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Secret shame: Utah's sex offenders and their victims

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  • Riverton Resident
    March 16, 2008 12:39 a.m.

    What? No mention of what my Representative did this year in passing Jessica's law??? Come on! That should have been the biggest story of the year, and the media keeps forgeting about it. As a delegate who pays attention to policy in Utah, I am disappointed in the things that get forgotten.

  • Look Out!
    March 16, 2008 12:44 a.m.

    Whoa. Is this what I wanted to read on a Sunday morning? Or any other morning? The world is such a sad place.

  • realitycheck
    March 16, 2008 2:58 a.m.

    Let's not assume that "money, acclaim and notoriety" can heal the wounds of any sexual abuse survivor. That just diminishes the suffering of every survivor, regardless of status. And I also thought this article was biased toward offending males. There are plenty of female perpetrators. They are either increasing or becoming more reported. Perhaps both.

  • Observer
    March 16, 2008 5:24 a.m.

    So the net of the story is things are pretty bad, lots of cases go unreported, and treatment dollars are inadequate, even if some treatment can be found that really works, which is doubtful. What about prevention? What is being done to de-sexualize childhood? Okay, you've sensationalized the problem, now what's your solution?

  • Bill O.
    March 16, 2008 5:52 a.m.

    Treatment is not very effective with the vast majority of sex offenders. In fact, the recidivism rate is as high as 95%. These programs need to show valid and reliable evaluations that treatment is effective in preventing recidivism and THEN we should consider increasing treatment options. Otherwise, incarceration may be the best way to protect potential victims.
    Treatment for victims should be our first priority as that will treat the innocent and prevent the victim from becoming an abuser later on.

  • Utah Citizen
    March 16, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    Also no mention of the negative influence that the mass media that stimulates these perpetrators to evil. Stop the root cause. But alas, all the neo-cons are squawking about same-gender marriage. That issue does not lead to all of these felony crimes being perpetrated on our children.

    Many studies show the junk on the internet and tv and movies is a serious contributing factor. How come legistators at fed, state and local levels do nothing about it? How come there are not any publis service announcements to warn the public.

    How do you stop all of these felonies.

  • Concerned Parent
    March 16, 2008 9:32 a.m.

    As the mother of four daughters, it frightens me to realize that statistically at least one of my daughters could be a victim of sexual abuse. I am glad the Deseret News put this in the Sunday paper. Shying away from the reality will not solve and obviously escalating problem. It may not be what we want to read, but kudos to the DesNews for putting it front and center on the highest circulation day so that the most people would have to pay attention (or at least notice the title).

  • Thank you
    March 16, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    Keep them locked up!!

  • Sad
    March 16, 2008 9:45 a.m.

    Not wanting to read it on a Sunday or any other morning in the paper! This is a fact of life - one that needs to be dealt with. Yes it is a sad world and people not wanting to be informed so that people in these sad events can be helped make it an even sadder world. If you don't want to see more of this in the papers then get out there and do someting to help!!!

  • What if I had told?
    March 16, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    Everyone talks about harsher and harsher punishment, but when that is the case it makes the choice to come forward much harder for a victim who knows their perpetrator.

    I didn't want my brother-in-law to go to prison, even though I knew what he had done with me was wrong.

    He went on to raise a fine family with eight children.

    What if I had told?

  • The families need to stop it...
    March 16, 2008 10:11 a.m.

    I have known several families where such abuse happens and the families fawn and flutter about how it is "not that big a deal". Children are being hurt and people are uncomfortable dealing with the issue, so they don't. I was a victim of sexual abuse by a friend of the family. Looking back, I can't understand how my parents didn't confront it. There were so many signs. And I grew up in an upper-class neighborhood of good church-going, educated people in PROVO.

    Families need to be more careful. They need to see abuse for what it is and not try to justify or under-react to troubling issues, especially by predatory loved ones. Uncle Joe may have mowed your lawn for 20 years, but just because he is a 'nice guy' doesn't mean he couldn't be a child predator.

    I applaud the LDS Church for taking a tougher stance in recent years and implementing new policy that makes it more difficult for children to be hurt in youth settings.

    Forgiveness should not supersede justice where sexual predators are concerned.

  • What? once more
    March 16, 2008 10:09 a.m.

    I meant to say that familial abuse has a recidivism rate of only 2%. Sorry.

  • Anonymous
    March 16, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    This is especially for Bill O: the DOJ statistics are that sex offender recidivism is the lowest of virtually all categories of offenders. What you say is true for the very small minority of predatory offenders - the sexual sadist, the narcissistic personality disordered and the antisocial personality disordered - they are rarely helped by treatment whether they are burglars or DWIs or sex offenders. The actual highest recidivism rate is from domestic abusers - wife or husband beaters.

    With that in mind, I agree that treatment of targets of sexual abuse is far more important than any other single step. But we must stop calling them "victims" for their entire lives. One can recover and become a survivor, but not if one is allowed to make the abuse the primary and only focus of anyone's attention to them. People recover from all sorts of terror and negativity to become good, productive and healthy people - please give these targets that same option.

  • Marina
    March 16, 2008 10:14 a.m.

    Bill O. Your data is incorrect. Recidivism rates are exactly the opposite. According to a US Department of Justice Study recidivism rates for sex offenders are actually 5% in the first 3 years after release (the time period studied.) Treatment DOES work but they need funding and education. You are a prime example. If 95% reoffended then we would see a decrease in sexual abuse victims as the prison population increased. Just the opposite is happening.

    Education is our only hope. We have to educate our children and ourselves on where the real dangers lie.

  • My son is a sex offender
    March 16, 2008 10:16 a.m.

    I can't help but wonder if I helped ruin his life by insisting that we call the police when we discovered what he had done to a younger relative. Perhaps we should have treated this as a "family" matter?

    Anyway, he will be in prison for at least ten more years, and he will ALWAYS have to register as a sex offender.

    Reading this article about how many sex offenders now fill our jails makes me wonder if we, as a society, as handling this the right way.

  • ex offender
    March 16, 2008 10:42 a.m.

    I made a couple of posts that were not allowed for whatever reason. I stated facts and not fiction but evidently DMS doesn't want all sides to this issue.

    I abused my daughter by inappropriate touching almost 20 years ago and I am so very sorry for what I did. We have a good relationship now but that doesn't mean I don't feel the shame for what I did.

    That said, society doesn't want to allow sex offenders who have straightened out their lives and made the changes needed to be part of society again.

    What most laws concerning sex offenders deal with is the emotion and not the reality of the law.

    Bill O has no idea what he is talking about with his saying that 95% of sex offenders are recidivist. He can say it but he can't back it up.

    Most sex offenders are first time offenders that know their victims because they are family, friends, teachers, church members, and others.

    Reality bites but treatment works for most that want to get better. Don't go lumping everyone in the same category.

  • wow
    March 16, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    To what if I'd have told.

    Hopefully your brother-in-law is not raping and violating one of his eight beautiful children from this "fine family" that he has raised. I hope one or more of them are not living a nightmare at the hands of their father because of the wonderful decision that you made to not tell. I have my doubts about this father of eight children.

  • History
    March 16, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    For years before current times, sex abuse in families had been treated internally. It is good that much of that is out in the open.

    But the laws of today do hinder them getting the help they need. As more and more people see what these laws are doing to the families they are supposed to protect, we are going to see families start to handle it internally again, especially where young offenders are concerned.

    The public wants to put scarlet letters on these people. Yes, there are those that really need to be locked up for life, and there are some that need to be constantly supervised for life, but most will not offend again and be law abiding the rest of their lives. That is, unless society won't let them.

  • Treatment vs. lock'em up
    March 16, 2008 11:27 a.m.

    Bill O.'s statistic is incorrect. According to Rod Decker in a 2 news story about 6 months ago, of sexual offenders who COMPLETE treatment successfully, only about 5% ever offend again. And the DOJ statistics are also reflective of this.

    Which gives credence to an argument this article makes: Find ways to fund the treatment of these offenders so they won't keep harming people in the future!

  • re: What if I had told
    March 16, 2008 11:28 a.m.

    I know it is not an easy decision, but your inaction allowed a predator to go free. Just like was said before- Just because he's a nice guy doesn't mean he won't hurt another kid.

