introduce the idea of another species. Rather then seeing pure psychopaths as damaged or incomplete Homo sapiens sapiens, I suggest they are something completely apart. Do you think it possibly profitable to explore this avenue of thought? They walk among us. Their character is set from the womb. Their acts are beyond the human pale. Are they human? The immediate connotation likely seized upon is then “less than human”. How about “other than human”?

    Are psychopaths another species?

  96. anthony says:

    Adults “taking liberties” with children are rapists who damage kids physically and emotionally for good. I worked at a school for such victims and I can tell you, once a kid is shown he or she can’t trust adults, their social skills spiral in a big way. Pedophiles earn trust, then destroy the trust-that kind of damage is extensive to young minds.
    Plus, abused kids grow up to become abusive and continue the cycle.
    However, branding a person with this kind of signage invites torment as much or more than it serves to warn others. It’s no solution.

  97. scottfree says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRRw1ERj2Gc

    Its possible health considerations made a jail sentence untenable, and the judges decision was certainly a trendy one.

  98. Jaycatt says:

    Another point I’ve had on this issue that I have always wondered about the validity of: Okay, so we have pedophiles looking at sexual pictures of children (like the chief spokesman for the University of Miami football team, Rick Korch). This is wrong because children were used in actual sexual situations to produce the photos, and by creating them it perpetuates more photos to be created.

    However, what about drawings? What if someone was found with drawings of children in compromising situations on their computer, instead of photographs? I somehow doubt people would be happy that the person is satisfying their urges without harming anyone, and let them go on their way.

  99. Man On Pink Corner says:

    Agreed with #16: either this guy is dangerous, or he isn’t. If he’s dangerous, lock him up. If he’s not, leave him alone.

    It really is that simple, folks. This Scarlet Letter shit accomplishes absolutely nothing.

  100. c says:

    I am the mother of a little girl who was molested by her stepfather. He destroyed so much, and though this has all been so long ago, the repercussions are felt in a number of ways. Her childhood, our relationship – sexual abuse is far more than a single act about sexual satisfaction and a twisted mind.

    Nonetheless, I can see no benefit to this action. Are we intending to create monsters by forcing alienation? You might argue he is one already – but he is not yet (to our knowledge) son of sam. He fucked up, he destroyed lives, and he is known by all in his small community. But the act reeks of anger, not of justice.

    Sexual abuse is also much more than the act of a single twisted individual with insufficient boundaries and self control. Like wife abuse, it in some ways reflects our culture. Child abuse (emotional, physical, and sexual) was never condoned so much as it was ignored. Now our anger represents anger at something we helped to create.

    If you do not understand what I wrote, I suggest a little reading is in order. It is always so much easier to point at one, than an entire culture, and simpler to call for monstrous punishments than to increase our awareness. after all, it has not been so long since this topic was forbidden.

  101. Pipenta says:

    Assuming that this behavior comes from some kind of defective internal wiring, I imagine there are different reasons for it and different types of offenders.

    I think there is this foggy idea about sexual desire that allows, perhaps, a little too much misguided empathy.

    Some people just really like hurting other people. I’m not jumping up on any macho position here. I feel the same way about people who hit children, starve children, mentally and emotionally abuse children. I have the same gut reaction to people who intentionally harm other adults. Rapist and batterer are all much of a muchness. It is not about sexual urges, it is about violating and degrading and harming another person. Some people just really like to do that, and it isn’t necessarily a sexual rush. There are monsters out there who did other people’s pain.

    I guess it is a matter of who you empathize with most. One reads the article and thinks, wow, how much would that suck to have those signs on my house and car.

    And plenty of people don’t really think about what it would be like to be that little boy or little girl. It’s really uncomfortable to imagine their pain, their terror. And the emotional trauma will persist for life.

    That is something folks who have not gone through being a victim cannot imagine. How long after you have dealt with what happened, your body does not forget your fear. There is long-term health deterioration from a constant release of stress chemistry that, in someone who was never traumatized, is only in the body in emergency situations. And with a stress disorder, insurance is even more difficult to obtain than it is for the rest of us.

