What a world it has become. Headlines scream off the page at us:
Parents Arrested After Allegedly Forcing Girl, 5, to OD on Soda .
Doctor convicted of endangering stepdaughter in “waterboarding” Trial.
Couple Arrested for Enslaving Teen Girl.
Certainly, fame and affluence do not assure the safety of children. Melvin Morse – the doctor mentioned above – had appeared on “Oprah” and “Good Morning America”. Fame may, in fact, foster a sense of entitlement on the part of some predators. They come to believe the prohibition against abuse is for lesser mortals.
And fame seems to provide an exemption of sorts from basic standards of morality.
Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, continues to maintain that the filmmaker sexually assaulted her, some two decades ago . Allen was never prosecuted [5A] [5B].
Woody Allen, you may remember, was, also, involved sexually with Soon-Yi Previn, 35 years his junior. Soon-Yi (whom Allen later married) was another adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, a woman with whom Allen had a longterm relationship. Allen has been quoted as saying, “What was the scandal?…There was no scandal…” .
Overseas, BBC star Jimmy Savile was repeatedly investigated, but never prosecuted either. Only after his death was it revealed that Savile had abused a staggering 400 children or more, often while they were hospital patients . The possibility of a wider British pedophile ring with influential members protected from prosecution is still being explored.
The California trial of ex-football player Darren Sharper for rape should be instructive. Sharper is under investigation for a total of seven rapes in four states . Assuming the allegations against him to be true, Sharper felt no compunction about drugging women in order to have sex with them.
Systemic abuse may be even more appalling. The public is by now familiar with the Catholic Church sex scandal. In “Secrets of the Vatican,” the investigative program, Frontline, recently exposed the culture of corruption which allowed sexual perversion to flourish . But the Catholic Church is not alone in this.