    HE chose to abuse, you chose to keep it quiet. The accountability is lost, and I hope his kids (or grandchildren) will not suffer because of it, but statistics say he will abuse again, and again, and again. I would be mortified if I married a man who his family knew he had predatory past behaviors and didn't inform me.

    I seem to remember something about a millstone...

  • Aaron
    March 16, 2008 11:36 a.m.

    An excellent article that is relevant to anybody in or out of Utah. I agree that something can and should be done to help sex offenders. I'm not sure exactly what, but some mercy can be extended to these people without violating the law. Having said that, I still feel the need to be protective of our children so they are not hurt by sexual abuse.

  • Former Bishop
    March 16, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    As a former bishop, in another state, I have had to deal with the "baggage" of middle age women who were abused as children. This sin (not theirs) had damaged their souls. It has effected everyone of their decisions and their decision making ability, the view of their self worth, worthiness, and abilities to succeed at anything.

    With all the trash, readily availoable on the internet, feeding their (the abusers) lust and making people want to act on things they probably wouldn't even know about, we are faceing a terrible "harvest" as more of these crimes against children happen.

    Families, talk with your children about good touching and bad touching. Arm them to be able to say "no" and tell someone who will help.

    Bless the victims!
    Lock up the abusers! But treat them.

  • Anonymous
    March 16, 2008 12:04 p.m.

    How can we help?

  • Elizabeth, Oregon
    March 16, 2008 12:00 p.m.

    As a long-time foster and adoptive parent, our family has dealt with these issues.

    The first step in dealing with any problem is to face reality and say, "We have a problem." You do, Oregon does, everywhere does.

    We need a two-pronged attack: 1- Help the victims, 2- Ensure that the rapists cannot re-offend.

    Depending on which you prioritize determines what you do. Please make the victims, all of them, your number one priority.

  • Hard choices
    March 16, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    I don't want my son to EVER hurt another child. (His second offense, with a relative--no intercourse) But I hate the thought of him wasting the next 14 years in prison.

    Yes, it was wrong, and we needed to distance him from the younger relative, but now his life seems ruined, because of his 20 year old actions.
    (And the victim seems oblivious to what happened)

    I wish there were some "less restrictive" yet safe place that he could be. Wouldn't a "work farm" or some such place be a more efficient place to house non-violent sex offenders?

    Maybe you all think they DESERVE to be locked away for life in a maximum security prison, but I just don't think our society can afford this much longer.

    Society can never benefit from his potential talent and abilities as long as he's locked away. And what happens when he gets out? No one will want to hire him or allow him to live near them.

    I'm afraid he'll just end up back in prison. Such a loss to us, and to society.

  • experienced with the system
    March 16, 2008 12:14 p.m.

    One of the most destructive things we do is maintain laws on our books that make it impossible for someone who has committed a sexual act against children to get treatment --- when he seeks help, the law requires that a therapist report him.

    Now I understand why no therapist would ever continue to treat someone who was continuing to abuse, without making a report. And I also understand why a therapist needs to be free to report whenever they believe children are at additional risk. But they also ought to be free to NOT report in those circumstances where a perp comes to them for help in not doing it again and is not currently abusing.

    And every child abuse victim needs to receive effective treatment too. But if they go to a therapist, the therapist again has to report it, whether or not the victim or the victim's parents want the child to be caught up in the system.



  • experienced with the systemII
    March 16, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    Most parents would not mind another child in their home, or even an adult, be held accountable if they were able to get help, be held accountable and then go on with their lives if they turn them around.

    But our laws make that now impossible. If you were acting out abuse that was done to you and you get effective intervention, and are no longer a risk, you none the less will need to continue to be registered as a sex offender --- the equivalent of wearing a scarlet letter --- for the rest of your life.

    If this was necessary for public protection, or even reduced the risk, it might be defensible. But it does neither.

    Our current laws express our fears, but they don't really address the problem of over sexualized children or child sexual abuse.

  • Bob
    March 16, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    Let's face it; we don't "really," care for kids in this country. The richest nation on earth with an infant mortality rate like ours? C'mon. Our educational system? We need a Childrens Bill of Rights. We need to start considering the children of Katrina, "our kids,"--which most do not. We need to stop dressing them up like tiny prostitutes and giving them role models who tell little girls that the finest thing you can be in life, is someone guys want to have sex with. If we truly set our goals toward giving each child the chance have a productive, educational and decent childhood, it could happen. PS--Men, quit walking out on your family when your daughters are pre-teens. Makes it tough on them.

  • anonymous
    March 16, 2008 12:28 p.m.

    I think a good way to reduce the amount of child victims is to know the signs of abuse. As a victim of abuse I WANTED someone to know, but I didn't feel like I could say anything because the abuser was a teacher who I loved a respected. I felt like it was my fault for getting too close to him, and that I was the dirty one who had brought this upon myself. It seems ridiculous to someone that has not been abused, but it's a very complicated thought process. As a result, I became recluse, I acted out, I was unreachable by friends and family. If you see this happening you cannot be afraid of the consequences of saying something. I tried to hint to friends, family members, and even my bishop, but the consequences of accusing someone unjustly were scarier than erring on the safe side. I don't blame anyone, but I urge those of you that want to help to be alert and aware of signs of abuse in children or women that you know. It could save them from a lifetime of painful memories and flashbacks.

  • Carole Knowles
    March 16, 2008 12:29 p.m.

    Parents need to supervise their children better. There are too many poorly supervised sleep-overs. If there is a teenage boy in a house, there should not be a girls sleepover. There should not be a sleep-over without a very alert mother in the house. We do not loan out our new car to even relatives, but we think nothing of giving access to our kids to people we hardly know. It terrifies me to see kids at church making arrangements for sleep-overs at the drop of a hat and parents not even thinking twice before sending them off. That's what we can do: become and stay alert parents, and prevent a lifetime of tragedy.

  • My son is an offender too
    March 16, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    I hate having him in prison, but I am happy that I no longer have to worry about his behavior.

    To experienced with the system, I think you're right "Our current laws express our fears, but they don't really address the problem of over sexualized children or child sexual abuse."

    On the plus side for us, we're saving a bundle on health care and diabetic supplies (not to mention food and shelter) for our son. Hope the state knows we do appreciate their un-asked for assistance.

  • Wes
    March 16, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    I applaud the D-News for this series. It's a tough subject and one that needs to be looked at realistically - even when the facts are painful. I look forward to stories in the coming days. Thank you for this public service.

  • Dating
    March 16, 2008 1:08 p.m.

    Another aspect of abuse is dating. I know a lot of girls who were abused by guys they were dating. No, it never does get reported, or rarely anyways.

    Teach your girls that it's okay to say "no" to a guy that you don't want to go out with. It is confusing for young girls that are learning since birth to have charity, be kind and sweet, be sensitive. When it comes to dating, please don't encourage kids to go out with anyone they don't want to just to be nice. Teach your kids that when it comes to kissing, hugging, even holding hands...you don't have to be nice anymore. If you don't want to date him, say no. Stop it right there. Don't say yes to a date or activity with someone that your gut tells you that he's not your type, but you don't want him to feel bad.

  • What happens next?
    March 16, 2008 1:42 p.m.

    What happens when all of these offenders are released?
    Or are they ever going to be released?
    Perhaps the legislature should consider what to do with a barrage of men that no one wants to hire or live anywhere near, once they are let out again.
    With 1 out of 99 of us Americans currently in prison can we afford to keep going with the current system?

  • Thrives on Secrecy!
    March 16, 2008 1:53 p.m.

    Sexual preditors thrive on secrecy! As a mother of a victim I know all too well how unsupportive the government, police and churches can be.

    Make this crime and the offender as visible and public as possible and you will see a dramatic decline. Prominently post large pictures of offenders in their local post office, in schools, in newspapers; anywhere possible. I was told by a police officer and my ecclesiastical leader that I could tell no one...not even warn other mothers of children who associated often with this person. I did not listen to this!

    Here are the changes we have made in our family to hopefully guard against this ever happening again.

    1. No sleepovers!
    2. Drive your child everywhere they need to go and pick them up on time or better yet stay close by.
    3. Make play areas in your home in places where you can see everything going on.
    4. Teach your child to quickly get away from anyone talking in a salicious manner
    5. Scream and run away from anyone who tries to touch the private parts of their body.
    6. Be wary of friendly hugging and backrubs

  • ex offender
    March 16, 2008 2:07 p.m.

