Monday, December 12, 2011

My Interview on the Dr. Drew show today

Photo: My appearance on the Dr. Drew show tonight.

"Once a Fry Cook, Always a Fry Cook"

I'll explain that in a minute.

First, pedophile defined, as found on wikipedia: As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia (or paedophilia) is defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents (persons age 16 or older) typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger, though onset of puberty may vary). The child must be at least five years younger in the case of adolescent pedophiles (16 or older) to be termed pedophilia.

Um, hello? My husband is NOT a pedophile, Dr. Drew.

Today, I was interviewed by Dr. Drew for his show which aired tonight on HLN. I was told by the very nice producer that I would be asked questions about SOSEN, my book, and my feelings about the Sandusky case. Wrong-o! I spent the whole time defending my decision to marry a sex offender. GAH!!!! The interview went horribly wrong. So horribly wrong that it is almost comical.

OK, it IS comical. I am actually laughing.

I was totally and completely ambushed by Dr. Drew who's objective was clearly to sensationalize and belittle women who choose to marry sex offenders. And the worst part was seeing, "THE MAN IN MY LIFE WAS A PEDOPHILE" in a banner above my name during the whole interview. Let me clear this up right now: I did NOT marry a pedophile!!!!

Not only did Dr. Drew call my darling, loving husband of ten wonderful offense-free years a pedophile, Dr. Drew continually interrupted me and wouldn't let me explain my reasons for choosing him as a husband.

The state of Arkansas has NEVER labeled my husband as a pedophile. He is not, nor has he ever been a pedophile. I'd like to add that not all offenders NEED treatment, as suggested by Dr. Drew. Just because a guy makes a mistake one time does not mean he is a predator, pervert or pedophile. My husband went through a lengthy invasive stringent interview and assessment. If the professionals who assessed him felt he needed treatment, then he would have certainly received it. No one has ever suggested he get treatment because no one ever felt he needed it.

I, however, as a child sex abuse victim, DID need treatment in therapy, and I DID receive it. I went to counseling for about 2 or 3 years after the abuse, and it did me a world of good. I KNOW, without a doubt, that I was not "attracted to pedophiles" as Dr. Drew luridly suggested.

My explanation is this: I felt that with my unique experience with child sex abuse, that I would be acutely alert to any inkling of sexual deviant tendencies of any man I brought into my life. Prior to meeting my current husband and during my divorce, I was cautioned by my own father how common it is for men to molest their children, ESPECIALLY if they are step-children. I knew I would have to be extraordinarily cautious about who I brought into my life.

When I met my husband, I did not know he was a sex offender. Once we began to build a relationship and once we saw that there was a potential future together, he told me about his one and only crime that happened in 1996. It was now 2001, I did the math, it had been five years and no offense since then. As he explained to me what happened, I could see that he was completely remorseful and ashamed of what happened. He had learned a very hard lesson in life and had paid his debt to society. He was not on the registry at the time and was not made to register. At that time, he was leading a normal life as a free citizen and a successful contributor to society. I figured, well, it's a low-level crime, after all, the girl was well known in the community as being a sexually active teenage girl and she had wanted to drop the charges. I met her personally and talked with her myself.

Finally, I concluded that my children were actually SAFER with a man who had made a mistake, paid dearly for it and learned his lesson, than they would have been with someone who had never offended who had the potential to offend.  95% of all sex crimes are committed by first offenders - people who are NOT on any list.

Still, I took every precaution I could in preparing to bring this man into my life and into the lives of my children. I even sat them down and told them that if he ever touched them or ever made them uncomfortable in any way, to come and let me know immediately. That never happened.

He has been a very good father to not only my two older children, but also our young daughter. He has also been a very good husband for me. We have been married ten years. It has been 15 years since his offense, his one and ONLY offense.
Studies show that offenders who re offend do so within the first three years.

So at what point do we stop punishing people for what they did one time many, many years before?

