Sunday, April 30, 2006

Domestic Violence: Signs stirring controversy in Jewish community

By Sandie Benitah
Toronto Town Crier Newspapers, Canada
April 26, 2006

Driving along Bathurst, between Finch and Drewry, motorists can’t help but notice the billboard featuring the face of a battered woman whose blackened eyes are closed with shame.

The woman is Jewish and the billboard is meant to send a clear message that no community or culture is exempt from the horrors of domestic abuse.

"There is a Jewish woman you know being abused," it says across the poster.

Battery against women is always a touchy subject but campaign organizers said they knew the Jewish community would be particularly sensitive about it.

The billboard is one of three such signs the Jewish Women International of Canada organization has scattered along Bathurst St., targeting high-traffic Jewish neighbourhoods. This is the first time the Jewish community has been targeted with this issue, said Penny Krowitz, the executive director of the non-profit group, which specializes in raising awareness about violence against women.

"There’s the added stress of our cultural norms," she said about the shame Jewish women feel about being battered. "In the Jewish culture, it’s the woman’s responsibility to keep a peaceful home and so there’s a tremendous amount of shame and a lot of self-blame."

Krowitz said the group is looking for funding to launch a statistical study into domestic abuse in the Jewish community. She said there are no current statistics to prove battery is more of a problem in this community than any other, but that doesn’t mean the subject shouldn’t be broached.

"One of our goals is for women to understand that it does exist in every community. Every woman tends to think they’re the only one this is happening to," she said.

There has been a backlash from some members of the Jewish community.

Krowitz has received a couple of emails from people putting down the campaign over concern it could spark anti-Semitic responses from other communities.

"There are anti-Semitic people, whether we discuss this or not," she said. "I don’t for a minute think it’s enough reason to be quiet. The safety and security of women is the most important."

Before the campaign hit the streets, Krowitz said she lost some sleep over it, worrying about how the community might respond. Despite the negative emails, she’s been pleasantly surprised.

"I anticipated a lot more negative response," she said. "We considered it very carefully and were very thoughtful about how we approached it. We looked at every avenue, met with focus groups and met with different groups in the Jewish community."

Some restaurants and synagogues have even put up smaller-sized posters in their establishments.

The billboards, which will be up for three months, went up just before the Jewish holiday of Passover — a festival of freedom.

The JWIC paid for the campaign with a large donation from an anonymous donor. They’re hoping for more funding so they can expand their campaign to other Jewish communities across the country.

Case of Uriel Yitzhaki - Former Israeli Consul in The Hague

see also: The Case of Uriel Yitzhaki
Ex-consul to The Hague charged with bribery, indecent acts
By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service
April 25, 2006

Israel's former consul to The Hague, Uriel Yitzhaki, was indicted Tuesday for bribery, fraud and indecent acts.

Israeli police investigators began probing Yitzhaki in 2004 in Israel and Holland. Yitzhaki was arrested in April 2005, while vacationing in Israel.

According to the charges, Yitzhaki provided businessman Yaakov Goldovsky with an Israeli passport in return for a bribe. Goldovsky's passport was later revoked.

The indictment also mentions alleged bribes Yitzhaki received from several Dutch companies, as well as 150 Israeli passports he provided to people.

Yitzhaki is also charged with indecent acts he allegedly committed on consul employee over ten years ago.

When contacted by police, the woman said Yitzhaki attempted to rape her. She told police that a security officer present at the time saw that she was distressed and observed scratches on her and on Yitzhaki. The officer later confirmed this testimony.

Police are also investigating further complaints, made by another woman employed at the consul, who says Yitzhaki used his authority to force her into a sexual relationship.

Israeli consul in court
Breaking News
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, NY
April 25, 2006

A former Israeli diplomat was indicted for sexual molestation, bribery and fraud.
Uriel Yitzhaki, Israel’s ex-consul at The Hague, appeared in Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday charged with molesting a female colleague when he served in the Netherlands in the 1990s.

He also is accused of accepting more than $5,000 to obtain an Israeli passport for an acquaintance who did not meet the eligibility criteria.

Yitzhaki denied wrongdoing when he was arrested last year, but it was not immediately clear how he would plead to the formal charges.

Former Israeli consul charged with fraud, bribery
Jerusalem Post, Israel
April 25, 2006

The former Israeli consul in The Hague, Uriel Itzhaki, was indicted on Tuesday on suspicion of fraud, bribery and molesting a fellow consulate employee.

The indictment alleged that the consul took advantage of his position and took money from different service providers to the embassy, as well as issuing an Israeli passport for an Austrian businessman in exchange for 5,000 Euros, misinforming and pressuring Foreign Ministry personnel, Army Radio reported.

Convicted Sex Offender Peter Yarrow Peforms in Baltimore

Peter Yarrow's Idealism Arrive
By Judy Oppenheimer
Contributing Editor
Baltimore Jewish Times -

Peter Yarrow is walking his dog on the far-from-mean Upper West Side streets of New York City and reflecting, via cell phone, on his life.

It’s been a long, and for the most part, deeply fulfilling trip. He still sings with the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary — the group that gave him eternal name recognition, popularized Bob Dylan’s "Blowing in the Wind," and is today "the only group with international reputation of a major sort who’s lasted this long with original members," he says, proudly.

Peter Yarrow

An educational program he created, "Operation Respect," aimed at teaching children to treat each other more kindly, is spreading across the globe. He is close to both his former wife and his two grown children, Bethany, a musician, and Christopher, an artist.

Oh, yes, and he insists he still doesn’t mind singing "Puff the Magic Dragon," the song he co-wrote and composed more than 40 years ago, which he has performed at least 500 kazillion times, as of this writing.


And no, the song was not written about pot — though it’s hard for aging baby boomers to hear it without remembering its supposed connection. (During a concert in the 2004 campaign, a Washington Post reporter spotted presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, thinking himself unobserved, rather unwisely lifting an imaginary joint to his lips when the song was played.)

All in all, life is good. Also, his dog, Zackie, a Jack Russell/ Chihuahua mix, a "rescue dog," he points out, is very cute.

In fact, at 68, Peter Yarrow considers himself "the luckiest person in the world. My work, my friends. I can’t imagine finding them more gratifying." He will be performing tomorrow night, April 29, in a benefit concert at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation; money will go to Life Long Learning programs.

Mr. Yarrow’s interest both in music and social justice started early. Raised in Manhattan by a socially progressive Jewish mother — an early member of the New York Teachers Union — he was playing guitar by age 8.

At 17, he was in the audience for The Weavers’ famous 1955 concert at Carnegie Hall, which electrified him, a kind of vocal equivalent of tikkun olam, he calls it. (Unknown to him, future partner Mary Travers was also there.)

As a senior at Cornell University in 1959, he taught a folk singing class and realized that "this kind of music could serve as a trigger, a spark, to ignite another kind of consciousness. I felt folk music was going to play a part in the changing of America and the world, and that I could be a part of helping that happen."

Cut to Greenwich Village, the following year: a manager, Albert Grossman, spotted him singing at the Cafe Wha, took him under his wing, and announced they needed to find two more singers to form a group. They auditioned several, but when Mary Travers and Noel Stookey showed up, "it was magic — instantaneous." Noel became Paul, for alliterative reasons, and everything fell into place.

How have they managed to stay together so long? "From the get-go, we had a mutual agreement to be straight with one another," says Mr. Yarrow. "We weren’t pretending. We were real. We called forth the best in each other."