    The issue is trust. Sex offenders have proven they are not trustworthy in this aspect of life. They must prove themselves again. Are you willing to allow us to do that?

    Of course it takes years to do this but will you allow us that? As I mentioned I have been almost 20 years without re-offense. I have regained the trust of my children and I am involved in the lives of my grandchildren. I do not allow myself to be left alone with my grandchildren as I always want my wife with me.

    A strong treatment program will work with sticks and carrots. They make progress on treatment or they are returned to prison or sent there if on probation. Offenders must work at their rehabilitation to prove their willingness to change.

    However, anyone given a second chance that re-offends, then I am in favor of locking them up for life as they have proven they are not to be trusted.

  • Prevention
    March 16, 2008 2:05 p.m.

    As a male elementary school teacher I prefer to have parent volunteers or aides in the classroom and leave the classroom door open as much as possible. We need to as parents, adults, educators, etc. look at ways to remove opportunistic encounters where abuses happen.

    Don't give your kids cell phones unless you have all text message and numbers sent to you and your child aware you are watching. The same should be said of the internet.

    Parents be frank and open with your kids as well as aware of what they are doing at all times. I was the only one who became aware of an eight-teen y.o. trying to lure a friend's twelve y.o. daughter to his room at a convention. She caught my heavily sleep-deprived reaction to the second time he said something unusual to her in my presence. She caught that I knew something was wrong and came to me with her friend later when I was not with her dad, and the two of them told me a smidge of what was happening. It was enough to act upon, but I learned an extremely valuable lesson. cont....

  • Stranger Danger
    March 16, 2008 2:16 p.m.

    Please stop the insane emphasis on "Stranger Danger" in our schools. Children and parents are falsely lulled into a sense of security if they avoid "strangers."
    (Even though, according to the article, 98% of perpetrators are known friends or family members.)

    What happens with this extreme "stranger danger" is children who are afraid to ask a "stranger" for help.
    (Remember the young boy who was lost in the woods, but kept hiding from rescuers because of his fear of being kidnapped?)

    We have become so fearful of each other, that we think anyone not part of our group needs to be locked up. Perhaps if we weren't so fearful, we could find a way to treat people (especially family and friends) without locking them all in prisons, especially when they are non-violent offenders.

  • prevention cont...
    March 16, 2008 2:15 p.m.

    My friend's daughter felt she was to blame for this man's actions. This caused her to not tell her father though she had an idea she should. I went to her dad and retold all she had and then had my friend talk to the other girl's parents since I did not really know them.

    Her innocence was shattered by this experience though nothing physical happened. But what I learned about her fear to talk to her dad worried me. How many won't speak up because of guilt? She had done nothing to cause this man to pursue her, yet felt blame.

    I am just glad she came to talk to me so I could in turn do something about it and inform her father and have them start talking about safety. My only regret was that I hadn't been able to be at the site the next morning in time to talk to the officials running the event (I finally got sleep), because my friend was uncomfortable in going into detail with the officials. Because of that, no charges were filed and they should have been.

  • Medication?
    March 16, 2008 2:20 p.m.

    Perhaps we need to give these men medication that decreases their libido instead of increasing it, with things like Viagra.

  • From Minnesota
    March 16, 2008 2:33 p.m.

    Our son is in prison for sexually abusing a relative. He was given a 14 year sentence, and has already served several years. But he has NOT received any therapy for his problems yet. They won't do that until he is much, much closer to being released. Seems like such a waste of time.

    So he spends 10 years learning deviant behavior from fellow prisoners before they can start any kind of therapy? And they expect to have a hopeful outcome? What do they expect will happen when his time is up?

  • ex offender
    March 16, 2008 2:32 p.m.

    This has nothing to do with libido. It has to do with many other issues. In my case it was anxiety, depression, no self esteem, and the inability to understand healthy relationships.

    Others have been stuck on a certain vision of a 'perfect girl' which is under the age of consent.

    For some, anger at having no control in their lives as well as for others, it is a power trip where they can control everyone but themselves. Of course, there are many with many of these issues.

    The real issue is that ultimately, most sex offender are released from supervision and when that happens you want to make sure they have had treatment so they can deal with those respective issue.

    If, however, they cannot find a job or a place to live, if they cannot be around a supportive family or be able to get therapy, then the chance of recidivism is greater.

    Politicians have taken the easy way out buy passing emotional feel good laws that ultimately weaken the effects of tracking offenders. There are more people falling off the registry because of these laws, making all children less safe.

  • Mendoza
    March 16, 2008 3:02 p.m.

    I meant "too many of the comments ignore the victims"

  • wife of a INNOCENT MAN
    March 16, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    Not all VICTIMS are the ones that put through the cases,they can also be the ones that are ACCUSED! My husband was accused,and she has lied every time she was on the stand. Why can't anyone do something about the liars that do this to innocent people. So anyone can say this and that happened, and you need no proof. Even having a eye wittness did not help us. But she will be found out soon since she lied to the court it is in the transcripts.In this case we are the VICTIMS and she is the guilty party.

  • The Real Source
    March 16, 2008 3:37 p.m.

    America, not just Utah, is full of people who watch or allow watching sex predator training every day of the week.

    An average of at least 2-3 shows every day, on publicly available commercial TV incite, excite, and demonstrate overt sexual behavior -- the kind that should be totally private and between married partners. And then they show it between unmarried people, casual acquaintances, any combination.

    It's as if it were just another form of recreation, without responsibility, without commitment, without consequences.

    Then they hide behind 'freedom' of expression. Are the victims, the children, in your news story free?

    Don't tell me to "turn it off if I don't like it."
    Even when we do, other kids are still watching it, and live in the same world with mine, and grow up thinking pre-marital and extra-marital sex are OK. And why not try it with a kid, they'll never tell....

    Wake up! Start preventing the cause! There will never be enough band-aids or treatments or punishments to solve the resulting problem.

    Sow the wind, and you will reap the whirlwind.

  • Anonymous
    March 16, 2008 3:42 p.m.

    To Stranger Danger | 2:16 p.m.,

    Excellent post. This is such an important point it needs to be repeated:

    80% of abuse is committed by a person known to the victim. Therefore, we should be teaching our children to beware of FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND CHURCH TEACHERS AND SCOUT LEADERS, not strangers!

  • Denice
    March 16, 2008 3:51 p.m.

    We are visiting from out of state. Opening the Sunday morning paper and reading about sexual abuse is very depressing and more appropriately printed on another day!
    The article or the comments: I haven't heart anything mentioned about pornography. Abusers are users of porn first and abusers second. Stop the problem where it starts! A study taken of rapists and child abusers will state that they (perps)first become involved in porn--child or otherwise).

    I believe that "some" sexual abusers can repent and should be given the chance.

    Not reporting, either to family, bishop or police, is NOT acceptable. Regardless what the man may go on and do "raise a fine family of eight"! This man may be abusing someone else--that is how we stop--telling!

    Parents must talk to their children--knowledge is power--which the best prevention.
    Thanks for listening.

  • Carlo
    March 16, 2008 3:53 p.m.

    The Real Source at 3:37 is right on target, but understetes it.
    Perpetrators, who never start out to be, get stimulated in about 75% of the programming on TV espcialy in primetime but even on news shows, Today, GoodMorning America, etc,etc. Worse are thesoap operas, and most modern movies, but the heaviest dose to young minds is the popular channels, at night. Even KSL-NBC-Ch.5, and the other local biggies.
    And the key word is stimulated. Pressing the gas pedal, with no stering and no brakes will cause lots of wreck.

  • Mendoza
    March 16, 2008 4:03 p.m.

    Many comments about the perps, their feelings, and the difficulties of changing.

    Very few comments about the victims, how to help them, how devastating it is.

    Have perpetrators been required to do anything to repair the damage they have done? Do they know how their victims feel about all this? Have perpetrators paid the money to have their victims go through therapy? Why not? What have perpetrators done to restore their victims to a normal, healthy life?

    What do we do to fix the damage that has already been caused?

  • More to the series
    March 16, 2008 4:09 p.m.

