Doug Wilson’s Pedophile Problem: Sex Offender For Whom Wilson Begged Leniency Back in Court with Infant Son

Doug Wilson’s Pedophile Problem: Sex Offender For Whom Wilson Begged Leniency Back in Court with Infant Son September 6, 2015

[Update: There is some disagreement over whether Steven Silter molested his baby or became sexually aroused by his baby. Regardless, the judge found has found it necessary to remove Sitler’s wife from serving as a chaperone due to her failure to report “report disclosures” to the court. I have edited my post slightly to reflect the language used by the court.]

I am really really really not happy to be writing this post. As in, seriously not happy. I’ve mentioned before that several years back Doug Wilson married a convicted pedophile to a young woman in his church, declaring the pedophile reformed and even asking God to bless them with children. But as I and others wrote critically of Wilson’s actions—the marriage was for all intents and purposes arranged by him—we never wanted to see a child harmed as a result. And yet, here we are.

Let me start with a quick summary of the situation. In 2005, Wilson asked the judge for leniency in sentencing Steven Sitler for molesting young children, declaring him “genuinely repentant.” Some years later, Wilson married Sitler to one of his parishioners and asked God to bless them with children. Earlier this year, Sitler’s wife gave birth to a baby boy, and this month the court found that “(Sitler) has had contact with his child that resulted in actual sexual stimulation.” If that’s all you feel you need to know—and it may be—you can stop reading here. I’m going to provide more of the backstory, and while I won’t be graphic, some readers may find it triggering.

In writing this piece, I relied primarily on this post by the Wartburg Watch. I followed the links provided in that article and in some cases quote directly on those pieces. Finally, I also drew on Wilson’s recent statement in the matter.

Who Is Doug Wilson? 

Doug Wilson is an evangelical theologian. As my regular readers will know, Wilson holds some fairly extreme beliefs. He has defended slavery, described marital sex with terms like “conquer” and “surrender,” and advocated for exiling gays. Yet in spite of this, Wilson is no fringe theologian. As Dee of Warburg Watch notes:

Doug Wilson is a much beloved pastor whom The Gospel Coalition has posted 52 times. John Piper admires him. Tim Challies is a fan. Wilson is beloved of R.C. Sproul and Al Mohler. He is even quoted over at 9MarksKevin DeYoung thinks Wilson is wise.

Earlier this summer R. L. Stollar collected a long list of prominent evangelical leaders who promoted a post in which he argued that supporting gay marriage is a “far more serious” problem than was supporting slavery. Wilson’s views may be extreme, but he is no fringe character within wider evangelical circles.

In addition to pastoring Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, Wilson runs New Saint Andrews College, a small Christian college founded in 1994. I am familiar with the school partly through Wilson’s magazine, Credenda Agenda, which I read growing up in an evangelical homeschool home, and partly because a fellow homeschooler I grew up knowing attended New Saint Andrews after graduation. Wilson also heads his own denomination and has created his own association of Christian schools.

Doug Wilson Asks for Leniency for Pedophile Steven Sitler

Our saga begins as follows, as homeschool graduate Steven Sitler headed off to New Saint Andrews college to study under Doug Wilson:

Steven Sitler moved to Moscow in 2003 to attend Doug Wilson’s college, New Saint Andrews.  Like many students attending NSA, Steven Sitler boarded with a Christ Church family.  Unbeknownst to anyone in Moscow, he brought with him a history of pedophilia.

He molested children in his Moscow boarding home until he was discovered in March 11, 2005.  The parents of the victims notified Doug Wilson.

Take a moment to note that Sitler did not voluntarily confess to child molesting. No. He was caught. This wasn’t his first offense, either. To his credit, Wilson did encourage the family of the victim to notify the police. Wilson expelled Sitler from New Saint Andrews and sent him back to his hometown in Washington state a two hour drive away. In spite of his return home, Sitler’s trial took place in Moscow, Idaho, and both he and the victim were represented by lawyers from Christ Church.

The victim’s family retained Christ Church member and attorney Gregory Dickison, who accompanied them to report the crime the morning after it occurred. Steven Sitler’s family retained Dean Wullenwaber, who is also a member of Christ Church. In short, the aggrieved and the aggravator  were handled within a small church community which Doug controlled. (Controlled, you ask? Of the eighteen Kirk elders, including Doug, twelve rely substantially on Christ Church and its associated industries for a paycheck. It would be wrong to think that loyalty can’t be purchased.)