    Then there is the constant low-level fear, the feeling you are never safe anywhere. If you were abused at home, the feeling that no place is home.

    You don’t usually find much outpouring of concern about abusers’ rights from the victims. But no one likes to talk to the victims much, because they are not easy to be around. They hemorrhage pain.

    But all the grandstanding about stringing these guys up by their necks, does little good. Ask a rape crisis advocate about punishments and you’ll learn they don’t support extreme ones. Because convictions are more difficult to get when the punishments are extreme.

    While I understand the urge to want these monsters executed, if I had a magic wand I’d cure the faulty circuits of all of them, make it so no one would ever have, say, a cluster B personality disorder ever again. If my magic wand would not do that, I’d wish them away to another place, an identical earth, all of them. But I wouldn’t really care where they went. Because I’d just want them GONE.

    I’d really like society at large to take this more seriously. I’d like to see the kind of research money dumped into this that we put into cancer and heart disease. Cure it, get rid of it, whatever.

    But I don’t think you can get up on your high horse about offing these brutes or respecting their rights or any of it, unless you have been on the receiving end of their attentions.

    Because they look like people, but they’re NOT. They’re monsters who feed off of people.

  102. NonChairperson says:

    Also, sexual interaction with minors is not as bad as murder. Although there are many cases where it is very harmful, especially in societies where sexuality is invested with so much fear and guilt, there are also instances where the child would not consider it to be something that ruined his or her life or contributed to long lasting emotional distress. This probably includes the bulk of consensual activities between adults and teenagers.

  103. spiralbrain says:

    For these people there is no choice, which really brings up the question of whether they can be rehabilitated. I think the rationality of doing something that they know is wrong is thrown out the window, which makes for a sad situation for them when you think about it.

  104. Antinous says:

    Are psychopaths another species?

    Is it genetic? Do psychopaths spawn little psychopaths even if they don’t raise them? You know the rules.

  105. Xodarap says:

    There are so many responses I want to make, but I’ll have to stick to the technical and recent, for my own sanity.

    PSYCHOPATHS are not the people to whom you are referring. Wrong word, wrong people. You’re thinking of sociopaths. In fact, “psychopath” is not in usage in mental health anymore (you know, like “retard” and “idiot” once were?).

    Second, whether or not they are human is a ridiculous question. Genetically, they most certainly are. Philosophically, they most certainly are. A sociopath is quite simply someone with (a) antisocial personality disorder, and (b) who lacks empathy regarding the effects of his/her actions on others. While second order intentionality may be one of the points of pride of the human race over non-humans, that does not make it essential (by definition). We also pride ourselves on intelligence and opposable thumbs, but I don’t hear many arguing as to whether or not unintelligent or THUMBLESS people are still “humans.” That would be, well, retarded…

  106. Apashiol says:

    I know personally of a guy who, along with two others, beat a bloke who had been convicted of offences against a child so badly he was left with brain damage. The thing is, this same guy would leer at young teenage schoolgirls and make comments like ‘Old enough to bleed, old enough indeed’. His mates would encourage this with their laughter. Some arguments are made that paedophilia is one outcome of societies that eroticise sexual domination and submission.I suspect those who have violent knee-jerk reactions to this subject of deflecting from what might well be issues of their own. There is a whole spectrum of behaviour among humans from violent rape and sexual assault to coercion and emotional blackmail. What to speak of the pathological causes. The ‘string ‘em up’ and scapegoating attitude doesn’t help at all. Is the violent rape of an adult less serious than the inappropriate touching of a child?
    I found the violence against this offender and the subsequent approval of others as disturbing and reprehensible as his original offence.
    Until we can approach the subject in a more sober and nuanced way we’ll never get closer to finding real solutions.

  107. mikesum32 says:

    God forbid we treat criminals like human beings. Maybe we should actually try to help them control their urges instead of shunning them or singling them out.

