Entries in Pedophilia (4)


Confessions of Priest Who Molested 17 Boys Released

Image Source/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The lurid confessions of a priest who sexually abused young boys in his parish choir and the seminary offer a glimpse into one of the minds behind the massive sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church.

Former priest Robert Van Handel's 27-page sexual history, which he wrote for a psychologist between 1993 and 1994, details his history of abuse and fantasies of abusing boys age 8 to 11. The document was released as part of a settlement between the Franciscan order of priests and 25 abuse victims.

In the essay, Van Handel, now 65 and a registered sex offender in Santa Cruz County, describes wrestling, tickling and fondling young boys whom he invited to attend one-on-one choir practices, admits to molesting high school boys at a seminary where he taught, and says he took pictures of young boys wearing few clothes or showering.

"It was clearly my choir and the fulfillment of my fondest dreams," he wrote. "Now I understand that it was also a constant supply of attractive little boys."

He also described an encounter with another priest, while Van Handel was in seminary around high-school age, in which the priest molested him while he was in the infirmary.

"While I don't think it is of crucial importance in my life, it is curious that this is nearly the exact activity I would perform 10 to 15 years later," he wrote.

Van Handel's account of his own descent into pedophilia traces his shame and guilt growing up, learning about and trying not to think about sex, into young adulthood, where he bought porn magazines and became interested in naked children.

"I asked my best friend once if he saw anything 'special' in pictures of children. He said, 'no, not at all.' I began to realize that I was different. Sometimes I worried about this, but I thought that as long as it was just fantasy, there was no reason to panic," he wrote.

He progressed from reading about sex with boys to taking pictures of young boys and finally, when he took over directing a boys' choir, abusing boys.

Van Handel describes trying to speak to a Franciscan counselor about his actions twice in the early 70's, but said he was too vague for the counselor to understand what he was saying.

In 1992, Van Handel pleaded guilty to one count of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor and served four years in prison, and another four years on parole.

The release of Van Handel's confessions is rare, even among the thousands of church abuse cases that have made it to the court system in the past 10 years, according to attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who has handled more than 2,000 church abuse cases.

Van Handel and his attorney, Robert "Skip" Howie, did not return calls from ABC News seeking comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Underage Sex Sting Nabs 40 Would-Be Pedophiles

Osceola County Sheriff's Office(OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla.) -- A Florida sex sting netted 40 adults, including a professional golfer, Army reserve soldier, teacher, and swim coach who attempted to have sex with individuals they thought were children they solicited on the Internet, according to police.

The Osceola County Sheriff's department conducted Operation Red Cheeks from Jan. 8 through Jan. 16 at locations throughout the county, setting up fake online identities where detectives posed as children in order to initiate contact with the suspects.

The suspects then traveled to an undercover house or meeting spot to have sex with the child, often bringing gifts including chocolate or wine, as well as condoms and Viagra.

Police said that most of the suspects sent pornographic images of themselves to the "children" they were chatting with online.

One suspect traveled from Georgia and another was on vacation from Alaska, police said.

The suspects include PGA professional golfer Stephen Wesley Thomas, who thought he was chatting with a woman about sex with her and her 13-year-old daughter, according to police. Thomas allegedly agreed to perform sex acts with the girl, and then traveled to an undercover house to meet the women. He was arrested with condoms, chocolate pudding and honey in his possession, police said.

Bryan Allen Woodward, 29 and the head swim coach of the Gator Swim Club in Florida, was arrested after he told an undercover cop that, "younger girls turn me on," discussed graphic sex acts and brought M&Ms with him to meet the person he thought was a 14-year-old girl, police reports state. He told cops he worked with more than 200 children, most of whom were under 18, according to his arrest affidavit.

Nine students were also charged, including one high school student and one student of the Golf Academy of America.

Alexander Roy, a 32-year-old eighth grade math teacher in Port St. Lucie, Fl., was arrested after he traveled to Kissimmee, Fla., to meet with what he believed was a 30-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter to engage in sexual acts, the affidavit states.

Many other individuals, all of whom were men, were arrested in the sting operation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Priests In Church Abuse Crisis Not All Pedophiles, Report Claims

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A five-year examination of sexual abuse by Catholic priests changes a traditional definition of pedophilia and concludes that most abusive priests are not pedophiles; fewer than 5 percent of cases fit into that category, according to the report's definition.

The authors of the study, The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010, consider children age 10 and younger "prepubescent," despite the typical definition that considers prepubescent kids to be those aged 13 and younger.

The report also found no statistical evidence that homosexual priests were more likely to abuse children than priests who are straight. Most of the victims were adolescent males, the report concludes, because of opportunity and not preference.

The report was prepared by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Author of 'Pedophile's Guide' Arrested on Obscenity Charges

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- The Colorado man who sparked a firestorm of controversy with his self-published "pedophile's guide" on has been arrested on obscenity charges.

Officials with the Polk County, Florida Sheriff's Office said Monday that they worked with law enforcement in Pueblo, Colo. to arrest Philip R. Greaves II, 47, author of the electronic book, The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct. The book, which went on sale in late October, ignited intense online protests and was ultimately pulled by Amazon in November.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his office obtained a warrant for Greaves' arrest after the author mailed a signed copy of the book to undercover detectives, giving them jurisdiction. Greaves has been charged with distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in conduct harmful to minors.

Greaves' book first set off controversy when it surfaced on Amazon in late October. After customers, parents and others complained online and threatened to boycott the company, the book was removed from the online retailer's website.

While the book was written from the perspective of an adult, he emphasized that he was not speaking from personal experience as a pedophile.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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