A Sexual Offender Speaks Up
"When I was about 9 years old, my father went to jail for molesting my younger sister," says Paige.
"It was the most shameful thing I've ever done. I spent five years in prison as a convicted sex offender," Paige's father, Jake, admits. "When I was 13 years old, I was picked up by a convicted sex offender. He was the first person who molested me. Eight years after I was first molested, I found myself doing the same thing to a boy that had been done to me."
"When my father got out of prison, I revealed to him that I had been molested as a teenager while he was incarcerated, and he was livid, like any father would be. I was really struck by that," Jake says. "My father and I have a relationship. It's taken us five years to build. I'm glad we have the clarity that we do. I'm a lot more sympathetic to my abuser because of what I've learned from my father."
[AD]Jake says that in the 19 years since he was released from prison, he's never re-offended. "You can't use the word â€˜cure' to describe sexual predators. What you can do is talk about management," he says.
Dr. Phil addresses Paige. "Why would you not let him be around your children?" he asks.
"Let's not pretend that my father doesn't have a sexual addiction and try and welcome him all the way back into the family as if everything can be fixed," he answers. "There are no fixes. There are only ugly choices, and I'm interested in making the less ugly choice."
Dr. Phil examines the story of a sexual predator from a different angle. Jamie, the mother of two young girls, is married to Darrell, who is currently serving an indefinite sentence at Coalinga State Hospital for raping two adult women 24 years ago when he was 16. Jamie says that when they wed seven months ago, she was convinced that he would never re-offend.
Dr. Phil addresses Jamie. "Every mother in America has got to be saying, â€˜Why " regardless of what you might feel for this individual " would you choose to introduce into your home a convicted rapist with two daughters?'"
"I saw the man behind his crimes. I saw his mind, his heart," Jamie replies. "He can identify what's going on in his mind that caused him to do what he did. He has been in treatment for 11 years." She adds that a behavioral specialist conducted an assessment on Darrell and found him to be low risk.
[AD]"I never, not one time, took on the word â€˜cure.' I don't use that. We don't use that in our treatment here," says Darrell, who joins the show via telephone. "Under the new Jessica's Law, they can detain me here forever."
Congressman Dan Lungren, who represents California's 3rd District, joins the conversation via satellite. "I think there is a possibility that some can be rehabilitated, but I'm not sure how we can tell who it is and how they are able to do that. It seems to me that the benefit of the doubt ought to go to the public â€¦ I'm a Christian. I believe in the possibility of redemption for anybody, but as a public official, and when I was attorney general, I saw that the system was geared against potential victims and actual victims, and we had to change the system."
"What do we need to do with the laws so that there's some transparency here so people can determine whether this is a good candidate for rehabilitation and reintegration to society or not?" Dr. Phil inquires.
"If they go to the Megan's Law registration files, they should be able to find out specifically the changes that the person was previously convicted of," Congressman Lungren answers. "If the person is currently on parole, they should be able to go to the parole agent and find out exactly what that is."
"I would agree with you," Congressman Lungren says.
"Then do something about it!" Susan says heatedly.
"When we wrote Megan's Law 20-some years ago, we got attacked for violating the privacy rights of these individuals, even though this information about convictions is part of the public record," the politician explains. [AD]
"In regards to Megan's Law, if you're going to tell the story, you need to tell the whole story," Jamie says. "When my husband is released, you need to put on that Web site that he's low risk. He's been in treatment for over 11 years ""
"But where was his treatment the 13 years before that?" Robert, the previous guest, interrupts.
"He couldn't get into treatment. They don't give treatment in prison," Jamie counters.
"Because they know they can't be cured," Robert fires back.