    When we, as a matter of punishment, treat 18 year olds who have sex with their 16 year old girlfriends the same as a guy who rapes a 5 year old, we’re in trouble as a society.

    *sarcasm*
    Oh never mind, let’s tattoo them with unique numbers and gather them up in one place ! Then we can kill them all at once or even pit them against each other. Because no punishment is too harsh for those types !
    *sarcasm*

    TinaTwice I knew this story seemed familiar. :-D

  108. Xopher says:

    They are not another species.

    Depravity is something human, whether it’s genetic or socially created. Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney: all humans, one with us, our brothers in the species.

    Uncomfortable thought, isn’t it? That’s why people want to call such people “monsters,” or “another species,” or “not people.”

    Well, they’re OURS, folks. Maybe instead of pretending they’re some kind of alien invader species, we should concentrate on figuring out what makes people become like that, and how to prevent it.

    Punishing them, however severely, is locking the barn door after the horse has escaped. If you really want to PROTECT children, you have to keep the “monsters” from forming in the first place.

    And in order to do that, you have to look at THEIR humanity and at THEIR suffering. However unsympathetic you may find them, if your priority is really protecting children, you need to focus on prevention, not on punishment.

  109. anthony says:

    #14
    (To those who would say that “the victim has to live with what happened the rest of their lives,” well… wah. That’s life, deal with the hand you’re dealt rather than expecting everything in your life to go perfectly.

    “Wah”? Are you suggesting rape victims are whiners?
    Traumatic experiences are not shrugged off easily. Look up post traumatic stress disorder in vets or children for starters.
    One can “deal” with having one’s car stereo stolen much better than being raped, repeatedly beaten, tortured.

  110. Anonymous says:

    And when he is finally killed by the vigilantes, I’m sure the Judge will not be blamed, but thanked.

  111. Christovir says:

    Though I’m certainly not an expert, I do have some experience with targets of childhood sexual abuse. I volunteered with abused kids for about a year, and my ex-partner of 4 years was abused herself. These people were all resilient beyond what we would expect. Though the act of abuse is terrible, I think we actually do a disservice to the targets of abuse by exaggerating it’s effects. I think this can create a self-fulfilling prophecy: repeatedly telling people they were the victims of the worst possible act in the world does not help them. Acknowledging the act happened, providing support when it is needed, and showing respect and kindness all help a great deal. Most people who have been sexually abused go on to live normal, happy lives. Abuse is horrible, most certainly, but not life destroying.

    About pedophilia itself, it seems almost impossible to have a calm discussion about what causes it and how it might be treated. Lots of heat, very little light. This is maddening to people who actually want to improve the situation. A few facts any discussion of childhood abuse should include:

    1) People generally have little to no control over what they find sexually attractive. Lesioning particular parts of the brain can in fact cause pedophilia in otherwise normal people.

    2) People do of course have control over their actions, but many abusers have mental impairments that may prevent them from having a “normal” moral compass. Most abusers have serious mental disorders.

    3) There are virtually no treatment options available to non-abusing pedophiles who wish to change.

    Overly cruel punishments and revenge just drive abuse underground and make it harder to identify and treat. Until we acknowledge the true nature of pedophilia, we are encouraging abuse rather than preventing it.

  112. alphan says:

    First of all – let’s not use their PC word of pedophile = child lover.

    It’s not about loving the children – it’s about getting off their own freakish desires.

    The rest of us have to resist impulses so that people do not get robbed, raped, killed houses burned down etc. Why should we let them off the hook for their crimes.

    I imagine if any of you lived near a serial rapist that was twice as strong, big and heavy as you and was on the prowl you’d want notification.

  113. Takuan says:

    be objective. I said “other than human”, not “Less than human”. What is human? A human requires a conscience. Psychopaths do not have conscience. Are they “human”? It is useful to look at this since if they indeed are not “repairable humans” or at least “diagnosable humans”, then they are something else.

