Secret shame: 'They're all nice guys'

Offenders seldom fit boogeyman stereotype

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  • Sometimes The Truth Hurts
    April 18, 2008 12:11 a.m.

    Why isn't there a registry for all crimes? According to Bureau of Justice Statistics (USDOJ) Sex offenders are less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense 68 percent of non-sex offenders versus 43 percent of sex offenders are likely to reoffend. Of the 9,691 male sex offenders released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, 5.3% were rearrested for a new sex crime within 3 years of release.

    Think about this:
    Some 40% of offenders were victims themselves as a child, which could indicate a "reason" to public register 'child sex crime victims' for life as they might pose a threat to children in the future. Would that stop them from becoming offenders themselves? Probably not. It might be time to consider alternative means of actually protecting society instead of making smoke screens.

  • From South Florida
    March 20, 2008 2:14 a.m.

    I read some topics on this subject in school and I remember that most offenders were sex abused victims themselves. They lost the sense to understand that they are hurting someone because that sense was taken from them when they were children, perhaps once they offend a loved one, then they may realize it. Also, they may be sort off getting even without noticing the behavioral pattern.

    Its interesting to read the last paragraphs that states that offenders after going through treatment have a recidivism rate of almost zero, yet, the politicians will tell the opposite. Since most cases are family affairs, why not just put the tough laws on the cases that involved abductions or predatory type circumstances. These family cases should be dealt as they used to be done years ago -- within the family in order to protect the abused and the family.

  • re: Sa S
    March 18, 2008 6:13 p.m.

    to Sa S: Where are you pulling those rediculous numbers from? You name the source, but I have yet, as one who has gone through sex offender therapy (successfully), ever heard of any of the guys that were in my offender group ever say they had anywhere near that number of children they abused. That is a pretty outlandish number. As for your numbers of those who are sent back to prison, that number is GREATLY exagerated, not to mention a statistic from the California DOC.

    Get your facts STRAIGHT before you go quoting them, and maybe adding the link to where you found them would be good also.

  • SaS
    March 18, 2008 5:19 p.m.

    The serial killer has the same personality characteristics as the sex offender against children. Source:Dr. Mace Knapp, Nevada State Prison Physiologist

    Having read that, I totally agree with a one strike your out if you molest a child. Period.


    The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children, most of whom do not report the offense. Source: The National Institute of Mental Health


    More than 1/2 of all convicted sex offenders are sent back to prison within a year. Within 2 years, 77% are back. Source: California Department of Corrections

  • Another Victim
    March 18, 2008 12:23 a.m.

    I am nearly 60 years old, and a day doesn't go by that I don't live with the consequences of abuse as a child. I have raised a wonderful family and have NEVER ever considered abusing a child. My struggles are with my own self-esteem. I don't waste time hating the abusers, I just feel pity for them. But, the things they planted in my little heart about my worthlessnes; "it was your fault I did this" and "don't you ever tell or else" and "you must always mind adults no matter what they do" etc. etc. etc. are ghosts that still raise their dark and shadowy heads constantly. I don't know if I can ever be good enough, or do enough, for my own family or other people to make my heart believe that I am truly worth loving. My head knows but ah my heart . . . I trust one day God will chase the ghosts away. Abusers are selfish and choose to abuse. When are we going to give them the punishment of "a life, for a life." Repeat offenders of children need the death penalty!

  • From Florida
    March 18, 2008 12:11 a.m.

    I am almost 68 years old and was molested as a child. I have spent the better part of my life in therapy (still am). I have tried suicide twice. I can't begin to explain the damage that abuse causes. Most victims internalize it and even if they know intellectuly that it wasn't their fault, they will still subconsciously blame themselves. They may go through life not being able to understand why they do certain things,then during therapy find out that the cause is the abuse. I just recently found out why I have irrational fears and why I have to be in control of everything, as a victim you have no control. We moved to Florida from Utah almost 4 years ago and the laws are very different here. We now have Jessica's law-25 yrs mandatory for molesting a child under 12. I am very disappointed that Utah won't pass the law. They are one of the few states that won't. Since we have lived here we have been notified by mail 3 times that we have a sex offender within 1500 feet. Utah still thinks they can be rehabilitated. Ya right!

  • Re: on the list
    March 17, 2008 11:48 p.m.

    I don't want to sound like I am judging you too... but having just read the articles, none of the guys who are convicted of these things ever admit to doing anything.
    My brother in law was one of these guys too. A trusted fireman who was a "good guy". He was great at community service too. If we had a sexual predator list years ago, he wouldn't have even been allowed to ba a fireman, but he passed the screening because it didn't exist when he started the department. The sad thing is he couldn't except his fate, so he committed suicide and now his kids have to live with that to. If you are one of these guys, quit dening it and get help!