Sitler’s lawyer, Dean Wullenwaber, was a member of Christ Church. Bear this in mind, because Wullenwaber will come up again. In addition to the note about Wilson’s control of the Christ Church board of elders, I would add that Christ Church is a congregation that practices church discipline. This means that if Wilson believed Wullenwarber was acting contrary to biblical principles in his defense of Sitler, he could call him in for church discipline and even revoke his membership.

Even though he had sent him home, Wilson continued to meet with Sitler:

Over time, Steven Sitler confessed his crimes to Doug Wilson — but we have no way of knowing if all his victims were named — in exchange for a guilty plea that included a single count of “Lewd and Lascivious Conduct With a Minor Under the Age of Sixteen.”  According to his letter to Latah County Superior Court Judge John Stegner, Wilson had a total of  “about six counseling sessions” with Sitler during the months between the discovery of his crimes and his guilty plea.

Nevertheless, after only six counseling sessions, Wilson, who has received no formal training in the treatment or counseling of sex offenders, assured the judge that Steven Sitler “was completely open and honest with me.”  Indeed, based on Doug Wilson’s appraisal of Steven Sitler, Wilson had “good hope that Steven has genuinely repented.”  The arrogance of a man who believes he can competently tackle any problem is the most compelling proof of Wilson’s utter incompetence to address the horrendous nature and sheer numbers of Steven Sitler’s crimes.  Indeed, he claims in the letter that Sitler’s crimes were rooted in “underlying issues of his discontent.” 

Court documents make clear that the only known victims in this case are those whom Steven admitted to Doug. . . . On September 26, 2005, Sitler was sentenced to life in prison, which included only a few months in a state non-violent offenders’ prison camp and one year in the county jail.

Between March 2005, when Sitler was caught molesting a child, and September 2005, when he was sentenced, Wilson held six counseling sessions with Sitler and concluded that Sitler was being “open and honest” with him and that Sitler had “genuinely repented.” Actually, it went even further than this—Wilson wrote to the judge asking for leniency:

On August 19th, 2005, three or four months before notifying his parishioners of Sitler’s crimes, Doug Wilson wrote a letter on Christ Church letterhead to Judge John Stegner. In that letter, Wilson requested leniency for Steven Sitler, writing:

“I would urge that the civil penalties applied would be measured and limited. I have a good hope that Steven has genuinely repented, and that he will continue to deal with this to become a productive and contributing member of society.”

Without any degree in counseling or psychology, Wilson assured the judge that he was confident that Sitler would be able to “deal with” his problem and be a “productive and contributing member as society.” We’re talking about a man who had confessed to molesting numerous young children over the course of several years, and only confessed because he was caught.

In a statement he released yesterday, Wilson defended his letter as follows:

On a related front, others have said that I advocated for leniency for Steven after his conviction and during the sentencing phase. In the course of the letter I wrote to the judge (in 2005), I simply reported on the nature of my counsel to Steven after he was caught. In the middle of that report, I said, “It is important to note that I have not offered him any spiritual panacea or ‘quick fix,’ and I believe Steven understands the importance of his need to resist these temptations over the long haul.” In addition, at the conclusion of my letter, with regard to the legal consequences of his behavior, I told the judge that I was “grateful that he [would] be sentenced for his behavior,” and was also grateful that there would be “hard consequences for him in real time.” At the same time, I urged that the civil penalties be “measured and limited.” By “measured and limited,” I meant principled, defined and deliberate. I did not mean trivial, light, or lenient. I was not requesting a slap on the wrist. If you put together what I actually said, you will see that what I expressed to the judge was my desire for hard consequences for Steven that were measured and limited. My hope is that the judge read the letter more carefully than others have since done.

Wilson appears to be redefining the word “limited” to not mean “limited.” Smooth. Wilson also explains away the fact that he told the judge he believed Sitler was genuinely repentant and that he could become a productive member of society by insisting that he simply reported what he saw. Wilson completely ignores the reality that he made these statements with no background whatsoever in counseling or psychology. Wilson has a BA in classical studies and an MA in philosophy. He was not equipped to counsel a pedophile, much less accurately report on a pedophile’s mental state and potential for reform. Wilson should be acknowledging this and apologizing for his hubris in thinking he was qualified to do so, but he is not. Instead, he is doubling down and insisting that he did nothing wrong.

