Crimes Against Children: Pedophilia
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Castration of Pedophiles

Doctors: Pedophile 'Cured' After Surgery

July 28, 2003 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA --
There was something wrong with the schoolteacher with the headache - doctors could see that from the start. Though charming and intelligent, the 40-year-old man couldn't stop leering at female nurses. He had been in trouble with the law for sexual advances toward his stepdaughter, and now he was talking about raping his landlady.

University of Virginia Medical Center neurologists Dr. Russell Swerdlow and Dr. Jeffrey Burns had never seen a case like this. The man had an egg-sized brain tumor pressing on the right frontal lobe. When surgeons removed it, the lewd behavior and pedophilia faded away. Exactly why, the surgeons cannot quite explain.

"It's possible the tumor released some pre-existing urges," Burns said. "But that's a tough debate, we just don't know."

The outcome raises questions not only about how tumors alter brain function, but also how they can influence behavior and judgment.

Daniel T. Tranel, a University of Iowa neurology researcher, said he has seen people with brain tumors lie, damage property, and in extremely rare cases, commit murder. "The individual simply loses the ability to control impulses or anticipate the consequences of choices," Tranel said.

Dr. Stuart C. Yudofsky, a psychiatrist at the Baylor College of Medicine who specializes in behavioral changes associated with brain disorders, also has seen the way brain tumors can bend a person's behavior. "This tells us something about being human, doesn't it?" Yudofsky said. If one's actions are governed by how well the brain is working, "does it mean we have less free will than we think?"

It's a question with vast implications in the criminal justice system. The US Supreme Court has ruled that executing mentally retarded murderers is unconstitutionally cruel because of their diminished ability to reason and control their urges.

Chris Adams, a death penalty specialist for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, thinks the next logical step would be to include people who have brain tumors. "Some people simply don't have the frontal lobe capacity to stop what they're doing," he said.

Human behavior is governed by complex interactions within the brain. However, scientists think most "executive functions" - decisions with major consequences - are controlled within the frontal lobes, the most highly evolved section of the brain. Tumors in that area can squeeze enough blood from the region to effectively put it to sleep, dulling someone's judgment in a way that's similar to drinking too much alcohol.

Only in very rare cases would the tumor turn the person to violence or deviant behavior on its own, Tranel said.

Dr. Patrick J. Kelly, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at New York University Medical Center, said he's never seen a tumor turn someone into a pedophile. "I've seen them make people hyperactive, forgetful, apathetic," Kelly said. "And it usually takes a fairly extensive tumor to do that ... the size of an orange maybe."

The Virginia schoolteacher with the tumor didn't respond to written interview requests by The Associated Press made through his doctors. But according to his case report, which Swerdlow and Burns wrote in the Archives of Neurology, the man didn't remember having abnormal sexual urges for most of his life.

In 2000, the man began collecting sex magazines and visiting pornographic Web sites, focusing much of his attention on images of children and adolescents. Eventually he couldn't stop himself, telling doctors "the pleasure principle overrode" everything else. When he started making subtle advances on his young stepdaughter, his wife called police. He was arrested for child molestation.

The man was convicted and failed a 12-step rehabilitation program for sexual addiction because he couldn't stop asking for sex favors, according to the case report. The day before he was to be sentenced to prison, the man walked into the emergency room with a headache. He was distraught, Swerdlow said, and was contemplating suicide.

He also was "totally unable to control his impulses," Burns said. "He'd proposition nurses."

An MRI revealed the tumor, and it was cut out days later. The man's behavior began to improve. Swerdlow said the judge allowed him to complete a Sexaholics Anonymous program. The man eventually moved back home with his wife and stepdaughter.

About a year later, Swerdlow said, the tumor partially grew back and the man started to collect pornography again. He had another operation last year, and his urges again subsided.

"That's one of the interesting things about frontal lobe damage," Swerdlow said. "This guy, he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he thought there wasn't anything wrong with him, and he didn't stop."
-- Edited from the article by Chris Kahn for Reuters in Yahoo

Judge Orders Castrated Child Molester Released

A Santa Clara County judge ordered the release of a serial child molester who was voluntarily castrated in August 2001 in an effort to win his release from custody. Brian DeVries, 44, was held at Atascadero State Hospital, under California's 1996 "Sexually Violent Predator'' law, since finishing his criminal sentence in 1997. He was convicted of molesting an 8-year-old San Jose boy in 1994 and has molestation convictions stretching back to 1978. He petitioned for release after completing a rigorous five-phase treatment program at Atascadero. He volunteered for surgical castration because he believed that the chemical castration he was undergoing at Atascadero was not effective.

A Molester Who Requested Castration

Medical experts say that there is no guarantee that surgical or chemical castration will eliminate child-molesting behavior, but this case was the basis of a 1998 legislation in Texas allowing voluntary chemical castration for repeat sex offenders.

