chapter  6
16 Pages

Accurately Differentiating Danger

Although many successful child molesters are never identified, or a tiny percentage of their sexual misconduct ever comes to light, innocent people are also incorrectly charged with committing sexual crimes against children. Most convicted child molesters insist they were falsely accused. Their protestations mean that truly innocent persons accused and/or convicted in error sound no different when proclaiming their innocence. High-profile academics reporting on false memory research and various vociferous organizations believe a significant percentage of allegations to be false, a perspective child molesters happily exploit. Others, convicted of child sexual abuse because of engaging in consensual sex with a slightly younger partner, fall prey to arbitrary legal-age cutoffs. They too are labeled child rapists. It is vitally important to resolve these problems both to protect the innocent, to stop the guilty from causing further harm, and to "steal the thunder" from offen der apologists who dramatically use isolated cases of the falsely accused to exonerate the guilty.