Was it always perfect? Of course not. "We all have feet of clay. It’s just like with any relationship, marriage or whatever." But they did try.

Another strong tie between them was their commitment to social justice. "We had a vision and purpose, we never compromised," he says. They were a constant presence at civil rights and anti-war demonstrations. "When the record company told us, 'You can’t go on this march, you’ll lose the Southern market,’ we didn’t give it a thought." (They did lose their popularity in the Deep South, too, as it happened, he added.)

Their fame was worldwide. But fame can have a price: any misstep is magnified. And in March 1970, unfortunately, Mr. Yarrow took a big one: he was arrested and convicted for what were termed "immoral and improper liberties" with a 14-year-old girl who came to his hotel room after a concert. He served three months in jail; 11 years later he was pardoned by President Carter.

Mr. Yarrow sounds a little sad, but clearly unsurprised, when the subject comes up. "It was 35 [actually, 36] years ago. You know, you make mistakes," he says. "You feel terrible about it, make your amends. In that time, it was common practice, unfortunately–– the whole groupie thing.

"Was it reprehensible on my part? Yes. Was it common practice? Yes. Does that imply justification? No."

Still, he can’t resist a little defensiveness. "In Washington, it was considered a felony. In New York, it would have been a class B misdemeanor."

What he doesn’t say but you can’t help wondering is, would it have received any of the same attention had it been Mick Jagger, or any one of rock’s bad boys, in that hotel room? Did his arrest, and the subsequent outrage, have anything to do with the fact that this was the man who wrote "Puff?"

At any rate, Mr. Yarrow believes he has paid his dues. "With the mean-spiritedness of our time, it gets hauled out as if it’s relevant. You don’t get a presidential pardon if you’re not doing great work, have paid your debts to society."

When he campaigned for Sen. Kerry in 2004, the story once again came up — one Texas politician even canceled a fund-raising concert. "The price I pay," Mr. Yarrow says. "What can I do, it’s part of my life. [With other people] I’m very sympathetic, understanding, forgiving, because I realize we all have feet of clay. Certainly I do."

His organization, Operation Respect, which grew out of a children’s program he developed called "Don’t Laugh at Me," takes up much of his time. He recently returned from Croatia, where the government decided to add the program to the school curriculum; it is already being used by schools in Hong Kong and Vietnam, along with 15,000 schools in the United States. Both Argentina and South Africa have expressed interest.

The program is based on the theory that the cycle of hatred — the wellspring of prejudice, of wars, of much of the evil in the world — can only be confronted, and hopefully squashed, in childhood.

For Mr. Yarrow, it’s all about respect. "In terms of our own Jewish history, it relates to what the Anti-Defamation League calls the pyramid of hate. The beginning of the Holocaust, of any war, starts with teasing and ridicule. Bullying. Ostracism builds to real bias, prejudice, racism, and hate killing."

To change the cycle, "you have to get to the children," he said. "They don’t jump out of the womb saying, 'I don’t like Jews, blacks, Poles.’ It’s up to us to give them the tools to interact compassionately, to resolve conflict non-violently, appreciate differences."

And that in a nutshell, he says, is what his program is about, "and what I’m going to be talking about and singing about."

Peter Yarrow’s concert will be held on Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Ave. Students from the day school will join him for part of the concert. Call 410-764-1587 for ticket information, or visit www. .

Friday, April 28, 2006

Self-help/Networking Group for Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence (Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania)

The Self-help/Networking Group for Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence sponsored by The Awareness Center, Inc. will be meeting this coming Monday (May 1st)

Please forward this to ALL Jewish Survivors in Maryland/Southern Pennsylvania/Washington DC

When: Monday, May 1, 2006 - 7:30 pm
Where: Etz Chaim Center for Jewish Learning
3702 Fords Lane, Baltimore, MD

For More Information call: 443-857-5560

The Networking Group will meet on the first Monday of every month.

Survivors of Sexual Violence include: survivors of incest, childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, professional sexual misconduct, clergy abuse, sexual harassment, etc.

Marc Gafni on his Post Orthodoxy Journey and his role as a Jewish Renewal Leader

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Background information on The Case of Rabbi Mordecai Gafni (AKA: Marc Gafni, Marc Winiarz, Mordechai Winiarz)
Born as Marc Winiarz, went to New York from the Midwest for high school and college, became a youth leader and rabbi, was accused of sexual assaulting two teenage girls, and attempted sexual assault of a young adult woman. He was also accused of cult like practices. In 1991 he left the Unitied States to start a new life in Israel, changing his name to Mordechai Gafni.

Marc Gafni: "I was a stupid kid and we were in love," the rabbi said. "She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her"

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the spiritual leader of the Israeli community of Efrat, was going to revoke the rabbinic ordination he gave Rabbi Gafni many years ago when they had a close rabbi-student relationship. When Gafni heard of Rabbi Riskin's wishes, he wrote a letter "returning" his semicha to spare his former teacher any further embarrassment.

Rabbi Gafni serves on the spiritual advisory council of Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, a national organization based in Philadelphia; leds retreats at Elat Chayyim, a Jewish Renewal center in the Catskills; preached frequently at the Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles; and founded Bayit Chadash ("new home"), a New Age Jewish community in Israel that he said strives "to restore the spark of holy paganism."
Interview by Luke Ford with Rob Goodman on Wednesday night, April 26
Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rob visits "what everyone says is the heart of the new movement -- The Purple Festival [at Atlit Beach in Israel."

We see separate streams of naked men and naked women (some wear bathing suits) running into the ocean. They were organized and directed by Rabbi Mordecai Gafni.

A wave hits some of the women and they start choking on sea water. The men, 20 feet away, rush over and help their big-breasted Israeli sisters and bring them to shore.

Rob: "No wonder the old synagogue is empty. I'm all for smoking weed and dancing but when did that become religion?"

This festival is filled with hot chicks. It's presided over by homely old folks such as Gafni. Why must he get all the hot chicks? What happened to "From each according to his ability to each according to his need?"

There's great video of Gafni dancing around, waving his hand, and singing "L'cha dodi."

Gafni: "Let's say, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Shabbat shalom."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thwarting slavery

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Jerusalem Post
April 26, 2006
Also see:

Just two weeks ago Jews around the world celebrated Pessah, which emphasizes the Jewish people's escape from slavery and oppression in Egypt. The themes of redemption and freedom, cornerstones upon which the nascent Jewish nation were built, still resonate today.

There is bitter irony, therefore, in the release of a United Nations report this week which found that Israel is among the top destinations of trafficking in humans for sexual exploitation or forced labor. The report, "Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns," identified 137 destination countries into which victims are smuggled. Israel was among the top 10.

While the clandestine nature of modern-day slavery makes it difficult to pin down exact statistics, advocacy groups say it is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world. It is estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 people - mostly women and children - are trafficked across borders every year. In Israel, government sources indicate that over 3,000 women have been trafficked into the country - most of them from the former Soviet Union - while most non-governmental organizations say the number is much higher.

But barren statistics don't tell the whole story. Most victims, desperate to escape poverty, are lured by the promise of good jobs in a foreign country. Once in the clutches of malefactors, they are smuggled into Israel without work permits or with false documents, making them acutely vulnerable to human rights abuses at the hands of traffickers and the pimps or unscrupulous employers to whom they are sold. Often under threat of death they are forced to work, usually in the sex industry, for little or no money.

In addition, victims are deterred from reporting their plight by their "owners," who physically incarcerate them or threaten to beat or kill family members in their countries of origin. Nonetheless, human rights groups in Israel have received numerous claims in which victims report restrictions of their liberty, as well as torture, rape and other forms of sexual abuse.

