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December 20, 2013

Just how many prominent, successful men are child porn fiends?

The question in the title of this post has been one kicking around in my head since the breaking of last week's news that Senator Lamar Alexander’s chief of staff arrested on child pornography charges (basics reported here). Days later, this child porn story broke in my town concerning a 23-year veteran of the Columbus police force admitting to collecting child porn for a decade. With those stories fresh in mind, I came across this morning this disturbing collection of headlines and stories concerning other prominent, successful men getting sentenced (disparately?) for child porn offenses:

December 20, 2013 at 09:59 AM | Permalink

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The feminist witch hunt is on.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 20, 2013 11:36:01 AM

This is a VALID question, one that I've been asking in its more broad context since the 90's: Why are sex offenders represented across ALL classes of society, from doctors, lawyers, politicians, tradesmen, blue collar types, students, retirees, former cons and first time offenders alike?

Murderers, violent rapists, assaulters, and other such offenders can be more narrowly typecast. To understand all aspects of sex offending is the same as to understand all aspects of offending by DUI or illicit drug use. Its mental component is less criminal than psychological in mindset.

Having said that, it is a crime that should be punished. But the question of the post doesn't address the more pressing issue: how to STOP sexual offending in the FIRST place. One must note that since the vast majority of sex offenders are one-time offenders (3.5% nationally, and even that figure can be broken down by sub-category), it makes sense to structure our resources in prevention of the vast majority of non-offenders from offending in the first place.

The truth lies in the fact of man's innate protection of the species, particularly children, that the laws are skewed more toward post-judicial punishment than pre-offense prevention. We blithely accept that there is nothing short of death that most people want of all sex offenders, so we make the registry the post-constitutional perch that we revere, from which all non-constitutional actions result such as residency, Internet, travel, and ultimately personal restrictions emanate from.

Sorry for the rant, but I've gone from working with sex offenders to reintegrate with their victims in a family environment in the 90's to advising sex offenders on how to adjust their life in a society that constantly moves the goalposts. Reintegration (which in my case histories were 100% successful, based upon followups) is now impossible.

But as long as fear based upon human instinct is overwhelmingly used by politicians and judges as opposed to both science and actual criminal statistics, we will constantly wonder why men like the senator's aide get hooked in such activity. It's a no-brainer to me, but unfortunately, it's "no brains" for the authorities who make such laws and create such environments in the first place.

Finally, this is NOT about defending offenders' actions in opposition to the victims' circumstances. Victims will always come first, providing that the level of victimhood is consistent with the punishment of the offender AS EVERY OTHER FORM OF CRIME.

Merry Christmas!


Posted by: Eric Knight | Dec 20, 2013 12:35:14 PM

I can't imagine why this data point is even worthy of attention. We know that child abusers come from all walks of society so it seems a logical extension that people who look at such pictures also come from all walks of society. Eric says that "violent rapists" (I thought all rape was violent, but that is a different question) can be more narrowly typecast but I have never seen any data suggesting that is so. But perhaps there is a difference between those that show an sexual orientation towards adults and an sexual orientation towards children in that regard.

I think what bugs people about the rich and famous who are pedophiles is two things. First, it seems to the common mind strange that a person who had it all would "throw it all away" or at least risk it all. This simply fails to understand the psychology of the men and women who engage in this activity. People who are pedophiles are sexually deviant and thus do not think like the common mind. Second, I think that the man on the street also feels a sense of betrayal, of disappointment. That this was a person who the community held up as a role model for people to follow only to discover they had the proverbial feet of clay. I think it is this misplaced sense of disappointment that is driving the UK to treat prior good deeds as an aggravating factor.

In my view society suffers from a mass delusion because it believes that it can channel deviance into ways it deems socially beneficial. Experience teaches that deviance is not so easily stuff into a cabin. In the same way that drug kingpins are often resourceful, intelligent, hard-working creative men we find that otherwise resourceful, intelligent, hard-working, creative men can be pedophiles. For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. As Jung said, what is true for physics of the body is true for the physics of the mind.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 20, 2013 1:00:41 PM

Daniel:

Your comment is so disjointed that I could not follow your reasoning as many of your definitions, (pedophile, deviance, rape and violence) exist in your own mind and have many different meanings to many different people. The geeky 19 year old who meets an experienced and willing 15 year old (read LE) on-line is considered in many jurisdictions legally as violent and the same as a 50 year old forcing him/herself on a 3 year old.