  • Mother of victim, wife of perp.
    March 17, 2008 11:30 p.m.

    I am glad to see that this terrible crime is getting attention so that there will be more pressure on the legislature to better the sex offender programs. I am almost divorced from a man who molested my daughter from the ages of 8-12. It has been the worst experience of my life. The victim, my daughter is a mess. She is hurt that her father had deceived her for so long leading her to believe what they were doing was okay. My other children struggle to understand why she is so messed up & it is difficult to keep us united. My soon to be ex feels that my daughter is also responsible for what he did to her because she allowed it. It sickens me that perpetrators can have such a warped perception of what they did. As we continue through the criminal action against him, I am blown away by the lack of regard towards the victims. Everyone is so concerned about what happens to the sex offender, where is the funding & help for the victims & families? I believe their should be a no tolerance law for this crime because it ruins lives.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2008 11:24 p.m.

    This is for Are We Really Safer: The answer is yes, for the 10, 20, or so years the predator is in jail. Remember, there are no children in there for them to abuse.

  • My Experience
    March 17, 2008 11:06 p.m.

    Parents MUST teach their children to tell them if someone attempts to abuse them. It's the only thing that saved my son and my granddaughter. Both were neighborhood teenage boys and both were predators. We must convince our children to trust us more than they fear the predator.

  • On the list!
    March 17, 2008 10:37 p.m.

    I was convicted of attempted enticing a minor over the internet. It was a police internet sting. Until then, I never tried to meet anyone (let alone a minor) from the internet. I have never abused anyone IN MY LIFE...yet, the people in my LDS ward felt the need to hold a meeting to express their "concerns" when they found out I and my wife and children were going to permanently move into the neighborhood THAT I GREW UP IN! I could not believe the kinds of hateful remarks, uninformed opinions, and blind criticism that came out of those "good Mormon" mouths. Not only did they ATTACK me, but some attacked the people that were selling the house to us, telling them, "You've ruined our neighborhood!"

    I have been blindly lumped into the group of sex offenders that have committed some of the most terrible acts against children, yet I have done NOTHING! Oh, sure, I do have victims; my family. I realize that, but I have NEVER, AND WILL NEVER, hurt a child!!! I MADE A STUPID MISTAKE AND NOW MY WIFE AND CHILDREN ARE BEING OSTRACIZED BY OUR "Christ-like" NEIGHBORS AND SOON THEIR SCHOOLMATES! Thanks for the love!

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2008 8:37 p.m.

    Therapy does sometimes work. I just found out my best friend sexually abused a girl when he was twelve, and I never would have known if he hadn't told me. I don't think I've ever met a better guy, I was in total shock afterwards. I still trust him, and I'd still date him, because I've seen how badly it hurts him and how much he wants to take it back. Is it his fault? Yes. Was it horrible? Without a doubt. But, please, the things these people do are terrible. The people themselves aren't. Don't generalize, and don't assume that people can't change. Not all sex offenders are in denial or call themselves victims.

  • Reality Hurts Everyone
    March 17, 2008 8:14 p.m.

    Victims need treatment. Perpetrators need treatment. There are many victims and perpetrators who are holding this secret and not getting help. Yet. Get help. Please. Free yourself from this pain and agony. And for the rest of us, show some compassion for both ... and for the families. There is a lot of pain there too. I like that this article didn't sensationalize in order to bump up readership for Deseret News. I appreciate the even-handed approach. I like that so many on this blog genuinely care about the futures of both survivors and their offenders and recognize they could be our neighbors, our family, our friends. I care too.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2008 7:42 p.m.

    I believe in Repentance, you and your family would be welcome in my home, and your children to play with my child. Although I would be present when my child played in your home, or my wife visiting with your wife. I think there must be a few innocently convicted inmates who are stuck in prison and haven't committed the crimes for which they have been accused. What of this minority? They have to admit to something they DID NOT DO, or sit in prison accused of being in "Denial". This is the down side of this kind of "Counciling"! It is unjust and unfair, they have no recompense for them at all! Sexual Offenders are not "Innocent Until Proven Guilty", the opposite is true, and I know from personal witness accounts most "Offenders" Plea because they are "Over-Charged" to begin with! If the D.A.'s office filed charges that suited the crime to begin with, you would see the "Conviction" rate drop to a more realistic rate. Those Charged are so affraid of Serious Prison time MOST take plea bargains to attempt to avoid PRISON, and hope for treatment and probation instead. This is a SERIOUS PROBLEM!!!