The fact that the Jewish state - of all countries - is among the most popular havens for such loathsome practices is a disgrace. Judaism values not only freedom but human dignity and protection of those who are powerless to help themselves.

Slavery in our midst is intolerable and Israel must work to eradicate it. This can be done through endeavors on several levels.

Israel must be at the forefront of coordinating international efforts to end this scourge. A good first step would be for the government to sign the UN's Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air. The document, produced six years ago, requires states to adopt legislative measures to establish human trafficking as a criminal offence.

The Foreign Ministry must make the issue a priority with governments in the former Soviet Union, working with them to broaden its anti-trafficking information campaigns to raise awareness of the problem among citizens there.

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should broach the subject in his upcoming meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Both sides must agree to shore up border patrols and make their shared desert frontier less susceptible to smuggling of all kinds. Olmert can also raise the issue when he visits the US - Egypt's major financial supporter - and suggest that the Bush administration pressure Egypt in this regard.

Within Israel, greater resources and care must be provided to victims. These should include more shelters in which victims can find refuge when reporting abuse, the granting of temporary visas to stay in Israel and legal, medical, and psychological services.

Police must be trained to infiltrate suspected slavery brothels and workplaces to inform victims of the availability of this assistance.

Law enforcement authorities should also employ systematic screening procedures to differentiate trafficking victims from violators of immigration laws.

Advertising for "escorts" in newspapers should also be curtailed, and citizens should be encouraged to report hotels or businesses they suspect of harboring victims.

Next year, when we speak of freedom at our Seders, we must be able to do so in a Jewish state which is effectively working to thwart slavery.

Teachers Having Sex With Students

Oprah Winfrey Show
April 27, 2006

The Oprah Winfrey Show

In the 1990s, Mary Kay LeTourneau (left), a 34-year-old mother of four and teacher, became a household name after she was arrested for having sex with her 13-year-old student, Vili Fualaau. LeTourneau was convicted of child rape. While in prison, she gave birth to two children...both fathered by Vili.

Since LeTourneau's story broke, the number of female teachers reported preying on young boys has become a disturbing trend, Oprah says. While very controversial, some argue that sexual relationships between women and underage boys are consensual.

Lawmakers also seem to draw a distinction between male and female sex offenders. Sometimes women who are convicted of child molestation receive lighter sentences than their male counterparts.

One recent case received a flurry of media attention. In March 2006 prosecutors dropped charges against Debra LaFave (right), a middle school teacher who admitted that she had sex with a 14-year-old student. LaFave avoided prison time altogether by accepting a plea agreement. She was sentenced to three years house arrest and seven years of probation.

In 2002, Lisa Zuniga Duran was a 26-year-old teacher's aide at a private Christian school. Andrew, the 13-year-old son of family friends, was one of her students. In time, their relationship developed into a secret sexual relationship.

Duran says she thought she was "in love" with her teenage student.

Their sexual encounters remained secret for almost seven months. Then, Duran learned she was pregnant. When the doctor told Duran she was going to have Andrew's baby, she says her heart sank. "I realized how far it had gone," Duran says. "It was like a huge alarm."

In November 2002, Duran was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. She pled guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 10 years probation. Duran is also required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

Andrew, Duran's teenage victim, remembers his first sexual encounter with Duran vividly. He says Duran told him he was "a really cute guy," and then he asked her if she'd like to "mess around a little bit."

The teacher drove her 13-year-old student to a dark parking lot where they kissed, Andrew remembers. "After that night, every time we would get a chance to be alone, we would do new things," he says. Eventually, Andrew says he lost his virginity to Duran in the backseat of a car.

Their relationship escalated after that night. "There was one day she came over and my grandparents weren't around," Andrew says. "That day we had sex a lot…at least five times."

After months of sneaking around, Andrew says he confronted Duran. "I said, 'What we're doing is not right,'" he says. "[She said], 'Well, Andrew, I need you to keep [it] a secret.'"

They had sex almost 30 some times, Andrew says, before Duran found out she was pregnant and told Andrew's grandmother.

After three years of therapy, Duran says she now understands why she became sexually involved with a teenager. "I was in a place in my life where I was really starved emotionally," she says. "I was desperate and he did give me attention. … I just wanted to be loved and I saw him on my own level."

For the rest of her life, Duran will be a registered sex offender, but she doesn't see herself as a pedophile. "I don't think I'm a pedophile," she says.

Duran says she accepts responsibility for not setting boundaries with Andrew and makes no excuses for her criminal behavior. "I can talk about this now because I understand my thinking now at that time," she says. "There's no excuse for that. But I also want to say I'm not in that mindset anymore."

Years later, Paul and Tammy, Andrew's parents, say that Duran's crimes continue to affect their son.

"It's hard for him to develop a relationship with other girls because in the back of his head he's like, 'Do I tell them what happened to me? Do I tell them that as a result I have a child? What will their parents think of me?'" Tammy says.

Paul doesn't think women like Duran accept full responsibility for their crimes. "They want to molest our children, and they don't want to be accountable for it," he says. "[Duran] says she's paying for [her crime]. But do you know in 10 years her record will be expunged? The scars our child has, he has to live with the rest of his life."

Andrew's parents are currently seeking custody of the 3-year-old daughter Duran had with their son.

Dawn Reiser was living the life of her dreams. She had a loving husband, a home and the job that she'd always wanted. She was teaching seventh grade at a private Catholic school in Texas when a boy walked into her homeroom and changed her life forever.

It all began, Reiser says, when this teenage student began complimenting her during class. "He had this crush on me, and it was pretty well known," she says. "I would be teaching in the middle of a lesson and he would say, 'Mrs. Reiser, you smell beautiful.'"

Like Duran, Reiser says she developed feelings for her student. "I've struggled up and down with self-esteem, and it's very, very flattering to be told you're beautiful," she says. "You want to believe it because it sounds good. … It's a fantasy—that kind of attention. Somewhere the line between fantasy and reality blurs."

The relationship soon turned sexual. "He asked me to be his first," Reiser says. "I was very honest. I said, 'I'm flattered. I would love to. You're not ready.'"

Days before Reiser's 13-year-old student left for summer camp, police reports say that Reiser drove the boy to her home, took him to her bedroom and repeatedly had sex with him.

Reiser wrote love letters to her seventh grade student while he was at camp, and he showed the letters to camp counselors, who turned them over to police. Prosecutor Mitch Po says he doesn't think Reiser feels responsible for her crime. "She's attempting to shift blame to the victim," he says. "She definitely was the pursuer of this young boy. … The fact that Dawn Reiser is even saying, 'I would love to [be your first] and you're not ready' shows where her mental picture is."

Currently, Reiser is serving up to eight years in prison for two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor. "I've lost everything," she says. "I've lost my husband. I've lost my career. In many ways, though, coming [to jail] was a relief because I wanted to accept responsibility for what really happened."

Prison has helped Reiser reflect on her regrets. "I'm just very, very sorry for him, for the people I let down, the students and the parents who believed in me for eight years of teaching," she says. "I wish I could take it all away."

Sarah Bench-Salorio was a popular and well-respected 27-year-old English teacher at Santa Ana, California, middle school. In January 2005, the community was stunned when a 13-year-old boy came forward and admitted to having a sexual relationship with Bench-Salorio.

Authorities later discovered that Bench-Salorio had secretly groomed and molested three young boys over a period of two years. Her first victim was only 11 years old. Prosecutors say Bench-Salorio lured the young boys with dinners and gifts, phone calls and flattering love letters before seducing them.

