Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Offenders

I mentioned before that I work with guys who have sons in prison or jail. When you're in an organization that employs 7,000 it's hard not to meet people who either have that in their family, or you meet other criminals. Over a period of years I worked with these four guys who eventually found themselves on the sex offender registry.
D was the first teacher in our district ever arrested out of a classroom, I suppose. After a complaint from a teenage boy that he had been molested as an 11-year-old by his teacher, the police showed up at the school, removed D from his classroom, took him to the office and arrested him. D always maintained his innocence, even though it cost him a lot of extra years behind bars. He was convicted circa 1984 and I was shocked nearly 15 years later when I saw a feature article on how prisoners spend Christmas behind bars, and saw D's picture and story. He's out, now, living in another state, but I wonder if he ever admitted to what he did, or took sex offender treatment, in order to get out.E was our chief accountant. He was retired when he was arrested, but the people who worked for him weren't all that surprised. Stories about E had swirled around the office for years. He often hired young college boys as hourly employees, and would set up their desks right next to his. He would also take long walks with these young men during office hours. One of the young guys told another employee that E, who drove a big Lincoln Town Car, would take him and chauffeur him on his dates. If there was sex in the back seat E would watch in his rear view mirror. He should've stuck to those college-age boys. He went after a real young one and got busted. He's 80-years-old, now. Hell of a way to spend those golden years, on a state's sex offender list.P was a high school teacher who liked 16-year-old girls. He had a teenage wife and divorced her when she was 19. "By then," she told a friend, "I was too old for him." He now lives in another country. That's one way to deal with sex offenders: send them to other countries. One of his young paramours and her parents sued the school district, claiming the principal and vice principal should have known of his activities. It dragged out in court for years, eventually reaching a settlement. It was so long ago that all of the people involved are retired, but P is still on the sex offender list, and will be until he dies.
The last is a guy who was the most obnoxious coworkers it was ever my misfortune to work with. In the late 1970s R was about 21. He was immature, mouthy and crude, but I didn't suspect he'd end up in jail after having sex with a 12-year-old when he was about 40-years-old. When R was arrested I pointed out the newspaper article to my boss. All he could do was shake his head. "Yep, not one of my better hires…" he muttered and then disappeared into his office.

Usually when someone is arrested for this sort of crime it is startling, because the person kept his activities secret. With all of these guys except for D, the elementary school teacher, it was generally known they had something going on. It just took one person or one incident to bring it to the law's attention. It's also true that if a person is a pedophile, he might work where he would find a ready made supply of victims. D was a big surprise, though, because of the naivete of the people around him. His crime blindsided them. Many didn't believe him capable and never believed he had done it. After all, he had been teacher of the year for our school district! And we have 3,500 teachers. Because of that position of trust, not just the age of his victim, of all of the men pictured above, the law came down the hardest on him.

Ciao for now.

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