    We may choose to honour our own humanness by extending humane treatment to psychopaths – for our own benefit (or ego?), but if they are indeed another species they should be recognized as such.

    Are they another evolutionary branch? We catch the stupid psychopaths. The above average intelligence psychopaths become judges, generals, business tycoons, politicians, priests.

    How can we protect ourselves without clear eyes?

  114. scottfree says:

    o I cant resist:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7jVnrfoZD8&feature=related

    Paedogeddon! [Not entirely SFW]

  115. Anonymous says:

    In New Zealand, unless there is a clear and present danger to the community, it is illegal to reveal that someone has been convicted of a sex offense; it is considered invasion of privacy.

    I’m quite pleased with that law.

  116. MBirdsong says:

    cnnt blv tht ny f y cn jstfy pdphl. hh sgn mght nfrng n hs cvl lbrs. FCK HS CVL LBRTS. H rpd lttl chldrn. H nds t b cstrtd pblcly, Btn t plp wth bsbll bts pblcly, thn hng frm th bttm f brdg nd lft t d!

    nyn wh wh thnks thrws s jst s bd s pdphl.

  117. Village Idiot says:

    You know, the practice of lumping more ‘offenses’ into the sex offender category is diminishing the powerful reactionary response to someone being labeled a ‘sex offender.’

    No one pissing off their own porch is a SEX offender (like the unfortunate guy in my town who was in the paper awhile back for doing that very thing; now he’s “registered”), but urine comes from the mysterious and scary place between our legs so therefore pissing must be associated with everything else mysterious and scary that’s going on between our legs (but I’m not sure because it’s so irrational; I’m speculating).

    Now when I hear about someone being a sex offender, I think they probably got busted pissing in an alley or something.

    On the other hand, if someone was trying to have sex with a young child (any child, whether mine or someone else’s) then I’m really sorry about their past issues, sorry about whatever abuse they might have endured, sorry that The System failed them, sorry about the tortured and painful daily existence of trying to suppress their urges, sorry sorry sorry about everything, but if I walk in a room and someone’s buggering a little kid, I would not hesitate to make sure they were incapable of doing so ever again. This is different from tracking them down after the fact, btw, which is problematic on several levels.

    And this is not “chest-beating,” this is just an urge I have that is hard to control; when I see someone (men, women, children) being abused in some form (sexually, being beaten, that kind of thing) I just can’t help but pick up a heavy blunt object and start swinging (which might be due to the fact that I’ve had friends who’ve been raped, and others who were murdered). Civilization is just an arbitrary and malleable set of agreed-upon delusions (look into sex with children in ancient Rome to see a different take on the subject), but at a deeper level we’re still motivated by our essentially animal nature and our biochemistry. Sometimes our urges collide.

    Moms and dads just can’t help it (unless they’re the molesters); they’ll attack and kill a perceived threat to their children if they can; it’s hard-wired into human DNA. Pedophiles who act on the urge apparently can’t help it either. I guess it’s just an insoluble conflict that’s part of the friction of living on a crowded planet controlled by naked, horny and aggressive apes.

    On a side note, I’ve always wondered if the psychological damage caused by, say, an older woman having sex with a 14-15 year old boy (or older man with teenage girl) is more from societal expectations than the reality of some kind of quantifiable, measurable “damage.”.

    If you are told that “If A happens to you, then you are a Victim” then you will feel like a victim if A happens. If instead you are told that “It’s time for you to be a man (or woman) now, and so a trusted and experienced adult of the tribe/clan/whatever will now teach you about sex properly according to our custom” then you’ll probably feel like a man (or woman) instead of a victim. The adult in that scenario would have a similar level of authority as a teacher does in our culture, so maybe that’s what such authority is for, since math and reading aren’t the only skills we need to learn. This is how it used to be done in many places historically, so what’s going on here? Customs and taboos seem to switch places periodically, but for a tolerable life it’s best to be in synch with your culture no matter your urges.

