OPINION: Pity the children, not the porn fan

August 26, 2008

By KAREN VELIE

Not a lot shocks me anymore. Even so, I am stunned by the number of blog posters and media reporters who worry that people accused of child porn, once convicted, will be unable to get their lives back on track.

The facts, however, suggest that a great percentage of these people have been way off track for a long time and stand little chance of ever changing.

Recent local arrests were preceded by lengthy, intensive investigations, officials said. Former San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Goossens and part-time postman Jeremy Neubauer are battling charges of child pornography following a widespread roundup of suspected members of a child pornography ring. A third county man, Bryan Arnold, will be arraigned September 8.

Some people believe that child pornography is mainly about lonely men getting turned on by 16-year old Victoria Secret models who look 25. They think that a quick peek is all that is needed for the authorities to sweep in and make an arrest. The label of sex offender is then forever attached.

Nothing could be farther from the truth, and many investigators in this field believe “the media just doesn’t get it.” Not the severity of the crimes, nor the rapidly expanding frequency.

“We are not talking about someone inadvertently stumbling across a Web site,” said United States Attorney’s Office Public Affairs Officer Thom Mrozek. “People we prosecute are collectors. They have hundreds or thousands of images stored on their computers or CD ROMs. And we are not talking about teenagers in swim suits. We are talking about images of graphic sexual contact.”

Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson Virginia Kice said the kind of child pornography that results in prosecution “is about infants and young children being sadistically abused, bondage, and bestiality. Many of these men also act out their fantasies with children.

Though experts don’t agree on the exact percentage of child porn fans who also molest children, the figures are shockingly high. A Mayo Institute study conservatively estimates 76 percent of child porn enthusiasts also take a hands on approach. A 2007 government study reports that 85 percent of men convicted of downloading internet porn admitted to prison psychologists that they also sexually abused children.

One perspective is that exposure to child pornography fuels sexual urges, and that a constant barrage of sadistic images allows these men to feel their urges are not only “normal” but that they somehow “fit in.”

Even so, time and time again, those accused of child porn claim they only glanced at the materials, or were doing it for research purposes.

You have to look no farther than the media outrage at the child porn conviction of San Francisco radio host Bernie Ward. Numerous major newspaper articles lay blame on an “unjust system” for Ward’s impending five to 10 year sentence for actions he claims were research-oriented. The stories fail to mention that he downloaded graphic videos of young children being sadistically abused, and then passed those on to other child porn enthusiasts.

“It’s not about clicking on an image, it is downloading child porn,” Kice added. “A lot of child porn is produced in the United States, but we want to protect children around the globe, wherever a child is being abused.”

In the 80s, acquiring child porn was a dangerous and expensive venture, with the postal service playing watchdog. The Internet has provided an easily accessible — and cheap — venue to a rapidly-morphing child porn industry. Victims are increasingly younger in age, studies show: 91 percent of the victims are under 12, and 80 percent of the victims are female.

With the volume of Internet porn literally doubling every year, this crime has risen to the top of the priority list for many criminal investigators.

Within the past few weeks, apart from the 55 Central and Southern California child porn arrests, a Fresno man was convicted of kidnapping a 12-year-old and making videos of his sexual assaults. And a San Antonio woman advertised her 5-year-old daughter as a “nice piece” in an attempt to trade the child for a car and a new home.

“The demand for these pictures drives the industry,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller “We try to educate the public that it is a serious crime.”

Tags:goossens, Opinion, porn


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Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/30/08

One line that the cyber-stalker here uses frequenty is "get your priorities straight."


This probably echoes the words of an abusive parental figure in the subject's past.


It also suggests there is a sexual confliction in the subject. Sexual topics pull him in like flies to sugar. Likely a man between 35 and 65 years old with violent homo-erotic fantasies, and dysfunction concerns.

By: Anonymous on 8/30/08

I will have no comment on the slander being published on this thread, except to point out that "Former Call Screener" is a hoax. No one who has ever worked with me — Tom Madsen, Matt Donovan, or Mardi Hall would ever make such a silly claim. Please don't believe everything you read.


I wish everyone a happy Labor Day weekend, especially the one Anonymous person do all these postings.

By: Anonymous on 8/30/08

There is one person and one person only who has literally become a cyber-stalker, targeting Dave Congalton another individual, and perhaps others.


He posts under dozens, perhaps hundreds of pseudonyms, here and elsewhere.


