14 June 2006

How Much Information is TMI?

In this case, not enough!

A few weeks ago, Sephardi Lady wrote in her blog about protecting our children and ourselves from sexual predators. My post today, though, is about whether to accept that a person has made teshuvah or not, but what steps should happen if we are still leary. Every Elul, we evaluate our deeds (or misdeeds) and set upon a path for self-improvement which includes making sure that we act differently in the similar solution.

There's someone in my community who is not "officially" recognized as a sex offender but everyone knows about it. Depending on who is telling a story about him, it has rarely been positive. [I say "rarely" because an old Family "Friend" of cool yiddish papa befriended "Dr. Feelgood" after moving back to town and "FF" has been telling us sob stories about how no one understands Dr. Feelgood's pain.] Without solicitation, I have had it confirmed by many people who know him that in addition to having interest in children (his own), he abuses alcohol and heavy drugs, as well as pharms. A few years ago, he was investigated by the state medical license board but they did not see just cause in revoking his credentials. I found out that he is also serving as a distributer for pharms in the frum community. B'H, the families around his block have banned their children from even going into his yard. However, there are still those who know about him but are turning a blind eye to him because they do not want their children to participate in "loshon hora". [Two different sources confirmed that he gave his teenage son steroids so that he may gain weight.]

I am telling you all this because supposedly, he has "done teshuvah" for the child "problem" (separate from the drugs). Some rabbi (I doubt it!) has said that he is "cured" and okay to be around children. You see, my issue with that is first, being a predator is not like having a disease. Second, I don't think that a person who is feeling "repentant" would still engage in such behaviour.

Our Family "Friend" has been pushing for us to receive him into our home. When I cited my reasons (but did not discourage their friendship), he got into a major tirade that I know better than to listen to lies about people. In his version, nothing happened and his ex-wife "made the whole thing up" to make him look bad.) As it escalated, he told us a "story" about a friend of ours, seemingly set up to discredit him as well.

So, now I am asking you in the blog community, how much information should be put out there about people we believe to be predators? I am afraid of publishing his name here since there are those in my community who will approach me with accusations of spreading loshon hora. I choose to not identify my community but would be willing to write a blog detailing the info I do know about him so that parents can use their common sense to figure out if anyone they know should be kept away from their children. While the stories seem outrageous, I can't imagine people would be cruel as to make up such wild stories about this man.


  1. Generally, I would say, if the sources are coming from really different people and they have similar but unrelated accounts, they are probably true, at least to some degree. I would not want someone like that around my kids. If there is even a hint of that type of perversion, you have to protect your children.

    However, I don't think you should publish his name if you don't have 1st hand knowledge.

  2. I'll write more later. But, you linked to Orthomom's post, not mine, which is totally fine. But, I want Orthomom to get the proper credit. :)

    We both made posts on the same subject and I'm making another post soon about some NY legislation for my NY readers (G-d willing, I will not join them!).

  3. What the experts know about these types of perversion is that the rates of recidivision (sorry about sp) are extremely high.

    Combine the experts's research and the fact that teshuvah cannot be verified, and it is only common sense that parents must protect their children from those who had (or have) this problem.

    Your family comes first and you should feel bad for protecting them.

  4. Sephardi Lady, Thanks for alerting me to the boo-boo. Cool yiddish papa was trying to teach me html by copy/paste, but now it's fixed. I wanted to link to your blog because you connect to the others.

    "Your family comes first and you should feel bad for protecting them."

    I hope you are refering to those who are pretending that everything is b'seder. This is not me! As far as I am concerned, he would have to do more than say he did teshuva.

    outoftown, I do keep my kids away from this person. I have NO PROBLEM doing that. I even alerted cool yiddishe savta (my mother) b/c we saw this particular person at one of the restaurants the other day. Unfortunately, he knows who my kids are, because this is a small community. My mother is very friendly and sometimes lets her guard down when people seem familiar with my kids (b/c she doesn't know all my friends).

  5. I have a feeling that I know who you are referring to. I'm also from out of town and the way you were talking about this guy, sounded way too familiar. I know my mom keeps my younger siblings faaar away from his house, even though his kids are in some of my brothers classes in school. Anyway, trust me, just keep your kids far.

  6. I miss you CYM!

    I still remmeber the first time we talked about this a year ago. Regardless of whether you try to give the person some benefit of the doubt in your mind, you obviously don't socialize with anyone who you have any question about whether they should be around your kids. I know there were so many complications with dealing with this situation, and I am proud of you for handling it so well.


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