    Have you all seen the 'Related Content' clicker near the top of the article?
    There are 4 more articles TODAY, on other aspects.
    Then 3 more days of articles.

  • Lynn in TN
    March 16, 2008 4:07 p.m.

    If 98% of perpetrators are friends or family. why are we spending billions on GPS monitors for stranger-danger? What a waste of $$$.

  • Sunday
    March 16, 2008 4:22 p.m.

    Yeah, it wasn't too inspiring to see this article in the Sunday paper, but what about those kids (and the perps who want to repent)?
    Their pain hurts every day of the week.

    The News knows it has more readers on Sunday, and the start of a series will get more attention then.
    Maybe a few of us will get over the avoidance of the topic, and do something about it.

  • Anonymous
    March 16, 2008 4:31 p.m.

    To Denice | 3:51 p.m.,

    What kind of silly, "bury-your-head-in-the-sand" attitude is that? You don't want to be bothered with REALITY and TRUTH on Sunday because it makes you feel sad??

    This is the exact discomfort with this important topic that keeps the abuse going. People don't want to face it. They don't want it to ruin their storybook world, their little fantasy utopia where all is well in Zion!

    Kudos to Deseret News for publishing this ON SUNDAY and trying to shatter the naive ignorance of such an attitude!

  • to DMN
    March 16, 2008 4:42 p.m.

    What was wrong with my comments to "Wife of an Innocent Man"? It is true that sometimes people are wrongfully accused, as her husband was, and as mine was. We all suffer, our husbands, and our families, when someone decides to make this kind of accusation. I have family members who have been victims of abuse, as well, so we have seen both sides of this. The cost is great for us, and we are victims, too. That doesn't negate or reduce the seriousness of offenses committed against victims, especially children. It is a very sad and difficult thing. But don't forget the accused who are not guilty, but have to suffer the same punishment as the guilty. My husband's health has been permanently adversely affected by his stay in our horrible county jail. We can never serve the mission we had hoped to serve together, even though a church court found him not guilty. It is also a financial disaster for us. Court-ordered counseling is difficult when there is no offense to recover from, but he's still required to "be accountable" or go back to prison. There is no easy answer.

  • Supervision a must
    March 16, 2008 4:43 p.m.

    I agree with Carole;reduce the opportunities for offense. Years ago I knew a family (the father was a young former Bishop) that opposed sleep-overs for his children based on what he'd heard during his time of service as a Bishop. We decided then to adopt the same policy, with the exception of a few instances, and I wonder if even those should have been omitted.
    Prevention of sexual crimes if possible is best, but if not lets shout the sins from the roof tops so we can protect future victims. And then let us help the past victims first, followed next with help for the perpetrators.

  • Scary!!
    March 16, 2008 5:10 p.m.

    My family is moving to Utah from Sydney, Australia ... now, I'm very nervous :O

  • Mammyyokum
    March 16, 2008 5:11 p.m.

    Not mentioned are the victims who are victimized over and over and over by the media.....who stretch every "law" passed to protect the privacy of the victim. Names, pictures, details, carefully-crafted sentences which "protect" the victim about as well as a see-through bag.....splashed across papers and TV screens.
    The families members all become victims and the shame, embarrassment, humiliation, and trauma are to be dealt with OVER & OVER & OVER by "friends", neighbors, classmates, etc. I have no doubt this in itself leads to the abuser becoming an abuser.
    Many times the only "peace" can come through moving to another city or state.....which is rarely a viable option.
    Gossip, even when "it is true," is only another form of abuse.
    If you are directly related to the victim/family/abuser, etc., stay out of it!! Keep your opinions and your curiosity to yourself! Don't try to be the judge and the jury! DO tell your family members to be REAL friends to those involved......be there to listen when needed, but don't do any asking.
    The situation in and of itself is trauma enough for a lifetime and needs time to be dealt with constructively. Don't contribute to the trauma.

  • Hope
    March 16, 2008 5:12 p.m.

    As a victim of child sexual abuse myself and a mother of three daughters under the age of 6, I also applaud the DS for printing this article on a Sunday! I am sorry if it is upsetting to others to see this on a Sunday, but there are those who live with this reality everyday, including Sunday, in the temple, at church, while hugging their children, etc. and that burying our heads and being upset is not healthy or helpful to anyone; victim, perpetrator or society in general.

    As for what to do now, educate parents and children, and in doing this, you protect the children. Parents, nurture close relationships with your own children. Teach them confidence (those preyed upon usually already have low-self-confidence) and appropriate boundaries with others (emotional and physical). Do not allow your children to watch movies, read books or magazines, or view posters that sexualize children, young women and even women too strongly. Don't allow our sons and daughters to learn these things!! If they do see these things, talk to them about the inappropriateness of such 'selling' of the female body.

  • Mammyyokum
    March 16, 2008 5:22 p.m.

    Sorry, should have said, "If you are NOT related to the family/victim/perpetrator..."
    Being a former victim myself (it does not have to brand you forever), and watching a close friend and her family endure all the above, my emotions tend to type faster than my fingers.

  • Ryan
    March 16, 2008 5:19 p.m.

    I think if we remove sexual deviants from human contact (including images of humans) for an extended period of time, their sexual appetite will be forced to realign (the association patterns in their brain will get weaker). You can't be attracted to something you can't see and can't vividly remember.

  • More Hope
    March 16, 2008 5:25 p.m.

    Continued . . . Teach them the sacredness of body and spirit and the value of their own agency.

    Parents also need to be more aware of their responsibilities. Parents must know where their children are at all times. They need to know and feel comfortable with friends, friends' families, teachers, neighbors, babysitters. If a parent feels uncomfortable with someone, they need to follow that instinct and withdraw their child from the situation! All aspects of a situation should be considered; are there older children in the home? Is there a male relative that visits often? Is there a friend of the older brother who makes you uncomfortable? Parents need to keep aware and not assume that all people are okay, just because they are 'nice.' I was personally abused by a lot of 'nice' people; neighbor boys, a family member, a male babysitter. Wise up parents! YOU are responsible for your children. Take up the reins and watch over your precious charge. Do not assume they are safe with 'nice' people.

  • wife of an innocent man also
    March 16, 2008 5:39 p.m.

    re:wife of a INNOCENT MAN
    Amen !!!!!!!! WAY TO GO !!!! I know just how you feel.....

  • A Survivors Third Husband
    March 16, 2008 5:47 p.m.

    My wife was sexually abused as a child, she then married a abuser who abused his own children. He abused both male and female and he started when he was under 18. His family hid the fact that he abused his own brother and sisters as well as other kids. He served a mission and married her in the temple. Each time someone could have brought out the abusing but no one did because they thought he would stop.

    There are some perpetrators that will not stop no matter what and others that if given treatment and the chance to change, will. I know this because I have personally witness a convicted abuser change and not re offend. Everyone knew what he had done and we taught everyone what they needed to be aware of. Abuse happens in secret and if you want to prevent abuse the best way is educate your children and talk to them about good and bad touching and to tell others when they feel someone is touching inappropriately and to keep telling until they are listened to. Communication is essential in helping to prevent any type of abuse.

  • To Scary
    March 16, 2008 5:53 p.m.

    Don't be too frightened. Utah is much safer than other states in violent crime rates. And as the article pointed out, as long as you stay away from friends and family you should be quite safe.

  • Punish Punish Punish
    March 16, 2008 6:27 p.m.

    I think that those we cannot lock up forever should be executed. That would stop sex offense cold out of fear. At least that is what some think.

  • To Ryan
    March 16, 2008 6:34 p.m.

    Your advise makes NO sense to me:
    "I think if we remove sexual deviants from human contact (including images of humans) for an extended period of time, their sexual appetite will be forced to realign (the association patterns in their brain will get weaker). You can't be attracted to something you can't see and can't vividly remember."

    If you were removed from food would you want it more or less?

    If you were removed from your family would you forget what they look like and never desire to be with them ever again?

    Why do you think sex offenders would re-act differently than yourself or other human beings?

  • ksmrcl
    March 16, 2008 6:40 p.m.

    "What about David K. Resendez, convicted and sentenced for sexual abuse of his 11-year-old stepdaughter and her friend? Six times, the man got out of prison. Six times, he violated parole and had to go back."

    I know of a permanent solution. Costs only a quarter and ends the constant "will he/she abuse again"? No more counseling/monitoring/supporting financially! NO MORE VICTIMS!!!

    ALL VICTIMS SHOULD RECEIVE COUNSELING!!! And, I also think that knowing someone could never hurt you or your sister/friend/cousin again would be a very positive thing!

    Also, any wife/mother/aunt who knows about this deviant should be sentenced to prison also!!

  • JB
    March 16, 2008 7:21 p.m.

    I'm grateful for coverage of a difficult subject. I appreciated comments by Former Bishop about victimshe understands abuse.

    KSL once wrote a brief story about long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse on adults. As a schoolteacher I knew abuse could harm children, but I didnt understand long-term consequences of abuse. Unfortunately I was sexually abused for the first 9 years of life by two relatives; I had vivid memories of abuse, but didnt understand damages caused. After reading KSL's article, I began investigating possible side effects of childhood abuse. Among other consequences, I found my self-hatred, fears and inability to make relational connections stemmed from abuse. I completely misunderstood right and wrong/good and bad in the area of sexualityfortunately I never hurt anyone because of my misperceptions. With guidance from marvelous church leaders (who hold the keys of healing for victims), a loving husband, and professional counseling my leaders guided me to, I have spent the last 2 years unraveling the horror of my childhood. I am grateful KSL printed that article. It helped me understand the problem and find help for myself. Along with articles on offenders, there should be articles about victims and consequences of abuse.

  • concerned
    March 16, 2008 7:36 p.m.

    Thank you to the Dnews for printing this article. Sexual abuse is a huge problem and in order to stop it the victims have to come out of silence. The perps have to take responsibility for what they have done and the first step to that is having everyone know what they have done. If they truely want to get better they will never be alone with a child again. They have to pay for what they did and the child needs to be told again and again that it was not their fault.
    We need to spend more of our time, efforts, and money turning victims into survivors. Do not stay quiet. Shame lives and thrives in secrecy.

  • What do we do?
    March 16, 2008 7:47 p.m.

    You can feel the pain on this site. My fear (as a husband, father, and hard working person) is a false accusation. I fear that everything I have ever worked for could change in a heart beat with a simple lie.

    Unfortunately, our current society leaps at any accusation - with no thought for the person being accused. I fear for my kids and for myself. I don't want anyone to become a victim!

  • JB
    March 16, 2008 7:49 p.m.

    One more point I want to add about the past abuse by my relatives. Sexual abuse within a familyincest, is a generational problem. It doesnt get stopped easily, possibly because everyone thinks that whatever is typical is normal. Also everyone is too ashamed to talk about abuse, and talking about abuse is what is needed to help solve incest problems; but talking about problems is something dysfunctional families dont do so well at. My counselor told me it takes at least 7 generations before sexual abuse is rooted out of a family. Tragic. What a huge web of pain.
    I think the media could be a great boon in helping victims and society understand the laws and resources available to help victims. Rather than trying to solve problems with money, teach victims what we need to do to get help, and well help ourselveswe are very capable.

  • What about Europe?
    March 16, 2008 7:51 p.m.

    My European friends talk about skinny dipping as teenagers and they often sunbathe nude . . . do you think that they have higher rates of abuse?

    In repressive societies, it is interesting to see how sexual abuse is handled . . . in some, the women are killed, in others, the abuse is simply not reported.

    How does the U.S. compare to other countries? What is the best way to work with people?

    I like the days when we could easily go camping, visit with families, do sleep overs, and otherwise not worry about our kids. Now, it sounds like we have to teach everyone to simply grow up trusting NO ONE. How can we live like that?

  • They never get better...ever
    March 16, 2008 8:07 p.m.

    A victim of sexual abuse does not ever recover...not ever...not with treatment...or time...or life. Forever is a long long time. The dynamics of secrecy which these known family perpetraters deploy ruins any chance of bonding with your own mother. To tell is to bring down hell upon ones's own family...to not tell is to be in an existence with no exit. It never ever leaves your mind, and your ability to live a "normal life" is destroyed. Therapy for a victim is like putting a band aid on the Wasatch Fault. It does not work..Too many aspects of trust and the ability to trust have forever been negated...by those who should have cared the most..To ex-offender at 2:32 today...your article is a perfect example of excuses..If you think your life is so bad,,,then try living the rest of it from early childhood on in one of a victim.The only 'happy' day I have had was when I learned my step father had finally died. That happiness was short lived by the torment of memories of my entire childhood, which surface every time I see a sibling. It just never ever ends. A brimstone is mild punishment.

  • To Punish Punish Punish
    March 16, 2008 8:09 p.m.


    How is that death penalty working for ya? Obviously it hasn't stopped murderers.

  • My Opinion
    March 16, 2008 9:11 p.m.

    I think one of the biggest reasons for the more recent explosion of sex crimes against children is because of the hyper-sexualization of children brought about by the "fashions" of today. Children, "tweens," and teens are frequently dressed like little street walkers. Today's mode of dress for women along with the steady stream of filth available in the media and on the Internet have made the situation worse. Another factor - the breakdown of traditional families and the number of children living with non-biological relatives. Yes, I know that abuse happens a lot with blood relatives, but the stats go up a lot when talking about stepfathers and the live-in boyfriends of childrens' mothers.

  • A Very Angry Mom
    March 16, 2008 9:43 p.m.

    This is for "Hard Choices" 'Second offense" victim not "affected" Are you kidding ME? My daughter was abused by a "relative". Several times. She has nightmares, she has self doubt ALL the TIME. She is a bright very attractive teenager now. She maintains a 4.0 GPA she is a talented dancer singer, she is a very popular student. Looking at her you would never guess the lifetime of torment and self doubt and grief and shame and guilt she still goes through each and every day and all this with therapy. If I had my way the young man in question would have been put away for life. Had I really known what my daughters would still be going through 7 years later. IT NEVER GOES AWAY! Did you want the young victim of your son to go around with her shame and guilt on her sleeve for everyone to see? Do you think your son is fine or that he won't violate again? Pull your head out! A large part of my daughters soul died that year she was abused. Her innocence was killed. She actually stopped growing many years! Life in prison is not long enough.

  • PREVENTION!!
    March 16, 2008 9:59 p.m.

    Great curriculum called Good-Touch/Bad-Touch. Trained professionals teach children the difference between Good touches and Bad touches in a very age appropriate manner. PLEASE! check it out. I know in some areas they will even come into the schools. Why take a chance? Like mentioned before, it is most likely who the child has known and trusted.

  • Bob
    March 16, 2008 10:15 p.m.

    Legislature should lend more money to the prison so that they can use more therapists to help these troubled souls. If there in there for a sex crime, it should be a requirement that they talk about the process that led them down that road and find out why they made bad choices that led up to their near unpardonable sin (well, at least for some of them). If they choose not to talk and eventually show remorse and correct their behavior, then they should get life in prison. This is a very serious issue and much work needs to be done about it. More importantly, Utah should ban all porn internet sites and find a way to know if computers and laptops are viewing any form of it. Then investigate any household where they know pornography has been viewed. I think that if people will be convicted of a crime for just looking at a little here or a little there, they may decide to quit it altogether because they don't want any bad marks in society. Whatever it takes to solve the problem because it is complete torture for victims and families.

  • milo garcia
    March 16, 2008 10:17 p.m.

    "The sex offender treatment program at the state prison has such a high turnover in counselors because few people can tolerate the details of that job."
    This statement is false and is a projection of the reporter's feelings--it reveals a biased and unbalanced article.
    Therapists jump ship not because they can't handle the work or details of the job--they're clinical professions and can tolerate dealing with sex offenders; they leave because of higher pay and demand outside of prison for their clinical skills.

    The legislature has appropriated funds for raises for correctional officers over the past few years. Good. But what the public is not privy to is that correctional officers--those only providing security to inmates--are the ones who received these raises:

    FACT: Past therapists were certified correctional officers; they did not receive proportionate raises so they left corrections.

    FACT: Therapists who were certified correctional officers and who have left the prison for higher paying jobs have been replaced by persons who are therapists only and are not officers--they work under a private contract.

    FACT: Treatment does work and this article failed to provide that information.