Also, a fully hormonally mature 16 year old cannot consent to anything sexual(petting over clothes for example), but a 13 year old can be tried as an adult for many crimes. There are many scales and grades to consider but that is too much to consider for the laziness of lawmakers, the media and the public.

The "adult" who uses force, coercion, threats, intimidation, or incapacitation on anyone (especially on those who were historically considered minors) should suffer severe consequences. Those under 14 cannot consent. The willingness of those in the 14-17 category should be a consideration as that is the historical and not the recent arbitrary legal age of maturity. These cases should be considered as a separate category, but then, prosecutors would have to work for a conviction, without the active participation of the "victim". Those who willingly pay for CP should suffer more severe consequences than those who may have a picture of someone of questionable age of the participants as part of a viewing or download.

If I remember right, wasn't Norma Jean (aka - Marilyn Monroe) about 16 years old when she first posed for Playboy. Yep, all those who viewed her picture turned into zombie perverts. BTW, I was still in diapers when this issue was published.

Posted by: albeed | Dec 20, 2013 1:46:42 PM

Ironic. The lawyer immunizes homosexual sex with hairy, disgusting grown men, an act that has assassinated 40 million people as a result of AIDS. One may not even report the man with AIDS for contact tracing. These may number in the thousands among busy homosexuals.

Yet the possession of pictures taken in 1928 from India will land people in prison. Is there a point to incapacitating these men? Do they need to take up the bed of serial killers, and drug cartel members?

They have assets. They are easy targets.

The evidence is that child porn reduces the sexual abuse of real children. The illegality raises the profits of criminal syndicates and promotes more production than would otherwise be profitable. If the victim in the depiction is identified, the government tracks her down and traumatizes her with notification. The government is the promoter of more production of child porn, by its federal price supports of production, empowering and enriching criminal syndicates producing this material.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 20, 2013 2:11:21 PM

"many of your definitions, (pedophile, deviance, rape and violence) exist in your own mind and have many different meanings to many different people."

Exactly.

Now go back and read my comment with the understanding that I agree with you on that point. You may not find it so disjointed after all.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 20, 2013 2:54:15 PM

Daniel:

I loved and agreed with your comment on the Age of Majority post earlier on this blog. I just had a little harder time with this one.

As pedophiles come from all cross-sections of "society", the precision and accuracy of society in defining pedophiles (and their dangerousness) is pretty abysmal in my mind, especially with respect to our lawmakers and Justice System (political animals first and reasoning human beings last to be exact). Judges have no inherent wisdom in this regard, but come with the same baggage and misindoctrination as society.

It never ceases to amaze me, as Eric said, how willing people (and Supreme Court Judges) are to throw away the Constitution when it comes to their imaginary definition and stereotype of pedophiles and the non-synonymous term sex-offender.

Posted by: albeed | Dec 20, 2013 3:45:11 PM

loved this!

"It never ceases to amaze me, as Eric said, how willing people (and Supreme Court Judges) are to throw away the Constitution when it comes to their imaginary definition and stereotype of pedophiles and the non-synonymous term sex-offender."

Just think it will continue until we have so many of the population on the list. That they outnumber us and at that point they either take over and tell us to "shut your face" or just kill our two-faced asses and move forward.

Posted by: rodsmith | Dec 20, 2013 5:05:15 PM

Is there any consensus here that sexual objects are preset, and not voluntarily chosen? I knew what I wanted at age three, it was adult females. Why is something so deviant and so deadly as male homosexuality and AIDS so privileged, and something less deviant and not deadly so persecuted? Answer, the feminist lawyer is plundering the productive male assets. Why is adulthood falsely defined at age 18, and not at biological adulthood at 14? Same answer, the lawyer does not want these people in the job market, and wants to grow worthless government make work jobs, called high school.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 20, 2013 5:48:07 PM

There is so much misinformation in that post SC. You probably did want an adult female at age three, that adult female was your mommy. It would be highly unusual for any child to have any sexual awareness at that age. Second I assume that by "biological adulthood" you mean menarche in females (there really is no directly comparable event for males) in which case the mean age for menarche in American females is 12 1/2 and it continues to slowly decrease. If you want the scientific cite for that fact it is: http://www.cwhn.ca/en/node/39365. (The article mentions 13 but they are rounding up.) Indeed, one of the more interesting facts illustrated in that article, though not adequately addressed, is that over the course of the 20th century as states progressively increased the age of consent from 12 to the 18 the actual age of menarche fell from 17 to 12. This is to say, they have had an almost perfectly inverse relationship with each other. Why that is the case is a question on which no one agrees (of course). 14 is an often cited age but it is woefully out of date.

