Sunday, February 14, 2010

More discussion on dealing with child molesters

This is a subject that I think requires a great deal of thought, and that is why I am discussing it further today. I think the public tends to ignore the subject rather than giving it the attention that it deserves because of the frequency of such crimes. I wanted to say that after I got acquainted with the man who had molested his daughter, he got very drunk and in a matter of seconds molested my daughter one day after we had been friends for quite a few years while he was leaving my apartment. He saw her in the bedroom jumping on the bed with her cousin. He veered in there and grabbed her, but fortunately my sister, the mother of the other little girl, saw him turn and went back and ordered him out. My daughter was only five, and she was certainly very frightened.
I was so furious with him that I called the Country Sheriff and had him arrested. This was the first time he had been charged for inappropriate behavior with a child. My daughter had to go to court and testify. He did not lose his job but was put on probation. I talked to him later before we went to court and he said he had no memory of the incident. He had been so drunk that I did not doubt but what he couldn't remember it, but I said, "I have to hold you responsible for what you did in that condition." I knew he had to have had those thoughts while sober to go into action when drunk. But alcohol releases inhibitions so drinking should be taboo to someone who does not want to commit such a crime.
We did not have anything to do with one another for five years and then since we had mutual friends and kept running into one another I decided to resume talking to him, in other words gave him another chance to be friends. I still thought he had had a ghastly childhood and that some of his adult behavior stemmed from that. I also have to say that I found him to be a brilliant man, very amusing, witty, charming. At parties he had made me laugh until the tears came to my eyes. I certainly did not expect to find him as smart as he was when I first tried to get acquainted with him. I was surprised, and I will never forget some of his extraordinary qualities.
But sadly, he came to see me one time while I was living in Phoenix, very drunk. He said he was afraid of being picked up and could he not sleep off some of the alcohol on my couch. My daughter now 15 was sleeping on a bed in the front room. I tried to get her up to move her, and could not, so I got in bed beside her to protect her, just in case he did anything crazy. I finally dropped off to sleep and woke to see him just laying his hand on her breast! He had crawled across the floor several hours later. I hissed, "What are you doing?" He stopped, and I told him to leave my house. My daughter did not even wake up. Oh, how I hated to tell her later what he had done. She was furious and blamed me for being friendly to him again.
I had to go to his house and tell him never to come to my house again. Our friendship was over. There was just no way I could continue after that.
It has been many years since that happened. I don't know what has happened to him since, but I would hope that he quit drinking which I thought would be the first step he should make if he really wanted to control his behavior.
Do I regret trying to get better acquainted with him even after I knew he had been accused of molesting? No, because I took the first steps to finding out what he was all about. Nor do I regret talking to the pedofile who had molested my son. I suspected him even as we talked, but I felt it was imperative to get better acquainted with him. If he continued to have reason to be against society he could only become more dangerous. How can we possibly expect child molesters to change if we shun them completely. That way, only people who don't know what they are capable of will be talking to them and will surely not be dealing with their dysfunction. How can we ever hope to motivate them to try to change something that might be so deep seated it is going to be impossible to do unless people are willing to get more involved someway. I thought my sisters and I might be able to help this dangerous man. All of us talked to him. He came to know us all quite well. We told him quite freely what we thought of behavior he openly confessed to us. I remember he said, "I am what they call a chicken hawk. I prefer boys no older than 15." I said, "And you will burn in hell. They are underage." He accepted my remark and I even think he agreed that he was going to burn in hell. All the time we were talking to him, we were asking each other what might reach him and motivate him to make steps toward change.
He ended up drinking himself to death in his 30's. He had very high blood pressure, would not take the medication and eventually died of a heart attack.
His story was a tragic one because of all the young boys he influenced and hurt with molestation. He started out being molested and he turned predator as happens so often. What if he had been able to tell that he was being molested when he was five? Wouldn't that have changed the course of his history? I think it would have done. He probably did not tell for the same reasons I didn't. He feared the reactions. He probably even felt protective toward his molester and did not want to see him punished too severely. He knew that people generally get violent when they do have to deal with molestation. In fact my sister tried to talk to one of the parents of a boy he had involved who was underage. That parent's response was to take a shot at him. The molester was furious at my sister. He had confided his crimes to her and had almost gotten killed as a result. But had I been able to charge him with molesting my son I would not have hesitated. His molesting had reached the point that he needed that step to be taken in my opinion, but the problem was in finding boys who would be willing to provide the testimony that would allow law enforcement to charge him. My daughter was not alone in her testimony as my sister had also witnessed her molester's aberrant actions.
But taking the law into his own hands and trying to kill the offender was not the way for a parent to handle the problem in my opinion. His murder would greatly have traumatized his son, just as it would have done me had I told my father about being molested and he shot my offender. He probably would not have missed.
There have to be better ways.

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