originally posted 9/26/2010
Interviews with four convicted sexual predators
The rape of the innocents — child sex abuse
For 30 years I worked in child protection. It became a driving force of my life. Today I share a small part of this experience.
In all my years in child protection work, I never once had the opportunity to question or even speak to a perpetrator. My job was to connect with the victim, to gain trust, to listen, to report, to protect, and by the time I’d succeeded at that, my feelings for the offender were such … well, let’s just say I wouldn’t have been pleasant.
Some years have passed since that chapter of my life, and I decided the time had come to look at the problem from the other side, from the offender’s side. I had a long list of questions overdue for answers.
To do that, I had to meet some and that is what led me to contact the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office to request their assistance. (I certainly wasn’t about to go out by myself and knock on the door of any one of these all too easy to find individuals.)
I had some explicit criteria:
I wanted to speak with someone whose crime involved a child — three categories in Florida: A) over the age of 12 and younger than 16, or B) under the age of 12; and C) 16 or 17 if the other party is more than four years older.
I explained my purpose, and was transferred to a Community Relations officer — who did his best to dissuade me, but eventually arranged a contact with the Florida Department of Corrections.
A week later, I was to meet with a probation officer at the Sheriff’s office, and he would arrange for me to interview his hand-picked candidates.
In the meantime, I did some research so I’d be as informed as possible and prepared.
As the days went by, my sleep grew increasingly interrupted as long stifled memories haunted me. Once again my nights were populated with a parade of child victims from the past. I heard their whispered confidences, dried their tears and taught them how to speak of the unspeakable.
I wondered if I would be able to do this.
A link to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and their brand-new website.
Please keep in mind
Some of my readers may remember an article called: “How I became a sex offender” by the anonymous Mr. Bebop and edited by me; later unpublished at Mr. Bebop’s request. Here we explored what appeared to be an abuse by law enforcement, and an unfair branding of an individual as a sex offender.
In another of my articles – Incarceration, castration or execution — attempts to control the dangerous, violent sex offender we learned law enforcement complains the sex offender registry is so cluttered by non-dangerous, non-offenders (those guilty of public exposure, for example or those entrapped in sting operations, or young men involved with a woman just under the age of consent) that it actually impedes efforts to supervise and control true dangerous offenders. Please keep these facts in mind while reading the background information.
Nationally, there are 716,750 registered sex offenders in the United States (including protectorates) or, 232 sex offenders per 100,000 people.
I live in Florida, as do 54,166 registered sex offenders or 295 per 100,000 people – not the highest ratio in the country. That dubious honor goes to Delaware at 477/100,000 followed closely by Michigan at 460/100,000. Oregon is the third runner-up at 443/100,000.