Larry Don McQuay, a self-professed "child-molesting demon" who threatened to kill his next victims was released from Rusk prison in April 1996, after agreeing to what officials called unprecedented parole restrictions.

McQuay, now 39, had asked in 1995 to be castrated in hopes it would stop his urge to molest. His request was not granted when he was released under mandatory release rules, but he was sent to live under special supervision in a halfway house in San Antonio. Would the outcome of this case have been different if his request to be castrated had been honored?

McQuay was a former San Antonio school bus driver who claimed to have sexually abused more than 240 children. He had served six years on a child molestation charge. Now McQuay is serving a 20-year sentence on another charge, indecency with a child by contact.

In an article dated 15 April 1998, Allan Polunsky, chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, said, "It will be a cold day in hell before Larry Don McQuay is paroled from the Texas prison system." -- Edited from articles at CNN, Daily Beacon, and TexNews.com

Chemical and Surgical Castration

Chemical Castration Acceptable Punishment for Male Sex Offenders? - YES

"Chemical castration is an ideal punishment for sex offenders. When Depo-Provera is administered, recidivism rates fall to 5%. Their sexual fantasies are lessened as a result of the reduction of testosterone levels. Although men administered this drug are capable of having sexual intercourse, many people argue that chemical castration is cruel and unusual punishment. This argument is countered by the fact that sex offenders are required to get injections only once a month. What is 'cruel and unusual' is allowing sex offenders to attack innocent women and children. This effective therapy will protect future victims. It is an 'offender friendly' way of reducing sexual violence." -- LaLaunie Hayes, California State University at Northridge

Chemical Castration Acceptable Punishment for Male Sex Offenders? - NO

"Chemical castration is not an acceptable form of punishment for male sex offenders, however. Many people argue that chemical castration is 'cruel and unusual punishment,' but others are more concerned with the ramifications of this kind of treatment. Chemical castration as a cure for a disease may be simplistic because it implies that sex crimes are a result of a medical condition. While Depo-Provera may be effective in lowering sex drive, administering this drug does not address the real motivation behind this behavior. Furthermore, there is no proven effective "cure" for pedophiles, which means that chemical castration has no value for these criminals. Another criticism is the lack of uniform guidelines for use of chemical castration across the states. And what incentives are available to insure that criminals will continue treatment once they are released from custody?" -- Laura Matthies, California State University at Northridge

From the Kudzu Monthly article, "A Strange Cure for Rape

The Chemical Knife

Once referred to as a form of mutilation by the American Civil Liberties Union, a reference to the Eighth Amendment to the Bill of Rights (which says, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted"), chemical castration is slowly gaining ground throughout the country as a means of sentencing and treating sex offenders.

Chemical Castration Bill Becomes Law

Editorial talks about public and personal reactions to recent acceptance of chemical-castration legislation for sex offenders.

Medical Study Fuels Debate on Chemical Castration

Health Law and Policy Institute discusses some recent medical reports that imply that chemical castration doesn't work on sex offenders.

Castration & Drug Therapy

Discusses the various types of drug therapy and chemical-castration methods used with sex offenders.

Is Chemical Castration an Acceptable Punishment?

California State University at Northridge posts this list of links and published journal articles in support of chemical castration used in sex-offender cases.

Medical, Legal Experts Debate Castration

1997 Associated Press piece discusses what medical and legal experts say about chemical castration for sex offenders.

Castration Often Fails to Halt Offenders

Columnist DeWayne Wickham offers his doubts about the efficacy of chemical castration in use against sex offenders.

Designing Sex: Playing God, Have Doctors Gone Too Far?

Article talks about the societal implications of chemical castration, and the drugs used in its practice.

Chemical Castration: A Return to the Dark Ages

August 1997 editorial offers the ACLU's opinions against chemical castration.

Page Contents:
  • Castration of Pedophiles
    • Doctors: Pedophile 'Cured' After Surgery
    • Judge Orders Castrated Child Molester Released
    • A Molester Who Requested Castration
  • Understanding the Nature of Pedophilia
  • Chemical and Surgical Castration
  • Famous Pedophile Cases
  • Identifying and Tracking Pedophile Sex Offenders
  • Treatment of Pedophiles
  • Molesters in Prison
  • Criminal Minds Crime and Court News Index

Understanding the Nature of Pedophilia

Deviancy Paraphilias

Read a discussion of paraphilias and moral considerations. Find a table listing over 50 paraphilias and their definitions.

Interview with a Child Molester

Discover the perspective of an incarcerated pedophile on the motivation behind his crimes and goals for his future.