He is obsessed and demonstrates serious mental instability and propensities for violence. He has likely committed some type of crimes.


He is a sick, angry, violent person who feels empowered by attention, including negative attention.


I consider him a serious threat to himself and others.


There is a very good chance he has already taken criminal actions against others.


If anyone knows this person, please encourage him to seek professional help and alert law enforcement to any and all situations that suggest the potential of further harm to others or himself.


By: Anonymous on 8/30/08

Not all porn is evil.

Judeo/Christian society. You mean the one where we are torturing people who have not been charged with a crime. Okay.

By: Anonymous on 8/29/08

Our entire neighborhood is up in arms as we have had some man wandering around with his pants down Masturbating at people. He needs his gonads removed BEFORE he harms anyone. Feel sorry for the VICTIMS!

By: Anonymous on 8/29/08

According to the state of ca web site he lost his license in 2002…not over 20 years ago. If you read the document on the state of ca website it is pretty darn slimey…no defending that.

By: Anonymous on 8/29/08

"it was poor judgment and unethical"

Please tell me your kidding.

Seems like you have read the Hand book for Radicals by Saul Alinsky.

When confronted unrefutable facts you just resort to ad homiminem attacks.

You look like a fool trying to defend a morally corrupt bufoon.


By: Anonymous on 8/29/08

LAST TIME I LOOKED, BUSH WAS NOT IN JAIL


George Bush 1

Bernie Ward 0

SMB DNP


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

25 years mandatory on the 1st offense, plus medical castration.

We all hope you molestors burn in hell. These animals can not be healed. They are sick, evil and if they get to stay alive they have to do it without their equipment or freedom.

Save the children…fry the perps.

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

To Nothing but the truth: Thank you! I've been trying to explain that to Thoughtful, but you said it more eloquently than I!

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

Well, start singing:

WHO LET THE TROLLS OUT!!

(woof, woof, woof, woof)

WHO LET THE TROLLS OUT!!

(woof, woof, woof, woof)

Well what, Who's gonna dig up the good o'l Libertarian mantra of 'It shouldn't be against the law for brothers and sisters to marry'


It is interesting, that there is a 'leader' in SLO who would be labeled a sex offender, if not in jail for the things he openly admits to ranging from looking in the windows at CalPoly to having had 'relations' with an underage girl.

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

Was that cut-n-paste used with her permission?

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

To Thoughtful: I think you are missing the point. The abused children are being TOLD that they are loved and this is the way their love is given. Children desire love, need love. The abusers are well aware of this and that is part of their snare. You are talking about mature love. The molesters are using the word "love" in a very evil, depraved way. How is a child to know the difference?! You can't compare apples and oranges thoughtful, for a good as your intentions are, evil lies. Sorry to break if to you.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

Leaving the NABLA post up rings close to endorsement. You can post true things about certain guest hosts of radio and down it goes…but this stays. What gives?

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

I'll take pity on these animals when they are locked up for life. I'll think how sad it was that they made a choice to bring great harm to little children and now they have not only harmed others but destroyed their own lives forever. As for NAMBLA – you will all end up in jail sooner or later. I just hope it's forever when it happens.

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

Have some pity for 18 and 19 year old guys who are interested in young woman who are age appropriate but still "jail bait". We can easily end up on a sex offender list. Hang the real sex offenders, rapist and child pornographers.

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

This issue is not about an 18 year old wanting to bust a nut with a 17 year old. While I agree that we need to define the laws a lot more clearly on that issue, this issue is about adults doing horrific things to children and sharing the images with others. The former is about sex, the latter is rape, torture, child abuse, etc. Not sex.

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

"What is an 18 year old guy supposed to do?"


That's why God gave you a right hand, assuming you're right-handed. Shouldn't you be in school?

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

What is an 18 year old guy supposed to do? 18 year old woman want to date older guys. Only the 16 & 17 year olds are interested in us. They wear their birth control patches just above the top of their g-strings where we can see it and yet I'm a rapist if dare to take her up on the invitation.

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

I do think there is a problem with the laws. Primarily regarding the 18 year old dating the 15 year old. We all recall Roman Polanski and while that girl was 14 she was well beyond her years of innocence and more than willing. Many of us had sympathy for Roman Polanski (including me). There really does need to be classifications as to what a child rapist is. Likewise I recall a 15 year old girl who claimed to be 21 and made dozens of porn movies in the LA area. Then there is the parent that gets angry with the 18 year old boyfriend and charges him with statutory rape against her 17 year old daughter whose already been on birth control for two years. The laws and the term "sex offender" need some corrections. Those people who take possession of "real child porn" and distribute it need to be put in ASH for a long long time.

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

this site has reached an alltime low.


Go to hell NAMBLA, go there and rot

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

Before 8 or it's too late. You can shove your morailty down out throats. We are protected by the Constitution.

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

I think the point of the article is that many people, non child molesters, have sympathy for these people.


I think it is because they can't fathom the devastating act or its aftermath. I also think it is furthered along by laws that classify both the 18 year-old having relations with a 15 year-old and a child rapist as sex offenders.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

It appears that there is at least one and maybe two child molesters om here trying to excuse the actions of this type of crime. Throw the book at them. Their posts are more than transparent.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

I stand by what I said. Perhaps, and hopefully, you and others will understand some day.


Jesus understood; it's what he taught. Other prophets and saints and avatars have taught it throughout the history of humanity. The truth does not change.


By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Well said Julie. Thanks for going into more detail than I had the time to do.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Great write Karen. Powerful! Thank you for putting your heart into this story……

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

To Thoughtful: EXACTLY. The abusers do not LOVE the children they are hurting, but that's the word they use. So please don't insult the victims by saying that all the abusers need is love. Give me a break. These children have had their power taken away from them. Don't minimize it by saying that all that's needed is love. Your thinking is way too simplistic.

Julie Stowasser, I'll say it again: A a fellow professional, I will continue to refer people to you because you are so competent and compassionate. Thankyou.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Julie Stowasser is a class act. She is smart with a big heart and helps people when others fail.

Thank you Julie. Bless the work you do.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

RE: Opinion; Karen, Don't feed the trolls.


Dan, "Comments …will be deleted" You too, don't feed the trolls.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Excuse me, but those that are abusing children are NOT treating them with love. Love is never selfish. That would not be love.


Part of the problem is that too few people really understand what love is. But it is the lack of love that leads to abuse.


It is an absolute fact that love is the only healing force. And it is the most powerful force in the universe. This is not airy-fairy stuff. It is a fact.


It is the secret that is beyond "the secret" but is really no secret at all. It is at the absolute core of every major religion. It is at the core of science as well. Einstein recognized this.


By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

There are others that get up close and even charge fees for council and then seduce…those are the worst of society

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

To Thoughtful: As someone who works with victims of molest and sexual abuse EVERY day, let me tell you what they're often told by their abuser: "I'm doing this because I love you and this is how we show love." Love is not the answer for people who abuse children to fulfill their own selfish needs. Accountablity and punishment is the answer.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Love remains the only healing agent.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Anna Salter, Ph.D. from her book, "Predators." (2003)


"All victims are offenders," one professional challenged me at a conference, "and all offenders are victims. How does your work address that?"


My work doesn't address that because I don't believe there's any evidence for that assertion. Obviously, not all victims are offenders, but also it is likely that most defenders weren't victims. The studies that find a high proportion of child molesters who were victims of child sexual abuse themselves are almost always based on self report, and even there, study results differ dramatically. Studies show the number of child molesters who were themselves molested as children ranges from 22% in some studies to 82% in others.


But in any case, offender self-reports have dubious validity, especially when the offender's self interest is at stake. The only rule for deception and sex offenders I have ever found is this: If it is in the offender's best interest to lie, and if he can do it and not get caught, he will lie.


Being victimized as a child has become a ready excuse for perpetrating child molestation. The offender who claims he himself was victimized gets seen as less of a "monster" than one who wasn't a victim, and he gains much more empathy and support. It is hard to trust self-reports of sex offenders about abuse in their past when such reports are in their best interest.


Only a few studies on this topic have used objective measures, and they have found very different results. Jan Hindman knows all too well that people who have lied for decades about their offending would lie to her about being victimized as a child, so she compared the reports of abuse by child molesters who were not being polygraph on their answers with a later group who was informed that they would have to take a polygraph after the interview.


The group that was being polygraphed was also given immunity from prosecution for crimes previously unknown in order to take away one of the many reasons that offenders lie.


This study is not about how good the polygraph is – although it appears to be highly accurate. Rather, the study is about how good the offenders thought the polygraph was because the answers of the group who was going to take the polygraph turned out to be very different from the group wasn't going.


In a series of three studies, the offenders who claimed they were abused as a child were 67%, 65%, and 61% without the threat of a polygraph. With polygraph (and conditional immunity), the offenders who claimed they were abused as children were 29%, 32%, and 30%, respectively. The polygraph groups reported approximately half the amount of victimization as children as the non-polygraph group members did.


Nonetheless, the notion that most offenders were victims has spread throughout the field of sexual abuse and is strangely comforting for most professionals. For one thing, it gives meaning to the behavior of offenders and at the same time allows people to feel badly for them. … If offenders are just victims, and no one has to face the reality of malevolence, the fact that there are people out there who prey on others for reasons we simply don't understand.


—I hope this is helpful in dispelling some of the understandable misunderstandings on this difficult subject.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Not all children who have been molested are committed to a life of misery and torment. What nonsense. Nor are they much more likely to become molesters.

I was molested for several years and it was beyond terrible. I went from therapist to therapist searching for answers and trying to find relief from my pain and anguish. Finally I found a therapist who I clicked with and almost immediately began to feel better. I now attend Cal Poly and don't give that part of my past another thought. I have met many people with similar stories.

I urge anyone who has gone through such a terrible ordeal to find a suitable therapist and get on with your lives. The past does not have to own you. You have to own the past.

People who have been molested have had to put up with enough nonsense to need to see such tripe repeated as if it is the ultimate truth.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Love is a difficult concept for many people to grasp. One can love someone they are forced to punish. One can punish without hating.


You don't have to visit Disneyland to learn it: Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It is the only healing force there is.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

I read your comment, laughed out loud, and desperately hope it was done from your Blackberry as you walked off the 'It's a Small World' ride at Disneyland, cause you're in Fantasy Land my friend.


Love? These sickos need love? If people do these crimes, we as a public have an acountabilty to the victims to PUNISH them. Really Love?

"The most effective punishment…love" You got to be kidding.


"Hatred and anger don't dispel hatred and anger?" Is that supposed to be insightful? I read that at Panda express 2 nights ago in my tasty cookie. If what those victims needlessly have to endure for the rest of their lives, doesn't make you angry at those who committ these crimes, you may belong on the marijuana post, cuz you're high.

There is evil in this world. And evil needs punishment, not love.

Fluff and vacuous comments like yours make me emphatically stand by if you sexually molest a child, destroying and robbing, the innocence given to them, I cannot think of a punishment too harsh.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Its true that many offenders were at one time victims. Its equally true that the highest percentage of victims never become offenders. Likewise everyone who drinks a beer doesn't become an alcoholic yet most alcoholics will tell you that they started with a beer. With that said those who have been victims of sexual sadism suffer through out their lives. Anyone downloading child porn has taken it into their possession. Its illegal to posses child pornography and it should be. If the person then passes it on to another person they are guilty of distribution. Anyone engaging in these practices is perpetuating the horrid industry. Anyone who enjoys seeing little children tortured in any fashion and particularly child rape should be locked up for a long long time. Report it when you see it.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

It's time to take a more enlightened and evolved approach.


Statements like "their punishment couldn't be too harsh" and worse, actually embolden sadists, who, to some extent, reflect back on society the violent nature of the community at large.


It is love, and only love, that reverses the trend. Everything else leads to a vicious cycle, spiraling downward. We are living in the midst of a perfect example.


Hatred and anger does not dispel hatred and anger, nor reduce the incidents of abuse.


The most effective punishment, even when harsh, must have at its very core, love.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

then how would this site have "news" to publish? This site exists only for the fact that loose lips are all over the place. Hard to know who to trust, eh?

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

I was addressing the narrow issue of victims of child molestation becoming molesters. Very small increase above statistical norms.

As for the other problems ie: behavioral, promiscuity etc. this has been shown to increase, but again depends on many variables and availability of an eclectic modality of therapeutic interventions.

Also depends on which of the thousands of studies you wish to give more credence to than others. Sad all around.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Saw your comment to whoever, and I agree, we don't want to stigma these innocent victims.

But the facts are:

*Children who have been victims of sexual abuse exhibit long-term and more frequent behavioral problems, particularly inappropriate sexual behaviors.

*Women who report childhood rape are 3 times more likely to become pregnant before age 18.

*Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to be sexually promiscuous.

*Adolescents who suffer violent victimization are at risk for being victims or perpetrators of felony assault, domestic violence, and property offense as adults.

*Nearly 50% of women in prison state that they were abused as children.

*Over 75% of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters.


