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To Catch a Predator - Settlement over suicide

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Posts

  • SliverSliver Registered User
    edited June 2008
    ^

    I agree with everything Pony said.

  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I'm pretty sure that courts all over the world have been dealing with the question of "Mental Illness" and the ability to know right from wrong/curb impulses etc... Thats why so much time and effort goes into the psychiatric evaluations.

    Punishments are handed out according to these findings on an individual basis.

    I'm not sure this adds much to the conversation beyond saying that its handled on a case by case basis and you probably cant assign the same level of culpability to eveyone that commits the same offense.

    The problem is that this sucks. Its such an emotive topic that we hate the idea that someone that would do it "goes free" (the quotes are there because in reality there are a multitude of other institutions they go into). In a way, the most fucked up thing is that we would prefer an all out, knew-what-they-were-doing bad guy, simply so that we could punish them HARD and not feel in any way conflicted about it. Grey areas introduce a degree of ambiguity that nobody is comfortable with.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2008
    Pony wrote: »
    I can't accept a conscious, cognitively aware adult committing these acts knowingly and say that he's not to blame.

    No, he is to blame. Just because he has a mental condition that makes him feel things that are completely unacceptable to others doesn't give him a free pass to commit these acts without blame or punishment.

    I wish you people would stop latching onto this. Nobody is saying these people are blameless and shouldn't be punished.

    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Not sure if someone has posted it, but this Esquire article pretty much summed up the whole thing. The behavior of the Dateline crew is pretty despicable. Not saying the guy who killed himself wasn't a creep, but he wasn't someone who SWAT needed to take down, either.

    http://www.esquire.com/features/predator0907

    Read the article before you decide to make any judgements about this guy. It's just unbelievably sad that he felt so trapped that he felt he had to kill himself.

  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited June 2008
    I have discussed this with a therapist and a priest (even thought i'm not catholic) but nothing seems to connect. I totally respect a priest that can forgive and love even someone who sins against him, but bottom line is i can't...more like i don't know how. I would LOVE to be able to be like that. TO be able to forgive and turn the other cheek. Seriously i really really wish i could feel your point of view rather than just understand it.
    But i don't. and i don't know how to change that.
    maybe thats coming through when i post this stuff, but i realize thats my issue.


    Seriousy, dude, man the fuck up. You're impatient, intolerant and unsympathetic, but that doesn't require a therapist it just requires having the fucking sense to keep your mouth shut if it might get you into trouble.

    i also don't have an inner monologue and for years thought people were making that shit up to mess with me. Like when people say "when you read something do you basically hear a voice in your head saying the words"....nope. I can't even conceive that concept. My friend is always blown away by that concept.

    It's called sub-vocalisation. If you don't do it, you're probably just a faster reader than your friends.

    I also have a hard time censoring myself....i just don't get it. Like saying stuff that might offend someone..if i'm not trying to offend someone then i don't realize what i say might be offensive.

    So you've got a dark sense of humour and no tact - big whup.



    You have not got a hero complex, you've got a victim complex. Funny thing is, your therapist would probably say the same things about me but I've got no sympathy for whiny fuckers or their enablers.

  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    One thing people, I think, are failing to realize is that this whole situation was a grave miscarriage of justice. Saying this guy was a pedophile is totally inaccurate, as there was never any evidence that he had ever actually had contact with a minor. All parties involved admit that the "To Catch a Predator" sting would have probably been the first time he ever met a minor, AND HE BACKED OUT OF IT! He never showed. No one can say what went through his head, whether his concience got the better of him, whether he suspected a trap, because Chris Hansen decided it would be a good idea to pressure the local PD to get the SWAT to bust down his door. You know how many prosecutions they got out of the stings in that town? ZERO. The prosecutor wouldn't even take most of the cases because the evidence was so poor. The whole thing is a travesty of justice.