  118. anthony says:

    for the recored, #35, in the 2.5 years I taught abuse cases, it was never encouraged or allowed to refer to anyone as a victim, though that was difficult at times looking into scarred faces, cigarette burned arms, or dealing with emotional outbursts.
    I hope you are right about most abuse victims, but I know many of the ones I saw ended up in group homes or jail.

  119. Xopher says:

    They are not other, less, or more than human. They are human. Period. I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, but you’re just gonna have to suck it up.

    Denying our own capacity for monstrous behavior is not a way to prevent it, in fact, because such behavior grows best in the dark, it’s a way to facilitate it.

  120. minTphresh says:

    what most of you are failing to address is that rape is not a crime about sex, rape is a crime about POWER. it uses sex to dominate another human being. doing that to a child is, to me, the most heinous act one person can perpetuate upon another. i’ve seen first hand the effects that this has on the long and the short term, and it ain’t a matter of “shake it off there junior and quit yer whinin!” it completely rewires a young person’s brain! while i agree that most pedophiles are continuing the family tradition, so to speak, and are mentally ill from abuse they suffered as kids, there is treatment available, and there are alternatives to acting out of the abuser. be it chemical castration or execution, this crime, and all like it, needs be addressed.

  121. Antinous says:

    “I imagine if any of you lived near a serial rapist that was twice as strong, big and heavy as you and was on the prowl you’d want notification.”

    Thus, the idea of keeping dangerous people in prison and letting non-dangerous people out. “Hullo! Just waned to let you know that your neighbor buggers babies. Have a nice day!”

  122. Xopher says:

    Takuan, I tell the difference between myself and a sociopath or violent criminal by my behavior. My actions show who I am.

    But “human” is WHAT I am, not WHO I am. The worst serial killer in the world is the same WHAT, at that scale, as me. But he’s* a radically different WHO, thank gods. He’s just as human as I am. It’s hubristic to think otherwise, in my opinion, and a bad habit to get into: what do we say when we meet real intelligent nonhumans, especially if they’re not at all INhuman?

    *Serial killers are usually male and almost always white (in fact I know of only one non-white serial killer**).

    **Or two, depending on how you count. I count one.

  123. agoodsandwich says:

    Sex offender laws like this frustrate me to no end. If this man is safe enough to be released into the wild, why is he still being punished? If he is too great a risk to be allowed out without this kind of humiliating “punishment,” then why OH WHY is he not incarcerated?

    If his crimes happened in 2005, it seems perfectly reasonable that he should still be in prison, if guilty. But this seems a wishy-washy kind of punishment.

  124. Xopher says:

    Rats, I meant to say “thanks” to Xodarap for pointing that out in 137. My favorite simple reminder to use words carefully is “Most people have more legs than the average person.”

  125. Mike8787 says:

    To all those holier-than-thou in this topic: think about if it was as taboo to prefer your gender of choice as it was to be a pedophile. Would you find it easy to “control your urges”? Would you think it fair that you couldn’t seek help – having not even come close to abusing anyone in any way, that is – because just have thoughts like you do is enough for people to condemn and ridicule you?

    While sexual abuse of any kind is not right, treating pedophiles like they would choose to be an abuser is ignorant and just plain wrong. As I said before, these people often live miserable lives fighting their urges.

    I just can’t understand a system that has no understanding for abusers. They’re not monsters, and without a doubt most if not all of them would change their desires if they could.

  126. Antinous says:

    You’re arguing for dualism, ne? Can anything not have a conscience? In dualism, they’re damned souls inevitably destined for hell. In non-dualism, they’re part of the all and just at a nasty part of the journey.

  127. Village Idiot says:

    Quote#101 “Can you cure a pedophile like you can cure a homosexual? Can they both be rehabbed?

    You’re kidding, right? “Rehab” a homosexual? Into what? Someone just like you I suppose?

    What needs curing these days is ignorance.

  128. Takuan says:

    no heaven,no hell,just us. And maybe them.

    Xopher, how do you tell the difference between yourself and a psychopath?