As a contrast to Wilson’s 2005 letter to Judge Stegner, you may be interested to read this letter written by the parents of one of Sitler’s victims.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that in Wilson’s 1999 book, Fidelity, he calls for the death penalty for pedophiles, writing that “when we are dealing with young children who are abused by adults (pederasty, child porn, etc.) the penalty for those guilty of the crime should be death.” How did Wilson go from calling for the death penalty for child molesters to writing to a judge asking him to give a confessed pedophile a “limited” penalty? Did the rules suddenly change when it was someone he knew?

Asking for leniency for Sitler wasn’t Wilson’s only shortcoming in this case. He also failed to notify the other parishioners of the situation for a full eight months.

Doug Wilson elected not to share this horrendous crime with his parishioners “for fear of violating the privacy of the family of the victim.” . . . Two months after Steven Sitler received his sentence Wilson delivered the news (through another elder at Christ Church) during the “heads of households” meeting that a pedophile had been at work in their community.  Wilson waited eight months to inform his congregation that a serial pedophile had lived amongst them.  Moreover, when he finally decided to notify the flock, he failed to alert anyone to the possibility that unknown predation may have occurred, i.e. that there may be other victims. Rather, he framed it to leave the impression that this matter simply concerned a sex offender returning to the covenant community — and not the damage he wrought and the constant danger he posed.

When all of this came to light in 2006, there was a public outcry, both in the community and beyond it. Wilson responded in a blog post, arguing that charges that he had failed to warn those in his church were false. As proof he pointed to meetings in November 2005 and December 2005 when he notified the church of the situation. In his desire to assure the public that he had notified members of his church, he only confirmed that he had waited eight months to do so.

While Sitler appears to have boarded only with a single family, he was welcomed into many other Christ Church homes as a visitor. In fact, Sitler confessed to molesting a two-year-old child during a visit with a family in his hometown. All families with young children in the church who had had contact with Sitler ought to have been notified so that they could question their children or take them in for professional evaluation. By waiting until after the trial was over before making the congregation aware of Sitler’s actions, Wilson curtailed any search for further victims.

When this came to light in 2006, there was a public outcry.

Afterwards, when called to account for his dereliction of duty by the general public, Douglas Wilson dismissed his failure as a good shepherd as his enemies’ failed attempt to get “handles on him.” The absence of a trial assured that the general public and also many church members would be unaware of any of these events. Following completion of his jail time, Steven Sitler rented and then purchased property owned by members of Christ Church, transferred to the University of Idaho, and was gradually reintegrated into the Christ Church and Trinity Reformed Church family.

Wilson has a serious problem with taking criticism, because he seems to automatically assume that any criticism must be motivated by his enemies desire to find a way to take him down. Regardless, the import of this paragraph is that after completing his jail time, Sitler returned to the Christ Church community. In his recent statement, Wilson works to minimize Sitler’s attendance at Christ Church, stating that “he usually comes in shortly before the service, sits quietly, and leaves shortly after the service.” In justifying Sitler’s continued involvement in Christ Church, Wilson writes that “the church is a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for saints.”

Some readers may wonder why Sitler was released at all. It seems that as a condition of his probation, Sitler is not permitted to have contact with children under 18 without a chaperone. According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:

He served one year with the Idaho Department of Corrections’ retained jurisdiction treatment programs and less than a year in the custody of the Latah County Jail before being released onto probation. Under the terms of his probation, Sitler is prohibited from associating with anyone under the age of 18 without supervision of an approved chaperone.

Wilson insisted in his recent statement that he and his church have followed this rule, and that Sitler has only ever attended church with a chaperone, but he does not mention that Steven’s wife is allowed to serve as a chaperone, which is an interesting omission. And that brings us to 2011.

Wilson Marries Sitler to Katie Travis

Some years after Sitler was sentenced, a young woman named Katie Travis came to Christ Church to teach at one of its affiliated schools. She boarded with Edwin Iverson and his family. Iverson was an elder at Christ Church and a librarian at New Saint Andrews. By the summer of 2010, Travis was 23 and wanted to be married, so she went to the Iverson’s for help in finding her a husband. They set her up with Sitler, and a whirlwind courtship began that August. Sitler obtained Travis’s parents’ permission to marry her, and the wedding took place on in June 2011.

