Making A Difference In A Child's Life Includes Spotting The Red Flags Of A Perpetrator Of Sexual Abuse

A physician was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Cherokee County, Texas Sheriff's Office, and accused of continuous sexual abuse of a child. He was employed as an emergency room physician at several hospitals in the county. The arrest followed an ongoing investigation and a search warrant of his home.

In Texas, the charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child is a felony of the first degree is punishable by life imprisonment, or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 25 years. Michael Fowler "Cherokee County doctor arrested for alleged continuous sexual abuse of a child" https://www.ketk.com/news/crime-public-safety/cherokee-county-doctor-arrested-for-alleged-continuous-sexual-abuse-of-a-child/ (Mar. 21, 2022).

Commentary and Checklist

Perpetrators of sexual abuse have different backgrounds and have different traits as well as professions, like physicians.

What is consistent about most perpetrators is that they often display signs that allow safe adults to make a difference in a child’s life.

Below are some of the warning signs of those who may intend harm:

  • A desire to be near children as much as possible
  • A desire to be alone with one or small group of children without other adults present
  • A preference of being around children over adults
  • Frequently visits places where children are present like playgrounds or youth centers
  • Loiters in places where children are nude, semi-nude or can be viewed without notice like bathrooms and locker rooms
  • Wants children to view them as preferable over other adults
  • A hyper-focus on a child or group of children
  • Talks, writes and acts like a child
  • Expresses a fondness of things and activities children like, such as video games or social media chatrooms
  • Ignores boundaries including, but not limited to, boundaries meant to protect children
  • Touches children inappropriately
  • Makes comments about the bodies or appearances of children
  • Provides gifts, money and favors to children
  • Provides alcohol and/or drugs to children
  • Produces child pornography
  • Sends sexual images of themselves or others to children
  • Solicits children and/or parents or guardians of children to produce child pornography
  • Takes and collects images of unrelated children
  • Makes sexual comments about children
  • Speaks in sexually derogatory terms about children
  • Overcomplimentary of the one or a few children
  • Frequently communicates with children in person or online without other adults present or knowing
  • Seeks relationships with children online
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