  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited June 2008
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    http://www.esquire.com/features/predator0907

    Read the article before you decide to make any judgements about this guy. It's just unbelievably sad that he felt so trapped that he felt he had to kill himself.
    I read through the first ten pages of the twelve page article, and I still haven't run across anything that makes me think that TCAP committed some sort of travesty. If anything, the issue should be with the police chief from Terrell, Texas.
    One thing people, I think, are failing to realize is that this whole situation was a grave miscarriage of justice.
    How?
    Saying this guy was a pedophile is totally inaccurate, as there was never any evidence that he had ever actually had contact with a minor.
    Well, a pedophile generally likes pre-pubescent children, so in that sense, it is very inaccurate.
    All parties involved admit that the "To Catch a Predator" sting would have probably been the first time he ever met a minor, AND HE BACKED OUT OF IT! He never showed.
    As much as you may think this is relevant, it isn't. He didn't have to meet an actual minor, nor did he have to appear at the house. The chats themselves broke the law.
    The prosecutor wouldn't even take most of the cases because the evidence was so poor.
    [citation required] because this wasn't in the article you linked. The cases had venue issues (which are not evidence) and warrant issues (which are debatable, since you can arrest without a warrant if the LEO believes that a felony is in progress or has just been committed).

    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    TCAP committed a travesty because it was in their own best interest to create a spectacle. Proper police procedure would have involved nabbing the guy as he arrived at work, not staging a SWAT raid. I have a hard time believing SWAT would have been involved if they hadn't been posturing for the cameras.

    So, do you think the suicide of a suspect, caused in large part by the actions of a television news show, is a good outcome for a criminal investigation? Because everything else is totally specualitive, considering that he was never actually tried. I have a hard time with these types of operations anyway--the enforcement of these laws is so wacky that it gets me thinking in circles. You're basically prosecuting people for having a sexually explicit conversation with a minor who doesn't even exist. So you have the intent, but no actual act. I guess it's sort of like police setting up a drug buy, but using baking soda. And the buyer is blind. And you can't even be sure if he wanted the drugs in the first place until you told him you were taking your clothes off. Ok, the analogy kind of falls appart. But you have to see the big grey area, there, right?

    As an aside, what about child pornography that isn't child pornography at all? What about simulated child pornography that actually uses people who only appear to be minors. Are the people in possession of this sick? Are they criminals? If they know that the pornography is simulated, does that make them more or less culpable? (for the record, I believe that it actually is legal).

  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited June 2008
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    TCAP committed a travesty because it was in their own best interest to create a spectacle. Proper police procedure would have involved nabbing the guy as he arrived at work, not staging a SWAT raid.
    Wait? Someone committed a travesty because they did what was in their own best interest after it got signed off on by law enforcement?
    So, do you think the suicide of a suspect, caused in large part by the actions of a television news show, is a good outcome for a criminal investigation? Because everything else is totally speculative, considering that he was never actually tried.
    You figure that the suicide was largely caused by the actions of the show? How can you determine that? I only ask because you would have to assign blame elsewhere, and I don't think any of us are really in a position to determine that. But is the suicide a good outcome for the criminal investigation? It seems like it didn't really affect it, since the techs went over his machine later and found that he was the one who committed the chats. That was the investigation continuing and coming to a foreseeable ending. Whether or not he was alive had no bearing on it.

    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • MendrianMendrian Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    TCAP committed a travesty because it was in their own best interest to create a spectacle. Proper police procedure would have involved nabbing the guy as he arrived at work, not staging a SWAT raid.
    Wait? Someone committed a travesty because they did what was in their own best interest after it got signed off on by law enforcement?
    So, do you think the suicide of a suspect, caused in large part by the actions of a television news show, is a good outcome for a criminal investigation? Because everything else is totally speculative, considering that he was never actually tried.
    You figure that the suicide was largely caused by the actions of the show? How can you determine that? I only ask because you would have to assign blame elsewhere, and I don't think any of us are really in a position to determine that. But is the suicide a good outcome for the criminal investigation? It seems like it didn't really affect it, since the techs went over his machine later and found that he was the one who committed the chats. That was the investigation continuing and coming to a foreseeable ending. Whether or not he was alive had no bearing on it.

    So a swat time is standard protocol when picking up someone accused of soliciting sex from a minor over the internet?

    Or am I reading the article wrong? It wouldn't be the first time it happened.

    If there was indeed a swat team, complete with battering ram, I would say that is a miscarriage of justice as well as a direct impact on his suicide. It is, however, speculation hinging on an unknown.

  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Mendrian wrote: »
    So a swat time is standard protocol when picking up someone accused of soliciting sex from a minor over the internet?

    Or am I reading the article wrong? It wouldn't be the first time it happened.
    I couldn't tell you what that department's standard procedure is, but I can tell you this. TCAP does not have the authority to authorize the use of SWAT. Only the police department does. If you believe the slant of the article, then TCAP isn't at fault here. The person at fault would be the police chief who saw this as a ticket to fame and fortune.

