Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis
“Adults with an added authority (e.g., teachers, camp counselors, coaches, religious leaders, law-enforcement officers, doctors, judges [DA and child protection attorneys]) present even greater problems in the investigation of these cases. Such offenders are in a better position to seduce and manipulate victims and escape responsibility.
The most difficult case of all involves a subject who has an ideal occupation for any child molester: a therapist who specializes in treating troubled children. This offender need only sit in his office while society preselects the most vulnerable victims and brings them to him. The victims are by definition “troubled” and unlikely to be believed if they do make an allegation.
“Eighty-one percent of all abuse last year was neglect, a percentage that has changed little in recent years. Neglect refers to a denial of critical care, defined as the failure of a caretaker to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing or other care necessary for the child’s health and welfare when the caretaker is financially able to do so or is offered financial or other reasonable means to do so”.* –LEE ROOD 4-2-2011 (*A.K.A “Reasonable Efforts”, which IS NOT HAPPENING)
“As many as 75 percent of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse. One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population; in group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.” –Sexual Abuse: An Epidemic in Foster Care Settings? -By Orlow, Orlow & Orlow July 17, 2009
“There are more than half a million children and youth in the U.S. foster care system today. Studies reveal that children are 11 times more likely to be abused in state care than they are in their own homes, and 7 times more likely to die as a result of abuse in the foster care system.” -John Walsh Show April 16, 2003
Categories: Sexual Abuse Laws Tags: camp counselors, child molestrs, coaches, doctors, foster care system, john walsh, judges, law enforcement officers, neglect, orlow, religious leaders, sexual abuse, teachers, victim
Wisconsin District Attorney “Sexted” Abuse Victim
A prominent Wisconsin district attorney sent repeated text messages trying to spark an affair with a domestic abuse victim while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend, a police report shows.
The 26-year-old woman complained last year to police after receiving 30 texts from Calumet County District Attorney Kenneth Kratz in three days, according to the report obtained by The Associated Press.
“Are you the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA … the riskier the better?” Kratz, 50, wrote in a message to Stephanie Van Groll in October 2009. In another, he wrote: “I would not expect you to be the other woman. I would want you to be so hot and treat me so well that you’d be THE woman! R U that good?”
Kratz was prosecuting Van Groll’s ex-boyfriend on charges he nearly choked her to death last year. He also was veteran chair of the Wisconsin Crime Victims‘ Rights Board, a quasi-judicial agency that can reprimand judges, prosecutors and police officers who mistreat crime victims.
In a combative interview in his office Wednesday, Kratz did not deny sending the messages and expressed concern their publication would unfairly embarrass him personally and professionally. He said the Office of Lawyer Regulation had found he did not violate any rules governing attorney misconduct. That office cannot comment on investigations.
“This is a non-news story,” Kratz shouted. But he added, “I’m worried about it because of my reputational interests. I’m worried about it because of my 25 years as a prosecutor.”
Van Groll told police in Kaukauna, Wis., where she lived, that she felt pressured to have a relationship with Kratz or he would drop the charges against her ex-boyfriend.
Kratz then removed himself from that prosecution and the state Department of Justice took over. He resigned from the crime victims board, which he helped create, after more than a decade as chair. He and his wife filed for divorce last December, although he said they were separated when the messages were sent.
Kratz has remained the top prosecutor based in Chilton, where he has served since 1992 and earns a $105,000 salary. Kratz, a Republican, said he intends to run for re-election in November 2012.
“Nothing really happened to him and I had three days of hell,” Van Groll said in a phone interview with the AP. “They gave him a slap on the wrist and told him not to do it again. If it was anybody else that did something like this, they’d lose their job.”
Domestic violence experts called Kratz’s text messages disturbing and unethical for several reasons, including the power differential between a prosecutor and a younger abuse victim.
“If what’s being alleged is true, it’s sad a prosecutor would use the same sort of power and control over a woman who has already experienced that in her personal life,” said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Kratz may be best known for prosecuting Steven Avery in the 2005 killing of Teresa Halbach, a 25-year-old photographer. The case won national attention because Avery had spent 18 years behind bars for a rape he did not commit in a separate case before DNA evidence implicated someone else. Kratz received glowing media attention and flirted with a run for Congress in 2008.
Last year, around the time he was texting Van Groll, Kratz was back in the spotlight for prosecuting a woman who worked with others to lure a boyfriend to a hotel room and glued his penis to his stomach as revenge for his cheating.
In the interview, Kratz said he was proud he helped achieve legislation creating the first-of-its-kind crime victims’ board and that he had dedicated his career to their cause.
“I wrote the law on crime victims in Wisconsin,” he said, pointing to a picture of him with former Gov. Tommy Thompson signing that law. “That’s the irony here.”
A spokeswoman said the board has not received a complaint about Kratz and is not investigating his conduct toward Van Groll.
Kratz cited an undisclosed conflict of interest in stepping away from the abuse case after Van Groll reported the text messages, court records show. An assistant state attorney general acted as special prosecutor and won a conviction on one felony count of strangulation against the man, Shannon Konitzer.
Van Groll said Kratz sent the first text minutes after she left his office, where he had interviewed her about the case.
He said it was nice talking and “you have such potential,” signing the message “KEN (your favorite DA).” Twenty minutes later, he added, “I wish you weren’t one of this office’s clients. You’d be a cool person to know!” But he quickly tried to start a relationship and told her to keep quiet about the texts.
Van Groll at first was polite, saying Kratz was “a nice person” and thanking him for praise. By the second day, she responded with answers such as “dono” or “no.” Kratz questioned whether her “low self-esteem” was to blame for the lack of interest.
“I’m serious! I’m the atty. I have the $350,000 house. I have the 6-figure career. You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize!” he texted.
Kratz told her the relationship would unfold slow enough for “Shannon’s case to get done.” “Remember it would have to be special enough to risk all,” he wrote.
Van Groll said she went to police on the third day after the messages started becoming “kind of vulgar.” She provided copies of 30 messages and her responses, which the department released in response to an AP request.
“Stephanie feels afraid that if she doesn’t do what he wants Kratz will throw out her whole case,” an officer who interviewed Van Groll wrote.
The department referred the complaint to the state Division of Criminal Investigation because it works with Kratz’s office on prosecutions. Van Groll, a college student and part-time preschool teacher who has moved to Merrill, said she has been told Kratz won’t be charged because “they didn’t think he did anything criminally wrong.”
Kratz on Wednesday waved a copy of what he said was a report by legal regulators that cleared him. He would not give a copy to AP, and slammed the door to his office when the interview was over.
Wisconsin Cyberstalking Laws
Assembly Bill 738 amends 940.32
940.32 Stalking. 40.32 (1) (a) 6m. Photographing, videotaping, audiotaping, or, through any other electronic means, monitoring or recording the activities of the victim. This subdivision applies regardless of where the act occurs.
Child Abuse Victims Abused Again by System
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Children who survive the trauma of sexual abuse are likely to experience a second violation — this time at the hands of the very people intended to protect them, says a University of Arkansas researcher.
Parents, child protection officials, even the system that records and processes sexual abuse cases can unintentionally inflict additional trauma on young victims, states Rebecca Newgent, assistant professor in the department of education leadership, counseling and foundations.
“Not only do these kids endure the sexual assault. They then have to face a whole crowd of strangers — from policemen to medical professionals and lawyers — prodding them, asking them to relive the assault again and again. On top of that, they may return to families who don’t understand what the children went through or how to cope with it,” Newgent said.
These factors not only lead to additional trauma, but they also increase the risk that children will be victimized again, according to Newgent.
In an article titled “The Retraumatization of Child Sexual Abuse: the Second Insult,” published in the most recent issue of the journal Trauma and Loss: Research and Interventions, Newgent identifies the practices and procedures that hurt young victims even as they attempt to help. But she also suggests that parent education as well as minor modifications in the reporting and recording process could greatly reduce subsequent trauma and risk.
In 1997, Child Protective Service agencies received more than three million reports of alleged child maltreatment. Among these reports, 15 percent — representing nearly 480,000 children — indicated some form of sexual abuse. In her article, Newgent lists the potential threats that await children after reporting a sexual assault and offers advice on how to ameliorate those threats or avoid them altogether. Some of these threats include:
THE CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM:
In the effort to record and process cases of sexual abuse, the very system designed to protect children may submit them to unnecessary, additional trauma, Newgent said.
The most obvious mistake is that the system requires children to retell, and thereby relive, the experience of sexual assault over and over again for a variety of different officials. A child may be questioned by medical doctors during the initial exam, then by social workers and finally attorneys — all trying to gather the evidence they need to perform their role in the child’s case.
Furthermore, the examination and investigation processes are often more invasive than necessary, causing the child greater fear and distress, perhaps even additional feelings of shame.
Newgent recommends that child protection agencies streamline the process and work collaboratively with other officials so that children recount their experiences only once. Facilities should be arranged so that a non-invasive medical examination can be completed and a single interrogation conducted in a child-friendly environment. Use of one-way mirrors would allow all relevant officials to witness these procedures without intimidating the victim, and videotapes of the procedures could provide a record for future reference.
Another common mistake relates to the officials themselves, rather than the system. Newgent cites past studies, which show that cultural and gender biases may skew how counselors and other professionals treat and perceive victims of sexual assault. Their attitudes may be transmitted unknowingly to the child, resulting in greater guilt and self-blame.
To counteract such biases, Newgent emphasizes the importance of proper training and competence among those who interact with sexual assault victims. She notes that an unbiased and supportive environment is particularly crucial in the initial stages of assessment and treatment.
The circumstances of a child’s abuse and the symptoms that a child displays afterward can greatly influence the way parents subsequently relate to their child. Parents may be ashamed of their child’s experience or embarrassed by the hyper-sexuality that many children exhibit after sexual trauma. Alternatively, parents may misperceive the sexual assault as normal interaction or may be overly tolerant of inappropriate sexual behavior following the assault.
Though seemingly opposite, these reactions can lead to similar outcomes: callous attitudes toward the child, greater blame of the child and decreased emotional support. Such family environments not only scar the child, but they also may feed into the cycle of violence that traps many victims. Family dysfunction can lead to deviant behavior, which increases the risk that victims of abuse will one day become abusers.
“It’s not enough to treat the child. Parents have to be educated too. It’s essential that support agencies provide family counseling even if none of the family members were the perpetrator,” Newgent said. “It’s also important that parents take the initiative to inform themselves.”
Education is not just important for the parents of victims, Newgent added. Parents should be doing more to learn about dangers and protect their children before an assault occurs.
“Schools and clinics often have wonderful educational services, but very few parents take advantage of them,” she said. “Every bit of information that you can get to help your kids — that’s certainly not asking too much.”
“The Retraumatization of Child Sexual Abuse: The Second Insult”
Rebecca A. Newgent
University of Arkansas
Lisa K. Fender-Scarr and Jamie L. Bromley
University of Akron
The traumatization of child sexual abuse does not end with the criminal act itself. Young victims’ participation in the multiple systems purporting to assist them can lead to retraumatization, the second insult. Counselors who work with children need to be aware of how variables such as prior child sexual abuse, the male as victim, victim characteristics, caregiver and family characteristics, and whether or not the crime was reported can affect the level of emotional health and recovery for these children. Current literature examines the effects of many of these variables on an individual basis. In order to help reduce the chances of young victims being revictimized counselors need to look at how these variables interact with each other and manifest themselves in the systems helping children. Assisting young victims of abuse includes having an understanding of the theories of child maltreatment. Implications for counselors in regard to the second insult include the development of competency in the realm of child sexual abuse and treatment, collaboration between multiple systems, and implementation of specialized programming. Case vignettes are provided to illustrate the variables of retraumatization.
—University of Arkansas
Idaho Cyberstalking Laws
18-7906.Stalking in the second degree.
(1) A person commits the crime of stalking in the second degree if the person knowingly and maliciously:
(a) Engages in a course of conduct that seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the victim and is such as would cause a reasonable person substantial emotional distress; or
(b) Engages in a course of conduct such as would cause a reasonable person to be in fear of death or physical injury, or in fear of the death or physical injury of a family or household member.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) “Course of conduct” means repeated acts of nonconsensual contact involving the victim or a family or household member of the victim, provided however, that constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of this definition.
(b) “Family or household member” means:
(i) A spouse or former spouse of the victim, a person who has a child in common with the victim regardless of whether they have been married, a person with whom the victim is cohabiting whether or not they have married or have held themselves out to be husband or wife, and persons related to the victim by blood, adoption or marriage; or
(ii) A person with whom the victim is or has been in a dating relationship, as defined in section 39-6303, Idaho Code; or
(iii) A person living in the same residence as the victim.
(c) “Nonconsensual contact” means any contact with the victim that is initiated or continued without the victim’s consent, that is beyond the scope of the consent provided by the victim, or that is in disregard of the victim’s expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued. “Nonconsensual contact” includes, but is not limited to:
(i) Following the victim or maintaining surveillance, including by electronic means, on the victim;
(ii) Contacting the victim in a public place or on private property;
(iii) Appearing at the workplace or residence of the victim;
(iv) Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased or occupied by the victim;
(v) Contacting the victim by telephone or causing the victim’s telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously regardless of whether a conversation ensues;
(vi) Sending mail or electronic communications to the victim; or
(vii) Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased or occupied by the victim.
(d) “Victim” means a person who is the target of a course of conduct.
(3) Stalking in the second degree is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.