    MY OPINION: The legislature should provide funding commensurate with stricter new laws.

  • jade
    March 16, 2008 10:39 p.m.

    To my opinion 9:11pm Right on!!!

  • Anonymous
    March 16, 2008 10:46 p.m.

    To those paranoid about false accusations of abuse:

    I have survived false accusations of abuse. Twice. It is not easy, and there are a lot of people who still gossip about me - that is the LDS way - but I have come to terms with it. I am at peace knowing I am innocent, and I have learned not to worry about the gossipers.

    My two most important concerns are: 1) to protect myself from further false accusations (always have a witness, etc.), and 2) getting good help for the person who is accusing. I can only imagine what kind of pain (and drug use, in this case) has led to her becoming so desperate as to lie about abuse.

    It is unfortunate that in the LDS Church people are convicted in the court of rumors and gossip, but I have learned that trying to change the Church is a waste of time.

  • SURVIVOR
    March 16, 2008 10:49 p.m.

    Thank you FORMER BISHOP! I am one of the middle-aged women you were talking about. The hardest part for me has been dealing with the denial of my other siblings who were not sexually abused by my father. My brothers believe my dad and in turn blame me for abusing him by getting angry when confronting him for the first time.

    Families need to be educated and they need to learn the definition of sexual abuse as well as the long term effects not only to the victims but to the perpetrators as well.

  • victim of victim of victim.....
    March 16, 2008 11:11 p.m.

    It's a vicious cycle. How do we end it? Unbeknown to me at the time of my marriage, my wife was a victim of molestation by her father, who was a victim of some small town perv. So I became the victim of a marriage without ANY sex life, making my wife then the victim of an adulterous husband. (Sorry. It was wrong, but the drive was strong.)But now that propagation is probably impossible, maybe I can stop this particular cycle! D@%n you pervs.

  • aqualad
    March 17, 2008 12:02 a.m.

    I live in another state. The biggest offenders, of late, here are female teachers assaulting teen boys. The papers only talk about them because of the salacious nature of their crimes: nearly all of the teachers are good looking and young. But the sentences passed on them by judges are not even slaps on the wrists. Most of them get no jail time at all. They get probation and "counseling". When the probation is over, the re-offend, usually the same boys. Utah is not alone in this. And where I live, the huge majority of people belong to one particular Christian denomination. They have no official policy toward sex abuse, and no programs for helping their members overcome it or deal with it. It is not addressed at all. It is simply ignored. Only when a sex offender is a member of a different sect, do the news outlets report that. Never a member of the dominant religion.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2008 2:00 a.m.

    I think we need to really look into whether treatment is effective. If not, then we should put these people away for life. How can we even think about releasing them back into society to abuse again? If abused children become predators themselves, then we're only adding to the problem by allowing these people back into society. Regardless of what any "reformed" predators will tell you, an abuser is always an abuser. It just takes the right opportunity to begin again. These people are truly society's bottom-dwellers! I have no sympathy for them, and little for those who protect their abusing
    "family member." The teen who abused my son thought it was funny when he was confronted. We should put our money and efforts into helping the victims of this terrible crime.

  • Focus still wrong
    March 17, 2008 6:40 a.m.

    80-90% of the comments are still focusing on the problem instead of the Cause. that's a problem.

    Until you are courageous enough to raise your voices, and just as loud and passionate, against the shows (and THE ADS) on TV, the number of victims will increase. The reason some need sex Education from other than their parents, is that they get sex Training in most TV shows and movies.

  • One solution
    March 17, 2008 7:12 a.m.

    There is an answer or solution, for some of the pain talked abut here, and it is usually overlooked.
    You see this answer in a few of murder/wrongful death cases, but most relatives of the victimes hold on to the grudge, the hate, the 'justice', the revenge.
    The answer is forgiveness, whether or not the perp apologizes, repents, changes, or is punished.

    Forgiving sometimes helps the perp change, but the main reason to forgive is to be free of the pain, and go on with life.
    If you say, "I can't", you are right. We're truly sorry. You will live with pain until you do.
    If you say, "I must, I will, I can", you are right. You will gain peace that the unforgiving never know.

    I know victims (two are my own children) who eventually forgave, and reduced the problem to just a memory from childhood. I know others (including anther of my children) who has not yet, and live with consequences.

  • Ryan
    March 17, 2008 7:20 a.m.

    "Your advise makes NO sense to me"

    Sure, but that's only because you haven't learned how the brain works.

    "If you were removed from food would you want it more or less?"

    When I cut out fried foods from my diet, it wasn't long before I lost my desire for them. Earlier, when I wasn't eating as much fruit, I forgot how good it was. It turns out tastes change. How bout that?

    "Why do you think sex offenders would re-act differently than yourself or other human beings?"

    I have no idea what you are referring to.

  • One that knows
    March 17, 2008 8:43 a.m.

    The public need to face that facts that Sex Offender treatment will not EVER stop offenders from offending..... that is up to offender to decide to change. We can give all the therpy in the world to these people, but we can only give them the keys to change and it is up to the offender to do the change. It is in the way they think, feel and act that make them offend. It is like those that have a true crimmal mind, you will never reform them by what you do unless they are willing to make a change. I know because I see it everyday.
    What is the public going to do about it? .
    Start by talking to your kids. Start by not accepting behaivor. Talk about it in your church, to your friends, to everone you love. From what I see, teach that no secerts should be allowed from parnets. Kids are smart they know when something is happening to their bodies and that they should tell no matter what. Thank what it would be like to work around these sick, twisted minds. It just makes me want to hold my family even closer.

  • Leesa
    March 17, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    I have victims of sexual abuse in my extended family. While attending BYU, I was amazed at how many of my roommates and friends related stories of sexual abuse from their childhoods (often from family & relatives). The articles are dead-on; there is no profile for a perpetrator. It has made me hyper-vigilant as a parent. I think that adopting the "no slumber parties" policies is one of the simplest preventive measures that can be taken. And this policy should apply to ALL friends, extended family, etc.

  • Treatment Works
    March 17, 2008 10:39 a.m.

    Our society and legislature demonizes sex offenders, creating laws to punish, without recognizing the big picture of what happens next. These individuals will get out of jail or prison and their chances of success (including retaining or obtaining employment which will allow them to support their child victims, pay restitution, pay for victim and their own therapy)are diminished if they don't have the help they need to break their behavioral cycles. That includes therapy in jail and prison. That includes aftercare. That includes supervised reunification with victims if they are family members. It is true therapists are obligated to report additional sex offenses. For an offender to truly succeed, the cyle of secrecy must stop. It is that secrecy and complacency that allows a sex offender to diminish her/his responsibility for the act of abuse. We are complacent if we allow laws to punish without putting in place treatment opportunities to address the underlying problem. Thank you, Deseret Morning News, for bringing this issue to the attention of all of us.

  • Tim P
    March 17, 2008 11:11 a.m.

    The US Dept. OF Justice reports on Sex offenders reads in part. Within 3 years of relase from prison only 3.5% of sex offenders were re-convited of a new sex crime, the lowest rate of recidivism amoung all criminals. Over 90% of sex crimes are commited by a person well known and trusted by the victim with over 50% of those being a family member. Over 95% of sexual assaults are commited by a person with no prior arrest record. And futher studies have shown that a person arrested for a non sex offense has a better chance of commiting a new sex offense than does a prior arrested sex offender. So who is the most danger, victim known persons and other criminals.

  • David in Texas
    March 17, 2008 12:41 p.m.

    I wonder if morally upright, religious communities want to believe in repentance and the power of God to change the lives of sex offenders, when the reality is that certain types of sex offenders (especially pedophiles) have a life-long propensity toward serial offending.

  • Ryan
    March 17, 2008 3:28 p.m.

    David in Texas,

    I think serial offenders have control issues. After all, most people have a healthy sex drive but it doesn't lead them to reach out and touch other people's bodies. Maybe child predators feel safe abusing children kind of like people feel safe when they are in their car (and behave in a fashion quite different than they behave on foot). For example, road rage is common but those same people as pedestrians are generally more civil and polite.

  • Rashers
    March 17, 2008 3:54 p.m.

    Over here in Ireland we have something called Childline. Kids who are being abused can call that number toll-free and speak in complete confidence with a trained councillor. If you haven't got that or something similar then someone should start it now.

