You see, in 2007 I became a convicted sex offender. You can read about my crime here, but what I did and the punishment I received (and still receive) is not the point today, because I deserved what I got. The 7+ years of probation (of a 10 year sentence) I served included 4.5 years of sex offender therapy. Once a week I reported to a professional counselor and met with a group of 20 or so guys who were also convicted offenders or predators. The classes had 4 levels, with the therapist deciding when you had learned enough to move up. So over the 4+ years I was involved in the lives of roughly 60 other sexual criminals. Each week different men would tell their stories- and many of them were horrifying. You see, there was no differentiation made between those who had raped small children and those who were guilty of looking at dirty pictures or peeing in parking lots. It was one giant pot we were all thrown in to. There are many tales that could be told and many oddities about the counseling I could share, but today I simply want to spell out for you the things we needed to learn about ourselves in order to graduate the program. The larger point will become clear very quickly.
As you told your story over and over again for several years there were certain elements that the class and the counselor listened for to determine if you were making progress. Most every offender begins by including at least one of the following in their "confession:"
- Denial. Many claim innocence, while others blame the circumstances or a faulty legal system.
- Blaming the Victim. They dressed slutty, or talked dirty, or made the first move, or never really said no, or...you get the point. Another classic- "they" were out to get me.
- Minimizing. "All guys do it. And my offense was not nearly as bad as that guy over there. It was just locker room talk."
- Excuses. My parents didn't love me. She set me up because I am famous. It only happened once. She wanted my money.
Another aspect of the therapy groups was that you could confess to anything without fear of further prosecution- the therapist/patient relationship protected you. The real predators would minimize and maximize at the same time. They would say things like "you wouldn't believe the number of women I had" or suggest that some of their victims were famous. They we almost never contrite; instead they bordered on gloating.
Donald Trump has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by at least 15 women, including an ex-wife. He has made lewd sexual remarks about his own daughter. He walked into beauty pageant dressing rooms to see the the women naked, because they were "his women." He announced to the world that his lifestyle includes "grabbing pu**y" whenever he likes- and he sees nothing wrong with that. He has constantly denied doing anything "wrong," despite the evidence. He often blames the victims, constantly minimizes the offense by downplaying the offenses of others when it is politically expedient, and loves to gloat about his sexual conquests. If he had been in one of our groups he would still be in Level 1, failing to understand why he was not progressing. And that's not even counting the once a year polygraph test- we know that The Donald is not friends with the truth.
Of course the chances of him ever being put in such a class are slim and none- and slim is playing golf at a Trump resort! There were no wealthy white men (there were several people of color who were business owners) in the program during my 4.5 years of involvement. Their cases were usually settled, with victims paid off or ignored. You see, money and power don't just give some men the feeling of entitlement that leads to the abuse, it also gives many of them a get out of jail free card if needed. Donald Trump was abusing the legal system for years before becoming POTUS. And it continues today.
Our President is clearly, by his own admission and any standard of the therapy groups I was in, a sexual predator. It is not likely he will ever be indicted for his acts, because he has the power and wealth to make it go away. But that does not make it any less true. My last point is purely selfish, but I think you will understand. Despite my crime involving no flesh and blood victim, my probation being terminated over 3 years ago and glowing recommendations from friends, neighbors and probation officers, there are restrictions that will follow me the rest of my life for my offense. That's the law in Florida. One of those restrictions is being banned from my beloved Walt Disney World. Meanwhile, Trump is being enshrined in Disney's Hall of Presidents. There is something terribly, terribly wrong with that picture...