I Am a Child Molester

I've served my prison sentence and I'm in treatment, but the courts won't set me free. I cost taxpayers $110,000 a year, but I hope to be out soon. Can I move into your neighborhood?

The Pedophilia Education Web Site

Some people don't view adult sexual preference for children to be a problem. This is not one of the plethora of sites telling parents or educators how to protect children from pedophiles. This site explains what pedophilia is from a pedophile's perspective:

"Most pedophiles are honest, law abiding (except for the oppressive dictatorship-style pedophile laws!) citizens. They actually tend to be among the more moralistic, decent folk that we have out there."

This web site promotes the position that the web must be a place where pedophiles, like other minorities, should be free to talk about their beliefs without censorship. The author goes on to state:

"We must unite and stand against intolerance until we are accepted like gays are. My being a pedophile is simply a sexual-orientation, nothing more. It has complications due to the guilt applied by society to pedophiles and kids, but it is still not my fault I am a pedophile -- even if it is my choice."

This is a mirror site, evidently the original site was censored (I wonder why?). -- Editor

View the site.

Famous Pedophile Cases

Pete Townsend Set Free

Who guitarist was set free after an intense round of questioning by Scotland Yard authorities on his possession of child pornography.

Sons Found Guilty, Pedophile Acquitted

Learn how the King brother trial ended with guilty verdicts for the two boys. Recounts the crime. This case makes me absolutely crazy -- the pedophile gets a relative slap on the wrist while the boys -- who were given reduced sentences by a judge who evidently shared my feelings -- were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison by a jury. -- Editor

Marc Dutroux

Read about this Belgian pedophile, murderer, and leader of an international child pornography and prostitution ring.

Albert Fish

Furnishes access to a variety of study resources and articles about the infamous sado-masochist, flagellant, castrator, vampire, pedophile, serial killer, and cannibal. 

Identifying and Tracking Pedophile Sex Offenders

Book Review: Identifying Child Molesters: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse by Recognizing the Patterns of the Offenders

The book purports to identify these key points:

  • how to recognize those who might molest
  • how molesters typically 'charm' adults
  • how societal attitudes help to foster child sexual abuse
  • what to do when encountering a potential molester
  • what physical and emotional damage molestation can cause to victims
  • how to graciously avoid potentially dangerous situations

Child sexual molesters use certain techniques to "charm adults into giving them access to children. When these strategies are seen and understood, adults can take much more direct responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse than was previously possible."

Publicizing Child Molester's Prison Release

Essay talks about the need to publicize current prison and judicial practices involving the release of child molesters from prison. Includes news stories.

US Sex Offender Registries

Why Traditional Screening Doesn't Work

Employers and Interviewers are not easily alerted to the presence of a pedophile. Pedophiles don't usually walk into the room and say, "Hi, my name is Chester Molester and I am a pedophile". Nor will they appear in your office wearing their "Proud to be a Pedophile" badge. If it were that easy, we wouldn't need to be so concerned about the safety of our children.

Course Overview: Sex Offender Supervision

Treatment of Pedophiles

"Criminologistsare extremely concerned by the fact that legislators apparently assumed that the problems of sex offenders strictly reside in their genitals, rather than their personality, and hence constitute an illness that is treatable." -- Mahin Hassibi, M.D. in Playing God

Book Review The Child Molester: An Integrated Approach to Evaluation and Treatment

Child Molester Recidivism

Stop Child Molestation Group - Selecting a Sex-Specific Therapist

Offers advice and state-by-state listings of therapists who treat child molesters and abusers.

The Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study

Child molestation, because of its large numbers of victims and because of the extent of its damage to the health of its victims, is a national public health problem. To combat this public health problem we must focus on the cause. People with pedophilia molest 88 percent of child sexual abuse victims. Early diagnosis of this disorder, followed by effective medicines and therapies, has the potential to save children from being molested.

Molesters in Prison

Pelican Bay Inmate Who Testified is Slain

Describes the death of an inmate who testified a month earlier against an officer convicted of setting up beatings of child molesters.

Stop Prisoner Rape

Prison rape survivor stories: "I later learned from a cellmate that my rape was deliberately orchestrated by the guard who put me there as something called a "turning out party." Among other things, the guards lied to my cell mates, telling them that I was a child molester and promised them an extra ration of Jell-O if they would "take care of" me."

Prison Rapes Covered Up

Inmates entering (prisons) spend several weeks in R&O -- receiving and orientation -- a 1950s-era cell block where new inmates are secluded from the general population and scrutinized for behavior patterns. What follows is a three-tiered labeling: Kappa for aggressive inmates, Omega for middle-of-the-road, and Sigma for those likely to be targeted. Kappas may room with Omegas, and Omegas may room with Sigmas. But the aggressive Kappa is never, at least in theory, put in a cell with a passive Sigma.

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