My son was molested by on-line predators starting at age 11. We, his parents, had no idea this was going on. He would wake up in the middle of the night and log on. He was “groomed” by them to look at pornography and ultimately, child pornography. They knew what they were doing. He never touched anyone inappropriately. He comes from a good home with loving parents. We were always there for our children both physically and emotionally. He never gave us any trouble, other than the usual teenage stuff, and went on to get his college degree and a master’s degree.
Fast forward, Kik turned him in. His house was raided and they threw him and his roommate to the ground and held assault weapons to his head. He became suicidal but we got him through it. He ended up confessing and the plea deal was that they would “only” charge him with one count of distribution and child pornography. Two counts had a minimum two-year mandatory sentence. At sentencing, the judge was compassionate and understanding. He questioned the distribution charge and mentioned this happened in the privacy of his own bedroom. He was sentenced to two months in the local jail and 4 years and 10 months of probation. We were lucky but the registration is for 25 years!! Unbelievable!
The first week he was on the registry someone printed Gotcha flyers and distributed them in our neighborhood, just to shame us. He’s doing pretty good considering everything that happened but I doubt he will ever get another job in his field. He is working and going to therapy. I believe when he is released from therapy he will be released from probation. My goal for the rest of my life is to try to get the labels off of him so he can live a normal life. I believe Kik must have some sort of agreement with police–a trade of names for leaving them alone with their online child molesters and pornography. I just don’t understand how they can allow this material to be online and so easily accessible to children.