Secret shame: Keeping watch — Sex offenders face lots of supervision


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  • ex offender
    Jan. 23, 2009 9:20 p.m.


  • Anne
    March 26, 2008 4:24 p.m.

    I worry MUCH more about my alcoholic drunk driving neighbor mowing me or my 9 year old down on the way home from the bar then I would ever worry about a child molestor. It all goes back to keeping watch over your kids. Quit working for your fancy cars, nail appointments, big houses,etc... and spend the time with your child so that no one else is!!!!!!

  • David
    March 26, 2008 1:22 p.m.

    It is really great to see a population of mostly Mormons so filled with hate and unforgiving hearts. You totally miss the point of Jesus' teachings about forgiveness, loving thy enemy, let him who is with out sin cast the first stone, etc. Love works exponentially better then hate and persecution in rehabilitating sinners. This concept also applies to sex offenders. 95 percent of sex offences are committed by people who are not already on the registry. Shaming and alienating those on the list will have little impact in preventing new offenses and it only make those who are on the list more resentful and consequently more dangerous. Denying people employment and housing, shaming them and assuming that they can never change is a good way to ensure that they never do change and is also a good way to encourage violent reactions from them. Why can't people understand this?

  • Ex Female Offender
    March 26, 2008 1:09 p.m.

    I am an ex offender. I have been in intensive treatment for two years. I truly beleive that perpetrators deserve to go to prison for what they do. But on the flip side, once an offender has completed his or her treatment they deserve a second chance. I have been criticized and looked down upon since I have been convicted. And I deserve that. But I want everyone to know that after all the therapy I have had, I am a better person. We all struggle everyday with things and issues. I have learned many interventions that help me to control the way I feel, and prevent negative actions.
    The people who I have met through treatment. Other offenders just like me, are the neetest people. They work very hard to become a member of society like everyone else. I beleive in keeping the children safe and making people pay for their crimes. But if they have paid for their crimes, then support them in their recovery so that they do not re-offend.

  • yo yo
    March 20, 2008 5:11 p.m.

    I thinks its a true screw up if the gov has to monitor people when out of jail so closely, then why are they out? Re hab does work for people, and I have looked at the registry and a majority of the people on there have not did anything close to rape or child molestation. Its an injustice and unfortunately there are people out there having to live like hermits for other peoples mistakes. I think its sad. If there rapists are set free and they do something else, blame ur government. they let them out. Leave the rapists in there and rehabilitate them, damn it. Its simple. Re hab! or leave them in. Then there will be no monitoring problems.

  • freak-out
    March 20, 2008 3:40 p.m.

    I can't believe how emotional people here are getting. I'm going to say something that you may not want to hear - society has conditioned men to want women who look younger, and younger. Models and actresses dress in 'school girl', and 'cheerleader' outfits and the leading actresses get younger and younger and are more and more scantily clad. While sexual attraction towards children shouldn't be normal it is becoming more so. With that being said I am disgusted with some of the offenders here. You did something wrong. Be responsible for your actions and become a better person for it.

  • Get Real
    March 20, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    I have seen a lot of different points of view and one thing shines through every comment. There is no right way to deal with sex offenders and their victims. I am a sex offender, I made a very wrong, very horrific choice and I have to pay for it the rest of my life. I agree with that. I am not trying to take away from anyone's viewpoint. Everyone has an opinion and is entitled to it. I do not agree with some of the things I have read here today but I will say this. If you are a sex offender and you have been through treatment and are still rationalizing and justifying how to come to terms with what you CHOSE to do, then STOP and go back to therapy because you have missed the point. Therapy teaches us the skills we need in order not to reoffend and enables us to make that choice to not reoffend. Therapy does not HEAL/CURE you. Therapy does not make people like you and forgive you.

    Whatever the sex crime commited, a law was broken. ANY KIND OF SEXUAL ACT WITH A CHILD/MINOR(UNDER 18) IS FORBIDDEN. There are no exceptions.

  • my brother
    March 20, 2008 12:42 a.m.

    My brother was mentioned by name in this article as a sex offender. I know he tried hard the past few years working hard to turn his life around. I praise him more for his decisions later in life of trying hard to change his life. He made decisions in life towards children that he should not have. I hope that the people that he hurt find some way to ment themselves for themselves. He went back to prison once after being parolled and was about to go back again, both times on parole violations. He never (as far as I know) had any problems with going back to old ways. He didn't have the time with everything else he was doing. He was able to learn and get his bachelors degree and worked 3 jobs until he died one month ago today. I don't know how hard it is to be a victem or an offender, I don't want to. But I am glad to hear of people, like my brother, who want to change their lives, and hope and pray for those who were hurt by others.

  • Capital punishment wrong
    March 19, 2008 11:12 p.m.

    I find it a scary thing that some states have adopted capital punishment laws for sex offenders. Granted, it is a horrendous crime against innocent people. But what about the accused who are actually innocent, but who could end up being executed, or spending many years in prison for a crime not committed? Can't give back a life wrongly taken. Mr. Shaw has expressed his concerns about having too many restrictions on sex offenders who are on parole or probation. They are required to have a place to live and a job, but if they can't find a place to live, or find a job, then what? That's when desperate actions can sometimes take place. I don't think all sex offenders should be lumped into one general category. There are many degrees of behavior, from the 19-year-old who has sex with a 17-year-old, to the older man who rapes a small child. But current laws and the Registry make no differentiation. At least 3 new laws have been enacted, or current law modified, in the current legislation, further restricting normal daily activities of offenders. It is discouraging for those who are trying to put their lives in order.

  • Depressed? Suicidal?
    March 19, 2008 10:57 p.m.

    How many victims do you suppose committed suicide because they could no longer remain in the tunnel which has no exit? Most do not read this or choose to respond because it just flashes back what they wish they could somehow forget.
    The offender in my life got back into the Church, remarried 4 more times, offended each time, got a job teaching developmentally disabled children(where he earned high awards) and where he also sexually abused these children as well. He finally died. Good!How big is a brimstone anyway? I wish I had been able to stop him as a child.For Good.
    The crime of being a child and having your trust and future stolen from you...is a whole lot different than the crime of being an offender and having the choice to walk away. Sorry not much sympathy here. Not much hope for the offender either.
    If a person is clever enough to offend and silence a child in a home with a mother near, then they are sure enough cunning enough to fool any system.

  • Son is in Nevada
    March 19, 2008 10:17 p.m.

    My son is out of state, too, in Nevada, so we haven't seen him in over 3 years, since we moved back to Utah. Phone calls are expensive, but vital.

    To DN, perhaps a follow-up article about the families who are affected by this--from both the offender and victim points of view--would be helpful. We are often the forgotten group, both by the "system", and by the public, but we suffer, too. My heart has ached for my children who were victims, but they are strong in their faith, and we are strong as a family, and they are doing OK. My heart has ached for my son, and all I can do is love and support him, both emotionally and financially as much as I can. And my heart aches for my husband who is suffering from the results of the false accusation I've mentioned elsewhere. That one affects me very much, too, as well as all of our children and grandchildren. For too many years, children had no protection under the law. In some ways, the accused now have no protection. We have experienced that side of it, too. AP&P has been reasonably fair with us, so far.

  • To the mom
    March 19, 2008 9:54 p.m.

    My son is out of state, and he also had some "horrendous" things happen to him in prison. I'm really afraid of what he'll be like once he gets out.

    I don't know if there are any groups available for families. I'm a little hesitant to join in (guess I'm not anxious to be defined by what my son has done), but it might be helpful to share with others who understand. Perhaps the Deseret News will include this information in upcoming articles.

    In the meantime, my best wishes to you and your family. Hope you can find good people around you with listening ears and understanding hearts.

  • Family groups needed
    March 19, 2008 9:30 p.m.

    You are welcome, mom at 6:34. Wish we could be in touch. As many of these articles have mentioned, there is a lot of therapy available to, and required for, sex offenders. But as far as I know there is nothing for the families of the offenders. My husband was falsely accused last year and spent 6 months in jail, and is now in the court-ordered therapy phase. He's on the registry for 15 years. I would like to be able to go to a group discussion for the spouses/family members of convicted/accused offenders. I have no one to talk to, other than family members and patient friends, to deal with the hurt and difficulty this has caused us, especially since there was NO offense committed (long story). The therapy he has to attend costs us $100 a week, so I can't afford to go to a private counselor, but I sure need some help myself. Being able to "vent" in this forum is some help.

  • 48, not 58
    March 19, 2008 9:21 p.m.

    Sorry for the typo. My son will be 48 when he is finally able to be back home. He was 18, is now 33, and has 15 more years to spend in prison for a few moments of stupidity. Drugs were the issue that started the offense, but the robbery deteriorated into an assault, as I've mentioned earlier. He has been assaulted many times himself while he's been in prison, especially when he first went in as a naive 18-year-old put in a maximum security prison general population. Difficult as that has been for him, it did help him to realize what he had put his victims through, even though what he did was not rape, but still assaulted the dignity of the young lady involved. That realization, plus the offender classes he has completed, and anger management, etc., will make him much less likely to offend than someone who has been an offender, never been caught, and never received any treatment. There are many of those in all of our neighborhoods, more than we realize.

  • Thank you
    March 19, 2008 9:04 p.m.

    To the mom at 7:55
    Thanks for sharing. In a way, we were victims too. So much of our lives turned upside down, so many dreams shattered. Just wish these things could have been prevented in the first place.

    As we all share our feelings and ideas, perhaps the best ideas can be implemented and help in the future.

    Much love and understanding,
    From the mom at 6:34

  • To the mom at 6:34
    March 19, 2008 7:55 p.m.

    My son has spent over 14-1/2 years in prison in Nevada for a sexual (non-intercourse) assault that happened when he was a dumb 18-year-old on drugs, trying to rob a lady who had no money. He has little memory of it. He has 15 more years to go. He has turned his life around, but his health has been permanently damaged, and he will be 58 years old when he gets out. He has great remorse for the suffering of his victim, has been through all the treatment programs available, but will not ever have much of a chance at having a life, or a family, which he greatly wants. Dumb choices, yes. Excessive punishment, definitely. Hard to keep up hope year after year, but he has a good attitude. I wish the best to you and your son, and I hope he will be accepted by a loving family and friends when he is once again in society. I agree with the things Ex-Offender has said. You know, if all of our sins had an odor, I suspect this world would be a pretty smelly place, including people like Jacob, and other posters.

    March 19, 2008 6:50 p.m.

    Jacob, I would not want to live in your neighborhood because of YOU, not because of any sex offenders who might live there. You seem to be very bigoted and unforgiving. Heaven help the neighbors if they have an old junk car in the yard, or their front lawn turns brown!