    We also have an organisation called the Rape Crisis Centre where people of both genders can get immediate assistance, again in confidence. They receive councilling and legal advice, and it doesn't matter if the abuse happened 30 years ago, they still deal with it.

    I believe all cities should have such organisations.

  • Thanks... Rashers
    March 17, 2008 4:32 p.m.

    It is all very sad that anyone would have to suffer these kinds of afflictions, and live the memories of this kind of horrible abuse there entire life. Perhaps we should all move to Ireland where they really care about people who have been abused instead of telling someone to get over it! My ancestors are from Ireland and England so maybe we should all go back there where some people seem have it together.

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2008 10:59 a.m.

    It is very difficult to make the case that pornography is the CAUSE of these crimes. Abuse, rape, and related "acting out" are not always about sex; more often they are about power and control. Research has shown that there is not a stronger correlation between (soft) pornography consumption and offenders than between non-consumption and offenders. In other words, "pervs" exist in all levels of society, all socio-economic backgrounds, and include those who do and those who do not consume pornography. You can't just blame it on the media and pornography. Indeed, most offenses are crimes of opportunity rather than deliberate, planned acts. That is why family and friends are the victim 80% or more of the time - because opportunity is dramatically increased with familiarity and proximity.

    I acknowledge I don't have all the answers, but I do know that the answers are not simple, and many of the comments made here are overly simplistic and have not worked, and most of them have been based on religious assumptions and moralizing rather than solid theory and research. Perhaps it is time to abandon the moralizing and focus on what gets results.

  • Annonymous
    March 18, 2008 1:02 p.m.

    This is so sad, so staggering, if anyone hurt my child I don't know exactly how I could control myself from killing the poor person. I would do everything I could to make sure they paid for the help she would need and do all I can to prosecute them and then see they got the help they needed. Also would have to stay away from our home and child.

  • Sue Provo
    March 18, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    I have for eight years worked with sexual abused women in Utah in a Support group setting, I am also an abuse survivor. Thank you for the articles I see the damage every week and it is horrendous. But I also feel we would be amiss if we did not help the offender.
    We must validate the abused by reconizing the extent of damage they recieved by being sexually abused. We must train Biships and all Clergy on how to relate to the victims so they do not "secondary wound" them.
    Remember... The initial cry of betrayal is "What is wrong with me"?!
    (Bravo...thrives on secrecy)

  • Topper
    March 18, 2008 4:28 p.m.

    People need to educate themselves on this issue.
    Most people in the media sell hype and hysteria.
    People stick with JUST THE FACTS.
    Over 90% of victims, are victims of close friends or relatives.
    Over 90% of offenders are first time offenders.
    With therapy the recidivism rate is 3.5%, the lowest of any felony. This is not just sexually reoffending, but for not so much as a speeding ticket, they are never heard of again by law enforcement.
    Punishment does not work, prison does not work, Sex Offender lists do not work.
    EDUCATION WORKS! We don't need TOUGH on crime, we need SMART on crime.
    Oh and by the way, "child" sex abuse is an over inflated stat. "Child" includes all the underage "young adults" having consensual sex. The 18 year old having consensual sex with his 16 year old girlfriend. The girlfriend who is "ALWAYS" considered the "VICTIM."
    "Families of incest, that includes young curious cousins, cannot go for counseling for fear of being turned in by the court mandated therapist.
    Did David Resendez get the required therapy?
    He was released by "who" six times, and monitored by "who" six times.
    Who failed, him or law enforcement.
    You decide.


  • EX ex offender
    March 18, 2008 5:33 p.m.

    It's been over 20 years since my offense. At the time I thought the incident was minor since it was concentual, so I took a plea, got on probation and never, ever offended (or broken the law) again (I am NOT attracted to children), I feel like I am living in prison. Though i have a great job, I'm in constant fear of loosing it.

    I hear many folks say "you should have thought it before you committed the crime", but in honest truth, many of us on the registry were truly ignorant maybe should have known better. But we didn't. I'm not making excuses, I'm just saying alot of us were just plain stupid.

    Now, 20 years after the fact, and my life is as bad as if I actually raped somebody. It's hell and I wouldn't want this on anyone. Becareful what laws you want pass, it may come to haunt you later.

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2008 6:39 p.m.

    I recently learned that my sister had been molested by a fellow church member. This has always been an important topic to me, but even closer to home now. Also because I now have a child of my own.
    I think we, as a society examine every aspect of sex but predation (other than sensational media shows). Why can't we have the same openess about this aspect of behavior (not necessarily related to sex drive)? We should have known something was wrong with our sister by her behavior. After we found out things clicked into place but why were we so oblivious? We desperately need facts instead of using emotions to do our thinking for us. Without our denial it could almost be an open book.
    My sister is pursuing a career in social work and from what she has learned she has warned me about sleep overs, to pick up my children myself from events, and just how young kids can get caught into pornographic materials. I think often when a youth is involved in abuse (as the abuser) it is because they have been exposed to sexual materials and have decided to act them out with someone.

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2008 6:53 p.m.

    This article was hard to read. I cried. But knowing a victim of abuse, how can I spare myself reading about an event she had to live?
    I hope to raise children not afraid of everyone, but aware of the dangers they face. I hope I can parent in such a way that my children are not afraid to come to me and tell me if something has transpired before it has a chance to happen again or to fester for many years. I hope I never put the stature of anyone on the face of this planet ahead of the needs of my children or the victims of this crime.
    I would want the perpetrators to receive help as well, but victims must always come first. They had no choice in what happened to them while, even if they were abused themselves, perpetrators had a point where they chose to become what they are. I am glad for people who are able to forgive and move on, but we need to remember blasted lives often are the result of sexual abuse. What is the true toll of these individuals actions on the victim and on our society?

  • Been Sexually Abused as a Teen
    March 18, 2008 7:24 p.m.

    To One Solution:
    Forgiveness lessens the pain, but it DOES NOT take away the feelings, flash-backs, panic attacks, guilt...need I go on? What a simplistic thought--forgive and it will all go away. You OBVIOUSLY have never been sexually abused, or you wouldn't say such a thing.

    I am a 31-year-old mother of four children, happily married to a great guy and have a good life on the East Bench. However, I was raped (lured, enticed and sexually assaulted) by a nearly 18-year-old HS Senior when I was a 13-year-old HS Freshman. He absolutely knew what he was doing, his room was filled with porn, he was suave and cunning, and he took away my innocence in 5 minutes. I have images that I will never forget, that I literally have to FORCE out of my head to this day. I was young, naive, totally inexperienced sexually and assaulted by a guy who KNEW INEXPILICABLY what he was doing.

    To What About Europe: The days you long for were never there. People have always been abused, ALWAYS. It was just swept under the table and treated as a dirtly little secret.

  • Been Sexually Abused as a Teen 2
    March 18, 2008 7:31 p.m.

    Continued:
    As a monther, I DO NOT allow sleep overs.
    -I know where my kids are.
    -I don't let them walk alone anywhere.
    -I don't allow them over to people's houses that I don't know.
    -I rarely allow them over to people's homes with 12-year-old and up boys.
    -I talk to them about NEVER being in a bedroom with a male, ever.
    -I talk to them about sex by the time they're eight years old.
    -I talk to them about body parts, what their underwear covers and who is NOT allowed to touch that area (anyone but the doctor if MOM is in the room).
    -I talk to them about NOT keeping secrets, esp. if someone asks them to.

    These things may not prevent an abuse case in the end, but hopefully they will do what is intended: to preserve innocence for as long as possible, to allow them to grow up with their dignity intact and have a healthy understanding of sexuality, untainted by a pervert.

    As for offenders, especially repeat offenders: I know this sounds grim, but having "been there, done that," I am for castration.

  • angry grandmother
    March 18, 2008 10:15 p.m.

