Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Horrifying Story Every Parent Should Read

Image via Stars and Stripes

My wife and I have had nearly zero dates in the past 14 years, and part of the reason is an inherent paranoia over the safety of our kids. Many of you share that – only immediate family may be OK to sit for your children. This story may give you all a reason to think carefully about who takes care of your children.

The linked story has received quite a bit of publicity in the past few days, as Staff Sergeant Joshua Adam Smith was just sentenced to life without parole for rape and sexual abuse of little girls he “baby-sat.”

From Stars and Stripes:

WASHINGTON — The young mother didn’t know it, but her 3-year-old daughter was just the victim Joshua Adam Smith was hunting for.

“Sara,” a stay-at-home mom, had been cautious when it came to vetting a baby sitter, wanting to get to know the person who would be caring for her child.

Smith seemed like the perfect candidate. He had the credentials: Eight years’ experience, he claimed, and an education in child development. He was an Air Force staff sergeant with a security clearance — one of their own in the American military community in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He said he was a parent himself.


More than that, Smith had become her friend. Before Smith even laid eyes on her daughter and her 17-month-old son, Sara had struck up a regular conversation with him on Facebook, finding him to be a normal guy who seemed like a great father. Later, on walks, over lunch and at the park with the kids, the two shared intimate details of their lives.

Sara thought they were close. But Smith’s true nature was hidden far from sight. Sara said she never suspected that the unassuming man who felt like family would turn out to be a serial child molester who would victimize her tiny daughter.

This horrifying story is of someone who seemed like the perfect candidate to be a sitter, and yet, he didn’t. On the surface, all of us, in hindsight, can see what happened, and what went wrong. This young mother had doubts, and disregarded them. The mother was groomed, and the results were inevitable.

Please read the following and share in the comments.

Child rapist first won over victim's mother
Air Force general upholds maximum sentence for child rapist
Child safety advocates urge caution as online baby sitter ads persist

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