Bench-Salorio was sentenced to six years in prison.

Eric met Bench-Salorio when he was in the seventh grade. She was his English teacher, and Eric says the two became friends. When Eric was in the eighth grade, he says their relationship changed as Bench-Salorio started giving him special attention. Eric says Bench-Salorio began flirting with him and even asked if he had a girlfriend. "I said, 'No, why? You want to go out?'—like a joke," says Eric. "She said, 'Yeah,' and then it progressed from there."

Eric and Bench-Salorio started spending more and more time together. One night, they went to a football game together, but 13-year-old Eric says he didn't anticipate where the relationship was headed. "On the way home—she was dropping me off and she parked in the parking lot and we started kissing and stuff and then we got in the back seat and just went from there," Eric says.

The day after Eric and Bench-Salorio had sex for the first time, he says she told him she was falling in love with him. Eric says he believed Bench-Salorio at the time and also felt that he was in love. For a period of about three months, Eric says he and Bench-Salorio engaged in sexual activity once or twice a week.

Eric says he hid his relationship with Bench-Salorio from his father, Mike, and his stepmother, Allison.

Mike and Allison say they never spoke with Bench-Salorio personally except for a back-to-school night when Eric was in the seventh grade. That same year, Eric's parents say, they mistook Bench-Salorio for one of his friends when she stopped by their house without introducing herself. Instead, Bench-Salorio proceeded to play outside on a trampoline with a group of children Eric's age. "We had thought that the teacher was a little off … not really suspecting but thinking she was a little unusual with the things that she did," Allison says.

Allison and Mike soon found explicit love notes to Eric and a condom in his backpack. When first confronted, Eric wouldn't speak. Determined to find the author of the love notes—which seemed to have been written by an adult—Mike says he discovered that the handwriting matched up with a message from Bench-Salorio to Eric in his yearbook. Shortly after Mike confronted his son for a second time,

With the help of Eric and his family, the police arrested Bench-Salorio. Susan Schroeder is a deputy district attorney in Orange County whose office prosecuted the case against Bench-Salorio. She says Bench-Salorio's six-year sentence is "terribly inadequate." "What we should be looking at is whether it's a teacher—not whether it was a male or a female—but whether that person had a position of power," says Susan. "Also, as women we expect to get paid the same if we do the same work as everybody else. If we do a crime, we should pay in the same way."

Susan points out that Bench-Salorio victimized two other young boys and says Eric and his family should be commended for coming forward to police. "This woman would have never stopped but for the fact that she got caught. She is a serial molester," says Susan.

After Bench-Salorio was arrested, Eric says he felt horrible. "Last year was really hard for me," he says. "When I found that out, I was really depressed."

Mike says Eric has had a very difficult time coming to terms with the sexual molestation and subsequent events. "He had gotten in a lot of trouble and we couldn't figure out what was going on. … He was on a self-destructive course, rebelling against our authority as parents and all authority," Mike says.

At times, Eric even became physically aggressive. "It's aggravating to hear on TV that people say that [abuse] doesn't affect young boys," Mike says.

Eric says he feels angry and confused. "It's like a big lie—[Bench-Salorio] tries to tell me that she loves me and all this stuff and what I perceive of sex is messed up now," Eric says. "Here I thought she loved me, and I thought that that was love, and then I find out it's molestation."

Oprah says it is critical that society acknowledges the affects of sexual abuse by child molesters—regardless of gender. "Molestation is not only just about the sex—it's not a rite of passage for young females or young males—it is about betrayal and shame and mistrust," she says.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To Catch A Predator IV on NBC

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I wish I would have remembered to post this earlier today. Tonight was the forth edition of the NBC Special by Dateline - "To Catch A Predator".

This edition was aimed at "Small Town America".

After viewing the show I kept wondering what would happen if they aimed the show at the Jewish community? My hope was that they would come up empty -- Unfortunately, the reality is that our community is no different then any other community.

FYI: Anti-Semitism, Sexual Abuse, and The Jewish Community


A parade of potential predators in a small town
The latest in Dateline's investigation, this time, in the U.S. heartland

By Chris Hansen
<>NBC News - April 26, 2006

Predators scouring the Internet, targeting children for sex: It's a national problem that Dateline has helped uncover. We got such an overwhelming response from our last investigation— some 15,000 emails from parents, grandparents, teachers and law enforcement— telling us to "keep up the good work," and "keep the issue alive." On Wednesday night, April 26, Dateline is back with the fourth undercover investigation. This time, we traveled to small town America. Even far from the big cities and suburbs, vulnerable young teens are not far from danger. A warning: some of what you're about to read is explicit.

GREENVILLE, OHIO - We’ve set up a new computer sex predator operation in a new location, but one man’s excuse sounds pretty old.

Chris Hansen, Dateline correspondent: And what have you heard about those stories?Alonzo Wade: That there’s pedophiles out there. But that’s not my intention tonight, I just wanted to have a party and have a good time.

Two years ago, Dateline launched an undercover investigation into on-line sexual predators.

We had no idea we were about to expose a national epidemic: adults trolling the Internet looking to meet young teens for sex.

Our investigations revealed the enormity of the problem. Over the course of three undercover stings, we exposed almost 90 men.

Our past investigations have been in major metropolitan areas: the first near New York City, the second in a suburb of Washington D.C., and the third close to Los Angeles.

Could it be that this is a crime that only happens in and around big cities, or does it happen everywhere? Even in rural America?

This report is Dateline’s fourth investigation into Internet predators—only this time, we went straight to the heartland: Greenville, Ohio, population 13,000.

Nestled among the corn fields and cow pastures, Dateline found a large house just the right size for our crew and specialty cameras. It was outside of Dayton Ohio, and six hours from Chicago.

"Frag" and "Del," their screen names, are from, an online watch dog group that for the last four years has been catching Internet sex predators and exposing them. We hired the organization as consultants so we could watch them do what they normally do— go into chat rooms and pose as 12-to-15-year-olds home alone interested in having sex.

So while the Perverted-Justice decoys troll chat rooms, our crews set up 11 hidden cameras—seven outside covering all angles of the driveway, side, and back of the house and four cameras on the inside.

One man emerges from the shadows. He’s 40-year-old Alonzo Wade. He’s been chatting online about sex with a girl who said she was 15. When she says she’s worried she’ll get pregnant he says “I am fixed.”

He drives 104 miles, more than two hours, to meet the young teen home along. And he’s loaded down with alcohol. Del, pretending to be the young girl waves him in.

Wade (on hidden camera): Where are you?Del: I just ran upstairs to get a band aid I’ll be right back down okay?Wade: All right.Del: Sorry. If I bleed on the carpet, I’ll be totally dead.Wade (laughs)

Then, he appears to pull down the zipper on the front of his pants. What he was planning to do next we’ll never know. He stops as soon as he sees me.

Chris Hansen: What were you doing with your pants there when you started heading towards the door?Wade: My zipper came down excuse me (hear zipper go up) I was just going to go outside and make sure everything was okay.Hansen: You brought quite the selection tonight.Wade: Yes sir.Hansen: What do we have here?Wade: That’s mine.

Alonzo claims the 12 pack of beer and two six packs of Mike’s Hard Lemonade are all just for him.

