Sex Crimes: A Societal Plague

American Decency AssociationBill Johnson, President P.O. Box 202 Fremont, MI 49412 ph: 231-924-4050

Nearly every day, it seems, the local TV news and area newspapers headline an epidemic of sex crimes. And of course the problem is not confined to West Michigan, where ADA is located. Sadly, criminal sexual conduct is in the news more and more all across the country. Here are just a few of the disturbing headlines I’ve seen in recent weeks from Michigan news sources.

- Hearing for Saginaw man, 67, and Saginaw Township grandma, 45, charged in sex-for-cocaine swap of 10-year-old, begins behind closed doors - “At least three young girls testified today against 67-year-old Johnnie L. Griffin, charged, in part, with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl after the girl’s grandmother delivered her to him in exchange for drugs.” – The Saginaw News, 4/12/10

- Police say Hamilton music teacher facing charges admitted to fondling himself in classroom office The Grand Rapids Press, 4/9/10

- Two cold case murders in Grand Rapids linked to Alabama man jailed on five sex assault charges, police say - The Grand Rapids Press, 4/22/10

And these reports are just the tip of the iceberg. These types of sickening crimes are becoming the norm in evening news reports, instead of a rarity. You wonder when we as a nation will wake up to what is feeding this growth of perversity? It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to make the correlation between an increase of pornography use and what seems to be a flood of sex crimes. Notice the telling admission by an accused perpetrator in yet another local report listed below:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – “The Grand Rapids man accused of having inappropriate contact with boys' feet also was investigated in 2001, but the Ottawa County prosecutor would not file charges against him.

“Benjamin Walcott, 28, was charged Monday with two counts of accosting a child for immoral purposes, and for violating student safety zone regulations. He is accused of using an alias and helping to run youth football camps across the state, allegedly sexually abusing kids during camp off-hours…

“… in February 2002, he was convicted of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Kent County, which placed him on the sex offender registry. In order to get around the registry and continue to work at camps and with children, he started using the alias Benjamin Albright.

“When investigators pried into Walcott's apparent foot fascination, he said it all started when he was 17 years old. He watched a pornographic movie in which the women jumped up and down, stepping on various items. Although he said he was not sexually attracted to young boys, he said watching the videos of feet stomping on things excited him.” (emphasis added)

This is not an isolated case. Pornography use can and does escalate into varying degrees of acting out and sexually deviant behavior.

In a recent interview with Citizen magazine, Mary Anne Layden - a psychotherapist at the University of Pennsylvania who treats sexual violence victims, perpetrators, sex addicts and members of the sex industry - was asked about the process of people becoming addicted to sexually explicit material. She stated:

“It does take time, and it depends on when you break into the cycle as to seeing what’s actually happening with them. Regrettably, children are now the ones that are exposed to pornography, because of the Internet. The progress of this problem starts very early. Some studies say that children as young as 7 are being exposed. When you start at 7, by the time you’re 20, 30, you’ve got a couple of decades of exposure to this material. So, you see it building up in the message that is both hostile to women and says that sex is a non-intimate, recreational activity that’s degrading, exploiting. And, that message, hostility to women, mixed with the idea that sex is adversarial and casual and recreational, those are the two factors that ultimately lead to the sexual violence that we’re seeing.

“If you have used the material to the point where you are now addicted to it, you absolutely will be living a double life. Part of the addictive process is not just denial that there is a problem. The addict is clearly going to have to lie and hide what he is doing. This kind of behavior starts to take over your life more and more. (You) don’t want to go to social activities because it takes you away from Internet porn.

“The hidden life, the day man and the night man, get disassociated from each other. It starts to control you rather than you controlling it. Then you start to see all of these problems come up: Changes in attitude, changes in escalating behavior. These men are more likely to go to prostitutes, to engage in risky sexual behavior.”

And access to pornography is only a mouse-click away – as we’ve seen in the deplorable accounts of high officials in the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) who, as a recent investigation has uncovered, have spent countless hours viewing and downloading pornography. A senior attorney with the SEC spent eight hours a day viewing pornography online, downloading even more porn on CDs and DVDs. Another government employee, an SEC accountant, attempted to access porn sites 1,800 times over a span of two weeks. These are only two examples of the 31 serious offenses discovered at this one government agency.

Porn use has become a huge epidemic. It is not limited to those of a certain age group, education background, socio-economic status, or even gender. It takes place in the workplace and in homes. It is a rapidly growing concern in churches across America ensnaring many in the pulpit as well as in pews.

Layden also states in the above interview with Citizen magazine: “Pornography used to be something that you had t go to the edge of town: (A) sleazy place, slink in public and go to the porn shop and get it. Now you don’t have to slink anywhere. We have a pornography pipeline into our house available 24-7 so that we don’t even have to go anywhere. It’s available instantly. Much of it is free, so that makes a dramatic change. It’s also anonymous. We don’t have to worry that somebody’s going see us in the porn shop.”

The problem of pornography is so pervasive. Is there any hope of turning back the tide? Layden gives this counsel for those ensnared and for us as a society:

“There is good treatment. It’s long and involved treatment, and it means a commitment by the addict and a support system in which they look at and acknowledge their behavior – how they’ve broken their own promises and violated their own values. Commit yourself to be psychologically healthy, spiritually healthy and then engage in the process of relearning a healthy sex life; relearning a self-esteem that’s not based on the sexual behaviors that you’re engaged in.

“It means backtracking and getting truly clean and sober from the material that you’re using. It’s not a problem that we’re going to solve just with therapists. We’ve got to have society come together and say, This material is toxic to all of us. We need journalists, lawyers, educators, everybody to work together to solve this problem, because we won’t therapize our way out of this. We won’t fix this by just dealing with the victims who have been victimized by this. The whole society has been victimized by this.” (Emphasis added)

For those caught in the web of pornography and for their hurting loved ones, ADA recommends both of these sources of help.

Pure Life Ministries is a well-regarded Christian counseling ministry for those addicted to pornography as well as offering support to spouses.

Pure Life Ministries 14 School St. Dry Ridge KY 41035 Toll free: 888-PURELIFE - order / information Phone: 859-824-4444 - administrative offices

Faithful and True Ministries also is a very commendable source of help working to salvage marriages with counseling available to help husbands and wives.

Faithful and True Ministries, Inc. Mark R. Laaser, PhD 15798 Venture Lane Eden Prairie, MN 55344 phone: 952-746-3880

If you know of someone involved in pornography, encourage them to get help!

Lastly, one important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to follow the guidelines listed here: and use a filter on all computers. At the bottom of each of our daily email alerts is information about the filtering service of American Family Online. Check it out below and make this contact today!