    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I couldn't tell you what that department's standard procedure is, but I can tell you this. TCAP does not have the authority to authorize the use of SWAT. Only the police department does. If you believe the slant of the article, then TCAP isn't at fault here. The person at fault would be the police chief who saw this as a ticket to fame and fortune.

    What could have given him that idea? The sensationalisation of a human tragedy which is gravely serious, and should be treated as such? The idea of turning a crime into a populist narrative? The unethical muddling of the boundaries between justice and pleasure by people after a quick buck?

    Ragg, chances are you're right - the show is probably not illegal. That doesn't mean it's above reproach.

  • DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    [citation required] because this wasn't in the article you linked. The cases had venue issues (which are not evidence) and warrant issues (which are debatable, since you can arrest without a warrant if the LEO believes that a felony is in progress or has just been committed).

    Page 11 7th paragraph

    On June 1, 2007, seven months after the end of the sting operation, three months after Dateline airs the relevant episode of “To Catch a Predator,” the Collin County District Attorney’s office will announce that it has decided not to pursue indictments for any of the suspects Murphy police arrested outside the decoy house.

    If I was kidnapped, woke up in a lab, told they were going to replace my vocal cords with those of Tony Jay, and lock me in a sound booth until the day I die I would look those bastards right in the eye and say "Alright you sons of bitches lets do this. This one is for the children."
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    All parties involved admit that the "To Catch a Predator" sting would have probably been the first time he ever met a minor, AND HE BACKED OUT OF IT! He never showed.
    As much as you may think this is relevant, it isn't. He didn't have to meet an actual minor, nor did he have to appear at the house. The chats themselves broke the law.

    Legally, perhaps it's not relevant. Morally and ethically, there's a big difference.

    And even legally, there's a distinction between "soliciting a minor online" and "having sex with a minor". They're both illegal, but they're not the same.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    All parties involved admit that the "To Catch a Predator" sting would have probably been the first time he ever met a minor, AND HE BACKED OUT OF IT! He never showed.
    As much as you may think this is relevant, it isn't. He didn't have to meet an actual minor, nor did he have to appear at the house. The chats themselves broke the law.

    Legally, perhaps it's not relevant. Morally and ethically, there's a big difference.

    And even legally, there's a distinction between "soliciting a minor online" and "having sex with a minor". They're both illegal, but they're not the same.


    Yes, and I'd really like to see diversion programs and treatment for people who express these urges but who have not actually done anything to hurt a kid.

    And pedophiles who have traumatized or molested or raped a child need to be treated and punished.

  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    My 2 cents (yes I read most of the thread).

    Sexual preference is not chosen by the individual. What turns you on is not your own choice. Gay, straight, into feet, latex or whatever....it just happens. Sexual preferences and the actions resulting from them that harm no one (consenting adult blah blah) are fine. When you have a sexual preference for kids...I don't think it's your fault...unfortunately you are fucked, because you can never act on your urges because it harms another being. So the action should be punished.

    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.

  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    What could have given him that idea? The sensationalisation of a human tragedy which is gravely serious, and should be treated as such? The idea of turning a crime into a populist narrative? The unethical muddling of the boundaries between justice and pleasure by people after a quick buck?
    It was probably the seizure law that got him a doctor's SUV. It's in the article.
    Zsetrek wrote:
    Ragg, chances are you're right - the show is probably not illegal. That doesn't mean it's above reproach.
    Of course it's not above reproach. I know a ton of people who don't like the show, and I'm sure the majority on this board don't either. I do like it, though. And if there is blame to go around, I'd like to see it go on the proper parties.
    ElJeffe wrote:
    Legally, perhaps it's not relevant. Morally and ethically, there's a big difference.
    Morality differs from person to person, and there's a reason we don't want legal things (such as this wrongful death suit) based on it. Ethics are really situational.
    Detharin wrote:
    Page 11 7th paragraph
    What he said is that the cases weren't brought due to flimsy evidence. That's what I was addressing there. I need a citation for that because it's not in the article, nor anywhere else I've seen.
    ElJeffe wrote:
    And even legally, there's a distinction between "soliciting a minor online" and "having sex with a minor". They're both illegal, but they're not the same.
    You're absolutely correct, but I'm sure they would have charged the prosecutor with the former. Not the same, like you said, but still illegal.
    jeepguy wrote:
    Yes, and I'd really like to see diversion programs and treatment for people who express these urges but who have not actually done anything to hurt a kid.
    But do you think that there is a treatment that would really work for this? For instance, I like a certain type of woman. No matter who I'm dating, I still have a physical attraction to a certain type of woman. If it were outlawed tomorrow, the attraction would not change. I may never act on it, but I would always be attracted to that. I don't see how it could be treated away.
    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?

