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Neighbor charged with child porn, how do I tell my kids?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

 

About 6 weeks ago our next door neighbor, father of 6 (ages 10-0) and church bishop was charged with possession of child porn.  The FBI was involved as were local police, they arrested him at work, and searched his house and removed many items.  The local paper stated that he received one or more images of child pornography through the Internet and also alleged he possessed a “movie image” of child pornography on an external hard drive, as well as on an internal hard drive.  He is facing 5-20 years.

 

His wife and kids were on their annual month long trip to grandma’s (6 hours away) when the raid took place and have not been back.  Recently a truck and trailer came by the house and loaded up all of the kids furniture, toys, etc.   

 

Our kids, 9,6,3 considered the next door neighbor kids their friends although they didn’t play together often.  Granted there are only a few weeks before the trial but assuming he is convicted, I am really looking  for insight on how to have a conversation with our 9 & 6 year old about what has happened, why their  friends went away, and what their friends’ dad did.  We have had conversations in the past about appropriate/inappropriate touching but the computer element makes this seem different and I want to deliver a message without being too scary. 

  

Before anyone jumps to conclusions I have talked to the local police (who I work with on a daily basis, through my job ) and they have assured me that if the federal judge had any indication that this man had physically violated children or was a threat to do so they would not have released him on bond and we, as his immediate neighbors would have been notified. 

Thanks to all for any advice you may be able to offer.

 

 

 

 


Edited by gwen's mom - 9/9/11 at 1:54pm
post #2 of 19

Wow.  That's terrible.  :(  

 

If there was no reason to worry that anything inappropriate happened with your children, I don't think I'd give them any specifics at all.  Probably something very vague about them having to move away because of a family emergency.  

 

Are you friends with the wife?  I guess I'm just wondering what the likelihood of seeing the kids again is.

post #3 of 19

I'd probably just tell them they moved away with no warning.  Since there's no chance of him coming back, there's no need to give them reasons.  If he was coming back I would tell them that he isn't a safe person for them to be near and they were to come inside immediately if they ever saw him outside.

post #4 of 19
There's no reason to tell them unless they ask you specifically.
post #5 of 19

Does he still live next door? I'm asking since you said he has been out on bail. I'd have talked to them already. What exactly to say would depend on the individual child. I know when my child was the age of your kids that I would not have had to give detailed info. If I said he wasn't safe and that she was never to be around him she would have taken me at my word. But some kids need the details especially if they are the type that needs to know why or to ignore parental rules because they think they know better.  

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

As for seeing the wife/kids again I think that is pretty unlikely.  We are in a small town and she had no connection to the community outside of his job (which he has been terminated from) and raising the kids.  She is currently living with her very supportive parents and has indicated that she is intending to stay there.

 

He is out and living across the street.  Our kids have never even talked to him because he worked very long hours (when he still had a job) and now that he is out on house arrest, unless he is turning on/off a sprinkler in his yard he does not leave the house.  My kids do not leave our yard without permission.  Everyone in our neighborhood has kids and is aware of the situation so we are all keeping a close eye on his movements.   

 

 

post #7 of 19

is it big on the news? would your children hear of it from the neighbours or others? 

 

i would rather they hear of it from you rather than the news or neighbor or anyone else. 

 

so i would tell them what happened. neighbor did something illegal (he broke the law really seriously) and now he has to go to jail for it. and so no the mom and children wont be back.

 

i would play it really low key for your kids. 

 

and as pp said - just answer their specific question. 

post #8 of 19

personally, i think i'd err on the side of telling my kids that the neighbor man/dad is a danger to kids. that they should definitely stay away from him, and that they should tell you immediately if he so much as tries to talk with them. that the police don't want the man having any contact with kids, and that's why he is not supposed to leave his house anymore.

post #9 of 19

At first I thought I'd probably tell my children that the man committed a serious crime, that the police don't want the man having any contact with kids, and that's why he is not supposed to leave his house--but, word of what happened will probably filter down to them. But then I remember that when was in 3rd or 4th grade a classmate of mine suddenly didn't come to school anymore and it did get back to us that she had been raped and had gone to live with her grandmother.

 

On the one hand I think I'd avoid the details on the crime for now, on the other I'm thinking I'd get out my copy of "I Said No! A kid-to-kid guide to keeping your private parts private" and go through it with them again.

post #10 of 19

I would be honest with the kids about the issue.Also, I would be sure to keep things locked up tight at all times,and watchful of the kids.There is always a  first time for molestors to go from pictures to the real deal.

 

I just came across an update on the Riley Fox case. Guy lived close by and broke into the home.Saw the kid on the couch and took the opportunity. This man is facing serious charges.Sometimes they just kill themselves(no loss),but other times they like to go out with a bang. It is a sad world where people will kill others for (sexual) gratification.Children need to be prepared.There are some great self defense classes for kids.

 

Sadly your neighbor is just one of many.Most never get caught.

post #11 of 19

It would be uncomfortable, but I would ABSOLUTELY tell my children that the police found that this man was unsafe for children and they should avoid him.  I do not trust the legal system AT ALL when it comes to this kind of thing, they let these people out all the time and they go on to re-offend. 

post #12 of 19
It makes me sick that he is "looking at facing" 5-20 years. Ugh. People get that amount of time for possession of crack if they are black. I hate the fact that perverts are so ridiculously under-prosecuted in this country.

I would tell my kids exactly why they moved away. I think it's important for kids to know who sex offenders are and that pretty much anyone who lives next door can be one.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

 

 

On the one hand I think I'd avoid the details on the crime for now, on the other I'm thinking I'd get out my copy of "I Said No! A kid-to-kid guide to keeping your private parts private" and go through it with them again.


Thanks for mentioning this book. I just read about it on Amazon and ordered it.

 

 

post #14 of 19

you know it depends on the child's personality of how much i would tell.

 

i would NEVER tell my dd the 'truth'. already being high strung and with anxiety she'd make a mountain out of a molehill. i might warn her but nope no details. it would be far more detrimental to give her the whole spheil or even heavily warn her. i wouldnt give it that much importance or else she might freak out and not feel safe in her own home as he lives just next door.

post #15 of 19

Child porn is not a mole hill.

 

Although I agree that the individual childs personality must be taken into consideration when deciding how much information to share. It becomes ugh more tricky when you have multiple children with different personalities and different needs regarding information though. 

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post

Child porn is not a mole hill.

 

Although I agree that the individual childs personality must be taken into consideration when deciding how much information to share. It becomes ugh more tricky when you have multiple children with different personalities and different needs regarding information though. 


This was exactly my thought. I agree that different kids are different, but I dont think it will stay hidden. The nine year old will likely find out from neighbors who DID tell their kids.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post

Child porn is not a mole hill.

child porn is not a mole hill but it is right now to my 9 year old. its teh same as running out on the street in heavy traffic.  but neither does it need to be a mountain and freak my child out and make her possibly stereotype profile that men who look like that might be unsafe. i dont want to make her so fearful that she will be scared of 'men'. no child porn or pedofiles does not need to become a mountain and further complicate an already anxiety ridden child. 

post #18 of 19

It's really crappy that he's there in your neighborhood.  Depending on the child, I think I would say something about him being dangerous, maybe dangerous to children.  But I would be very sad if my kids didn't feel safe in their home, so I wouldn't want to lay it on thick.  I would definitely watch very closely.  I hope this is resolved and he is gone soon!

post #19 of 19

I would reiterate the house rules - especially not leaving the yard for ANYTHING without specific permission.  I would also tell the children that they were not to speak with him, or go near his house - at all.  I would tell them that he is dangerous, and that he has been caught doing some bad things.  I would also tell them to find you, or another trusted neighbor, immediately if they see him talking to another child.

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