Yet to my mind the most important lesson from the scientific facts is the wide diversity. Some children are biologically capable of having babies as young as eight years old (though it would be most likely deadly without medical intervention). In my view, that indicates that biology /alone/ is poor basis upon which to base an age of consent law. Biology is not a trump card that defeats all arguments. It's one data point in a complex decision-making web.


Posted by: Daniel | Dec 20, 2013 11:56:41 PM

I agree with Supremacy Clause in one of his comments about the prosecution and imprisonment of someone for having a photo from the year 1928 in their possession. There are people who have photos of naked women in their possession but they do not go out and rape women. Maybe these child porn possessors are perps but it does not justify putting them in prison and having the rest of us pay the bill.

Never buy a second hand computer. You do not know whats on the disc. Don't buy a box of old photos or a box of old books.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Dec 21, 2013 5:51:43 AM

On the off chance I may be labelled a moron, I submit this for your consideration:

Who is to say what is deviant, and what is not? Perhaps it is part of the human genome, to be gay, or straight, attracted to sex with children (for lack of better words to post at this moment), etc.?

For centuries, men were expected as an adult to go out into the world, establish himself in business (and in life), own land if possible, and then have a family. On many occasions, this meant being in his 30's or older, and marrying a 'woman" of child-bearing age (sometimes as young as 12). It is now forbidden in this society for any man to marry a "woman" at 12 years of age - with good reason; that reason being (I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong) that it is more times than not medically harmful to the female. On this point we, hopefully, can all agree. Also, I believe it has always been unlawful for a man to force himself on a woman of any age.

I agree with all, or at least parts of, every post I've read in this particular thread.

Eric, I am most appreciative of your post. Let me add that locking up and throwing away the key in regards to anyone is an indictment not only of our justice system, but of ourselves as rational, educated human beings.

Posted by: Oswaldo | Dec 21, 2013 11:32:46 AM

Some thoughts:

Possession of child pornography is and ought to be a serious crime because the possessor creates a market for the abuse of children. Whether you believe in Freudian theories or not, we all have fantasies of all kinds. Civilization, Freud says, is built upon the sublimation and redirection of various sexual drives. Maybe that's garbage; maybe not. In any event, with the advent of the computer, we have a blessing and a curse. I'll leave aside the blessings. The curse is that child pornography is now availabe to anyone with a few clicks of the mouse. Thus fantasies, can be fueled and fed. This can lead to addiction. Hence, the rapid increase of the crime of possessing child pron. Fantasies cross all socio-economic lines.

Posted by: anon | Dec 21, 2013 12:33:34 PM

Anon:

You DO know that images of children whom are NOT real are just as criminal (such as Family Guy characters or Japanese Hentai). In addition, offenders who paste the heads of real children over the nude bodies of otherwise legal adult pornography are also just as guilty.

PROOF: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.175488-Hentai-Collector-Sentenced-to-Jail-Over-Obscene-Material

But while we are associating all acts of porn with culpability, why not apply it to the illegal drug trade? Should everybody who smokes a joint be just as liable to the same criminal sanctions as the producers of the drug, particularly the murderous and tortuous cartels? Should smoking a joint associate the user with the same level of degradation we give to the family kidnapper who brutally murders the father in front of wife and kids? Of course not.

Yet we do the exact thing for child pornography. My own point is that a crime may have been committed, but we have to look at the addictive or abhorrent behavior behind the act itself so we can PREVENT such abuse in the FIRST place. And we are not only any closer to prevention than we were in the 90's, we are actually criminalizing fantasies just because of lateral societal disgust at such action.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Dec 21, 2013 2:35:28 PM

Anon writes "The curse is that child pornography is now availabe to anyone with a few clicks of the mouse."

