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Protect Your Children Educate Yourself
Story by Mark Simon
Story courtesy of South Coast Magazine

The cases usually appeared the same way. Sitting at my desk, I would read through crime reports generated by patrol officers answering calls for service. During my five or so years as a detective in the sex crimes detail, hundreds, if not thousands, of reports came across my desk. Unfortunately, a large number of the cases could have been avoided.

A common statement made by parents during my investigation was: "I had a feeling something was not right," or "He seemed like a genuinely nice person that I felt I could trust." There is a reason for this.

Not all pedophiles are strangers lurking in parks or game arcades. In fact, the majority are neighbors, co-workers or family members. Educating your children can protect them against the "stranger" molester. Educating yourself will protect them from the violator who lives down the street.

This predator is very adept at gaining your trust. He has to be, for this is the way he gains access to your child. A pedophile will spend months, or even years, to gain your trust. Bottom line is .don't. Pedophiles learn what to say, and how and when to say it.

I had a case involving a 23-year-old living in an apartment complex. He placed an ad in the laundry room offering free babysitting. Thirteen parents, all single mothers with financial restrictions, took him up on his offer.

Be aware of adults who spend an inordinate amount of time with children. I have actually had cases where adult men turned their garages into video game rooms simply to lure the neighborhood kids to his home. Another case involved a man offering free math tutoring to his neighbor. The victim was molested for two years until the mother went to his apartment and saw her daughter sitting on his lap. And remember, not all pedophiles are male. Although very rare, there have been cases involving female perpetrators.

There is not enough room here for me to list all the techniques and methods pedophiles use in their hunt for victims. Please take the time to research their behavior. If you witness this behavior, react appropriately and quickly. Too often I was told: "I should have seen this coming."

Mark Simon
33282 Golden Lantern Suite 112
Dana Point, CA 92628 949-295-8511

(South Coast Magazine - Spring 2007)



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