Hansen: Were you gonna give any to the 15-year-old?Wade: Oh no no no. No, I don’t do that. I got a 15 year old daughter myself.Hansen: Well, come on Alonzo, you brought the 12 pack and 2 six packs her to this house.Wade: What I said was ‘What did she like to drink now?’ Did I say never, ‘What I was gonna bring’ You got it in black and white that I’d say I’d bring it.Hansen: And you brought it.Wade: Yes, I did.

Alonzo says he didn’t want to drink in front of his daughter so he came here to drink— not to have sex, but he seems to leave the door open.

Hansen: It appears to be clear from this transcript that you are open to the idea of having sex with this girl.Wade: Well appear yes. Would I? No, well maybe, maybe.Hansen: What is it Alonzo yes, no, maybe?Wade: Maybe.Hansen: So maybe you would have had sex with this girl?Wade: Maybe.Hansen: What should happen to you Alonzo?Wade: I should be put in jail.

And that’s exactly what was about to happen. Like our most recent investigation, Perverted-Justice is cooperating with local law enforcement, providing the Darke County, Ohio sheriff’s men with the evidence needed to make an arrest. In Ohio, showing up for sex with a minor after soliciting them online is a felony.

After deputies read Alonzo his rights, he is taken in for questioning, photographed, finger printed and put behind bars.

Detective Mike Burns of the Darke County Sheriff’s department says he contacted Perverted-Justice about doing a sting operation because he was looking for a way to combat Internet predators in his area.

Det. Mike Burns, Darke County Sheriff's department: It was just a miracle from heaven as far as meeting our needs because we are just struggling so badly to get things going that here it is. Here’s the answers for you.

The detective and his men conduct their stakeout from the house across the street and in the mobile home behind the undercover house. Just as they did with Alonzo, once a suspected predator goes in the house, Det. Burns will have his men move into place, ready to make the arrest.

And this time we’ll be doing something new: Because some predators try to get kids to appear in front of Web cams, we hired an actress to pretend to be 12 or 13 years old. She looks the part, but she’s actually 19 years old. When a potential predator sees her, it should be very clear that this could be an underage girl he’s talking dirty to, not an adult.

It’s a parade of potential predators, this time, in the heartland of America.

Our latest computer predator investigation is in full swing. All 11 of our hidden cameras are in place. Any suspected sex predator who approaches the house will be videotaped from the minute he pulls into the driveway until the sheriff’s men spring into action.

More than 20 Perverted-Justice members are in Ohio and surrounding area chat rooms posing as 12-to-15-year-olds. They’ve set up profiles, using pictures of young teens and posted personal information like age, sex and location, some of the profiles are on social networking Web sites like MySpace and Teenspot.

The decoys from Perverted-Justice are waiting to be instant messaged by a potential predator.

In a matter of seconds, men start hitting on the decoys. One man, screenname “greeneyed121,” even goes so far as to suggest phone sex. He found our 13 year old decoy-“katiedidsings” on He types:

“greeneyed121” (chat log): I have an idea but its a little weird.katiedidsings: wat“greeneyed121”: I did it with another girl but I don’t know if you want too. Call me up and let me listen to you as you (blank) yourself to orgasm.

The decoy quickly declines the offer saying her dad wants her to get off the computer and come downstairs.

“Greeneyed121” doesn’t seem to mind, after all, he’s already made a date for sex with her in person. “Katiedidsings” told him she would be home alone for the weekend.

“greeneyed121": I have good news, I can come over Friday and stay the night too!!!

“Greeneyed121” is scheduled to arrive at our undercover house around noon. Sure enough, here arrived right on time. Our hidden cameras are rolling.

He’s 23-year-old Nathan Downhour. He says he’s a student at an evangelical university. And what does he plan to do with 'katiedidsings'? His chat log is quite explicit.

"greeneyed121:" My hands will travel down your smooth body, till we reach your pants. Here we will remove your pants and underwear, revealing your beautiful nude body

And like so many of the other potential predators, his chat turns too X-rated for network television. And he was in the undercover house’s living room.

Decoy (on hidden camera): Hey Nathan?“greeneyed121” or Nathan Downhour: Yup.Decoy: I just cut the crap out of my toe, I’m getting a band aid, hold out at the kitchen counter okay?“greeneyed121” or Nathan Downhour: OkayDecoy: I’ll be right back down.Hansen: Why don’t you do me a favor and just go have a seat right at the other side of the bar please?

He drove more than an hour to keep his date for sex with a girl he thought was 13 and home alone. But he says by the time he got to the door he changed his mind.

Nathan Downhour: I didn’t know if I would really be able to go through with it.Chris Hansen, Dateline correspondent: But you walked in the door.

And as I read some of what he said online, he doesn’t sound like a man who plans to back out.

Hansen: You get into very graphic detail—Downhour: um hum Hansen: (reading from chat) --about what you want to do to her. "Fantasies dreamed up on line or in your mind, things you might not be able to willing to do when it comes down to it. I will gently cup and massage your soft breasts, kiss them and run my tongue along them."Hansen: Then it goes on from there in graphic detail What are we to make of this? Downhour: I’m not sure, I don’t know what the law says about this.Hansen: Well, it’s illegal.Downhour: But nothing has happened yet.Hansen: Well I know, but it’s illegal for someone to use the Internet to solicit somebody who’s 13 for sex.Downhour: That, I was unaware of.

Another stranger has just pulled in the driveway.

Online he calls himself “jteno72960.” He’s also been chatting with the decoy 'katiedidsings'—remember her profile says she’s only 13. He tells her he’s a fireman. Then he gets worried she’s a cop.

jteno72960 (chat log): how do i know your not a cop?? lolkatiedidsings:umm im not a copkatiedidsings:how do i prov it?jteno72960: call my cell and leave a sexy message

She does, and then he wants to take it even further and moves on to the subject of phone sex. He asks ...”you like hearing guys moan? “I want you to call now and make me moan.” katiedidsings says “I will hear ya when you get here.” And there’s something else: He seems to have a thing for feet.

jteno72960:want me to rub your feet katiedidsings:ya jteno72960:mmmmmmmmm now i’m getting turned on.

The man with the apparent foot fetish is really 21-year-old Jason Schoeppner.

“jteno72960” or Jason Schoeppner: Where you at?Decoy: I gotta go get a band aid before I bleed all over the rugSchoeppner: oh okHansen: Hey why don’t you hand out and have a seat right over at the bar for me will you? What’s going on? Schoeppner: Ah (covers his face) (pause)Hansen: Why don’t you tell me to get things started, tell me what was happening.Schoeppner: I don’t know.Hansen: You don’t know.Schoeppner: I do and I’m sorry.Hansen: You’re sorry for what? Schoeppner: for being a friggin’ idiot

And it turns out Jason really does work at a firehouse— as a paramedic.

Hansen: Now in your chat here you essentially say you’re a firefighter.Schoeppner: Yeah. Hansen: Don’t you think that might impress a 13-year-old girl? Schoeppner: Well—I’m sorry—I—Hansen: What was your plan here today? Schoeppner: I don’t know.Hansen: You don’t know?Schoeppner: I seriously don’t know.Hansen: Well it looks like you do based upon this chat.Hansen: What would have happened if I had not been here?Schoeppner: I would have done something stupid.Hansen: With a 13 year old girl Schoeppner: I don’t know probably Hansen: If a 13-year-old girl had been hereSchoeppner: Yeah.

And you won’t believe what else he admits.

Hansen: Do you ever watch television?Schoeppner:: YeahHansen: Do you ever watch Dateline?Schoeppner: Dateline?Hansen: Dateline NBC. Did you ever see our stories on computer predators?Schoeppner: Yeah I’ve seen it.Hansen: This is one of them.Schoeppner: Oh no.

So even after seeing our previous investigations, watching men being confronted and arrested, he wasn’t discouraged from doing the very same thing. And as you’ll see later, he’s not the only one.

As this investigation continues, we hear something we’ve never heard before-- men talking about religion.

Because we’re in such a remote location, most of the men coming to the undercover house have to drive miles and miles over country roads. Some even cross state lines.

This 23-year-old drove from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. That’s about 103 miles more than 2 hours away and he brought alcohol for someone he thinks is 13.

Del: did you bring the Mike’s?Ronnell: yeahDel: ok I’ll be right back

And this man pulling up to our house is from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, 112 miles away. He drove more than two hours to meet with someone who said she was an underage teen home alone.

It’s two o’clock in the morning. Like all the other men who visit, he has no idea our hidden cameras are rolling...

Tim Isaac: Where you at?Del: I have to go change out of my clothes okay?Isaac: Yeah Del: just hang out at the bar for a second. I’ll be right back down, Isaac: (laughing)Chris Hansen, Dateline correspondent (walks in): It’s a little late to be prowling around these parts huh?Isaac: Yeah it is isn’t it.Hansen: Why don’t you have a sit right over here for me?

His name is Tim Isaac, screenname “parknride_469,” a 42-year-old training manager for a global transportation company. He’s been chatting online this evening about having oral sex with a girl who said she was 15, “sadie-the-smarty.”

He wants to know if the sex talk has made her aroused. “Sadie-the-smarty” types, “Well not doesn’t do anything for me.”

“Parknride” types back, “Well, my tongue will.”

Hansen: What makes a man get in a car and drive 2 hours?Isaac: I don’t know just somebody wanted to meet and i wanted to meet them I guess.Hansen: at 2 o’clock in the morningIsaac: I didn’t really want, I mean I wasn’t looking for nothing.Hansen: You walk into a house.Isaac: well I was kinda scared about it to be honest with youHansen: Well, you walked in.Isaac: I’m not looking for… I mean, to like, do anything or anything. I got boys that are 20 and 21 sir.Hansen: Sons?Isaac: Yes sir.Hansen: What if one of your kids was home alone and some guy walked in the back door all happy as heck just to be here?Isaac: To be honest with you. I wouldn’t like it sorry, I’m just nervous.Hansen: What made you think it was okay at 42 years old to walk into a home at ah roughly 2:30 in the morning where a 15-year-old girl was apparently home alone?

Isaac: Well, I wasn’t so sure she was 15 to be honest with.Hansen: Well, that’s what she said on the Internet.

Perhaps I can refresh his memory by reading some of his chat log.

Hansen: ‘You’re only 15, a little young for this aren’t ya?’ ‘Yup I’m 15 and no I’m not.’ ‘Are you still a virgin?’Isaac: Stupid question for an older man to ask a girl like that.Hansen: ‘But baby 15 can get me 20.’Isaac: It probably can, it probably willHansen: Have you ever done time before?Isaac: Um, very little time for some DUI.Hansen: DUI?Isaac: Nothing like this sir. Hansen: You ever do this sort of thing before?Isaac: no this is the first time I’ve ever done something like this.

That’s the same claim we’ve heard from almost every man we’ve ever confronted. Most say they really weren’t going to do anything sexual. Our sting in Ohio is no different. But one subject does come up for the first time: religion.

Davut Ozkan (on hidden camera): No, this is first.Hansen: This is your first time.Ozkan: Yeah. I’m like I shouldn’t do that is also against my religion.Hansen: It’s against your religion.

He’s 27-year-old Davut Ozkan, screenname “nakzox,” a graduate student from Turkey. He had a sexually-charged online chat with a decoy posing as a 15-year-old.

Hansen: You say at one point, ‘I don’t want to have any problem you know, kissing is okay.’Ozkan: Yeah.Hansen: But you also say in the next breath “Have you ever seen a ______.”Ozkan: Uh-huh.Hansen: “I have on the Internet,” she says. Then you say, “Do you want to see mine?”Ozkan: It is good I shouldn’t do this.Hansen: “You can play with my blank.”Ozkan: Yes please don’t read. You can read to yourself. Hansen: I mean it sure seems you knew what you were talking about here and you knew what you wanted from this 15-year-old girl.Ozkan: I don’t want to have sex.

The 27-year-old admits he knew what he was doing was against the law.

Hansen: If you’re so religious, if you knew it was wrong, why did you walk into this house?Ozkan: I don’t know.

And he wasn’t the only one claiming to be religious: There's 20-year-old Josh Tuttle, screenname “goodbody1330.”

He’s been chatting online with someone who says she’s 13 and a virgin, “jessies_messy13.” After she tells him she has a big screen TV, he says, “Hehe that’s we can watch movies and cuddle... kiss and makeout.. then head up to your bedroom and touch each other and have sex.”

Then he adds, “we can get drunk if you want to, if it will make it feel that much better.”

And now here he is walking in the door.

Del: Just sit at the bar for a second ‘k I’ll be right back down.Tuttle: OkayDel: Did you bring the rum?Tuttle: No I’ll explain when you get downDel: Okay.Hansen: Well why don’t you explain it to me instead?

He says he didn’t bring the rum because his brother drank it. “Goodbody1330” goes on to explain that making the decision to come here was a tough one. He says he went to his best friend and believe it or not, says he also turned to the church for guidance.

Tuttle: I have low self-esteem and I have no one else to turn to but God, so I went and talked to my pastor.Hansen: And what did this pastor tell you?TUttle: “It’s wrong to do and that he said you should have more faith in yourself.”Hansen: but you’re here Josh.Tuttle: To make new friends.Hansen: with a 13-year-old girl home alone.

He says he really only came here to watch movies and hang out but his chat and something else tell a different story.

Hansen: Did you bring condoms with you?Tuttle: No sir.Hansen: There are no condoms in your pocket?Tuttle: I have one but that’s just it.Hansen: All right, well, that’s just one lie.Tuttle: I carry that with me all the time.Hansen: But you said you didn’t bring any and you did so that’s a lie.Josh: Yes sir—but I corrected myself, I’m sorry.

Now let’s look at a truly unusual case: Here’s a man who seems to be casing the house, afraid to pull in. After driving by several times, he finally makes his move and walks in the back door.

Del: Hold on I want to take my coat off after sweating to death, I was freezing.Hansen: Why don’t you come in and have a seat real quick?John Frantz: ok.

He’s 33-year-old John Frantz, a mechanical engineer. He’s been chatting online with a decoy who says she’s 14. Unlike all the men you’ve met so far, Frantz, whose screename is “netbuckeye” is very careful when it comes to talking about sex.

When the decoy “chickygrrrrl” asks “Got any condoms?” He says, “What are those, just kidding.” Then he says, “No worries.” She says, “Is that a yes?”

And he replies “Don’t worry I’m not going to do anything without a condom.” But when I confront him, he says he has no interest in sex.

Hansen: I’m confused though, so if you don’t have any interest in that sort of activity, why then chat up a 14 year old girl and come to visit her?Frantz: I’m lonely, that is the bottom line.Hansen: Really?Frantz: Yes, very lonely.

And once again, this man also says he’s religious.

Hansen: Isn’t there a church group, a saloon or…Frantz: There is I go to church every Sunday and in fact, I’ve gone to a new church now because I’m not happy with my old one.Hansen: So does this new church teach you it’s okay to come over and visit 14 year old girls?Frantz: I would say not.Hansen: Who are home alone with no parents…Frantz: They would not recommend that, no.

Then Frantz says something we’ve never heard before...

Frantz: Can I have you read something?Hansen: Sure.He tells us that out in his car, there’s an envelope on the passenger seat. So Del goes out to get it.Frantz: I was concerned for my safety, you have to understand, I mean things like that happen.Hansen: You show up and somebody beats you up or somethingFrantz: Well yeah, yeah stuff like that or worse. I mean it could have taken my life for all I know.

He opens the note and starts to read:

“At 8 pm tonight I’m meeting a person who I met online...”

He goes on to say that the girl tried to lure him into talking about sex which he politely declined. And that he is suspicious about her identity.

“...if she really is who she says she is, my intention is to befriend her and try to mentor her.”

So could this man really be here just to mentor a troubled teen? Detective Burns says he’s not buying this story.

Det. Burns, Darke County Sheriff’s office: We refer to it at the office as an “alibi letter.”Hansen: Alibi letter?Det. Burns: Yeah. It was composed in such a way that it’s our belief the he put it there that if he should get caught made it appear that he was completely innocent.

And the detective says the way Frantz cased our house does not make him look like a man on a rescue mission.

Det. Burns: When you look at a vehicle that pulls up in front and stops, drives by, comes back does the same thing again. If it is his intent that he’s going to go in and counsel with this girl… why would you struggle with that issue? I think we saw the battle from within as to whether or not he was going to get caught.

But because his case is so unusual he doesn’t get arrested until after his interrogation. As for all the other men, the detectives don’t hesitate to take them into custody.

40-year-old Alonzo Wade brought a case of alcohol to meet a person he thought was 15.

Alonzo Wade: All I wanted to do is party and you’re trying to find a pedophile, I’m not.Chris Hansen, Dateline correspondent: But you’re here.Wade: I’m here to party.Hansen: And maybe have sex with a teenager?Wade: Maybe.

He decides he’s had enough, picks up his alcohol and starts to leave.

Wade: If you put this on the air, I’ll sue.

A few men other men head for the door as soon as they find out who I am. But in Ohio, many of the men keep talking even after they find out they’re going to be on TV.

Josh Tuttle: It’s in the laws hands and God’s hands, Hansen: You sound like a pretty religious guy.Tuttle: Yes sir.Hansen: Again you’re free to leave free to have your condom back.Tuttle: (laughs) Thank you. I’m ashamed.Hansen: Okay.Tuttle: Truly ashamed.

And what about the men who’ve seen our previous investigations?

On 23-year-old man who drove across state lines and brought alcohol for a 13-year-old.

Hansen: You’ve seen this on TV before, so you know what’s about to happen?Ronnell: Oh no.Hansen: This is the part where I say, “I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC” and the cameras come out.Ronnell: Okay I realize I made, coming here was a mistake, but, good thing that it didn’t progress to nothin’ further.Hansen: It’s a good thing we were here and a 13 year old girl was notRonnell: Well...Hansen: So that’s the good news tonight.Ronnell: I don’t know I just apologize for offending anybody. Hansen: Did you ever see our stories on computer predators?

One 21-year-old paramedic with the apparent foot fetish came to meet a 13-year-old.

Hansen: So you’ve seen these stories before?Jason Schoeppner: Yeah.Hansen: Didn’t you for one minute think that this might have been something just like that?Schoeppner: Yeah.Hansen: But you came anyway.

It looks as if he doesn’t want to leave. Since he’s admitted seeing our earlier broadcasts, he probably knows what’s going to happen next.

Finally, after several requests...

Hansen: Sir, I’m gonna have to ask you to go.

He gets up and walks out the door, right into the arms of the detectives from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.

All along Del from Perverted-Justice has been running across the street giving the detectives chat logs of potential predators before they arrive.

Det. Mike Burns, Darke County Sheriff’s office: We were able to look down through the chat logs and determine whether or not a crime had been committed once we knew for sure that somebody was coming. I was maintaining contact with Perverted-Justice through radio means.

So as the men leave, the deputies move in and arrest them, and charge them with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor—a felony. In Ohio, in order for prosecutors to file the most serious charges, a police officer needs to be involved in the online chat or phone conversation.

Since in this case, Perverted-Justice members are the decoys, the sheriff’s department temporarily deputized the volunteers who were in our house.

After they are read their rights, the men are taken to an auxiliary building for an official interview. Now it’s the detectives turn to ask the questions.

Detective: Why did you come here in the first place?Nathan Downhour: To see a 13-year old girl in that house.

What they’ve already told “Dateline” is eye opening.

Now wait until you hear what they reveal to detectives. “Greeneyed121,” the 23-year-old student at an evangelical Christian college who typed a detailed description about having sex with a 13-year-old.

Downhour: I couldn’t stop thinking about it, what would happen if I got caught. I was caught.

Sheriff’s deputies find a box of condoms in his car, but he tells the detective they just happened to be there.

Detective: Have you ever had sex before?Downhour: Nope.Detective: Never? so you have a box of condoms with you, you’ve never had sex before, the whole plan was to have sex with this 13-year old when you got here correct?Downhour: That was the original plan.Detective: Okay.

He insists he wasn’t going to go through with it. Detectives also question the 42-year-old who showed up at 2 a.m. planning to meet a girl who told him she was 15.

He tries to convince the detective he had no intention of having sex with a 15-year-old.

Detective: You would like me to believe that you just traveled 112 miles for a couple of hours.Tim Isaac: You know what, I would like you to believe that.Detective: --just to visit a 15 year old girl whose parents aren’t home and you want her to keep that a secret?Isaac: Yup.Detective: Ok and you still want me to believe despite the fact that I have chat here about you talking about ‘Are you wet yet, I want to suck this’Isaac: Well, I would like for you to think the better half of me but you got what you got there and it doesn’t look good on me.

It doesn’t look good for the 21-year-old paramedic who has a thing about feet.

Detective: What did you and Kat discuss or plan specifically to do once you met, or known she was 13 years old?Jason Schoeppner: Hang out.Detective: Hang out, nothing else.Schoeppner: I guess sexual stuff—kiss, rub her feet, stuff like that.Cop: Rub her feet.Schoeppner: Yeah.

Once the interrogations are over, the men are taken to the county jail where they’re photographed, finger printed, stripped searched and put behind bars—awaiting a hearing before a judge. Most face up to 18 months in prison.

One potential predator thinks he’s chatting with our actress who’s posing as a 13-year-old virgin. We’ve hired her to play the role of a young teen on the phone and on a Web cam. Del from Perverted-Justice is typing on the computer.

He’s 26-year-old James Rutherford, screenname “iurutherford.” He’s been chatting online for more than a week with “prncessdanika.”

Del, Perverted-Justice volunteer: He started off very slowly, trying to convince the girl that he could be trusted he ended up getting a Web cam.

And what does the 26 year old do with his Web cam? He starts putting on a show. He takes off his shirt, flexes his muscles and even shows off his pierced tongue.

He tries to convince the decoy to do a bit of a show as well. Several times he asks the actress to show him her stomach. She finally agrees and he says, “Nice tummy hun. I want to lick that.” Then he says “I owe you something now don’t I.”

Del: And then he starts pulling the boxers down a little bit. Doesn’t go all the way down…

He’s actually talking to an actress (who he thinks is 13) as he watches her on a Web cam. As the chat progresses and plans are made to meet, he types “I’m so freaking horny... You know if you had me naked I’d want more right?”