    I discovered my 4 year old grandaughter's abuse when I walked in on her real father sodomizing her. I put her in my car and drove her back to a neighboring state where she resides with her mother and step father. My daughter pressed charges and I also filed charges here in slc. I was told by our prosecuting attorney that unless we put her on the stand they would not file charges, I am 55 have no criminal record own my own home am a productive member of society and my word along with the medical dr who examined her, and the therapist she has been seeing starting the day after i found out what was happening, non of that would have been good enough we had to put this 4 yr old small child on the stand so a defense attorney could tear her apart to prosecute this monster. What I saw was not good enough. when I called his mother to tell her what I saw, she said "I have suspected it for a while" She is the grandmother of this child, how could she not tell my daughter what she suspected? How in the world (con't)

  • angry grandmother
    March 19, 2008 3:24 a.m.

    could this woman feel ok with what she failed to do. She called this christmas and wanted to see my grandaughter since this took place I have tried to put the power in my grandaughters hands. I tried to give her contrlo of the situation as she had no control over the abuse she went thru. She does not want to see his family as of right now and we will not force her, hell they failed to alert us to his past and I agree with her. She still wakes up with horrible nightmares, and she is not as outgoing as I would like her to be. And it has been 3 years since the abuse. I have realized it will take a very long time before this child feels totally safe anyplace. Her own father hurt her where do you go to find trust after that. Then for our police not to really even investigate I was left feeling very vulnerable and my instinct will never be to call cops again they let this baby down, and her grandman too.

  • Real solutions
    March 20, 2008 3:03 p.m.

    I agree with the writer, "Thrives in Secrecy."
    Parents need to be very, very careful and observant. My heart aches for those victims whose lives have been forced to deal with such atrocities.

    It has been well said by previous comments that the degenerative media has an incalculable influence for bad. These TV shows which depict hundreds of such crimes, desensitize us as a society. And the more we tolerate, the worse it gets. This is a slippery downward spiral of sick sleaze that is destroying America.

    Since our society will not do what is necessary to clean up the media, and return us to the kind, loving, care-for-you-more-than-for-myself type society, I have a solution.

    This solution that will not only eliminate the possibility of a presently incarcerated offender of re-offending, but detour like no other penalty, a pre-offender from such a heinous crime. It is simple castration. I know this will not be a popular solution, but let's start matching severity of consequence to severity of crime. As I am a male, I understand the severity of this consequence as all males would.

    Thank you.

  • dude in MI
    March 23, 2008 3:32 a.m.

    Well BillO. You NEED to get your 'facts' straight on the recidivism. You have things backwards just like the majority of the population. Reading through these comments, I wonder if most of you read the article. I'll have you know that treatment works for both victims and abusers. Do your own research and read the article again. I'll also have you know that these 'perps' were also victims before they were perps. Victims need therapy, 'perps' need therapy-that's the bottom line. You can have all the registries in the world, it won't change the facts.
    I have 2 kids to protect!!

  • Lost
    March 25, 2008 2:50 p.m.

    In Utah:

    *sex offenders can live near schools

    *sex offenders can live with children not their own

    *neighborhoods cannot be notified when a sex offender moves in

    Other states have these laws to protect their children...why not Utah? Who is Utah really trying to protect?

  • Just Thinking
    March 26, 2008 2:41 p.m.

    Sex offenders in Utah have to be at least 500 ft from a school.

    You can't regulate love and if a person enters into marriage knowing about their spouse they can prepare and protect. However, if they don't know about their spouse then there is a problem.

    Utah has a sex offender web site and it is the responsibility of people to use it.

    So Lost, please get Found.

  • Lost
    March 29, 2008 2:21 p.m.

    Just Thinking:

    Thank you for informing me about the 500 ft law. How long has it been in effect? Most states have 1,000 - 2,000 ft. laws. Perhaps Utah cannot afford to move all the sex offenders that live within that boundary. I personally know of one, and possibly two, who are within one or two blocks of a school. Nice to know the 500 ft boundary is protecting all those kids.

    And what would you say about a mother who knowingly married a sex offender, brought him into her house with three young children, and withheld that fact from the children's real father(s). The children revealed abuse by the stepfather, and yet the state of Utah has yet to convict him.

    So, 'Just Thinking', I have found the laws of Utah have not protected those children. The children cannot use the site to protect themselves. That was up to their mother, who did not protect her own children. If the offender was a nice guy, why didn't she tell the children's real father(s) about his status?

  • concerned parent
    March 30, 2008 12:08 a.m.

    the 500 ft law does nothing to protect children. I have 5 children of my own and am vigilant about protecting them. Boundries are unconstitutional and have been thrown out in other states. The sex offender registry has done nothing except violate peoples civil rights!
    Castration?? However believes that should have a labodimy done to them because they obviously can't use their brain! Read your constitution! If you don't like your constitution, move to France!
    Talk with your children. Teach them boundries of their own. Empower them to say NO! The authority over themselves is more important than someone else's authority over them.
    Nothing will be accomplished without therapy. nothing. and eventually being able to escape persecution.
    "thinking is the hardest work there is, thats why so few engage in it"- Henry Ford

  • Stephanie
    March 30, 2008 10:43 a.m.

    Are there limitations to what kind of punishment should take place for each perpetrator. It should be a case by case punishment. For instance, some sexual offenders have minimal sentencing because they dated and kissed someone who they didn't know was under 18. There are many cases like that in which of course they fell into a trap unlike perpetrators who are repeated sex offenders. Are the sex offender restrictions the same for these type of offenders? It is very hard to find housing for these offenders that are 500 feet from a school in Utah county where there are schools all over the county. I need some suggestions. My brother is in this same situation and we are trying to get him transferred from GA when he is released from Detention in September. Thanks!

  • j
    April 19, 2008 5:18 a.m.

    It offends me to the inth degree when I hear the myth that people who are victums of child molestation become perpetrators. I feel RAPED again. No doubt a few might use this as an excuse to hurt others or make themsleves seem less of a monster. I'm sick and tired of this It's not my fault blah blah blah mentatlity. Grow up. Be responsible. Help the innocent heal.

  • Jack in CT
    May 7, 2008 1:53 p.m.

    Part of my education was learning about abusers. It is sad to see how few women (even when arrested - with evidence) will ever be prosecuted as they must have "their children" returned to their "loving maternal care". I have seen men conviced without ANY evidence too. Justice is blind - and quite gullible far too often.

  • victim
    May 12, 2008 4:58 p.m.

    my father abused me when I was a teenager, and I finally told my mom. My father talked to the bishop at the time and nothing was ever done, as far as I could tell, and he continued to abuse me and my mother always supported him. He always had a temple recommend and I feel no one cared for me. I am now in my twenties and it still is on my mind every day. I can't believe a religion would do nothing to help a victim and supports criminals, I told a stake president and since then, he has been a scout leader, and now young men's president, great role model huh? I feel like no justice was ever done. Did they not believe me? I feel like they have favored him over me, is this what they do to all victims? Ignore me and support child sex offenders?

  • Long Term effects
    July 25, 2008 11:06 a.m.

    For years I have lived with the the pain and shame that I was raped as a child. Even with months of therapy I still live with the fact that I was forced to endure great physical and emotional pain. My ex-husband did not believe that I had been abused which slowed down my recovery process and in fact made me feel like a victim all over again. Those of you with loved ones who have a claim of sexual abuse or rape, I ask you PLEASE believe them, don't judge them, and don't impede their road to recovery by telling them they were the cause of the abuse. In addition, don't put a time table on their recovery or demand that they immediately forgive their perpetrator. Above all, Don't tell the victim or the survivor that they are committing a worse sin if they don't forgive their perpetrator.

  • I need your help
    Aug. 12, 2008 5:52 p.m.

    Over the past three years my two children have been sexually abused by their father and the state will not listen. It is always blames on a custody battle or something to do with he and I and the focus is not on the children. If you feel like this has happened to you please join with me to fight this state together. Send me an email to 4safechildren@gmail.com

    please save our children

  • Leigh in Bountiful
    Nov. 8, 2008 10:08 p.m.

    I had two home visiting teachers, in my new neighborhood, tell me that we have a convicted sex offender in our Ward. He was just taken off the registry because it had been enough years. They refused to tell me who it is, but said they were quite shocked at what he had done. I find this so cruel of them. So now I am left wondering if it is a neighbor, or someone at church who tassels my young son's hair while saying "Hi" to us. I don't know what to do? My major was Criminal Justice and I am of the belief that sex offenders are extremely likely to re-offend. I feel especially vulnerable because whoever this is knows we are new, and therefore clueless to his identity.