Unification News for April / May 1999

A National Tragedy: Sex Abuse of Children

Haven Bradford Gow
April, 1999

Mr. Gow is a TV and radio commentator and writer in Eudora, AK

Recently in Crystal Lake, Ill., a teacher was found guilty of sexually abusing one o his middle-school female students; it was discovered during the trial that the teacher secretly took the 14-year-old girl to a medical clinic for Depo-Provera injections to minimize the chance she would become pregnant from his sexual abuse. In Arkansas, the state police currently are investigating an allegation that a 15-year-old female detainee was sexually assaulted by an employee at the Juvenile Detention facility in Dermott. In Tennessee, the Memphis public school department recently agreed to pay $330,000 to the family of a then six-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted on school premises by a group of first-grade classmates. The parents had sued the school department because school officials allegedly failed to protect the girl from repeated acts of sexual harassment which ultimately led to the sexual assault.

In this connection, a June 1998 report from the National Consortium on Alternatives for Youth at Risk, Sarasota, Fla., pointed out that "According to authorities, there is unprecedented growth in child pornography in the United States largely because of the Internet, which provides child sexual predators with a virtually undetectable means of sending and receiving illicit images of children. As Robert Flores, a former attorney in the U.S. Justice Department who prosecuted child sexploitation and pornography cases, observes, "The Internet is the ultimate distribution system for child pornography. Before the Internet, pedophiles and child predators targeted children in parks and playgrounds, offering ice cream or candy to gain the child’s trust." Who are the people who sexually abuse children? Is there a connection between pornography and the increase of child sex abuse?

According to retired FBI agent William Kelly, an expert on organized crime’s involvement in pornography, the widespread availability and popularity of pornography have contributed to the nationwide epidemic of child sex abuse cases; he maintains that child pornography whets the appetites of sex criminals and encourages them to view and treat children as sex objects. Betty Dickey, the prosecuting attorney in Jefferson County, Ark., says there has been an increase in child sex abuse cases investigated and prosecuted by her office; pornography, she adds, is a major factor in child sex abuse.

Ted Gorski, a police officer in Mt. Prospect, Ill., says, "We investigated some child sex abuse cases when I was a youth officer with the Mt. Prospect police department; the people involved were a grandfather, a father and a stepfather; I also know of some cases (not in Mt. Prospect) where homosexual Boy Scout leaders sexually abused kids in their troops."

Commander Joseph Kolonowski of the Mt. Prospect police department observes, "Although I can’t quote you any scientific studies, my gut reaction is that pornography contributes to sex crimes. When someone looks at porno films and publications, he becomes sexually aroused and needs an outlet." He adds: "The best way to deal with porno shops and theaters is through zoning laws. Courts have upheld the constitutionality of zoning laws." Mt. Prospect police officer/attorney David Wysopal readily agrees that pornography is linked with the sexual abuse of children; he says, "I believe a connection exists between both adults and child pornography and sex crimes. What we read and see can have an adverse effect on our thinking and behavior."

Former FBI Director William H. Webster, Jr. is right: "Every child in America is a potential victim of sexual abuse and exploitation."

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