    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    But do you think that there is a treatment that would really work for this? For instance, I like a certain type of woman. No matter who I'm dating, I still have a physical attraction to a certain type of woman. If it were outlawed tomorrow, the attraction would not change. I may never act on it, but I would always be attracted to that. I don't see how it could be treated away.

    I would argue that there is a fundamental categorical difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman. Pedophilia is not merely a "preference," all signs point to it being a form of mental illness.

    Now, if we're talking about ephebophilia rather then pedophilia, that's a slightly different situation and much closer to a "preference." Still, people who feel compelled to indulge in sexual urges to such a degree that they're willing to skirt the law to do so aren't exactly "normal." Wanting to bang Mena Suvari and actually going next door to do it are two different things, and I'd argue that somebody who went through with it is having difficulties with either impulse control or decision making, both of which can be dealt with through therapy.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote:
    Yes, and I'd really like to see diversion programs and treatment for people who express these urges but who have not actually done anything to hurt a kid.
    But do you think that there is a treatment that would really work for this?


    Uhm, yes. Treatment programs do help some of these people. Some are probably beyond help, many are not.

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?

    Is the hit target a completely imaginary person?

    can, like, a person go to an undercover cop and be arrested for hiring him to kill Sir Brandyworht Buttershiresmitherson III, Esq. King of New Mesopotamia and all the Realms? Because, and correct me if I'm wrong here, if you're going to an undercover cop and asking him to kill a real person, you're still conspiring to commit murder against a real person which is the crime in that situation

    and, in the case of someone pretending to be a prostitute, you're still offering to pay a real, existing person, for sex.

    SEGATA SANSHIRO! LIVE AGAIN!
    Lanz.gif
  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    Now, if we're talking about ephebophilia rather then pedophilia, that's a slightly different situation and much closer to a "preference." Still, people who feel compelled to indulge in sexual urges to such a degree that they're willing to skirt the law to do so aren't exactly "normal." Wanting to bang Mena Suvari and actually going next door to do it are two different things, and I'd argue that somebody who went through with it is having difficulties with either impulse control or decision making, both of which can be dealt with through therapy.
    Now, I totally agree with this. Want to bang children or Mena Suvari (and let's be honest, if you're attracted to Mena Suvari, I wouldn't trust you around an eight year old)? Fine. Gonna do it and to hell with everything else? That's a control issue. That can be treated.

    But the desire is what I'm interested in. Can that be treated?

    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?
    The only one you have a point with is the hitman. Seeking one out is no small task, and takes a LOT of premeditation, a lot of premeditation that flirting with someone online does not take.

  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Feral wrote: »

    I would argue that there is a fundamental categorical difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman. Pedophilia is not merely a "preference," all signs point to it being a form of mental illness.

    Now, if we're talking about ephebophilia rather then pedophilia, that's a slightly different situation and much closer to a "preference." Still, people who feel compelled to indulge in sexual urges to such a degree that they're willing to skirt the law to do so aren't exactly "normal." Wanting to bang Mena Suvari and actually going next door to do it are two different things, and I'd argue that somebody who went through with it is having difficulties with either impulse control or decision making, both of which can be dealt with through therapy.
    Why would you argue there is a difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman or man, or whatever? I don't get how you draw the line. Just so everyone knows, YES acting on those desires is abhorrent and should be punished.

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?
    The only one you have a point with is the hitman. Seeking one out is no small task, and takes a LOT of premeditation, a lot of premeditation that flirting with someone online does not take.

    again I raise the question: Is the crime talking to the hitman, or is it the conspiracy to murder a living, breathing human being?

    SEGATA SANSHIRO! LIVE AGAIN!
    Lanz.gif
  • NocturneNocturne Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Lanz wrote: »
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?
    The only one you have a point with is the hitman. Seeking one out is no small task, and takes a LOT of premeditation, a lot of premeditation that flirting with someone online does not take.

    again I raise the question: Is the crime talking to the hitman, or is it the conspiracy to murder a living, breathing human being?

    See I would say actually going to the hitman is like if this guy actually went to the girl's house. If he talked to someone online and told them he wanted to kill someone, I don't think he should be arrested for that.

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Nocturne wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?
    The only one you have a point with is the hitman. Seeking one out is no small task, and takes a LOT of premeditation, a lot of premeditation that flirting with someone online does not take.

    again I raise the question: Is the crime talking to the hitman, or is it the conspiracy to murder a living, breathing human being?

    See I would say actually going to the hitman is like if this guy actually went to the girl's house. If he talked to someone online and told them he wanted to kill someone, I don't think he should be arrested for that.

    but this "girl" is still just as real as my "Sir Brandyworht Buttershiresmitherson III, Esq. King of New Mesopotamia and all the Realms"

    SEGATA SANSHIRO! LIVE AGAIN!
    Lanz.gif
  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Lanz wrote: »
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?
    The only one you have a point with is the hitman. Seeking one out is no small task, and takes a LOT of premeditation, a lot of premeditation that flirting with someone online does not take.

    again I raise the question: Is the crime talking to the hitman, or is it the conspiracy to murder a living, breathing human being?

    It's the latter. However flirting on the interwebs is not conspiracy. Hell I flirt with chicks in real life, in person, that I have no intention of doing anything with....let alone online. You never know, the people online could even assume that the pretender they are talking to is really an adult (this is the innerwebs we are talking about) but just keep chatting for fun.

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Lanz wrote: »
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?
    The only one you have a point with is the hitman. Seeking one out is no small task, and takes a LOT of premeditation, a lot of premeditation that flirting with someone online does not take.

    again I raise the question: Is the crime talking to the hitman, or is it the conspiracy to murder a living, breathing human being?

    It's the latter. However flirting on the interwebs is not conspiracy. Hell I flirt with chicks in real life, in person, that I have no intention of doing anything with....let alone online. You never know, the people online could even assume that the pretender they are talking to is really an adult (this is the innerwebs we are talking about) but just keep chatting for fun.

    also a good point

    SEGATA SANSHIRO! LIVE AGAIN!
    Lanz.gif
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Now, if we're talking about ephebophilia rather then pedophilia, that's a slightly different situation and much closer to a "preference." Still, people who feel compelled to indulge in sexual urges to such a degree that they're willing to skirt the law to do so aren't exactly "normal." Wanting to bang Mena Suvari and actually going next door to do it are two different things, and I'd argue that somebody who went through with it is having difficulties with either impulse control or decision making, both of which can be dealt with through therapy.
    Now, I totally agree with this. Want to bang children or Mena Suvari (and let's be honest, if you're attracted to Mena Suvari, I wouldn't trust you around an eight year old)? Fine. Gonna do it and to hell with everything else? That's a control issue. That can be treated.

    But the desire is what I'm interested in. Can that be treated?

    No, it appears that it can't be totally eliminated. All the known therapeutic techniques have low success rates, and the least-bad methods involve dealing with exactly the text that you bolded above - teaching the offender recognize that they have these feelings without acting on them.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Feral wrote: »

    I would argue that there is a fundamental categorical difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman. Pedophilia is not merely a "preference," all signs point to it being a form of mental illness.

    Now, if we're talking about ephebophilia rather then pedophilia, that's a slightly different situation and much closer to a "preference." Still, people who feel compelled to indulge in sexual urges to such a degree that they're willing to skirt the law to do so aren't exactly "normal." Wanting to bang Mena Suvari and actually going next door to do it are two different things, and I'd argue that somebody who went through with it is having difficulties with either impulse control or decision making, both of which can be dealt with through therapy.
    Why would you argue there is a difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman or man, or whatever? I don't get how you draw the line. Just so everyone knows, YES acting on those desires is abhorrent and should be punished.

    Primarily because in our culture we glorify youth and a female body image that is closer to a teenager than an older adult. As a culture sexualize young women - as long as those women are old enough to have undergone puberty - but we do not sexualize children. So I'd argue that somebody who is attracted to pubescent teenagers is simply following the zeitgeist. (There's also a relatively plausible evo-psych explanation: pubescent teenagers are fertile and ready for reproduction, children are not, so there's no evolutionary reason to be sexually attracted to children. But, in general, I try to stay away from the evo-psych explanations.)

