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Why Me? (Part 5 of 8)

In 2011, an article in USA Today profiled serial molesters. It came out because of the charges against coach Jerry Sandusky at Pennsylvania State University. Donna Leinwand Leger interviewed psychologist Michael Seto, director of forensic rehabilitation research at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group in Canada.

Here are excerpts from that article.
  • “Serial child molesters seek out vulnerable children and cultivate relationships with them . . .”
  • “They are not picking children at random . . .”
  • “They are seeking out children who will be more receptive to their approach—children who may be socially cut off, impoverished, lacking a father figure.”[1]
Experts have a name for what those predators do by giving gifts, having outings, sleepovers, and other ways to have physical contact with their prey. They call it grooming. That is, they gain a child’s trust and ultimately get them accustomed to sexual behavior.

“When the grooming starts, the child may like the attention. They like the individual. The children are oftentimes very conflicted,” said Ryan Hall, a forensic psychiatrist in private practice in Lake Mary, Fla.[2]

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[1] “Predator Profiles Mere Sketches” by Donna Leinwand Leger, USA Today, November 16, 2011, 6A.

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