Many of you may recall my account of Sil's dad. He was arrested in early 2002, put on trial in 2003, and spent 6 months of a five year sentence in jail for molesting a young girl of twelve. NBC Dateline followed this story for a while from behind the scenes, but did not include it in their famous showing in June 2002. NBC followed up with me for a while after the show aired, but have not done so recently.
When he got out of jail, he was allowed to keep custody of his young grandson who was about 4 or 5 at the time. The judge and prosecutor could only warn Child Services. It was up to Child Services to make the crucial decision. They chose unwisely. Here is what recently happened.
Sil's dad was arrested again after he failed several lie detector tests. In his state, a convicted child molester can be arrested and their parole revoked if they fail quarterly lie detector tests. Evidently, based on the lie detector results, it is suspected he molested his young grandson who lives with him. This issue is in progress, so I will let you know the outcome as it happens.
The problem with all of this is that this man may have been counseled many years by the local JW Elders, but do to their policies of not reporting this crime to authorities, he was never dealt with before now. Although, to be intellectually fair and honest, he may never have revealed past crimes to the Elders. We know he did reveal this to the Elders when he was first arrested in 2002 because it was also in the newspapers - and the Elders reproved him. That said, if he confessed additional crimes to the Elders, the authorities would still not know about it as they should.
Additionally, while we all know how the JW / Watchtower policies have allowed this problem to continue among their ranks, we have to strongly hold the same level of accounting regarding Child Services in many locations and in some states. As citizens, we need to have the best professional people in child services involved, as well as better laws. We don't want innocent parents and family being wrongly accused of this crime, but we also don't want situations like this one, where the molester gets to have continued access to minors in his own home.
I hope that when some of you see situations similar to this one show up in the news media, that maybe some of you can take some time to get involved in community activism and demand better from our government servants. They work for us, and we pay a huge price for such service. We at least have the right to demand accountability from them too, as well as needed changes in their procedures.
Thanks, Jim W.
PS: This post should be moved to the Child Abuse section in a couple of days.