I heard on east coast radio that the law for the register that holds the names of all those who have been convicted of sexually molesting children will be reviewed. People are saying that the perpetrators should have the right to remove their names and not be “sentenced” for life. I don’t really know how I feel about this, my gut says, if you commit a crime surely you live with that choice for the rest of your life?
Then a friend sent me this brilliantly written article on Jerry Sandusky’s case and I’ve not stopped thinking about it. How is it that we live with this type of duality every single day and kids are the ones who are not believed when they tell their truth?
“If allegations do not clearly indicate sexual abuse, a gray area exists,” he wrote to them. “The very act of overt investigation carries with it a charge, a conviction, and a sentence, a situation which is repugnant to fair-minded people.” He was responsible not just to the children but also to the professional integrity of his teachers. What did they have? Just the story of three young boys, and young boys do, after all, have wild imaginations.
When monsters roam free, we assume that people in positions of authority ought to be able to catch them if only they did their jobs. But that might be wishful thinking. A pedophile, van Dam’s story of Mr. Clay reminds us that someone adept not just at preying on children but at confusing, deceiving, and charming the adults responsible for those children—which is something to keep in mind.