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I Shot a Sex Offender

[Jewish Journal]

I frequently write about the importance of listening to the other side on tough issues, but are some positions so odious that they never deserve a hearing?

A couple of years ago, an Australian friend was directing a documentary about a difficult subject: child sex-abuse in his Jewish community. One of the interviewees was a former abuser who had gone on to live a normal family life for decades.

My friend had filmed a conversation between this man and a well-known sex-abuse survivor who had become a whistleblower. He needed someone to film the former abuser — now living in Los Angeles — reading a statement in his home. I’m a film director too, so my pal reached out to me. I figured that if a victims’ rights advocate was OK with interviewing this man, I was OK with filming him.

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  1. Harry

    “Former abuser” is a message by itself.

  2. Eric Knight

    Ok, everyone, a show of hands: How many of you think that the headline was different than you expected? I FIRST expected this to be an expose of a vigilante, someone who did something that seemingly most people want. Unless you are a photographer or videographer, I’m sure the sensationalist rage you felt changed once you read the story. For what its worth, the headline should have been better contextualized for the subject matter to avoid confusion.

    • Alec

      I would like to see more of this type of material. It doesn’t go far enough, but it is definitely a start.

      So much of the current treatment of former SO’s and RSO’s feeds on fear and hate, made possible by a long process of dehumanization.

      Material like this reverses that process, and reminds people that these are people they are dealing with, not storybook monsters that appeal to their baser instincts.

    • New Person

      Since the article was posted here on ACSOL, I would have read it. The title of the article is factually true , and literary smart. He shot…errr… recorded the life of a former sex offender. It is a good title and one that could get a lot of clicks. Remember, the mob hates monsters and enjoys seeing monsters get punished. So the mob will read this article because of the title. The author does give us a POV that the mob usually has against monsters, but eventually changes his mind on the former offender.

      I have no idea if this former offender is on any USA sex registry or not on my first read through, but the former offender did move here to the USA from a different country. He hasn’t re-offended and was able to move on with his life.

      I recently saw a clip of Men In Black, MIB. The new MIB agent asked his veteran MIB partner why doesn’t MIB tell the people about aliens on Earth and that a person is smart enough to accept this. The veteran partner responded with:
      “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet”

      The MIB movie does have a poignant scenario. They protect the aliens living among the humans by never revealing they are aliens. People will act like mob rule. The author of this piece is a person. He is like the new MIB agent. The US government is like people. Look at the registration system. Look at the newly created statute of IML.

      There is a stigma attached to the title “sex offender”. Maybe through this author’s lens, he can affect a person at a time reading this article.

      • Tim Moore

        There was also show on ScFi channel that had the same message , shelter and keep strange beings from the knowledge of the ignorant public and the greedy who would exploit them, although the aliens where actually strange native beings that inhabited the Earth incognito. The TV series was called “Sanctuary”. Just goes to show that there may be an underlying empathy for the “other” in at least some segment of popular culture, I don’t know, but I hope so.

  3. Anonymouse

    “He had been relatively young when he committed the crime, about 10 years older than his teenage victim”

    So…. 27 and 17? 23 and 13? Mid-twenties and old enough to be prosecuted as an adult?

    just like -> stole a pack of cigarettes at 7-11 or robbed a bank while shooting it up with his AK-47.

    Without that information this article is useless. Except to illustrate the silly notion of “sex offender”. Fail!

    Oh, and this… “As I entered his house, I couldn’t help noticing that it was nicer than mine. Evidently, paying for his crime had not impeded his business.” Meaning, he is lucky not to be living under a bridge, but a double wide is really all he should ever be living in, for the rest of his life.

    More Fail! Epic Fail!

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