    It's also theoretically possible for somebody who finds that sort of body image attractive to find adult women who, through luck or genetics or plastic surgery, look somewhat like teenagers. Somebody looking for that probably isn't going to have a whole lot of successful long term relationships, but it's still within the realm of reason that they'd be able to express their urges in a safe and relatively harmless manner. However, somebody who finds children attractive isn't going to have such an outlet. Any expression of their urges (outside of masturbatory fantasies) are going to involve victimization of some sort or another.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Primarily because in our culture we glorify youth and a female body image that is closer to a teenager than an older adult. As a culture sexualize young women - as long as those women are old enough to have undergone puberty - but we do not sexualize children. So I'd argue that somebody who is attracted to pubescent teenagers is simply following the zeitgeist.
    This.

  • ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I do like it, though.

    Yes, but why do you like it?

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    reading that Esquire article, something I hadn't even thought of
    Some of the problems will be technical. For example, in most of the cases, she will find so-called venue problems. In order to pursue a case on an online-solicitation-of-a-minor charge, you’ve got to prove that either the suspect or the victim in the case was physically present in Collin County at the time the crime was committed. The location of the decoy house is irrelevant: What’s important is where the chat suspect and the chat decoy were when they were actually doing their chatting. But in sixteen of the cases that the Murphy Police Department will submit to her, Doris Berry will find it impossible to prove that either the Perverted Justice decoy or the suspect was inside Collin County when the crime was allegedly committed.

    Some of the problems will be more fundamental: She will find that all of the arrests may have been illegal. Under Texas law, there are only certain circumstances under which a police officer can make an arrest without a prior warrant. But in all of these “To Catch a Predator” decoy-house arrests, it will come to light that not only was there no warrant but the police had done literally no prior investigation. Instead, they simply camped outside the decoy house and arrested the men who emerged after receiving a prior signal from the Dateline crew inside. The only thing Doris Berry won’t quite be able to figure out is whether this means that Dateline had become an agent of the Murphy Police Department or whether the relationship was the other way around. She’ll discuss this question with her boss, John Roach, the district attorney, and Roach will eventually form the opinion that “the Murphy Police Department was merely a player in the show and had no real law-enforcement position. Other people are doing the work, and the police are just there like potted plants, to make the scenery.”

    The thing is, Doris Berry is a prosecutor. She wants to see bad guys punished. She’s read the transcripts, which means she knows most of these men are bad and a lot of them are probably dangerous. And if she rejects the cases, she knows what will happen: Instead of receiving the incarceration and supervision that might prevent them from someday soliciting real kids, not fake ones, they’ll receive only Dateline’s nationally televised shaming.

    But the law is the law, and you can’t just wish a batch of mangled cases good.

    SEGATA SANSHIRO! LIVE AGAIN!
    Lanz.gif
  • mrflippymrflippy Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Lanz wrote: »
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?

    Is the hit target a completely imaginary person?

    can, like, a person go to an undercover cop and be arrested for hiring him to kill Sir Brandyworht Buttershiresmitherson III, Esq. King of New Mesopotamia and all the Realms? Because, and correct me if I'm wrong here, if you're going to an undercover cop and asking him to kill a real person, you're still conspiring to commit murder against a real person which is the crime in that situation

    and, in the case of someone pretending to be a prostitute, you're still offering to pay a real, existing person, for sex.

    I've been thinking about this all day. It's sort of a tricky issue.

    What if someone kills a man, believing him to be a police officer. It turns out he wasn't, but it's still murder. Should he be charged with killing a police officer?

    Is someone guilty of theft if they think that they are stealing something but really aren't? (perhaps they don't see the sign that says "Free! Take some!")

  • MendrianMendrian Registered User
    edited July 2008
    mrflippy wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?

    Is the hit target a completely imaginary person?

    can, like, a person go to an undercover cop and be arrested for hiring him to kill Sir Brandyworht Buttershiresmitherson III, Esq. King of New Mesopotamia and all the Realms? Because, and correct me if I'm wrong here, if you're going to an undercover cop and asking him to kill a real person, you're still conspiring to commit murder against a real person which is the crime in that situation

    and, in the case of someone pretending to be a prostitute, you're still offering to pay a real, existing person, for sex.

    I've been thinking about this all day. It's sort of a tricky issue.

    What if someone kills a man, believing him to be a police officer. It turns out he wasn't, but it's still murder. Should he be charged with killing a police officer?

    Is someone guilty of theft if they think that they are stealing something but really aren't? (perhaps they don't see the sign that says "Free! Take some!")

    I think it's less complicated than that.

    We have definitions for certain crimes, and definitions for trying to commit certain crimes. For instance, killing someone is murder. Trying to kill someone but backing out of it at the last minute is still conspiracy to commit murder. To my knowledge, there is no crime called, "Conspiracy to kill a police officer", but I gotta tell you, that shit wouldn't help at trial.

  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »

    I would argue that there is a fundamental categorical difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman. Pedophilia is not merely a "preference," all signs point to it being a form of mental illness.

    Now, if we're talking about ephebophilia rather then pedophilia, that's a slightly different situation and much closer to a "preference." Still, people who feel compelled to indulge in sexual urges to such a degree that they're willing to skirt the law to do so aren't exactly "normal." Wanting to bang Mena Suvari and actually going next door to do it are two different things, and I'd argue that somebody who went through with it is having difficulties with either impulse control or decision making, both of which can be dealt with through therapy.
    Why would you argue there is a difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman or man, or whatever? I don't get how you draw the line. Just so everyone knows, YES acting on those desires is abhorrent and should be punished.

    Primarily because in our culture we glorify youth and a female body image that is closer to a teenager than an older adult. As a culture sexualize young women - as long as those women are old enough to have undergone puberty - but we do not sexualize children. So I'd argue that somebody who is attracted to pubescent teenagers is simply following the zeitgeist. (There's also a relatively plausible evo-psych explanation: pubescent teenagers are fertile and ready for reproduction, children are not, so there's no evolutionary reason to be sexually attracted to children. But, in general, I try to stay away from the evo-psych explanations.)

    It's also theoretically possible for somebody who finds that sort of body image attractive to find adult women who, through luck or genetics or plastic surgery, look somewhat like teenagers. Somebody looking for that probably isn't going to have a whole lot of successful long term relationships, but it's still within the realm of reason that they'd be able to express their urges in a safe and relatively harmless manner. However, somebody who finds children attractive isn't going to have such an outlet. Any expression of their urges (outside of masturbatory fantasies) are going to involve victimization of some sort or another.
    I agree with the pubescent teenagers thing, but I still don't get how your post touches on pedophilia being different than any other sexual preference (other than moral etc im talking strictly from a source of the preference angle).

  • ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Paedophilia is more complicated than ordinary sexual attraction because it's tied with the ideas of physical and mental development (or lack thereof). It's not the same as finding heavyset women attractive, or even a young-looking woman, because that's purely physical. From what I understand, Paedophilia is less of a proclivity than it is a compulsion - an inherent disconnect in the way the brain processes sexual impulses. In that respect, it's closer to someone who cannot experience sexual pleasure unless they're being beaten, or something like that - it's a deep-seeded psychological problem, and not an "oh, that really floats my boat". It's not the physical form of a child that excites a paedophile, it's the idea of childhood, and how it relates to them and their developmental state. Which would explain why men who were sexually abused as children are more likely to grow up to be sexual abusers.

    Of course, this is all second-hand knowledge. I'm sure there's someone here who has access to the latest medical opinions.

    That said - the reason To Catch a Predator is so off-putting for me has nothing to do with the nature of paedophilia itself as a crime and/or psychological condition, and everything to do with our response to it. As a society, we should endeavour to greet every challenge with dignity and rationality. To catch a predator is about fear, and the satisfaction we feel in indulging in that fear.

  • AdrienAdrien Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I do not think you should be punished for talking to an adult who is pretending to be a kid. This show is creating the crime.
    So how do you feel about an adult talking to someone pretending to be a hitman, but isn't? Or an adult pretending to talk to someone pretending to be a prostitute, but isn't? Should you not be punished for those either?

    There's still a categorical difference. The crime isn't talking to a hitman, it's conspiracy to murder-- the person you want to kill exists. The crime isn't talking to a prostitute, it's solicitation-- the woman exists. The crime in this case is solicitation of a minor-- but the minor doesn't exist.

    It's the fact that these statutes must, of necessity, be written as "soliciting someone you think is a minor" that lead to accusations of thought crime.

    tmkm.jpg
  • King Boo HooKing Boo Hoo Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »

    I would argue that there is a fundamental categorical difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman. Pedophilia is not merely a "preference," all signs point to it being a form of mental illness.

