Who Is This "Predator" Who Sexually Assaults Children? Part VIII

By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

Working in Law enforcement in the Special Assault Unit (SAU) the investigator has to learn so much in a very short period of time in order to conduct a competent and intelligent investigation. The education the investigator must receive in this short-period of time is generally about the behavior of the sexual offender who preys upon children from all ages.

It seems like the “Predator” has no boundaries of where he/she will target their next child victim. The schools, daycares, church, there are no special places and there is no such thing as a fence being placed around a child, where the sexual offender won’t climb to achieve sexual gratification. As a law enforcement investigator the aspects of the sexual offender targeting children is the easiest aspect of the puzzle of the crime of child sexual assault. “Predator’s” have no boundaries or barriers in their way, because they are methodical in the child victim selection process.

So where should the investigator target their investigation? Where should the investigator look for answers which will bring out the truth? Which individual will have the most credibility with the investigator? Will the sexual offender present himself/herself in such a manner that this act of credibility confuses the investigator? Who will provide assistance to the investigators with an understanding of where the pieces of the puzzles should be placed? The sexual assault paradigm is a utopia which many law enforcement investigators will have never seen before therefore, the sexual offender will be on his/her way targeting another child victim.

In some law enforcement agencies there are mentorship programs which assist rookie investigators in understanding where to find “Predators” and how to deal with them. Too often the investigator loses his/her objectivity as the need to be balanced, neutral, focused, and so forth is lost in the emotional imbalance which happens in every case assignment. If you are the mentor of this young, naïve and ignorant investigator you should sit the rookie investigator down and tell them what life is like working in the Special Assault Unit (SAU).

Most law enforcement investigators are narcissistic and believe they know everything there is about everything in law enforcement. The investigator’s attitude may be what a law enforcement official should have when dealing with conflicts on the street, but in dealing with sexual offender, the attitude of the narcissist doesn’t make it as a SAU investigator.

In being assigned to SAU the investigator must learn that narcissism is a good tool to utilize when investigating a child sexual assault allegation. However, the investigator must know when to use an arrogant attitude and when not to. Sexual offenders do not appreciate being spoken down to. An interrogation must be where the investigator is in total charge, but there is a balance which the investigator must approach the interrogation with.

This balance relies upon an investigator who knows how to talk to individuals who have a mental condition which is for the most part embarrassing to the sexual offender.  The investigator needs to find a way to advise the sexual offender of his Miranda Warnings without the offender asking for his/her lawyer. If the investigator can get pass these legal requirements, then a confession is just around the corner.

Too often the investigator doesn’t understand that the sexual offender is facing possibly something they never thought would ever happen to them i.e. a child victim telling a peer or an adult that they were sexually assaulted by the sexual offender. Think about the sexual offender’s possibilities and opportunity to molest and rape children. The odds are greatly in the favor of the sexual offender.  The investigator is probably asking him/herself how this is possible i.e. the sexual offender being caught for the first time after sexually assaulting children for years. Studies have demonstrated that on the average the “Predator” has approximately 125 child victims prior to ever being detected, identified, arrested and incarcerated.

The odds of being arrested are in the favor of the “Predator” for many reasons I have written about over the past two decades. The lack of knowledge and the minimal interests by the non-abusing authority figure in the child victim’s life is probably one of the biggest problems that face a community.  Too often a “Predator” makes his/her rounds amongst the neighborhood prior to a child victim coming forward to tell his/her parent that he/she was inappropriately sexually assaulted.

In the sexual assault investigation law enforcement not only needs to interview the alleged child victim, but the other children who the sexual offender may have had physical contact with. Too often the sexual offender is introduced to the first child victim’s friend, that being the sexual offender. The safety of everyone who is involved will be an area the investigator will need to explore, evaluate, examine and analyze.

“Predators” enjoy gathering a group of neighborhood children and begin selecting and grooming the child who is the weakest link references the child’s personality, physical size and other circumstantial personal issues. Each child will present a unique and special personality which the sexual offender will immediately identify as having the personality of previous children had and the offender was quite successful in sexually assaulting the child.

If the “Predators” knows his/her victims, then the law enforcement investigator needs to know the “Predators” in their community. It is vitally important that the investigator understand the basics’ modus operandi of the sexual offender. If they receive an assignment that a sexual offender has entered the community and is working on kidnapping, molesting, physically and sexually assaulting children, then it is the responsibility of the investigator to begin profiling the sexual offender so he/she has the ability to identify the “Predator”; apprehend him/her prior to committing any other crimes in his/her community.

Generally, the “Predator” is known to the child victim and the other parties involved in the community. When the sexual offender is identified the community is deeply saddened because they usually know this individual and he/she has been around their children and never had a problem with him/her.

Tomorrow, trying to understand why the “Predator” selected the specific child and community is definitely not understood by many individuals, including law enforcement officials. It is the law enforcement investigator’s duty to protect and serve and in knowing who is coming in and out of their city. “Predator’s” are calculating, quiet, stay out of the lime-light, and take their time in profiling their child victims. Studies have documented that some sexual offenders will take nine months to a year to make the child victim feel special. This time frame of nine-months to a year demonstrates just how patient these “Predator’s” is in order to seek out their child victims and ultimately their sexual gratification.

Lawrence W. Daly
253-852-6702 B/P
253-852-6704 Fax
Kent, WA

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