Many first-time sex offenders on the spectrum may not understand the laws they break. How should their crimes be treated?
For years, Nick Dubin couldn’t bring himself to say the word ‘gay,’ but part of him wondered: Was he gay? Dubin has autism. And growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, he had been mercilessly taunted by his peers, some of whom had called him gay simply because he was different.
But what if he actually was homosexual? As an adult, Dubin found some men attractive, and his attempts at dating women had not gone well. To help him understand his sexuality, Dubin recalls, a therapist he was seeing in 2010 suggested he buy a few adult pornography magazines. Dubin is soft-spoken and comes across as earnest, and he took the therapist’s advice seriously. He drove to a seedy part of the city and purchased a handful of magazines. He also began looking at pornography on the internet. He recalls being surprised that it was free and so easy to find. Soon he was bombarded with pop-up ads for porn sites. Some of the ads he clicked on led to sites with pictures of minors, which he downloaded to his computer.