Because Sitler was a convicted sex offender serving lifelong probation, the couple had to obtain the court’s permission to marry. Rose Husky, who was in the courtroom during the proceedings, wrote about what happened as follows:

This morning I sat in a nearly empty courtroom and listened to arguments regarding the June 11th marriage of Steven Sitler and Katie Travis. The Department of Corrections unambiguously stated that they did not support this marriage. In late March Mr. Sitler told his probation officer that in a year or so (predicated, apparently, on Miss Travis’ graduation from a college program) they want to start a family. Following that conversation, and because of the potential risk to any children Mr. Sitler might father, the DOC (Department of Corrections) requested further psychological evaluation of Mr. Sitler. The results of his AASI = Abel Assessment for Sexual Interest raised concerns.

Mr. Wallenwaber, representing Steven Sitler, challenged the appropriateness of the test in Mr. Sitler’s case, as well as the academic credentials of the evaluator. (The evaluator has a clinical practice in Coeur d’Alene “specializing in the treatment and evaluation of sexual offenders” and sits on the Sexual Offender Classification Board; his credentials seem pretty solid to me.) This tiresome old rhetorical device of Christ Church members and leadership, i.e., ad hominem attacks fell, I believe, on deaf ears. Mr. Wallenwaber also argued that the issue in front of the court today was marriage, not potential children . . . .

The discussion amongst Latah County Prosecutor, Bill Thompson; Judge Stegner; and Mr. Wallenwaber, focused, in part, on the legal consequence if/when Steven Sitler and Katie Travis have children. It may be the case that Mr. Sitler will not be allowed to share a home with his wife and child or children. This remedy may be utilized in Idaho when the father is a convicted pedophile. Judge Stegner ruled that the wedding could go forward and issues regarding the protection of children will be addressed if and children are a factor in the marriage.

Wilson explains and justifies his involvement in Sitler and Travis’ wedding as follows:

Seventh, in the latest round of accusations, much has been made of the fact that Christ Church approved of Steven’s wedding to Katie through the fact that I officiated at the wedding. First, it should be noted that in our community, weddings are not arranged or determined by the church. Katie and her family had all the facts when she agreed to marry Steven, which was important, but the decision to marry was the couple’s decision, not ours. That said, I officiated at the wedding and was glad to do so. While we do not believe that marriage is an automatic “fix” for the temptations to molest children, we agree with Judge Stegner who approved the wedding and said that ‘an age-appropriate relationship with a member of the opposite sex from Mr. Sitler is one of the best things that can happen to him and to society” (emphasis added). Moreover, if everything is on the table, we do not believe the church has the authority to prohibit or “not allow” a lawful marriage.

I looked and could not find Judge Stegner’s ruling, from which Wilson quotes. Husky, the eyewitness I quoted from above, did not mention that the judge stated anything about whether an age-appropriate relationship would be good for Sitler, suggesting instead that the issue hinged on differentiating between marriage and childbearing. She was very clear, too, that the state argued adamantly against allowing Sitler to marry. I am not a psychologist, but based on what little I know about pedophilia I am highly skeptical of the idea that marriage would be seen as even part of the solution of sorts for a convicted pedophile. Over on Wartburg Watch, Huskey has promised to pull together primary sources to “refute” Wilson’s statement. Stay tuned for that.

But all of this leaves out Wilson’s utterly bizarre claim that the church cannot refuse to perform a marriage the state has declared lawful. Does Wilson intend to begin performing same-sex marriages, I wonder? I suspect not. Further, while I was not married in an evangelical church, my sister was, and the pastor required them to satisfactorily pass weeks of premarital counseling before consenting to marry them. This is typical for evangelical churches. Wilson’s decision to marry Sitler and Travis was indeed an endorsement of their marriage. Wilson did not have to marry the couple. Period. And frankly, from where I’m standing, Wilson’s disingenuousness here calls into question the reliability of the rest of his statement.

Regardless of what the judge ultimately decided, the Department of Corrections argued adamantly against allowing Sitler to marry because of the high level of risk to any children Sitler might father. This should have made an impact on Wilson, but apparently it did not. Wilson chose to officiate the ceremony in spite of this opposition. In doing so he very clearly and unambiguously endorsed the match. In addition, while Wilson insists that the match was not arranged, Travis went to Christ Church elder Edwin Iverson looking for a husband and was immediately set up with Sitler. While I don’t know whether Wilson was asked beforehand, it remains a fact that the idea for the match originated with one of his elders.

And there’s more, too. During the ceremony, Wilson asked for “the gift and heritage of children” for Sitler and Travis. That Wilson was willing to ask, in prayer, for the couple to have children knowing what he did about Sitler’s condition, including the court’s determination that his risk level was high, is absolutely and completely reprehensible. It suggests that Wilson did not see the serious problems that would arise from the couple’s having children.