But just before he gets in his car to come over, he calls...

Emily, actress (on phone): I was really looking forward to it that’s not fair. I’m so bored here.

It appears the man is having second thoughts. Could it be that he’s actually having a change of heart and is questioning his own behavior?

Emily: I was like, “Are you gonna call if you’re coming or not coming?” and he’s like, “I’ll call either way.”

A few hours go by and we don’t hear from Rutherford, we assume he’s not coming—until suddenly someone spots him pulling into the driveway. His red Corvette drives around to the back of the house. The decoy goes out to wave him in.

(Hidden camera footage) A knock on doorDecoy: The door is open.James Rutherford: (opens door) Where are you?Decoy: Let me just finish getting ready, I’ll be right out thereRutherford: Come here.Decoy: No I promise I’ll be right backRutherford: No come here—Decoy: Just wait you gotta be a little patient.Chris Hansen, Dateline correspondent (walks in): Actually, I want you to come hereRutherford: That’s what I thought.Rutherford says he had a feeling this was a setup. Still, there was no denying what he’d been up to...Hansen: Who did you think you were going to meet here?Rutherford: Just this kid I’d been talking to.Hansen: This kid.Rutherford: I know she’s a kid.Hansen: How old?Rutherford: 13, 14Hansen: 13, and how old are you?Rutherford: Too old for a 13 or 14-year-old.

But there’s one thing he doesn’t want to tell us.

Hansen: What do you do for a living?Rutherford: I’d rather not say. Who do you work for?Hansen: I’ll get to that in a minute. Rutherford: No, I’d really like to know, I’m sure I’m on TV or something right now.

Apparently the man has seen our investigations before and doesn’t want to reveal what he does for a living on national TV. So I ask him again.

Hansen: Why don’t you just tell me what you do for a living?Rutherford: I’m a teacher.Hansen: And what grade do you teach?Rutherford: 6th grade.Hansen: 6th grade. So you teach kids about the same age as the girl you were coming to see?

James Rutherford is a sixth grade teacher at a Catholic School in Cincinnati, where he also coaches track. He drove two hours to get here.

Rutherford: I would never do anything (hand over face) I don’t know why I’m here.Hansen: You were on your Web cam showing off in front of this 13-year old-girl and the conversation you had with this girl—Rutherford: Was bad, I know, I know. I don’t know why, I need help.Then the teacher offers this excuse:Rutherford: I am going through a divorce. My wife Thursday told me she was leaving me.Hansen: Yeah but that doesn’t make it right for you to…Rutherford: I know.Hansen: …to have this kind of a conversation.Rutherford: I know I shouldn’t have.

The teacher admits he’s chatted with underage kids before and was worried that it had become a problem for him—a serious problem that was getting worse.

Rutherford: I thought about this a lot, for years, maybe I should just stop, maybe I should get counseling, maybe I should get help and I said “Well it’s not that big a deal, I’ve never taken it to this step.” I don’t know if this week just pushed me over the edge.

But fortunately, he’s fallen over the edge into our undercover investigation, instead of an encounter with a real child.

Hansen: Do you ever watch Dateline NBC?Rutherford: Oh damn. I’ve seen one of those. That’s one of the reasons I thought “Why am I doing this?” This could be a setup.Hansen: You’ve actually seen one of our previous programs on computer predators.Rutherford: I didn’t think I was a predator. I wasn’t coming here for anything physical.

That’s a common excuse we’ve heard again and again and this man knows it.

Rutherford: I know you’ve heard this, hell I’ve seen people sitting here and say the same stuff.Hansen: You were suspicious. You had seen our previous stories and probably got a chuckle about what happened to some of these guys.Rutherford: Yeah. Honestly, I sat there and watched and said “Those guys are sick why would you do that.” And that was what about a month, month and a half ago. And then here I am.

But what about the young students he comes in contact with every day? Has this teacher ever crossed that line? His online chat comes uncomfortably close...

Hansen: “I could be your teacher, would you flirt with me?” She says, “Wink at you and stuff.” Rutherford: I never ever crossed a line like that with a person that was a student, I never even thought about it. I guess maybe online it was like they weren’t real.Hansen: I guess the question that some people might ask is this, if you eventually evolve to the point to meet a 13-year-old girl after this…Rutherford: It would have gotten worse.Hansen... conversation, what point do you suddenly become interested in kids from the school?Rutherford: Uh-huh.

Hansen: It’s a legitimate question.

He talked to us for more than 40 minutes. Several times he asked, “Are the police outside? Am I going to get arrested?” In fact, while he was inside detectives from the Darke county sheriff’s office had moved into place and were waiting to arrest him.

Hansen: Well, Jim I appreciate your time.Rutherford: I’m sorry and tell that kid I’m sorry.

What started as a possible meeting with a child ends in an encounter with police—in which he confesses even more during interrogation.

Detective: I think you do have a problem.Rutherford: Obviously.Detective: And you’re admitting that ok. That you have talked to a minor before, 13 years of age. Do you masturbate while doing this?Rutherford: Sometimes.Detective: Okay.Rutherford: I have yeah.Detective: So you’re driven by this.Rutherford: Sir, it’s not like it’s—Detective: just listen to meRutherford: No, I think I feel like I should at least tell you, it’s not like I get on there specifically looking for kids.

Regardless of his explanation, the teacher is transported, just like all the other men, to the county jail, where he is photographed, fingerprinted, strip searched and thrown in jail.

From his jail cell he calls his employer. Rutherford's attorney tells us that Rutherford resigned his position to spare his students. What happens to him next is in the courts hands.

More on the investigation in Greenville, Ohio airs on Dateline Wednesday, May 3, 9 p.m. ET.

Yori Yanover on the Case of Rabbi David Lipman

Photos: David Lipman, Hershy Worch, Mordecai Tendler

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The following was posted on a blog ran by Yori Yanover. A few of his friends include Rabbi David Lipman and Rabbi Hershy Worch. He is also loosely connected to Rabbi Mordecai Tendler.
Look What They’ve Done to my Speech, Ma’
USA Jewish - Wednesday, April 26, 2006
by Yori Yanover

I told a friend of mine in Jerusalem about the case of Rabbi David Lipman and I could hear over the phone how his jaw dropped. Sometimes we need to hear familiar news as it is reflected through the eyes of someone in a slightly different culture to refresh your sense of horror.

The state of Arizona received a report from a Child Protective Services hotline complaint, the cops went to Lipman’s office to question him about inappropriate touching of (children) and he responded in a self-incriminating manner. He then proceeded to mess his own case up in a fantastic way, disappearing for several months, neglecting to make his court appearance, in short, being self-destructive.

The state launched some 13 complains of child sexual abuse against Lipman, which he initially was not present to answer. All the complaints stemmed from (children's) report to someone in or connected to the CPS system.

Now check this out: The cops impounded Lipman’s office computer and discovered pornographic material on its drive, including, reportedly, child pornography.

For the possession of this material, Lipman got 13.5 years in jail.

For the child sexual abuse conviction he got probation. This was because (children), who complained about his misbehavior, pleaded with the judge not to add more time to his sentence.

This is American Democracy, 2006. It is twisted, cruel, hysterical and injurious. But I, like many Americans, have grown callused to this frightening bit of medieval justice. It took the shocked and awed response of my friend to remind me of what has been happening to our free speech over the past couple of decades.

In the 1960’s Phil Ochs sang Mississippi, find yourself another country. I think it’s time for Arizona to go looking, too.

posted by Yori Yanover at Wednesday, April 26, 2006