    Now, if we're talking about ephebophilia rather then pedophilia, that's a slightly different situation and much closer to a "preference." Still, people who feel compelled to indulge in sexual urges to such a degree that they're willing to skirt the law to do so aren't exactly "normal." Wanting to bang Mena Suvari and actually going next door to do it are two different things, and I'd argue that somebody who went through with it is having difficulties with either impulse control or decision making, both of which can be dealt with through therapy.
    Why would you argue there is a difference between being attracted to children and being attracted to a certain type of woman or man, or whatever? I don't get how you draw the line. Just so everyone knows, YES acting on those desires is abhorrent and should be punished.

    Primarily because in our culture we glorify youth and a female body image that is closer to a teenager than an older adult. As a culture sexualize young women - as long as those women are old enough to have undergone puberty - but we do not sexualize children. So I'd argue that somebody who is attracted to pubescent teenagers is simply following the zeitgeist. (There's also a relatively plausible evo-psych explanation: pubescent teenagers are fertile and ready for reproduction, children are not, so there's no evolutionary reason to be sexually attracted to children. But, in general, I try to stay away from the evo-psych explanations.)

    It's also theoretically possible for somebody who finds that sort of body image attractive to find adult women who, through luck or genetics or plastic surgery, look somewhat like teenagers. Somebody looking for that probably isn't going to have a whole lot of successful long term relationships, but it's still within the realm of reason that they'd be able to express their urges in a safe and relatively harmless manner. However, somebody who finds children attractive isn't going to have such an outlet. Any expression of their urges (outside of masturbatory fantasies) are going to involve victimization of some sort or another.

    Yay Feral :-) I left my thread around page 7 out of disgust at all "Think of the children! Burn the fucker!" and "But did he REALLY talk to a little kid?" posts, and I am very happy to return back to what I consider the main issue at hand -- mental illness.
    You put it very well I feel. The reasons for why these people are attracted to children do show something significantly wrong with their psyche.
    The problem is that people look at that and go: "Oh, well it's just a fetish, so what? A lot of people have them. My friend thinks high school girls are hot, that's practically the same thing, but HE has the decency to control his drives. So burn in hell for not controlling yours."
    It's not just about the desire. Essentially, if you're screwed up to be lusting after children, there's a very high likelihood that you're screwed up in a lot of other ways. Self control, impulse control, decision making, planning, moral judgment, foresight, etc. Have you seen some of the people on the show? They're whimpering pathetic little men, with no idea what they're doing there or why. Hell, half of them claim they were sure it was a sting and still can't help but come.
    When Chris Hansen sits there questioning them and you can just look at them and see how messed up they are, to me it just looks like he's pulling people out of the state mental hospital and making fun of them.

  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    There was a case down here in Northern Virginia of a guy who was by all accounts an upstanding member of society, coached little league, respected attorney and member of the community. Well, he was caught with child pornography, and it was some really perverse stuff. Maiming and torture of infants, that sort of thing. Totally off the charts as far as depravity goes.

    Now, put aside the very real fact that this was not a victimless crime, and that the children involved were obviously abused. There's also no indication that this guy ever acted on his tendencies. Absolutely none. Even law enforcement was convinced of this, given his proximity to a large number of children and his position of trust in the community. So, as far as case studies go for pedophiles who have a mental illness that they never act on, you can't really get a better case than this.

    One of the really interesting things, is that many in the community stood behind this guy (it's debatable whether they would have if they had actually seen the materials he had). So, they kind of debunked the whole argument that society cannot tolerate such tendencies. Most people seemed able to make the distinction behind the underlying mental disease and the fact that he had never actually abused anyone.

    My mom used to teach classes at the Massachusetts Treatment Center, a facility where "Sexually Dangerous Persons" were held. Her students ranged from serial rapists and abusers, to kids who were on the wrong side of a stuatory rape charge and got stuck with crappy lawyers. Many of these people are held under Massachusetts' term-to-life laws, which allow sexually dangerous persons to be held indefinitely after the completion of their sentence. Most people held under that provision will never be released. Despite the fact that many of these people are, literally, depraved monsters, they were also respectful, enthusiastic, and very loyal to my mom (to the point of threatening people who WEREN'T respectful with very bad things). It was the most rewarding teaching experience she had. No point to all of that except to say that it's not black and white. Even the most depraved person is not without a measure of humanity.

    Article on the Arlington VA case:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/08/AR2007030802115.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/01/AR2007060101882.html

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