  • Another type of Father
    March 17, 2008 6:46 p.m.

    There is more to this sad situation than many commenters are mentioning today. Some talk as if their pain, or the children's pain, can only be permanent. It does not have to be.

    The reason we came to this life is to be tested. Some peoples' test is whether they can forgive, and allow others to make mistakes and repent. God's great purpose is to heal, to remove stains and pain -- and our very imperfect judgments of each other.

    You may not be ready to hear it now, which makes us sad, but that law of the universe is more powerful than any reason you have for hanging on to hate, or any darkness you feel now.

    We have many in our congregations who have experienced the miracles of forgiving, and will testify that it healed their grief. Sometimes it motivated the guilty party to change, but that is a completely separate thing.
    We pray for you.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2008 6:30 p.m.

    Ahhhh...'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone'.

    How well Christianity has contrived to continue to victimize and control the very victims themselves.

  • Harmony
    March 17, 2008 6:19 p.m.

    I know three people personally who have been sexually abused, and I just want to say that the ones who have moved past it are the ones who's lives are the most complete. Yes, being abused can be mentally crippling, but forgiveness is the only way we'll ever heal even slightly. The offenders have no right to do what they do, but I think they deserve a second chance. Everyone does, and we can never understand the circumstances under which it occured. I do believe however, that your second chance should be your last chance, if you continue to commit crimes afterwards, you are obviously not truly reformed, and have no desire to be.

  • RangerGordon
    March 17, 2008 5:49 p.m.

    While it probably take more inner resources than most of us will ever have to forgive such people, it takes no courage or thought simply to declare one's contempt for child molesters.

    It's like saying "I really hate Nazis." Yeah, don't we all.

    One interesting quote: "They're all really nice guys."

    It shows how in our culture some people can easily conflate "nice" things with good things. I have no doubt that many people are "nice" who end up harming others. Yet so many in our culture are judged by their appearance--if they've got tattoos, long hair, facial hair, etc., they're judged "not nice" and therefore "not good."

    I'd rather be grouped with the "not nice" if the "nice" may include sexual child predators.

  • My Opinion
    March 17, 2008 5:32 p.m.

    Many people have commented on how "we should not judge" people who are accused/convicted of abuse. I recommend a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks given 3/1/98 at an LDS Church CES Fireside. The talk is available online. The short version is that we cannot make final judgements on people because we don't know the whole story. That is left up to God. But we must frequently make "intermediate judgments" based on the information that we have. From Elder Oaks:
    "Some personal decisions must be made before we have access to all of the facts. Two hypotheticals illustrate this principle:

    1. If a particular person has been arrested for child sexual abuse and is free on bail awaiting trial on his guilt or innocence, will you trust him to tend your children while you take a weekend trip?"

    My view is that we must make judgments in order to keep children safe. There will still be mistakes, but way too many adults are underprotective rather than overprotective of children.

  • re: re: re: the local perv
    March 17, 2008 5:13 p.m.

    If the most perfect person that has ever lived, can forgive us of our sins, we need to find a way to forgive others of theirs.

    "...He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone..." -John 8:7

    The adversary would have us remain in a sinful state. We need to overcome the challenges put before us, and be available to assist others in overcoming theirs.

  • Former Victim
    March 17, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    Those of us who are former victims find it difficult if not impossible to feel sorry for the perpetrator. If I thought my child had experienced abuse as I did I'm not sure what I'd do but it would not be pleasant.

    Sorry, you perpetrators, I have no sympathy for you or for the invalid and vapid reasons why you feel you needed to abuse an innocent child or teenager.

    Everyone can change. A person does not need to "respond" to the negative influence of his childhoo. I was abused and I'm not a child abuser nor have I ever been tempted to be one. Fortunately I didn't need therapy to prevent myself from being one or to eventually heal from the abuse (although it took a very long time to overcome the shame and guilt on my own).

    I simply learned to loathe child abuse and the abusers.

  • Re: Clever
    March 17, 2008 4:25 p.m.

    How can you be sure they aren't honestly nice people?

    While one act can define you legally and socially some of the nicest people I have ever met have been violent criminals and drug dealers. I can't say I've ever had a friend who was openly into children, but my point stands.

  • Phil
    March 17, 2008 4:23 p.m.

    My child was abused in the Church bathroom. You SO's stay away from my children or you will find life REAL difficult for you, I guarantee it.

  • Just a girl...
    March 17, 2008 4:10 p.m.

    What about all the things we are taught every sunday?? I think there are many people who profess to believe something that they don't even understand. "Should I not spare Nineva...?"
    I want to apologize on behalf of those who have made heartless remarks. Especially those who have commented that they (and their families) deserve harsh treatment because they made the choice to offend. Again, "should I not spare Nineva....?"
    You are witholding the very thing which you daily seek.

  • Clever Fellow
    March 17, 2008 3:43 p.m.

    Nice guys indeed. Oh wait, not in deed, in word. There's a big difference.

  • EB
    March 17, 2008 2:51 p.m.

    I was about 10 when I finally understood how to stop the abuse that had gone on since almost birth. In the last year I confronted both people who abused me. Interesting experience in understanding these peopleneither of them denied it (except of course to the authorities). The one's reaction was, "you don't know how miserable I amI am a victim too. If you really followed Christ, you would forget what I did and restore the relationship." The other reaction from the second perpetrator was, "My parents were old fashioned and didn't teach me about sex. Therefore, even though I was an adult, I am not accountable for what I didthey are. Besides, what I did to you was poor judgment, not abuse, because there was no malice in my behavior." Very sad. I have forgiven them, but I deal with their damage daily. I have come to understand that forgiveness doesnt mean you have to restore relationships, nor does it mean that it removes consequences. It means, among other things, that I wish these men no ill will, and I don't dwell on justiceI can let it go. I wish I could let all the damage go.

  • Helter Skelter
    March 17, 2008 2:08 p.m.

    Criminals who want to get out of jail play nice. I guess the media is not intellegent enough to figure this out.
    Charles Manson was on his best behavior
    after molesting a young boy in the 1950s and look what he did in the 1960s when he was rewarded by being let out of jail.

  • ex offender
    March 17, 2008 2:09 p.m.

    The thing that we will never be able to do is restore to our victims what we took. We cannot possibly understand what they have gone through unless we were also abused as children.

    The only thing that a sex offender can do for his victim is make sure that he never, never victimizes anyone again.

    Yes, life is hard when you are a RSO but, as has been mentioned here many times, we made choices that placed us in this position. I do not want anyone to simply accept that I say I have changed. We can trust but we must verify that RSO are doing what they should be doing. There can be no letting up.

    After 10 years or more of staying clean then we can start to be trusted a bit more. The main thing that must not be done is make it so impossible for a RSO to straighten up that he feels that he has no hope. I fear to think what a person without hope can do to some innocent.

    This is an issue that cannot be approached emotionally because of the unintended consequences that often happen.

  • Lynn Chmobs
    March 17, 2008 1:54 p.m.

    1 Strike? There are not enough jails, and not enough jailers, and not enough therapists, even if you few perfect people left could afford the tax load to pay for them.

    Your demand for Justice will never happen. And you are an armchair quarterback, dreaming about a world where Bad things don't happen to Good people.

    You'll never hate the perps enough to get them to repent; they don't know you and wouldn't care anyway. All you can do for your own peace is forgive. Revenge is never satisfying. Forgiveness is.

  • Are we really safer?
    March 17, 2008 1:15 p.m.

    What's accomplished when we lock away a perpetrator for five, ten, or twenty years? Are we really safer? Perhaps for awhile, but eventually they will be released. Unless we decide to incarcerate these people for life, then there needs to be more intense follow-up, perhaps a place where they can still be watched, and supervised.

    I don't know about you, but I think most of these guys seem a lot more scary after they've been in prison than before they went in.

  • JerS
    March 17, 2008 12:05 p.m.

    To "nobody", I empathize with you. It is suggested that we should empathize with the perpetrator, but I do not. I empathize with you. Too many of my loved ones have had to deal with your situation. I empathize with them.

    I was also suggested by "Having Lived This" to not pass judgement. I disagree. When the court of law has passed judgement that the perpetrator is guilty, then yes, I do pass judgement as well. They are guilty; guilty of destroying the lives of their victims. Unforunately, the offender is usually only convicted for a few of their victims, when there are many other victims that did not see justice; many others who's lives and childhood were literally stolen from them.

    To "ex offender", I appreciate your candidness in helping to educate us parents on how to protect our children.

    March 17, 2008 12:11 p.m.

    Local perv, My sister was the wife and my neice and nephew were like his family ostrizized. My Sister took her molesting husband back into her home knowing he molested their daughter, my daughters and every neice in our family. Little girls would swim in thier pool when Dad was home. He would give their daughter rides to school. If a family chooses to keep a dangerous man like these shouldn't there be reprocussions. Our experience is not that probation officers are at all helpful either.