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I was once a fry cook. And not just once, either. Multiple times, over and over again for a period of just under a year. Am I still a fry cook? No, that's ridiculous.  I am no more a fry cook than my husband is a pedophile.


  1. Hello. I watched the episode this morning. I think it was brave of you to go on the show and to write your book. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I'm glad that your husband has had a second chance in life with you and that he hasn't re-offended. With that being said, I think extra supports for both of you could go a long way. I work with individuals who have sexually offended, and part of their treatment has been coming to terms with the fact that they do have this problem and that they must continually work to overcome inappropriate thoughts and compulsions toward children. When discussing your husband's experience, you had said that he wouldn't have offended when he did if all the factors hadn't been in place the way that they were. What would happen if all those factors lined up again? Clearly, he has your support now and has the opportunity to speak openly with you, which he didn't have before. But does he have the coping and relapse prevention skills to resist temptation? Getting help isn't punishment; it's another way of supporting you both. The stakes are so high so that I should think that more supports would be welcome. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience on the show, and I wish you and your family well. Take care.

  2. Thank you for your comment, I truly appreciate your thoughts.

    As I stated above, my husband was never diagnosed with pedophilia and it has never been recommended or required for him to receive treatment.

    If you not a drug addict, for example, would you benefit from drug rehabilitation?

    Since sex offender treatment is often very expensive and we are a low income family, we have thus far opted out since treatment has not been necessary.

    Instead, we have chosen to have our nine year old daughter go to counseling because the sex offender laws have affected HER life very negatively. Laws that were SUPPOSED to "protect children" are damaging to my own child and other children of registered sex offenders. To this day, there has been no proof whatsoever that the current laws have protected even one child.

  3. Lynn,

    Thank you for going on the show and know that you are NOT alone! I didn't watch the segment on HLN and shame on anyone who tries to turn things around to suit their interview and to continue misleading the public. These people are in a leadership position and should be giving people the truth instead they mislead them with lies and are part of the problem with us getting the truth out.

    My husband is now also required to register due to an incident in 1992 brought by a 13 year old and her mother. This was NOT the first time they had done this to a man nor was it the last time. My husband was falsely accused and today wears the label sex offender and is required to register even though it wasn't apart of his original sentencing. Our family has paid a dear price for someone falsely accusing someone and it happens more often than not! We are very blessed today that she has chosen to tell the truth and stand with us in trying to clear his name making a 20 year wrong right.

    I am also a survivor of child sex abuse. I know, like you Lynn, and am more aware of what to look for in people and also know the other side of our judicial system and how things really work within that very corrupt judicial system . It's unfortunate that people still believe that only "guilty" people are sentenced That just isn't true. In crimes against children you take the best of two evils: plea out over alleged actions where there needs NO proof of what happened to convict a person or go to prison and have to deal with being labeled a sex offender now trying to survive the prison system.

    I do know that people commit crimes and they should be held responsible for their actions. But when that person has completed their sentencing requirements they have paid their debt to society.

    Ad like you Lynn people see what the state has labled my husband with but do NOT know his story and do not ask him. They automatically assume he is guilty and they think my husband is a pedophile, a pervert, child rapist, and likes little girls. He was NEVER and is NOT a pedophile and it's up to us to help educate the public about what really is going on with these poorly written laws by people who have their "heart" in the right place.

    Lori Merriam

  4. Thank you, Lor, for a well written and well thought out post. I am so sorry for what your family has gone through. My heart does out to you and you have my thoughts and prayers for a better future.

  5. Have I ever told you that I think your a brave and courageous woman? I'm proud to call you my friend! I hope and pray that some good will come out of this interview. Thanks for all you do on behalf of RSO's and their families.

  6. Aw, thank you, Miriam! (((HUGS!!!)))

  7. I haven't seen the show yet, but if someone put a banner on national TV saying that I was a pedophile, which as you noted is a very specific medical diagnosis, and I had never been so diagnosed, I would sue their asses for libel and slander.

