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Child Safety Situation #14

Boy, 12 years old; assaulted by a pedophile.

Joe Smith* was sexually attracted to a 12-year-old boy at his church. To excite the boy, he took him aside and showed him some pornographic pictures. He even cited some biblical passages which he said made it alright for them to have oral sex. After the boy thought about what had happened, he decided Joe had tricked him into doing something wrong. He told his pastor about it.

Joe was sentenced to 5 years in prison and 15 years probation.

What can you learn from this story?

Don't Look:
If an adult offers to show you pictures of people having sex, refuse to look. It's normal to want to look, because you're curious. Understand, though, that an adult showing a kid naughty pictures is more likely wanting to pique your interest in having sex with him that sharing with you his porn files. Pedophiles show children videotapes of children having sex with adults or cartoon characters having sex with each other to get them to thinking it is OK. Men lure teens with the promise of beer and X-rated movies, in the hope that "monkey see, monkey do."

Test what a person says it is OK to do against what you are taught at home, in school, at church. If what he is asking you to do is so normal, why haven't your brothers or friends ever mentioned it? If someone makes you uneasy or what he is asking you to do gives you a creepy or yucky feeling, get away pronto.

Don't be afraid to tell what happened if you later think what you were tricked into doing is not right. Tell some adult you trust. If the person who tricked you is a counselor at school, your pastor, or someone in your family, you may want to call the police, especially if you are afraid everyone will say you are making it up. Remember, if you say nothing, the man may force himself on you again and again. The most courageous thing you can do is speak up for yourself and his future victims.

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*Names changed to protect privacy; information presented for educational purposes only. Reprinted with permission from The Jimmy Ryce Center.

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