  • Elizabeth, Oregon
    March 17, 2008 12:04 p.m.

    Please give more focus to the victim. Do this in your justice system, in your newspapers, and in your day-to-day life. Tell us their challenges, their heataches, and their losses.

    While it is good to understand (a little) about how and why perverts act the way they do, they may be sentenced to a finite amount of years. Most victim's sentences are infinite.

  • To nobody
    March 17, 2008 11:42 a.m.

    Like you, I got a "life sentence" too--until I realized that I truly didn't deserve it! It took years to realize that the blame belonged to him and NOT me.

    Thankfully, society is slowly shifting, and ending it's seeming need to blame the victim.

  • nobody
    March 17, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    I was a victim twenty years ago. Every day I remember. Every day I hurt. Every day I feel the "secret shame" that should only be his. Counseling and faith have helped but haven't taken it away. He got probation; I got a life sentence.

  • Hero of Canton
    March 17, 2008 11:12 a.m.

    There is an amazing array of emotion here which is very understandable but misguided in most respects by people wanting to grandstand on some hot button issue they know very little about.

    I have never committed a sexual crime. I have never been the victim of sexual crime. I had a best friend, who was also my girlfriend, who could not stop cutting on herself because that was the only way she could manage her feelings after being molested 15 years previous. I have a good friend who is listed on the sex offender website because he had intercourse with his then girlfriend while he was 18 and she was 16 and the parents pressed charges and won.

    Repeat offenders, especially those who offend against little children should get the death penalty. Period. Those who can demonstrate that they have changed should be allowed some measure of normalicy. The problem lies in that it is very hard to tell who is genuine.

    To those that wish to give a knee-jerk reaction, until you know the horrors that exist in a damaged mind and the abject misery it is to try and correct that, please refrain from passing judgement.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    Two of the best ways to protect your children are these:

    1) Tell there that if someone says something is a secret that they have to tell you because it usually is someone covering up something that they've done wrong or about to do and that it could harm your child. Also tell them that if some says "dont tell because mom / dad would be upset or I'm going to hurt them if you tell" that they have to tell you because you'd be more upset if they didnt because it means someone wants to hurt them and not you.

    Tell them (not graphically) where its unappropriate to touch and about relying on their feelings where if they feel uneasy they need to flee and come tell you about it. I told my son that he was not to allow anyone to touch him in a non-friendly way - a pat on the back, a handshake or such and that anything else was inappropriate. I also told him that if people started talking about sex or showing him pictures or themselves he was to flee and report it to me.

  • re: re: the local perv
    March 17, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    To "the local perv":

    I have to agree with "re: the local perv". There are deeds that we do which have long lasting negative consequences for many people.

    When it comes to protecting our own children, can you blame the parents for doing all that they can?

    To everyone else:

    We, as individuals in our society, need to be much more forgiving and understanding. Particularly when it comes to the wife and children. If we feel that the husband/father is a monster, shouldn't that be reason to reach out and succor the family?

    If I were the father of the best friend, I hope my response would be to discuss this with my daughter, encourage the friendship, welcome her friend into our home, and forbid my daughter from going into theirs.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    We need some way of sorting out the sex offenders into categories, and treating accordingly. A multiple repeat offender never gets out, but there need to be lesser categories. For example, I know of one man who had consensual sex for the first time at age 19 with a 16 year old girl. Because there was a 3 year age gap, he was convicted. She testified in his behalf, it didn't matter. He's now spent a few years in prison after his parole was violated, just before it was up. His offense that landed him there? He wouldn't admit to other victims. She's written letters for him, he has many friends who've promised him employment and vouched for him, he met and married a wonderful woman while on parole. She was 21 when they met, and they tried to get him to admit that she was a victim. What a waste of taxpayer dollars, in prison time, treatment, and the loss of income and taxes he would have been paying while supporting his family. Instead his baby was born on Medicaid while he was in prison. Stupid.

  • re: the local perv
    March 17, 2008 10:21 a.m.

    Unfortunate as that may be, it is one of the unfortunate side-effects that _YOU_ caused. The side-effects of these kind of actions are far-reaching, both in scope and in the amount of people they affect and trouble.

    One thing is quite easy to state: If you had never done those things, this would not be happening.

  • Justice needed
    March 17, 2008 10:18 a.m.

    It is nice to talk about the treatment of pertretrators, but doesn't the law demand justice for the victim? In the case of child sexual abuse by an adult perpetrator, justice demands a penalty at least as great as the crime--a payment, that a few years in prison with therapy doesn't seem to satisfy.