So true. When I was young, there was virtually none of this that I knew of. On occasion you read about the old man in the overcoat sneaking around with a paperbag with porn. But since the computer, it's everywhere and very easily accessible. Its capitalism run amok feeding the wild fantasies of inadequate, lonely men in dark rooms. But should they get 5,10, or 15 years for looking at and downloading what is there for the taking? Something is wrong with this picture.

Posted by: Ed from Texas | Dec 22, 2013 3:56:08 PM

People who click the mouse in the wrong direction need guidance not jail time.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Dec 22, 2013 4:57:56 PM

"You DO know that images of children whom are NOT real are just as criminal (such as Family Guy characters or Japanese Hentai)."

The link cites a cases where fictional images can be criminally obscene if legally not deemed to have "scientific, literary, artistic or political value."

But, in ASHCROFT V. FREE SPEECH COALITION, virtual child porn does explain that images of children whom are not real are not "just" as criminal. It explains that as compared to "child pornography, which may be banned without regard to whether it depicts works of value," virtual porn -- not real children used -- cannot be put to a lower test to prosecute.

WRITTEN material can be "obscene" too so yes fictional art and cartoons might be prosecuted if it meets that test. But, it is still is not "just as" criminal, since real images of minors in this context can be prosecuted using a weaker test (NY v. Ferber).

Posted by: Joe | Dec 23, 2013 1:04:07 AM

Fair enough, Joe, though the fact that the registrant who was charged for ordering manga he got from a legal comics site (why wasn't the legal comics site owner charged for advertising illegal wares?) doesn't feel any different than the serial child rapist. Although he got a lesser sentence, his registration was just as oppressive as the serial rapist's. "Just as" or "not just as" is moot...they BOTH are criminal, and BOTH are harsh, both during and after he is under the jurisdiction of his sentencing.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Dec 23, 2013 5:09:39 AM

It should surprise nobody that CP users come from all walks of life, just as it should surprise nobody that heterosexuals come from all walks of life. Unlike almost any other crime, the desire for CP does not bespeak a general disregard for society. It is a very particular desire that manifests itself in only one way, and that way happens to be criminal. If disliking broccoli were illegal, we would see the same distribution within society.

Posted by: Babs | Dec 23, 2013 11:39:42 PM

Babs:

Please comment when you can understand distinctions. The old feminist party line is pretty tiresome.

I am not defending CP. Neither am I defending the status quo. I am waiting to see how you misrepresent what I say.

Posted by: albeed | Dec 24, 2013 3:42:54 PM

ALbeed,

I think you misunderstood. My position has little to do with feminism. I was suggesting that if one views pedophilia as a sexual orientation, it is not surprising that pedophiles would come from all walks of life any more than it would surprise us that heterosexuals and homosexuals come from all walks of life. Nor do I think it controversial to state that pedophiles are often otherwise upstanding citizens precisely because pedophilia is not a character flaw that leads to a general disdain for society or its laws. It is not like greed or sociopathy, which leads a person to violate all sorts of laws. It is, instead, merely an orientation that--for reasons irrelevant--is illegal to act upon. It leads to only one form of illegality, and no other. It is, like I said, as if it were illegal to dislike broccoli. Since disliking broccoli has nothing to do with any generalized tendency to violate law, we would not expect broccoli-dislikers to come only from strands of society prone to all sorts of legal troubles.

Posted by: Babs | Dec 24, 2013 8:23:08 PM

This really shouldn't be surprising- child porn users come from all walks of life, as someone else mentioned. I'm sure that there are plenty of other famous people who look at child porn but just haven't been caught as well.

Posted by: Jessica | Jan 10, 2014 10:32:16 AM

Mark Lunsford was caught with child pornography when the police were in his house after his daughter was kidnapped. Yes, that same Mark Lunsford who's now calling for sex offender's heads. (Mark Lunsford's son was also arrested for statutory rape, but of course Mark Lunsford bullied the prosecutor to drop his son's case down to some really minor charge with no sex offender registration. Lunsford later bragged to the U.S. Congress about he threatened to expose the prosecutor as soft on other sex criminals if the prosecutor didn't treat his son with mercy. Lunsford thinks all sex offenders except him and his son need to die.) If some guy who's a leading anti-sex offender advocate is a child porn user, that means just about anybody could be a child porn user.

Posted by: Jessica | Jan 10, 2014 6:55:14 PM

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