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Monday
Nov072011

'Nice Guy' Pedophiles Groom Their Victims, Experts Say

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Alan Anderson will never forget the doctor at fishing camp who gave him the attention he was missing at home when he was only 9—but the grandfatherly man turned that affection into sexual molestation.

"The experience was so overwhelming and dark," Anderson. "But I didn't feel that I could talk to anyone. My parents were pretty uninterested in my needs."

Now, 52 and living in Minneapolis, Anderson is an advocate for men who have been abused as boys.

For him it happened again over a three-year period with his piano teacher, starting at age 12. The experiences "put an enormous obstacle for me in finding my own healthy natural sexuality," Anderson said.

The doctor was in his 60s and fit the description of what FBI experts call a "nice guy" molester, one of the least understood in the pedophile world.

His profile resonates in the case of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged in connection with the molestation of eight boys over a 15-year period, all of whom he met though an underprivileged boy's program that he founded. Police claim one 10-year-old boy was raped in the football locker room shower in 2002.

Sandusky, 67, refused to answer questions, telling ABC News that his lawyers told him not to discuss the case.

The university has barred Sandusky from its campus. The college's athletic director and vice president have stepped down after being charged with allegedly covering up the abuse.

Pedophiles come in many forms, but the one who often gets away with sexual molestation and is least understood is the "nice guy"— not the abusive father or the stranger who kidnaps a child, but the trusted doctor, teacher or coach.

So-called "nice guy" molesters also have a great love of children and often set up programs where they can access them.

"The primary reason most of these guys do this is because they are trying to convince themselves that they are not evil, disgusting perverts and to rationalize and justify what they are doing," said Ken Lanning, a former FBI agent in the behavioral science unit and author of the book, Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis.

Experts don't know why some men develop a sexual interest in young children and whether it is learned or inherited behavior.

Although much of the research says they are often victims of abuse themselves, Lanning said new research refutes that.

"Why are some men aroused by a 5-year-old?" he asked. "Certain events could have taken place in early development for reasons that we don't understand."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio