Monday, December 31, 2007

Former counselor sentenced for rape

From the Lockport Journal:

A former counselor for troubled youths at Wyndham Lawn Home for Children was sentenced Tuesday in State Supreme Court for raping a 16-year-old former resident of the facility. David Clayton, 38, of Northview Drive, was sentenced to 16 months to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty Oct. 10 to third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act, both felonies. [...]

Clark said law enforcement has been seeing many more cases of teachers, counselors or other mentors taking advantage of children in their care — a trend he says is becoming “alarmingly frequent.”

“It seems that ... every month we’re seeing a couple of these,” Clark said. “We’re talking about counseling a troubled youth, and the person who is actually responsible for the counseling turns out to take advantage of the vulnerability of the victim in a way like this. It’s very disturbing.”

In many such cases, Clark added, the victim is not the one who comes forward. “The sad part of these things, too, is oftentimes it isn’t the victim that complains about what happens. We find out about it through other means,” he said. “She was not the one that complained."

What is described as the sad part of this story is actually a normal aspect of crimes like these and it is part of the methodology of how these sex abusers select and groom their potential victims. Those who misuse trust for sexual gratification or for an ego boost violate the trust given to them with forethought even when they claim "it just happened."

They set the child victim up to make self-disclosing almost impossible and this setup is where the "it just happened" is shown to be a lie. Laying groundwork is proof of premeditation.

They necessarily maintain a facade and they necessarily work to make the victim feel responsible for the adult's actions. Those who talk about these children as not being real victims if they weren't forced at gunpoint or knifepoint contribute to these children's decision not to disclose.

The recent upward trend in cases like this one is a good sign since that means that fewer people are intentionally or accidentally ignoring indicators of abuse in the people around them. It means that fewer people insist on viewing the victim as an equal partner in any inappropriate behavior.

My wish for the new year is that the number of reports keeps rising until sexual abusers feel they have no safe victims and no safe environment where other adults will miss signs of abuse. My wish is that abusers will be more uneasy than the most concerned parent and that this unease will be so great that the risk of abusing is simply too great.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:34 PM   0 comments links to this post


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