Sitler Has Contact with His Infant that Results in “Sexual Stimulation”

This past Spring, Sitler’s new wife had a baby boy. Then last week, this happened:

During Tuesday’s review hearing, Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson said the state originally requested a review of Sitler’s conditions of probation to provide guidance on how to move forward given the fact Sitler had fathered a child and the results of a polygraph test had disclosed concerning actions.

Thompson said information the court now has “shows (Sitler) has had contact with his child that resulted in actual sexual stimulation.” Thompson said the incidents in question occurred while Sitler was chaperoned.

“In some extent the state’s worst fears appeared to be realized by some of the recent disclosures in the polygraphs,” Thompson said.

“The actions that he has engaged in and disclosed are a compelling basis that he cannot have anything close to a normal parental relationship at this time with his child,” Thompson said. “Everybody would love for Mr. Sitler to become a normal person, but the fact is he is not. He is a serial child sexual abuser.

According to the court, Sitler “has had contact with his child that resulted in actual sexual stimulation.” [Edit: Regardless of whether the “sexual stimulation” mentioned here refers to Sitler becoming aroused or to Sitler molesting his son, the prosecuting attorney is correct in noting that “he cannot have anything close to a normal parental relationship at this time with his child.”]

“The best way to protect is to prohibit contact except in direct line of vision with a responsible, approved chaperone. At this point in time, that means he would not be able to reside with his wife and child.”

During a review hearing Aug. 1, Sitler was allowed to continue living with his son until a second review hearing could be held. However, during the past month, Thompson said, Sitler’s wife was disqualified as an approved chaperone for failure to report disclosures related directly to the couple’s son and Sitler was required to move out of their home.

As you remember, one term of Sitler’s probation was that he not have contact with children under eighteen without a chaperone. However, Sitler’s wife was permitted to serve as a chaperone, meaning that he was allowed to live at home with his wife and infant son after the baby’s birth last spring. Sitler’s wife has now been disqualified from serving as a chaperone because she failed to report “disclosers related directly to the couple’s son.”

Latah County 2nd District Judge John Stegner did not rule Tuesday on whether Sitler can live in the home or not, only that he must have an approved, “line-of-sight” chaperone present at all times when with the child, Thompson said.

Stegner said Sitler’s wife could be reinstated as a chaperone with additional training at the Valley Treatment Centers.

Stegner also said Sitler must go through relapse prevention therapy and complete and pass another polygraph test. Thompson said it is troubling that Sitler has yet to successfully compete a polygraph test and it is concerning that there may still be more that hasn’t been disclosed.

I don’t pretend to understand Stegner’s reasoning here. If Sitler has molested his child, he has violated his parole. Shouldn’t that mean a return to prison? [Edit: Some readers have suggested that the sexual stimulation referred to in the article above indicates that Sitler was sexually aroused by contact with his son rather than that Sitler has now sexually molested his son. If this is the case it might explain why he is not now in prison for a parole violation. However, if that is the case, at the very least it ought to disqualify Sitler from living with his wife and son.]

I am also baffled by the fact that Sitler’s wife’s disqualification from serving as a chaperone is only temporary. She has already proved her willingness to hide things the court believes are relevant. Shouldn’t this disqualify her from serving as a chaperone more permanently? Both Sitler and his wife come from communities that teach male leadership and female submission. Could this be contributing to Katie’s willingness to hide information from the court? Or perhaps she’s simply more afraid of losing her husband than she is of her baby being molested?

Note the concerns about the polygraph test. It looks like the court thinks Sitler is not being entirely truthful with them—in other words, he may be hiding something more.

Dean Wullenwaber, Sitler’s defense attorney, said Sitler was not told until Tuesday that the Idaho Department of Corrections would try to remove his wife and parents as chaperones. He added that Valley Treatment Centers is now taking a more restrictive approach in its recent statement compared to its stance four weeks ago.

“It is possible to achieve all of the Idaho Department of Corrections stated aims without trying to perform surgery with an ax, as they have done,” Wullenwaber said.

And here is Wullenwarber. If you remember, he was the Christ Church member who defended Sitler in court when charges were first made against him and then argued six years later that he should be permitted to marry. And now he’s back, and this time upset that Sitler’s wife has been disqualified from serving as a chaperone in spite of the fact that she has been failing to report relevant information to the court.