What this says is that there is a propensity for their victimization to manifest into something negative for our society and we should do all we can to help victims avoid that. Faith based groups stepping up, counseling, etc are essential in helping that.


Even more of a reason this crime is so horrible in it's assault on the soul of the victim and society and civilization as a whole.

I couldn't of a punishment too harsh.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

I say all porn is bad especially child porn, as for the investigations still pending they take a long time. As for this child molester Willrodt it was his laptop that was seized that led to the Central Coast investigation since he was a partner with several local people. In a closed session court session recently several names were revealed that were posted yesterday, how that got leaked out is wrong. I agree their names should not have been listed now they know they are the target of a investigation, my thought is they will as of now toss the evidence before a search warrant is issued. Who ever you are do NOT leak the information

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

These things take time.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Anonymous. A very small minority of people who have been abused become abusers. That is a fact. Anything more is just urban legend. Do the research for yourself.

I have no problem with child molesters being locked up for life. Wanting something to be so does not make it so.

And knowing that most people who have been abused do not become abusers in no way diminishes the severity of the crime. Your statement puts an unfair stigma on those innocent children who have been abused. IMO. How insensitive and ignorant.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

Very well argued. The only thing I wonder about is how child porn collectors are discovered and caught, especially when trading via the internet, especially in the era of warrantless wiretaps. Is anything known about the first leads in this local case?


Law enforcement is notoriously non-tech-savvy, and it's not hard to imagine an investigation going awry. And there have been unjust prosecutions for molestation, and few charges carry a more terrible stigma.

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

To Is that it?


They couldn't locate the smoking gun..are they still looking? Doesn't look like it.

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

For over six months we have heard reports of the FBI investigating everything from The Atascadero City Council to hard money lenders whom some claim have stolen tens of millions of dollars and negatively affected hundreds of lives. What if anything came of all these "investigations". Are these three arrests of losers exchanging gross computer files the result of all these law enforcement people coming to town? Seems like this is a typical easy passion getting law enforcement action when the more complicated investigations seem to be showing no results. What if anything is happening with the other dozen or so "criminal" investigations which have beeen reported on this website?

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

RE: the headline.


If we are going to pity anyone, why not pity everyone?


I think opinion pieces like this tend to stoke the lynch mob mentality.


Plus, it often ends up that the people who get up on on soapboxes and proclaim things like "No mercy to child abusers" are more likely than the average person to either harbor fantasies about or actually commit abuse.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

Wait, where's that stalker dude who is going to tell us that all pornography and child abuse is because of pot smoking liberals and environmentalists?

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

It is a known fact that abusers abuse. You can't spin that away. That's why Meagan's law is so important. 25 year mandatory sentence for the first offense. Let's protect the kids…not porn!

How insensitive and ignorant!

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

Excellent article IMO.

Observer. With all due respect, it is a fault ridden and oft repeated meme that abused children become abusers. There is some minor statistical variance but it is much less than most people are aware of.

It is kinda like blaming the moon for an increase in emergencies and mental health admissions. Nice story but not true.

It is a frequent excuse of child molesters, "I only did it because I was molested," but the research I have read and my own interaction with these offenders show otherwise. Peace

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

Well-written and well-researched editorial.


Seems sort of out-of-touch with the rest of this hard-hitting website.


Convincing rational people that kiddie porn is bad is like saying water is wet, or reminding people of the benefits of happiness, or something. Duh.


I really appreciate this site, and your insight.

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

As I understand it, some children who are sexually abused, grow up to be porn addicts or child abusers themselves. At one point they were a victim, getting society's full sympathy and compassion for their "victimization", but later, when the symptoms of that abuse show up, society has no sympathy and no compassion.


So, when we hear of children being abused, and we feel sad for them, we must also realize those same children are more likely than the average child, to grow up and do things that we will mercilessly condemn them for.


Just an observation to ponder. There's no easy answer.

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

That was fast. Thank you. Good article.

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

Not all porn is evil but surely all child porn is. Just because that Willrodt guy was arrested does not make it a quid pro quo that his associates were involved in any way and I think that it was irresponsible for sicko to post it and for this site to keep it listed.

I don't care much for porn myself but I don't begrudge others from viewing it as long as it is legal and above board.

Judeo/Christian society. You mean the one where we are torturing people who have not been charged with a crime. Okay.

By: Anonymous on 8/26/08

Comments that stray from topic or are personal attacks against individuals will be deleted.