  129. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone ever read the Bible? Would these relationships be considered sex offenses? If peeing on a tree or consentual sex between teens can get you labeled the same as someone forcing themselves on a child or anyone for that matter, something is wrong with society. Should we not make the drunk driver or the burglar or the murderer or the drug dealer wear signs regarding their crimes. I guess the judge does not care if we know of these crimes. That judge is wrong to label one person who appears before his bench, maybe he needs a sign that says I am biased in my decision making. Would you get in a car with someone or drive differently if you saw a car with drunk driver on the side of it. Would you rent or buy a house if the neighbor had a sign that said drug dealer, murder, or burglar in the front yard? We need to instill value in our children so they grow up feeling valuable and we also need to talk to our children about all of these things instead of wearing blinders and thinking it could not happen to my child. We are all survivors of some tragedy in our lives, there is no perfect life, I only hope we become more civilized and not less.

  130. Anonymous says:

    Piping in. Me and my sister got, well, fiddled with by a neighbour as children. It led to some awkward and strained conversations, and some “icky” and uncomfortable times as we grew older, but as I learned from friends and partners who had similar experiences, nothing terribly out of the ordinary. To be honest, it really didn’t have any long lasting negative effects at all. On the other hand, I was mugged and assaulted as a young teenager by a large group of similar aged teens. This event DID have a pretty serious detrimental effect on me psychologically, yet because what was stolen was of little value, and the physical wounds superficial, it wasn’t even regarded as worthy of officially reporting by the police. People really need to step back and rationally look at the issue of crime in their socities. When someone is more concerned with a dirty old man than they are with murderers or thieves (from corporate fraud all the way down to shoplifters) who cripple communities, than they need to get their perspectives checked.

  131. Neon Tooth says:

    “Sex Offender In This Church”

  132. Dberry says:

    ALPHAN you have merit in my book, what Jardine has failed to see is that to a child, for example my own situation, I was 3 1/2 under 30 pounds and slightly tall for my age, my molester was over 3 times my weight, and WELL over double or more my height.. An offender doesn’t have to be 13 feet tall, to a child, we all are..

  133. Restless says:

    @34:

    No, I’m not implying that rape victims are whiners, but using it to demonize someone for the rest of their born days (as well as anyone else they may live with/be around/associate with, due to narrow-minded guilt by association) or as a crutch to explain all of a victim’s failings in life decades after the fact is a little off the deep end for me.

  134. arkizzle says:

    #35
    God damn, that’s the sanest comment on this topic I’ve seen in a long time.

    My dad’s partner is a clinical psychologist for the nhs and similar ideas come up in conversations we’ve had on this topic.

    I hope nobody feels the need to flame this, it’s just refreshing to see the clinical side represented, as we so often only hear about the sensational stuff (like above).

    Of course I’m not making light of the issue, don’t go there.

  135. Kyle Armbruster says:

    Wow! Stunning! Sanity! Wow! Wow!

    Just… Wow!

    I wish I had more to say, but every sane thing has already been said by multiple people!

  136. fyodordos says:

    #14 (Restless)……..y r bffn.

    You think that the children that were molested should “deal with the hand they are dealt” and should “roll with it”, while whining about the punishment society is giving the molester?

    I was wrong, y r mch wrs thn bffn!

  137. Antinous says:

    Some other points.

    He’s accused of molesting both boys and girls. He admits to one and not the other. As they say in law enforcement, there’s something hinky going on here. Most people, even pedophiles, stick to one gender.

    Also, he’s 72. Is he physically capable of pressing himself on a nine year old? Maybe. Maybe not.

    What the hell are ‘indecent liberties’? Did he squeeze the kid’s butt or did he tie him up and sodomize him? There’s a world of difference between creepy old man and child rapist.

    When I was eightish, some old guy stuck his tongue in my mouth. I just shoved him aside, went on my way and forgot about it ten minutes later. That didn’t scar me for life. When I was ten, I had to resuscitate my father from a drug overdose. That did scar me for life. A little perspective goes a long way.

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