Child Molesters have average 119.7 sex crimes before being arrested

According to Jewell-Jensen, the statistics alone tell the sad story of how often child molesters strike and how few are caught. She says one out of 3 to 5 girls and one out of 6 to 11 boys will be molested prior to their 18th birthday. Offenders have a 3 percent chance of getting caught; those who are caught engage in an average of 119.7 sex crimes before being arrested.

Michael was a popular music teacher who was beloved by students and adored by parents, all the while molesting his own children, their friends and other kids.

As he tells his story to a therapist during a videotaped interview, he is clearly pleased at having fooled everyone.

“I won all their trust,” he said. “They think I’m the greatest thing that ever lived.”

The interview is just one of many watched Wednesday by those attending a workshop, “Protecting our Children: Advice from Child Molesters.” Sponsored by Yakima police, prosecutors and education officials, the two-day seminar in Yakima focused on how the old adage of “stranger danger” just doesn’t cut it as far as protecting children.

Guest speaker Cory Jewell-Jensen, co-director at the Center for Behavioral Intervention in Beaverton, Ore., who has worked on more than 5,000 sex crime cases, said some of the molesters even laughed out loud while watching a video about how kids were supposed to protect themselves.

“They said, ‘We’re laughing because it’s the dumbest thing we’ve ever seen,’ ” she recalled.

According to Jewell-Jensen, the statistics alone tell the sad story of how often child molesters strike and how few are caught. She says one out of 3 to 5 girls and one out of 6 to 11 boys will be molested prior to their 18th birthday. Offenders have a 3 percent chance of getting caught; those who are caught engage in an average of 119.7 sex crimes before being arrested.

She points out that her sex offender clients have included teachers, coaches, social workers, foster parents, a pediatrician, a minister, a judge, two lawyers and three police officers. Relationships with kids vary from parents, stepparents, relatives, family friends and trusted authority figures like a member of the clergy.

A sex offender’s victims can vary as well, and include boys and girls, children and teenagers, their own kids and those of others.

“It seems like there’s so many different varieties of predators that it’s hard to profile them,” said Yakima police Detective Chad Janis of the Special Assault Unit.

Many like Michael groom their victims carefully, sometimes for up to a year. In the video, Michael said he started off by putting his arm around the children’s shoulders, and then eventually working his way to fondling the children while tucking them in at night, alone in a dark room.

And he said when parents confronted him about questions their children had concerning him, he knew it was time to back off for a while. All of this happened while he was married with children.

“I felt like my marriage was a cover-up,” he said. “I had to fantasize about kids while having sex with my wife.”

One child molester named Daniel told his interviewer that he molested a couple of boys with disabilities because he saw them as “perfect victims” who had adult bodies and “seldom said no to anything.” Another child molester named Jim said during his interview he molested “plump” children and “used their insecurities against them.”

Those dating mothers with children said they would offer to baby-sit so their girlfriends could go shopping, while others made sure they tucked them in and read bedtime stories. One even said he drugged the mother so she got sleepy early.

Although the stories are graphic, they illustrate a point that child molesters can not be thwarted by children.

“We are leaving this fight to kids,” Jewell-Jensen said. “Adults need to step up and do their part.”

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