  • the local perv
    March 17, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    Many years ago, I told my Bishop something I had done many years before that. Following his counsel, I told the police. I did absolutely everything my bishop told me to do. At the end of a very long process, and just before I finally went off probation, along came Megan's Law, and my sins were "shouted from the house tops." Well, that's the price I pay for what I did, and my point here isn't to belabor that what I see as my eternal consequences for screwing up. What has happened since Megan's Law is that my wife and children, including one not even born when I committed my crime, are ostracized by our neighbors and their schoolmates. One child's best friend was suddenly told by her parents that she was not allowed to play with my daughter any more. Kids don't date my children; people snub my family on their way into the chapel to worship. The question I have is this: are my wife and children my victims - or yours?

  • Society must make changes
    March 17, 2008 9:39 a.m.

    We need to address underlying issues, with more emphasis on prevention.

    We need to decide to either lock these guys up for life, or come up with a better plan.

    Having them spend 5, 10, or 15 years in prison learning even more deviant behavior and methods of secrecy from their peers, then letting them right back into society without any support or intervention, does NOT make society safer. It also costs WAY MORE than we can afford to keep paying.

    Someone needs to come up with a more cost-effective plan. We can't keep locking people up for several years, letting them out without jobs or supervision, then think that we are actually safer.

  • Observant Mom
    March 17, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    Passing judgment on these offenders is absolutely NOT helpful in protecting children or preventing future abuse. Understanding that they seem like everyone else and really are "nice guys" is key in teaching children, young women, even adults to recognize dangerous situations before they are trapped. I believe most offenders want to be "nice guys" through and through, but they need support to avoid situations that trigger their impulses and behaviors. I have observed this as a neighbor, family member and friend of others who have been both victims and perpetrators. I certainly would not choose to have observed these things -- I wish for the sake of those involved these things had never happened, but I'm absolutely not going to close my eyes and pretend it isn't there. Because it is there, I'm going to understand how to protect my family and hope to teach others to do the same.

  • Concerned
    March 17, 2008 8:53 a.m.

    In the previous article on this subject I responded & my response was not printed. Perhaps because I used a name of an offender. The result of this offender`s imprisonment in Draper are known to me (not just commented on). Years of taxpayer money convicted this man, many tax dollars used for rehabilitation & "help"... to "change" (?) this multi child abuser. He "played" the prison "game", "confessed" a change of heart and agreed with each and every demand the "system" put on him... in order to GET OUT of prison. I KNOW that Rules he was to follow are ignored. And noone in the overburdened parole system cares as long as this arrogant man causes no obvious disruption! In HIS case (and likely many other cases), Utah citizens would`ve been far ahead if NOTHING had been spent on him in prison and more spent on keeping track of what he is ACTUALLY doing within the absurd living situation he was allowed to return to!

  • Concerned Father
    March 17, 2008 8:37 a.m.


    How about a 1 strike law for all criminals. That way all criminals are prevented form being around us normal people. We already lock away a larger percentage of our population than China, Iran, North Korea or Russia.

    I am a father of both a victim (daughter) and an offender (who was 12 at the time). I have delt with therapy for both, I have delt with the criminal justice system and I have learned a lot about how to mitigate the circumstances that lead to abuse.

    "Having Lived with this" got it right.

  • ex offender
    March 17, 2008 8:33 a.m.

    1 Strike I hope you never do anything that would put you in a 1 strike situation.

    Everyone deserves a second chance. My victim was my daughter. There were none before her and none after. I am thankful that I was caught least I would have continued offending. Being caught forced me to face the real issues in my life that led me to this point.

    I remain to this day, free of sex offenses because I choose not to hurt anyone. I have raised children since my conviction and I am around my grandchildren. My children know of my past and they also know I will not hurt them or my grandchildren, which I see every day.

    All this was brought about because of therapy to help me deal with my demons. I recognized my problems and I learned to deal with them. If not for a supportive and loving wife I may not have been able to do it myself.

    I admit that there are those who will not change. If they re-offend sexually, they should be locked up for life. Most are not that way and deserve a chance at turning their lives around.

  • UnCharged
    March 17, 2008 8:21 a.m.

    To "Having lived this"---Thank you

  • cj snyder
    March 17, 2008 8:14 a.m.