    TO EX-OFFENDER, I have enjoyed your comments. I have a friend who is an ex-offender, who has been through church court and is back in full fellowship. I applaud your efforts to put your life in order, and deal with the prejudice that comes. My husband is the victim of a false accusation, but he still went to jail and must go through the SO Therapy and "successfully" complete it, which is hard when there is no offense to talk about. He's also on the registry for 15 years. But we are grateful that he was found "innocent, take no action" at his church disciplinary council, the court that really matters.

    Some of my children have been victims of an older family member, so we have seen both sides. Recovery is very possible, and depends much on how the situation is treated and discussed.

    It's difficult for both sides.

  • To Jacob Stilson
    March 19, 2008 6:34 p.m.

    My son is a convicted sex offender. He made a terrible mistake, that did not include intercourse, with a younger relative when he was 20. He will be in prison for 10 more years.

    People with your attitude make me fear for his safety whenever he is released. I'm afraid his life is already ruined, and I'm not sure how he will adapt.

    As "ex-offender" has mentioned, taking away all hope from people often leads to even worse violence.

    Being overly harsh with people only drives bad behaviors into even deeper secrecy, it doesn't really stop the problem. I'm afraid that the more desperate people feel, the more desperate they will act.

    Haven't we learned enough about young people who don't feel wanted or accepted anywhere? Some end up
    shooting up malls, or schools, or colleges. Why add more fuel to the fire?

  • ah, Mr Stilson
    March 19, 2008 5:45 p.m.

    I believe you may have broken the law as stated on the registry...says no info afforded can be used for harrassment in any form... we don't need another hero or vigilante..my advise which I have followed to the max as possible and has saved my children from their own uncle on the registry is to trust no one! NO ONE..and as a father many have called me Paronoid but in hindsight I am considered the Hero. Why? because my mother emphasized against this evil which would come out of the closet and started way back when ..just that society never wanted to recognize it..how could it as wasn't it only in the early 1900's , children were dying in soap and wax factories ..before laws were rendered against them? Your method smacks of a zealot against the system ...it is the ones who aren't caught for what ever reason that pose the most danger. One must be vigilant to watch for those. Now the solution is to let these offenders prove themselves by whatever means. And it is a challenge they each must meet...I know the victums because my niece is one...but to perpetuate hate is wrong!Don't Victumize Yourself!

  • Overmuch Mr. Stilson
    March 19, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    The point of the SO registry is not to ruin lives. It is to keep children safe. I have done a search and located the SOs living in my area. I wanted to see if I recognized them. I didn't. You can bet I watch my children closely and I hope and expect that other parents will do the same, but I see no reason to harass people and make their lives harder than they are. Believe me, I have little sympathy for child molesters, but I am human and I am not going to let distrust and hatred take over my life.

  • ex offender
    March 19, 2008 4:40 p.m.

    Stop It - I am truly sorry for your anguish. I have never said there were no jerks out there who try to minimize what they have done. I cringe ever time I read about any offense or re-offender.

    I do represent the 75% who do not re-offend. And yes, I am self serving because, while I am not proud of what I did, I am thankful that I have changed my life so that I won't offend again. People need to know change is possible.

    I am not your brother in law and I don't desire to be like him for if what you say is true then he is someone I would even be afraid of.

    I want my grandchildren, whom I see very often, to grow up without having to go through what your daughter did. I will do anything to protect them so I make sure that I am never alone with them. I also make sure that I don't place myself in any position that could set me up for failure.

    My prayers, whether you want them or not, are for you and your daughters, that they will be able to heal.

  • Jacob Stilson
    March 19, 2008 4:19 p.m.

    Thanks for the article. I use the registry to identify the sex offenders, then coordinate with the rest of the neighborhood on doing whatever it takes to remove them. Harassment laws be damned; sex offenders have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT AT ANY TIME EVER to live in society.

    For anyone who would like to kick out their neighborhood molesters:

    1. Print about 1,000 or so copies of the Internet Registry listing. Distribute these flyers on a WEEKLY basis to EVERYONE in the neighborhood. Don't do it just once; do it once a WEEK.

    2. Send a letter to the offender at least once a week stating unequivocally that you are WATCHING HIS EVERY MOVE...then DO IT! There are NO LAWS against remaining vigilant.

    3. Ensure that his workplace is aware of his sex offender status. Use the flyers to give to employees of his business, and also distribute these on a once a week basis (ensuring the business name is shown PROMINENTLY on the flyer).

    We've done this successfully for the last three sex offenders who've had the gall to live in our neighborhood, so we have the routine down pat.

  • Anonymous
    March 19, 2008 4:19 p.m.

    To: Stunned and confused: you are exactly right!

  • Anonymous
    March 19, 2008 3:39 p.m.

    I meant "...ever be alone with someone who has sexually abused a child."

  • Sex abuse of a child is horrible
    March 19, 2008 3:31 p.m.

    The reason we have a sex offender registry is because we as a society believe that sexual abuse of a child is probalby worse than almost any other crime. In fact, I would venture that some think it IS absolutely worse than any other crime.

    I believe in the ability to change, but I am NEVER going to allow my child to be alone with a child sex offender. That said, each case is different and I would want to know the circumstances before making a final judgment.

  • No idea how many SOs reoffend
    March 19, 2008 3:28 p.m.

    We only know the number of SOs who are caught reoffending. We do not know how many actually reoffend. Offending does not mean getting caught. Offending means harming a child.

    I have little sympathy for Knee Jerk who chatted up a 13-year old. If you are that lonely and that into porn seek out a prostitute or someone over 18 for pete's sake. THINK!! That said, if you were in my ward, I would be nice to you, heck we could even go golfing etc., BUT I would NEVER let you be around my children without me or my wife present.

    Sexual attraction towards children is not normal. If you suffer from that, seek help immediately.

    March 19, 2008 3:16 p.m.

    The article should remove the reference to a crime perpetrated by a father on his child. Newspapers should not identify children who have been sexually abused.

  • Youth can consent to sex
    March 19, 2008 3:09 p.m.

    People such as Dutchman fail to realize that age and circumstance play a big factor in whether or not someone becomes a "sex offender".

    For example, a 25 year-old man can legally have consensual sex with his 16 year-old girlfriend (UCA 76-5-401.2) the day before he turns 26, but on his birthday it becomes a felony and he becomes one of those "predators" you read about.

    Teenagers date and have sex all the time, even here in Utah, and a good portion of what they have consensually done for decades is now considered a horrendous crime worthy of prison and a lifetime of humiliation.

    What aggravates many of us critics of the sex offender registry is that there is no flexibility when it comes to who gets registered; dumb teenage boys who made out with their slightly-too-young girlfriends are lumped into the same category as violent child rapists.

    Is that really fair? Do we want a system where there is no possibility of leaving your past behind you? Where you will always be treated as a criminal for something you did decades earlier?

    You may want to live in such a world. I don't.

  • hope
    March 19, 2008 3:00 p.m.

    If you believe in Christ, you have to believe in the ability to change. Even the violist of sinners can repent and change. It's what gives hope to life. We can all be healed. We can find a new heart.

  • stop it
    March 19, 2008 2:53 p.m.

    "ex-offender", My daughters were molested by a trusted brother in law. After he was caught he had all kinds of words wisdom for differnt panels and groups his reasons for his actions changed according to the group he was speaking to. They all thought he was reformed and informative,Meanwhile he continued to manipulate and lie to make himself look better and those he hurt look mean and unforgiving although he never fessed up to half the things or the true nature of what he did. So yeah, you offend me and I really suspect that you too are self serving.

  • Observer
    March 19, 2008 2:52 p.m.

    Interesting comments by all. My own experience (hardly objective) has shown that often those that scream the loudest against sex related crimes have some pretty dark secrets themselves. But I have got to ask? If we hate these crimes so much, if we think a registry is so helpful, why don't we have a drug dealer's registry? A violent offenders registry? A meth lab maker's registry? etc. Is there anybody in this list who understands the varieties of sexual abuse that has its beginnings in the use and abuse of drugs? I've worked with addicts of all types for years and I'm much more frightened of the drug user, dealer, manufacturer and their capacity to destroy my child's and my families life than I am a sex-offender who has been caught and gotten serious treatment. We glamorize those with drug addictions coming forward and getting help. Why not encourage those with sexual addictions and deviant behavior to come forward? As long as we keep referring to them as "monsters", "scum of the earth" and "@$%&ing perverts" and the incredibly uniformed, ignorant and totally inaccurate "they'll never change" comments, why would any of them ever come forward?

  • Ex-girlfriend
    March 19, 2008 2:54 p.m.

    My first boyfriend out of high school was a juvenile sex offender. He had lived for several years in a "group home" with other teenage boys receiving treatment. From what I know they lived with really strict rules and complete supervision. He was schooled through the program, as well. I didn't find out about any of this until we had been dating for about 9 months and had already started talking about marriage. I was devastated. I never dared to ask what his actual offense was. On first knowing him I never would have guessed he had a past like that. He seemed completely nice and normal. I just knew that he had lived in foster care. I never really got over his past and I never told any of my friends or family. I was terrified what they would say if they found out and that he may do something "bad" again. I may have felt better if I had talked to him more about it, but I never felt comfortable. We broke up after dating for more than two years. Sorry for the off topic post, but these sex offender stories always feel so personal.

  • to Victim 10:58
    March 19, 2008 2:29 p.m.

    Thank you.
    You are a voice of sanity and truth in this sad discussion.

    I add my witness, as a long-ago victim and offender, God truly can heal both, and will if we humbly work with Him.
    Punishment by itself cannot. Therapy alone is at best a partial answer.

  • Surprised
    March 19, 2008 2:20 p.m.

    It's amazing how many lable sexually abusing a child a "mistake". To me, a mistake is more of a minor thing. That child has to live with that "mistake" for the rest of their lives. Some heal and go on to become survivors, some don't. Our society is, in some ways, protecting the wrong people. If a person reoffends, they ought to be put to death. Is their potential good to society greater than the pain they bring to their victims? Therapy should be available for both the abusers and the abused, but the abusers should never be placed in a position of trust with children again.
    Yes, we all make mistakes. But victimizing a child in any way, shape, or form should not be tolerated.

  • ex offender
    March 19, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    Stop It - What? Now you want to take away my freedom of speech?

    I don't mean to be offensive. I am trying to let people know that change is possible. You must have a closed mind to this issue but it's not my fault that you do.

    Actually, you comment proves that people say a lot about the victim but are not interested in really stopping sex abuse. Don't you understand that it's not me you have to worry about but those who haven't been caught. There are thousands of convictions every year that are added to the over 600,000 registered sex offenders.

    I am interested in making sure no other child has to suffer and I will do what I can to ensure it.

  • Liberal Mods???
    March 19, 2008 2:01 p.m.

    I notice my previous comment about President Clinton's shining example never got posted! I guess there are some who do not want to except the problems in our society!!! You are part of the problems!!!

  • Anonymous
    March 19, 2008 1:32 p.m.

    Kyle, if you don't like it don't read it and don't post.

  • Stunned and confused...
    March 19, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    As I am reading the comments I am somewhat in awe of some of the statements. We are losing sight who the victim is. A child who is abused has experienced a life altering experience and will NEVER be the same. A moment in time for the abuser equals a lifetime of pain for the child. Thankfully, I have never been abused but I have a friend who was and the consequences of her abuse have negatively affected her life in every possible way. If a person came by and hit a child over the head with a baseball bat and caused permanent brain damage, what would the view be then? After sexual abuse, the child's physical body heals but their mind is forever spiritually, psychologically and emotionally changed. They may never trust the opposite sex again, they may never have a close, personal relationship,they may suffer from psychological disorders, etc. They didn't ask for the abuse, they didn't want it--it was forced upon them by someone who knew EXACTLY what they were doing. Now some are talking as if those people should be able to live a normal life, when they took "normal" away from their victims forever.

  • A Victim
    March 19, 2008 1:17 p.m.

    "I really don't believe a child is going to go through life in "pain and suffering" with "crippling fear, despair and torment" from something like that - unless her/his parents are constantly burning it into them."

    Just because you don't believe it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It's been over 30 years for me, and each time my abuser hurts another child, I relive it all over again. It has affected my marriage, my emotional health, and it doesn't help that the abuser is my brother. I can't imagine what my mother is feeling. And yes, he has been to jail, twice, both times for abuse. All I can do is make sure it doesn't happen to my children. And if it does, to make sure that they trust me enough to tell me.

    March 19, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    I continue to find Ex-offender offensive. These manipulative people will say anything the public wants to hear to make themselves acceptable to society. They are liers and fakers and often live their lives fooling those closest to them. Why would we care or believe anything you say. It makes me sick to be "educated" my a molester.

  • Kyle from AZ
    March 19, 2008 12:36 p.m.

    Can we get off the sex offender bit. There is more going on in the world than running a sex offender story every damn day!

  • ex offender
    March 19, 2008 11:48 a.m.

    Evan - I stopped. If I had the chance to turn in a molester I would also.

    While you have experience as a cop I have more direct experience in this whole matter. I have been on both sides. I chose to make the mistake and I choose now to not re-offend.

    I have learned to understand what I did not understand years ago. I have chosen to be involved in faith and a better understand of God and his ways.

    To say that I cannot change is the same as saying no one can change. That is contrary to what the Savior taught us. We are not perfect but we can strive to higher ideals as the Savior taught us.

    I placed my trust before in men and worldly ways and I fell. Now I place my trust in the Lord and I know that I can handle any temptation, especially when I don't place myself in front of it.

    Your actions without regrets are commendable but, if you truly believe in Christ you will know that through him all things are possible, especially change.

  • Utah mob, again
    March 19, 2008 11:38 a.m.

    Re: one offense

    It obviously depends on what happend. If it was a violent rape, that's one thing, but if it something much smaller like exposing oneself or inappropriate touching, it's a whole different ball game. I really don't believe a child is going to go through life in "pain and suffering" with "crippling fear, despair and torment" from something like that - unless her/his parents are constantly burning it into them.

  • Evan
    March 19, 2008 11:26 a.m.

    As a retired big city Homicde cop who's married to a Pysch Nurse who tried to help a whole cottage full of women who had been molested in their youth-people need to understand that the molester's won't stop.

    Those who have not been caught need to be dealt with when they are. I'm active LDS but I stopped two molestation attempts in two different LDS Chapels. Such horrible behavior has reminded me that I belong to a perfect organzation occupied by imperfect people.

    We are not immune and we need to be watchful-and be frank and honest with our children and have such a close relationship that they won't be afraid to talk to us.

    I put more than one Monster in prison for life and never had any doubts or regrets.

  • one offense is okay???
    March 19, 2008 11:23 a.m.

    Dear "Utah Mob" if you could only understand the horror that even "one offense" has caused an innocent person. If you could only for one minute see the pain and suffering the victim must deal with for the rest of their life. If you could only open your heart for one minute and see the years of crippling fear, despair and torment and that your one act has caused. If you could go to the emergency room with your dear friend who has tried to commit suicide because of the mental trauma of being abused by a member of her family; you might, but probably not, change your mind.

  • Look Inward!
    March 19, 2008 11:18 a.m.

    to me4sure...and everyone else pointing fingers here. I'm a mother of a sex offender, and I KNOW that my son would NEVER harm a child. He made a poor mistake one night and got caught in a police sting operation. He feels terribly about it! Mostly for the pain it is causing his wife and family members. He is not a liar, in fact, he was more than cooperative with the police that night. He never went to jail, and he has made a complete 180 degree turn around!

    I would ask everyone on here to take a look at yourselves and say, "Have I ever done anything wrong?" If you say no to that question, then you are lying to yourself. We all sin, and some sins are bigger than others, but that does not change the fact that you sinned. I don't think any of the self-righteous finger-pointers making comments on here would be saying much if all their sins were broadcast over the internet! We are so quick to judge, that we don't see our own problems! LOOK INWARD!!!

  • SLC Person
    March 19, 2008 11:04 a.m.

    Blame TV, magazines, anything you want. The overwhelming majority of people who peruse such things do NOT perpetrate.

    80% of male adult perpetrators are also victims.

    Predators will always have urges, there is no cure. The "cure" comes from treatment and learning how to identify triggering events and learning to stay away from them.

    We need to treat victims at the earliest possible moment to prevent them from becoming perpetrators.

    Google PTSD, Arrested Adolescence, and other related diagnoses. It will educate you.

    I speak from experience on both sides of this issue. I was raped by a member in my LDS ward who molested and/or raped over 150 boys. I was in therapy for 12 years, 3 of which were mandatory for misdemeanor offenses. I have not had any other offenses since 1992 because I know what triggered me, what still triggers me, and I stay as far from those events and people as I can.

    Whenever I feel "tempted", I seek help through m therapist or I go to a 12 step meeting. It keeps me "sober".


  • ex offender
    March 19, 2008 11:03 a.m.

    I agree with the supervision that watches offenders. A truly repentant person will humble themselves and deal with the supervision and prove they can be trusted to follow the restrictions place on them.

    I can understand Father of a victim but his Old Testament approach would only hurt more children and not give the offender a chance to change.

    If laws get more restrictive and take away hope of change and inclusion it is only reasonable to worry about what someone without hope will do. If someone knows they are going to be executed anyway if they offend, do you think they are going to leave a witness? A child can overcome abuse with proper help but a child cannot overcome death.

    And if an offender has nothing to lose do you think his conscience is going to stop him from continuing?

    In physics, every action causes another. In law it is the same. They are called unintended consequences.

  • Victim
    March 19, 2008 10:58 a.m.

    I was sexually molested when I was 8 until I was 11. I take responsibility for the fact my abusers were never punished because I never told anyone. I attempted suicide when I was 15. From treatment and God, I learned to forgive them and leave justice and mercy in God's hands. He is the only one who can. I also learned to forgive myself for not telling. Then and there, I decided my future was my choice. I would make choices and live with the consequences. I chose to go to school and become an attorney. I chose to marry and become a mother of 3 beautiful daughters. I choose to serve God daily. And, I choose to educate my children with the guidance of the Spirit about the evils in this world. I pray that my children will not be sexually abused. I do hope however, they have experiences that make them stronger... experiences that help them see that AGENCY is the greatest gift God gave us. When we make a bad choice, we can repent, we can be forgiven and we can CHANGE - IF WE CHOOSE TO DO SO! God & Agency are the key!

  • ex offender
    March 19, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    awesomeron is also wrong. Sex offender can change. If they could not change then the statistics would show it. Yes, there are some that don't want to change but 75% or more do not re-offend.

    When sex offenders enter the system and get the therapy they need they began to understand about not being in control of your life. They took control away from their victim by abusing them. The state takes away control from the offender and the offender has only two ways to approach it. Most choose not to re-offend because then finally connect with the fact that they hurt someone. They connect by seeing what it is like not to have control over oneself.

    Many were raised by controlling people and tried to do the same. I know I did. That is why I am grateful I was caught. For almost 20 years I have lived with what I did and I have not re-offended, nor will I. Regardless of what you think, I did change and I would rather die than hurt another child or person.

  • wondering?
    March 19, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    How many of you have read this law? Do you know that two 16 yr olds can be caught by her parents and he will be labeled a SO for life? If a girl decides to break up with her boyfriend she can label him a sex abuser because he kissed her? Two adults can have consenual sex and if her husband or family finds out she may cry rape and another adult who admits to consensual sex will be labeled for life? This was a good law in theory but has been abused to make politicians look like they are caring for our children. If the law was used to keep child abusers in line there would be less on the rolls and more time and money to spend on the child offender's in the system. I am aparole officer and I am strecthed beyond my physical and mental means because of my case load most of which are adult on adult offenses. I would rather keep an eye on the child offenders so they could not get lost in the system. Lobby for these changes if you care for your child.

  • me4sure
    March 19, 2008 10:44 a.m.

    I would rather err on the side of caution than trust any sex offender around children. Most are not trustworthy because they are 'charming, seem trustworthy, etc' and we are supposed to take them on their word? NOT! A pedophile is a pedophile period!

  • ex offender
    March 19, 2008 10:36 a.m.

    Molly - I don't know where you get your statistics but according to the DOJ sex offenders are least likely to re-offend sexually. Now they may do other things that get them locked up but most don't.

    However, I admit that many do. Over 10 to 15 years up to 25% will re-offend but most of them re-offend in the first 3 years. Also, those same ones that re-offend in the first 3 years often continue to re-offend. These are the guys that need to be taken off the street.

    For the most part, those who go through therapy have learned to deal with the issues that allowed them to offend in the first place. Most people think that it is the law that keeps sex offenders from re-offending. The law doesn't stop them but seeing their victims as someone that was hurt by their decision does.

    When a sex offender comes to realize that he would not like to be treated like his victim, when he can put himself in their shoes, then he most likely will not re-offend.

    As I have mentioned I believe in a second chance, but if they re-offend, then life in prison.

  • Utah mob
    March 19, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    It seems like most people here treat all offenders as worthless monsters undeserving of humane treatment. This article focuses on some of the guys that continually mess up, and perhaps they do deserve the criticism and mistrust. But as has been pointed out by a few people, there were some one-time mistakes that have cause a life-sentence of distrust and hate. That's not fair. For all you self-righteous people, maybe you should consider if you've ever done something wrong that you desperately wish you hadn't. The fact is (as was stated many times in the first articles), most offenders do not re-offend after treatment. Offenders who don't repeat deserve a little respect and trust.

  • Molly
    March 19, 2008 10:12 a.m.

    It's really scary how different everyones opinion of this crime is. I am happy for the sex offenders that truly become rehabilitated but statistics show that most don't. I do think that we need tougher laws regardless of how it affects the rehabilitated offenders. They CHOSE to commit a disgusting crime & the victims live with guilt, hurt & pain. It may be forgiven but never forgotten.
    My ex husband molested our daughter for years without me knowing & when it finally came out, he tried to share blame with my young daughter because he said it was consensual. He is now about to go to prison for this but I wonder if he will really ever realize the affect that he left on our daughter. Can he be rehabilitated, because if you were to meet him on the street, you would like him. He is charismatic, smart, successful & you would never guess he would have made such horrible choices. He knows how to manipulate anyone, so how is it that he can really be helped. I think he will do what he has to in therapy & everyone will be convinced that he is reformed.

  • Dutchman
    March 19, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    Sorry, but there is no such thing as consensual sex with an underage girl. It is statutory rape plain and simple. Underage kids do not have the mental maturity to consent to an adult for sex. 19 and 20+ year old guys prey on younger girls all the time. It may not seem like it but crime in our society is actually down because we are paying higher taxes to keep the perps in prison longer and on registries. That is the price we pay.

  • Driver Ed
    March 19, 2008 9:20 a.m.

    Our family has read for four days in amazement. 90% of the comments are about despair, fear, hatred, punishment.
    Maybe 10% mention the real issue and real solutions. Kudos to them.
    When we drive, we look forward, right, left, and in the rear-view mirrors. This article and many of the comments make it sound like society just wants to drive with rear-view mirrors.
    There ain'ta never gonna be enough "supervision" to stop predators, not even the low percent who get caught. Want a lifetime of low-pay-but-secure, frustrating work? Be a "supervisor".
    If you want real *Super* *Vision* ---Wake up and SEE the CAUSES that teach people to be pervs and perps. (And that condition the victims to expect sex way before marriage.) Can you say ... ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, HBO, etc, etc, etc?

  • I know a sex offender
    March 19, 2008 9:12 a.m.

    He lives about three blocks away from me. He attends my ward. He has a good job, a wife, and two children.

    His crime? Having consensual sex with a girl that was about a year too young.

    When he was 19 or 20.

    Over 10 years ago.

    He is not a threat to me, he is not a threat to my kids, and based on his actions since then, he's not a threat to society.

    Why must he continue to be humiliated and punished for something he did when he was young and stupid?

    Why do we waste tax dollars supervising someone who has never shown any inclination to re-offend?

    In light of the attitudes shown here, it's suprising that anyone would have the gall to complain about high taxes and ever-expanding government. Prisons and AP&P officers cost money, you know.

  • SO Victims?
    March 19, 2008 8:55 a.m.

    What is it about all the SO's getting on here and whining about how persecuted they are? Why is it in our society we are focusing so much on how the aggressors of crimes are supposedly victims? I used to work with SO's and learned quickly I could not trust a word they said. Lie lie lie - that is how these people get near your kids. The fact is they made a very poor decision and then they whine about how they can't get certain jobs. Do they have ANY concern about how they are wrecked a 7 year old's life?? No, it is all about them - how selfish...

  • Concerned mom
    March 19, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    So, as the title of this article states, if there is so much supervision going on, then why do so many offenders move without the system knowing and get away with using fake addresses?

  • Enough
    March 19, 2008 7:49 a.m.

    Lock them up and though away the key!!!

  • Dutchman
    March 19, 2008 7:37 a.m.

    A lot of this information that gets posted online by sex offenders is phoney and the state knows it. I own some apartments and registered sex offenders use an apartment location as their address when I know in fact they do not live there. I report it to the state and it takes months to get it corrected. The state really has no idea where hundreds of these sex offenders are.

  • Anonymous
    March 19, 2008 7:07 a.m.

    *** Fact is, you may be forgiven by many, but you will NEVER be trusted around children.

  • Anonymous
    March 19, 2008 7:00 a.m.

    To 'What About...'
    Ah yes, try to turn the focus away from convicted sex ofenders as who to fear. Your claim that most SO on the list have turned their lives around and are living clean lives is absurd as is your claim that the chances of re-offending are slim. Your pathetic attempt to somehow elevate yourself to the same moral standards as our 'fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, elders quorum president' ect ect by insinuating that we have more to fear from them than from a convicted sex offender shows just how far your are from becoming 'cured'. The fact is, you may be forgiven by many, but you will ever be trusted around children.

  • Anon
    March 19, 2008 6:49 a.m.

    What is the Internet address to search out the names of the sex offenders on parole?

  • Incredible
    March 19, 2008 6:52 a.m.

    To "What About....?" and "Knee Jerk":

    You're really something. Your intense desire to blame everyone and everything else and try to throw us off the trail is classic abuser mentality and behavior. "Knee Jerk," you may not have abused that night, but to say that pornography was your motivation in chatting with a 13-year-old girl...??? Hmm, I wonder what was on your mind? Therapy rarely works long-term (as statistics show, which is why we're all so disgusted with terrified of you), and your defensive, manipulative comments show that it most definitely isn't working for either of you!!

  • Knee jerked...
    March 19, 2008 6:24 a.m.

    Following-up with Knee Jerk's comments... Those people have no reason to trust you. You admitted that you chatted with a 13 year old girl (though you never admitted to the content of the chat - which was obviously bad enough to get you arrested), you admitted that you were looking at porn and that played a role in your decision making, but somehow you feel like you should get a pass because you expect more out of your Mormon friends and neighbors. I wouldn't trust you, and I wouldn't want you hanging out with my kids either. I think the one that showed TRUE colors was you. Face what you did for what it truly is - sick and deviant behavior. Once you've accepted that, maybe you'll understand why you are getting treated the way you are.

  • Thomas
    March 19, 2008 6:23 a.m.

    Putting labels on negative behaviors (name-calling)doesn't make the accused person change, or want to.

    Knee jerk, Do you understand?
    You did no one any good with that remark, and actually caused a little harm.

    You and I are all weak in many areas, and wouldn't like to have them pointed out.
    And neither of us are wise enough to judge our neighbors.

    Rest assured, you are not alone. Several readers will miss the point of this comment, and a few will demonstrate their misunderstanding in writing.

  • Adults are hypocrites
    March 19, 2008 5:47 a.m.

    At age 9, I began helping my older brother's scout troop with the newspaper drive. unknown to the leaders, it provided us enough Playboys to fill our minds until the next drive.
    They (mis)informed us, stimulated us, and told us that all those taboos by adults were just hypocrisy. by age 11-12 we had figured out, as long as we kept it secret, we could try sex, and why not with other kids, especially younger ones.
    Our generation molested little sisters, cousins, nieces, and kids we babysat, without guilt. Sex was just something you could do but not talk about, just like "going to the bathroom"
    By the time the light turned on for me, magazines were old news - TV could stimulate us without sneaking around, and society had begun sounding the alarm on the resulting problem, and labeling the perps. But not wanting to consider the cause, just the effect.
    Today's article was mostly a waste. there will never be enough probation officers,police, to catch and "supervise" all the offenders as long as the invitation to enjoy sex is blatantly paraded in evryone's homes 7 days/week.

  • Wow
    March 19, 2008 3:47 a.m.

    I can see why people will react the way they did to "Knee jerk". What he's missing here is that people are concerned about children. Children are born innocent and trusting and they "have to be taught to hate and fear" as the song says. Sexual abuse of a child is worse than robbing or murdering someone. The abuser is completely destroying their ability to relate in a normal manner to anyone. The abuse happens on every possible level. It is absolutely not just physical.

    We live in a world with all sorts of horrors happening to children. They are being wired for bombs, they are being used and abused in every possible way, they are being mutilated, etc. The children of our world have a right to keep their innocence. They must be allowed to grow up in a safe environment. They must be given the right to feel protected and safe. We as adults know how bad the world is and I know I have learned much from these articles. It is our job to keep children innocent.

    To Knee jerk, I'm sorry you are so offended. Try looking at your neighbor's point-of-view.

  • A mom
    March 19, 2008 3:09 a.m.

    Thank you Deseret News for running this series. Some of these articles -- in particular, the ones recounting the victims stories -- have been very painful to read and my eyes have really been opened over this. You have given all parents a wealth of valuable information and I, as a mother, really appreciate it. Thank you.

  • Knee jerk
    March 19, 2008 1:18 a.m.

    Paul Ray has REALLY fast reflexes. He has a quick knee jerk reaction in regards to this subject. There needs to be a better way of weeding out the REAL offenders and those who just made a REALLY STUPID choice (ie. chatting with a 13-year-old girl for the first time and getting busted for it). "Yeah, sure. You never did it before....Right." you say. Well, it happened to me. I made a HORRIBLE choice to chat with a "13 year-old girl" and ended up getting arrested for it. Now I'm getting treated like a child rapist by the "Christlike" people of my ward, for something that NEVER HAPPENED! I NEVER abused anyone, and NEVER will!! Yet, even after I divulged all the details to those "concerned parents", they still treated me like I'm a monster. ONE moment of weakness (btw, pornography, NOT child porn, played a huge part in what I did that night), and I get to see the TRUE colors of my fellow Mormon neighbors! AMAZING!

  • What about......?
    March 19, 2008 1:05 a.m.

    Meanwhile, as everyone is so focused on worrying about the CONVICTED S.O. on their street, someone you know personally (maybe your husband, dad, brother, uncle, grandfather, your best buddy, your girlfriend's husband, the Elder's Quorum president, etc.) is running around molesting children (maybe even yours) and is a free man! EVER THOUGHT OF THAT PEOPLE?!! MOST of us on the sex offender registry have really turned our lives around and put the past behind us and started a new, CLEAN, life, free from deviant behavior. You know who we are and where we live. The chances of us re-offending is slim. The therapy is great and it works! So, I advise you to turn your attention to those around you who you "trust" with your children. Are your kids REALLY safe? The ones who haven't been caught are FAR more dangerouse than most of the convicted sex offenders out there.

  • awesomeron
    March 19, 2008 12:58 a.m.

    You cannot rehab sex offenders. Once the desire to offend is acted upon, especially if the Offender gets away with it. Then the urge to offend will become greater and more bold. For some the Shame is only in getting caught. If you are going to let them out of Jail they have to be under lots of Supervision this will help keep them from reoffending. Nothing will keep a Sex Offender who wants to offend from offending. The only thing you can make fairly sure of is that you or your child will not be a victim. They should never get more then one chance. The revolving door should not apply to them. Sex Offending destroys lives, some of it because of the act. Some of it because of the results of the act and this can go on not just with the victim but with the Victims Family and with the Victims Relationships most times for the rest of their lives. I am talking mostly here about Adult Male Sex Offenders over the age of 18 but younger in some cases. I have an Issue with Teenage boys being called the Victim of Adult Females.

  • Father of a victim
    March 19, 2008 12:35 a.m.

    Representative Paul Ray (Clearfield) absolutely has the right idea. However, it isn't new - it has been in the Bible for millenia.

    I believe it is part of restitution, and that dealing with these utterly evil individuals in this manner will significantly aid their victims in the healing process - knowing that justice has been met, and that no one else will be hurt.