I’ve been dragging my feet about starting this blog. In light of all the publicity about the FBI’s sting operation recently, I posted the following on the Truth Alliance Foundation facebook page earlier today. One of the people who saw the post said I should put it on a blog where it might get a wider audience. I decided to take his advice so this is as good a way to start posting as any. . . .
More than 35 years after my first investigation into the malignant subculture of child sexual abuse, the story stays pretty much the same. Except that the problem has gotten worse, much worse.
One of the most irritating things about the current focus on child sexual abuse is the narrative that’s being pushed, that child sexual abuse is driven by an epidemic of “human trafficking” involving young girls. This is a false narrative. And it’s essentially the same false narrative that was pushed 35 years ago.
The very term, “human trafficking,” implies there are large scale organized networks of traffickers snatching innocent young girls right out of their mothers’ arms and putting them to work on the street. The term triggers images of the organized criminal enterprise in the movie “Taken.” Now, there may be groups like that out there someplace, dealing in young girls. The problem is that so far nobody has found one.
What we discovered three and a half decades ago was that the organized trafficking of young girls was essentially nonexistent. This remains true today.
The recent arrests made by the FBI as part of Operation Cross Country have taken some bad guys off the streets and rescued some young girls. But the reality is that such sweeps are, for all practical purposes, small time. While the press (with the full approval of the FBI) trumpets this as a major nationwide sting, the truth is that it is business as usual in all of the cities where the arrests were made. From what I can tell they didn’t even touch the problem of boy prostitutes.
If we view child sexual abuse as primarily a problem created by organized crime, then we simply fail to see 99% of the problem. Moreover, the small percentage of children who wind up becoming involved in organized prostitution got there precisely because they were previously abused.
Until we begin focusing our law enforcement resources on the real predators, like Jerry Sandusky, the problem will continue to get worse. We know that deviants like Sandusky operate in concert with many other like-minded predators. They function as a loosely organized social network. They pass the kids around from one to another, they provide mutual support, they help each other get jobs, they raise money to maintain access to their source of child targets, they provide alibis for one another, they trade their pornography, and they serve as references for one another to gain access to even more children. Each one of these Sandusky type predators will abuse, on average 150 children in their lifetime. Of those children, approximately 6% will become predators themselves. So on average these perverts will reproduce themselves nine times over.
Based on what I know from other investigations I have worked, I would make an educated guess that there were dozens of predators who abused children involved with Sandusky’s Second Mile during the twenty years it was providing services to foster children. It would be fairly easy to uncover the network of predators that were associated with Sandusky. Building a criminal case against them? Not so easy. Nevertheless, it is on these predators that law enforcement, especially the FBI, should focus its attention, not the random pimp.