  8. Thank You Lori. Thanks for getting the truth out about the misperceptions of what is deemed a sex offender. I am a registered sex offender. There were alot of horrible things that happened to me as a child.I am a survivor of sexual abuse as well. I was molested by 2 friends of the family children as well as an older childhood friend of mine.I lived a sheltered childhood. Kept to myself, didn't have many friends. There are many circumstances that grow a sex offender. I was beat and humiliated by my stepfather that seemed like a daily thing. I have witnessed so much inappropriate sexual behaviour that no child should ever see. My childhood was like a adult movie set. People(adults) had sex when and where they felt like it.Didn't matter if children were around. My mother would have sex with men in the bed next to us with pornography playing on the TV. Shortly after this I started to molest my step sister. It was along the lines of touching. No intercourse.This went on for a couple of years. Well I was arrested.I never denied any of it. I remember a therapist interviewed me prior to sentencing and asked why do you think you did this.I told her of the things that happened to me, what I saw. There was a huge investigation and my mother denied everything. I recieved sex offender therapy for 5 years. It was then that everything came out. I felt such shame of what I did and what others did to me. I began cutting myself when that wasn't sufficent I tried comitting suicide several times. It took along time to get things worked out. It has been 22 years since my sentencing and I have never molested again. I take pride in that. From where I came from. i am 38 years old now. Yes I have come along way but when is it my chance to start forgetting about what happened to me. with being a registered offender when can I move on. I am reminded everyday of the abuse I overcame and the terrible thing I did. So people find out what a person is about before you look at a label.

  9. SHAME ON DR. DREW. How can you call yourself a Dr.?

  10. you get my respect for keeping your composure. dr. drew clearly attacked you and you were strong. i will be getting your book.

  11. Thank you, everyone for your comments. I have received endless emails the last two days, and the overwhelming consensus is the same: That I was attacked by a man who used his role as a media mogel to ambush me rather than talking to me like a human being coming from the role of physician. I appreciate everyone's comments, I really do. In spite of how ugly this interviwe was, this has all been encouraging and I will definitely learn from this experience and move forward.

  12. Dr. Drew sounds like a real jerk and I hope he never gets a job as one of those assembler instruction writers...

  13. I've known you and your family for 20+ years. And I've known your accused husband for a few extra years! He is like a brother to me. He made a remorseful mistake, that was consensual among himself and the victim. One mistake that has never been repeated! My brotherly friend has had only one goal in mind, since his marriage to you, Lynn many many years ago...take care of and provide for his family that currently exists! Perhaps the parents of the victim are so vengeful and close-minded without ever offering forgiveness? Perhaps the parents of the victim should have been more present and aware of their daughter's activities and interests? How does the victim feel about what happened soo many years that she is an adult? How do the parents of the victim feel, knowing that they've been holding onto a decison made many years ago...focusing on one person, who has been spending the past years trying to better his life for him and his family? Soo many questions left unanswered! In the meantime, have been and are still placing so much time and energy into clearing your husband's name. My hat goes off to you for the major effort being placed! I think that maybe Dr. Drew needs to have some duct tape placed over his mouth, so that he can let his guests speak without interruption!!!!

  14. Thank you, dear friend, for your comments. I agree with you that my hubby's goal has been one and only one: To be a good husband and father. He shows this every day. We are so lucky to have this gem of a person in our lives.

    My hubby and I don't feel any animosity towards the victim. She wanted to drop the charges once she realized how much trouble this was going to cause for him. But, once the system sinks their teeth into a charge, they don't let go, they are like a dog with a bone and all they see is dollar signs. It is completely beyond the victim and her family's control, there is nothing that they can do.

  15. I'm sorry, but you made very critical mistakes in that interview. You know what they are. You can't explain it away. Sorry I tell it like I see it and it was a disaster.