Conclusion

Wilson’s most recent statement is 1853 words long but mentions Sitler’s son only once. Wilson shows far more concern for Sitler and for his own reputation than he does for Sitler’s son. Wilson finishes as follows:

If you have occasion to visit our worship services, the chances are good that Steven Sitler will be there, listening to the proclamation of free grace. It is a proclamation that never gets old. He is welcome to be there with us, and you are most welcome also.

Free grace. Would that growing up in a home safe from sexual abuse were so free.

Where does this leave us, exactly? In part, it leaves us in the uncomfortable position of saying “I told you so.” Uncomfortable because I do not want to be saying it. There is no rejoicing over this news. Wilson needs to be held accountable for his actions, but he clearly feels he has done nothing wrong. Take a look at this paragraph from his recent statement, for example:

Third, in Moscow, Idaho there are 38 registered sex offenders. The chances are good that the only one you have heard about is Steven Sitler. This is because he provides an easy way for enemies of our ministry to attack us. If he abandoned the faith, or joined another church, or joined in on the attack on us, he would still certainly have the legal consequences of his crimes to deal with, but would probably be allowed to retreat into relative anonymity. As noted above, despite the greatness of his sin, we have not pulled away from him. But it should be noted that despite all the “extra treatment” he is getting, particularly on the Internet, it is to his credit that he has not pulled away from us either.

This is the message Wilson is taking away from this situation. Wilson paints himself as a victim, with enemies just waiting to pounce. He appears to see the outrage over Steven Sitler is just a show and a front. Yes, there are other sex offenders in Moscow, Idaho, but there’s only one sex offender for whom Wilson wrote a letter to the judge asking that his penalty be “limited,” and there’s only one sex offender whose wedding was sanctioned and blessed by Wilson. This isn’t about Sitler, it’s about Wilson’s actions, and about what those actions say about his leadership and his beliefs. But then, Wilson honestly doesn’t think his actions were wrong in any way, so perhaps it’s not surprising that he feels the outrage surrounding this situation is a facade.

What can we take away from this situation, exactly?

1. When dealing with sexual abuse or sex offenders, religious leaders need to listen to experts. Unless they are trained in the relevant fields and have experience working in related careers, they are not qualified to determine whether a sex offender is repentant or likely to reoffend.

2. The concept of “free grace” has been highly abused in evangelical circles. Repentance becomes a sort of carte blanche and churches generally accept offenders’ show of sorrow without skepticism. While victims continue to deal with the fallout, offenders are welcomed back to the fold.

3. Religious leaders often show more concern for abusers than they do for their victims. Consider Wilson’s decision to endorse Sitler’s marriage and officiate the ceremony. Was Wilson thinking of the wellbeing of any children Sitler might have? Clearly not, but he should have been.

I’d like to hope that Wilson will face consequences for his actions where he will actually feel it—within the evangelical community. As long as he is condemned primarily by those outside of this community, he can ignore such criticism and write it off as his “enemies” attacking his ministry on any pretense they can find. If Wilson were to face censure from John Piper, or from the Gospel Coalition, his prestige within evangelical circles might take a hit. Of course, even then it is probably too much to hope for to think that he might change his mind.

Wilson doesn’t seem to be the listening type.

Addendum: 

This comment by reader MomOfTwins struck me as particularly insightful: 

I’d hesitate to declare that molestation has occured just because of the language the court chose, but let’s not let Doug Wilson set the terms of the discussion by defining the nature of the problem. Sitler being sexually aroused isn’t a crime and isn’t actually the problem. He’s a pedophile. He will always get aroused by children, just like people attracted to sexually mature people will get aroused by people they can never legally or morally engage in a sex act with. The problem is he is sexually aroused by his infant son with whom he lives and he has a history of actually abusing young children while other adults are at home even when he is a casual visitor. His wife cannot, even if they never have another child, succeed in her task to have eyes on him at all times. If nothing else, she has to sleep, pee, and shower. When they, inevitably, have more children and as this one grows, her task becomes even more impossible. There is an extremely high risk that Sitler will reoffend in this,situation. He already is having sexual feelings to his infant son. Even if he doesn’t want to do anything wrong, and he may not, he almost certainly will if he continues to reside in the house. A repentant offender would accept this and move out, but a repentant pedophile wouldn’t have set out to produce a family that will always have to be on guard against his predation. The court and the state child welfare authorities would be criminaly derelict in their duties if they continued to put this child at risk by letting Sitler reside in the home, even if Sitler hasn’t actuallt committed a crime or violated his probation yet.

Indeed.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment