In Plain Sight

Earlier this year, Brian Fanelli, a 54 y.o. suburban police chief, was charged with distributing child pornography [1]. While the charges are being contested, the prosecutor indicates over 800 pages of evidence have been obtained, as well as several videos with sexually explicit images of underage girls.

Fanelli, who is married, is alleged to have confessed that he was first drawn to child pornography while doing research on sexual abuse. The former police chief at one time taught abuse awareness to children. Fanelli was initially suspended from his post. He has since resigned.

The lesson is one we have encountered before. Predators are not easily identified. They do not all wear dirty raincoats. Too often, they can be respected members of the community, hiding in plain sight…priests, police officers, politicians.

We must be vigilant in guarding our children, yet not give way to paranoia. Unfortunately, there is no formula for this.  All we can do is remain attentive to our children’s needs, and sensitive to changes in their behavior.  And love them.

[1] CBS NEW YORK, “Former Mount Pleasant Police Chief Faces 10 Years on Child Porn Charges,” 5/20/14,



Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Justice, Law, Sexual Abuse

3 responses to “In Plain Sight

  1. Do you think detectives investigating child pornography are at a high risk of becoming addicted to it? It has to mess up your mind.

    • Thank you for the question, Bill. I think it is wrenching for any normal person to come to grips w/ the fact that children have been subjected to such evil.

      Exposure to the enormous number of images has to take a heavy toll. The sheer volume must be deadening. I could not deal w/ the horror. Yet someone has to or how else would justice ever be obtained? This seems to me sacrificial living by the detectives. They put themselves in harm’s way to save children, just the way firemen do.

      As for this man, we may have different vulnerabilities, but we all have a sin nature. While I make no apologies for him, we do not know whether he was, himself, perhaps violated as a child. God, of course, knows the truth.

      Let me take this opportunity to tell you again how grateful I am for your faithfulness in following my blogs. I draw hope and inspiration every time I visit your own, Unshakable Hope.



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