Fifteen men in Florida have been arrested in a child sex sting. Twelve of the 15 men responded to ads placed by undercover detectives on Craigslist, which revolved around the theme of parents seeking "guidance" for their daughters, according to police.
The men then engaged the detectives to arrange for specific sexual encounters with young girls. Some even forwarded pornographic images of themselves or bragged about having had sex in the past with children as young as eight years old.
One of the suspects arrested in the sting was the Little League baseball coach of one of the law enforcement agents working the case. Another revealed he had waited his whole life to indulge his fantasy of having sex with a 14-year-old girl and her mother at the same time.
The suspects are between the ages of 18 and 67.
This is the ideal moment for the state of Florida to put in place a plan I believe would safeguard the community far more than prison terms for sexual offenders, followed by being listed on a sexual offender registry.
I call upon Attorney General Bill McCollom to offer this deal to defendants_
The state of Florida will accept pleas of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, on the basis that your sexual orientation and overwhelming and abnormal sexual desires rendered you unable to "conform your behavior to the requirements of the law."
-- You agree that you suffer with pedophilia and/or an impulse control disorder or other psychiatric disorders which render(s) you a perpetual danger to the community.
-- You agree to a period of hospitalization on a psychiatric unit for the sexually dangerous of not less 10 years and not more than 15 years.
-- You agree to be treated for the rest of your life with Depo-Provera, an injectable medication, given monthly, that will dramatically lower your testosterone levels and is intended to drastically decrease your sexual desires. You will present to a clinic to be specified by your local probation office to receive these monthly injections. Failure to present to receive a single monthly injection will result in another period of locked hospitalization of not less than 5 years and not more than 10 years.
-- You agree to be tested for illicit drug use or alcohol consumption on a random basis for life. A positive test showing you have used alcohol or illicit drugs, known to reduce impulse control, will result in another period of locked hospitalization of not less than 5 years and not more than 10 years.
-- You agree to whatever other treatment plan recommendations should be made upon your release from your initial period of locked hospitalization, including psychotherapy or group psychotherapy or any psychiatric medication prescribed for your use by a licensed psychiatrist.
Punishing pedophiles makes society feel good at the expense of doing the effective and smart thing. Obviously, the behavior of sexual offenders is reprehensible. Obviously, it is unspeakably destructive. Believe me, I know: I treat the victims. But it is, as we are learning, nearly impossible or definitely impossible for some pedophiles to control their behavior. We must stop just punishing it and hoping for the best and start treating it aggressively and seriously, so that offenders do not reoffend.
The minute we truly start seeing pedophilia as an illness, rather than evil, we will begin to empower clinicians and industry to find solutions to this scourge.
Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatry correspondent for Fox News Channel and a New York Times bestselling author. His book, "Living the Truth: Transform Your Life Through the Power of Insight and Honesty" has launched a new self-help movement includingwww.livingthetruth.com. Dr. Ablow can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.