    Having been the true victim of one of these folk, I am disinclined to feel too sympathetic of their *victim* status.
    I think that releasing them to their own accountability is like handing someone with anger management issues a manual for control and a handgun. It's anybody's guess how long it will take, but it is my belief that the offender will eventually use both objects to *further his own agenda*.
    I would also like to say, NEVER having been an offender, that I grow weary of hearing that those who offend were once offended. Will power is a wonderful tool, regardless of the weakness. I strongly recommend it's use!
    I also strongly recommend that these offenders NOT be given the benefit of the doubt ~ it's just way too costly when they return to their line of least resistance.
    I think, for example, that Lions are beautiful animals and I am sure that there are many who have never exhibited anti-social behavior. Nevertheless, they require caging!
    Much the same can be said for deviat behavior types.

  • Having lived this
    March 17, 2008 7:54 a.m.

    (accidentally hit send but)
    and REQUIRE ACCOUNTABILITY FROM OFFENDERS. These articles are well-done. Withhold judgment and listen.

  • ex offender
    March 17, 2008 7:42 a.m.

    Lifetime Observer The problem is that sex offenders don't ask that question. They are more concerned about what they get out of it. Like drug abuse, some sex offenders are trying to deal with some pain inside of them.

    There are those that are into the control over another and they simply don't even consider the other person. Ultimately, sex offenders are about themselves.

    That is why therapy is so important. If they don't learn that life is not about them, then the chances they will re-offend is high. No matter what law you pass, they will continue to offend.

    Confrontational therapy forces the offender to acknowledge they have hurt someone else. It forces them to look at their past to see where people did the same to them and for them to learn that what they did to another hurt like they had been hurt.

    Once they make the connection then they can begin to empathize with their victim and healing can start.

    All offenders must learn to recognize that they hurt someone else, and then decide that they don't want to hurt anyone again.

    If they don't learn then they cannot be part of society.

  • Having lived this
    March 17, 2008 7:46 a.m.

    My children were molested by a cousin who's still in denial 20+ victims later. I fully understand the pain & the anger of those who've been hurt. The effects of sexual abuse are pervasive & long-lasting. We've also had the experience of being very close to a young man from an outstanding family who made this mistake in his early teens and has spent over a decade trying to change his attitudes and habits as described in the therapy section of the article. So far he's successful, but he'll have to be prudent the rest of his life. The vitriol expressed in some of these comments does nothing to heal the offended or help the offender.
    If we want a safer world, we need to listen, practice empathy for all, and

  • ex offender
    March 17, 2008 7:29 a.m.

    Ben the best way to protect your children is to teach them to come to you whenever they feel uncomfortable around someone. Don't just assume that they have no reason to feel that way.

    Be careful of anyone that seems to pay extra special attention to your children, bringing gifts, or having any secrets with them.

    Teach your children where people should not touch and tell them that no matter what, they will not be in trouble if they tell on someone that has purposely touched them there.

    Spend time with your kids. Don't let them spend time on the Internet without knowing what they are doing online. Get intrusive with the plans of your children to make sure that where they spend time you observe the people they are around.

    If there is a sex offender that lives close to you, meet him/her, not to threaten or cajole, but to let him/her know that you know who they are. Most registered offenders are trying to do what is right. Search the offender list to find those who are not in compliance. You will want to know their faces.

  • Mike
    March 17, 2008 7:34 a.m.

    I would like to see a 1 strike and your out law passed where it pertains to sex offenders. Why? After having lived around sex offenders for 7 yrs at Utah State Prison.

    I witnessed first hand how easily the sex offenders were able to manipulate the staff, sex offender treatment program staff, casemanagers, board of pardons etc.

    A majority of these predators paroled more than once from the prison only to return on new sex charges.

    About once per month I log onto the sex offender registry and look up names of offenders.

    Over the last 8 years I've seen where numerous sex offenders have been paroled, re-offended-paroled and re-offended.
    It's time of a 1 strike and your out law where it pertains to sex offenders.

  • to Ben
    March 17, 2008 7:31 a.m.

    You can speak up against the main causes.
    Consider the casual sex you see every night on TV. That is one huge stimulant. Not only do you children see and know more than you would believe, but the other kids and adults see it and want the really cool feelings you get when you get sex and never have to worry about consequences, and we'll be right back after these lustful ads....

    It's gonna take a lot of parents speaking out to change the source(s) of the problem. You'll have to explain to the ACLU why the perverts' "freedom" is dangerous to you children.

    It's a hard job, but it's gotta be done.

  • McKay
    March 17, 2008 7:23 a.m.

    One strike and you are OUT!!! I will for sure break your legs if you touch one of my kids. I'm amazed that more legs are not broken by other fathers.

  • Lifetime Observer
    March 17, 2008 7:19 a.m.

    If all potential sex offenders would sincerely ask themselves, "What will this do to this person, now and in the future?" They would STOP!

