WARNING: Graphic Images
The Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) has arrested 69 y.o. James Morris, Jr. on charges of sodomy, second and third degree sex offenses, child abuse, and perverted practice . Further charges are possible.
ICAC investigators received a tip that Morris was sexually abusing young teens. An investigation disclosed multiple victims over some 27 years. A search warrant at Morris’ home revealed computer and other electronic equipment believed related to the production of child pornography.
Terror and Seduction
Maryland Criminal Law, Section 3-306 prohibits sexual acts without the consent of another by force or threat of force; where the victim is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; and where the victim is under 14 y.o. Criminal Law, Section 3-307 explains that threats may involve death, suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, serious physical injury, and kidnapping.
These statutes give us some idea of the terror children who are sexually exploited can experience. Children can, also, be lured and seduced by a “friendly” predator.
Inadequate Community Response
This travesty was ongoing for decades. Some in the community, it seems, suspected. Until now, no one took it upon themselves to register a complaint.
Footprints in the Snow
Pedophiles do not send up smoke signals. They cannot be identified by the grimy raincoats they wear. Like footprints in the snow, however, the evidence of their passing is the imprint left on the lives of the children with whom such predators have come into contact.
How many children were violated over 27 years, we can only guess. There could easily have been dozens. What we can say with certainty is that the lives of those children changed.
Their behavior changed – visibly – and not for the better. Some would have become withdrawn. Some would have sought refuge in drugs and alcohol. Some would have become sexually promiscuous. Some may have begun cutting. A few are likely to have attempted suicide.
Where were the teachers when school work was abandoned and grades fell? Where were the doctors when teen pregnancies occurred…or were those all neatly disposed of at abortion clinics? Were the changes attributed to teen rebellion? Were they simply overlooked?
Above all, where were the parents?
Unless we remain actively involved in our children’s lives, travesties like this one will continue to take place. Until we pay attention to those footprints in the snow, predators will be allowed free rein to operate.
 47 ABC, “Alleged pedophile charged in Talbot Co. child sex abuse case” by Tahja Cropper, 11/20/17, http://www.wmdt.com/news/alleged-pedophile-charged-in-talbot-co-child-sex-abuse-case/665227251.
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