    Sex is a compelling, exciting thing. First time is remembered forever.

    Abused, it can cause the abused to become the abuser.

    Having sex for the first time with your married partner is the most beautiful, EXCITING EXPERIENCE in this life, and will go far to solidify a relationship and make for a committed family.
    Thus, a society that can be free from a lot of ills.

  • ex offender
    March 17, 2008 7:07 a.m.

    This part of the series brings out good information. The issue is more, what will be done with it?

    Self loathing is difficult to deal with and sex offenders use what is at hand to assuage that loathing. It is also true that an offender must want to change, but that is not different from anyone with any psychological issue.

    I agree with Unconvinced that the second time an offender offends he should get life in prison. I have had a second chance and I have done all that I can do to keep myself offense free. However, if I were ever to re-offend I would expect to be locked away for the rest of my life as I would have forfeited my right to another chance.

    I was the self loathing, self medicating type. Over the past 20 years I have learned what not to do and because I have learned I no longer loath myself. That makes it easier for me to remain free of offense. Also, my wife is my best friend and I make sure she is with me as much as possible.

  • Ben
    March 17, 2008 6:34 a.m.

    Two days of disturbing articles on the subject have made me, as a parent of two young children, wonder how I can possibly protect my children from these predators. I hope that one of the articles in this series will focus on what parents can do.
    While I know that it is difficult to do anything to stop a predator from preying, I would like to know what the experts say to teach my children so that if this happens it only happens one time, not a series of times as appears to often be the case. What is the difference between the children who report abuse and those who don't?
    There has to be something that can be done to protect my children.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2008 6:22 a.m.

    Whats this secret shame garbage? Are you expecting us to relate to these worthless pieces of filth or perhaps feel sorry for them? No thank you.

    I wonder who really dreams these stories up. Hey Cannon, how is that nepotism thing working out for you? You have taken the Deseret News to a new low with these fluff pieces trying to give us some "understanding" for these low life wastes of space.

  • A cop out...
    March 17, 2008 5:49 a.m.

    I'm sorry I don't buy that "I'm the victim" line from a perpetrator. The victim is the child, to young to know what's going on. Those children grow up damaged and robbed for the rest of their lives, traumatized beyond words. I don't believe they can be rehablitated if they keep telling people "They're the victims". Sex offenders are selfish plain and simple. Probation alone isn't good enough, cause if they get out for sure it will happen again and what's sad is that most of the time they're such great liars the judicial system believes them and they go off free. Why do I believe what I wrote, Cause I was the real victim. I can't get back what was robbed from me and I'm the one who has to live with the pain everyday of my life. Yes, it emotionally and mentally destroys a child and we grow up not wanting to trust anyone in authority over us and WE have to be in therepy alot longer then they will be in it.

  • Carole Knowles
    March 17, 2008 5:29 a.m.

    It has been demonstrated repeatedly that there is no cure for perpetrators of sexual abuse on children. They have to be kept away from children. Zero tolerance is the only way to prevent more victims.
    Spend the money and time on healing their victims and thus preventing more predators.
    I read in a newspaper not long ago that some people were outraged that the poor predators of a certain city were reduced to living in tents under a bridge because the city's parents did not want them in their hoods and made it clear to the predators. I thought it was a fair solution. Parents, children, and police all know where they are and what they are. They need to be isolated so that the good people and their good children can live free of fear from those predators. Catch them, identify them publicly, and stash them under the bridge.
    In our state, police will go from door to door with a photograph of the predator when he moves to that city. Predators' pics, names, addresses, crimes, places and dates of crimes, are published in the newspaper weekly.

  • JerS
    March 17, 2008 2:31 a.m.

    I personally have zero sympathy for these guys. The "I'm a victim, therefore, I sexually abuse children" routine is a complete cop out. They use their status of simply being an "adult" to gain trust of their younger victims. Unfortunately, many children are taught to not question adults and get caught up in the sex offenders "grooming" drill. A close relative of mine was abused as a youth by a deviant that lived in his neighborhood. The calculated steps the perpetrator used in order to commit his sexual abuse demonstrated his guilt of premeditation. Fortunately, he was tried and prosecuted for his crimes.

  • Unconvinced
    March 17, 2008 1:31 a.m.

    Change "by degrees" is hardly enough for society to ever trust these men (and now women). They are narcisstic, deluded people who will always put their own needs above those of others. The sad thing is, they never truly believe they're doing anything wrong. There should be a law....2 strikes and you're in jail for the rest of your life. It makes me sick to think we're letting these perverts out of prison.