It occurs to me that if priests can be sued for millions for long past child sexual abuse, then, Johns who patronize child prostitutes can be sued for exactly the same amount for exactly the same crime.
Suing Johns for using child prostitutes actually occurred to me about 1985 after watching a film called “Street Wise” about throwaway homeless children in Seattle. I watched skinny strung-out kids being picked up by fat luxury cars and (I don’t know if it was the cab driver or the faux-lawyer in me, probably both) I thought: sue!
The movie had been out for a year before I was willing to watch it (don’t like upsetting stuff). The same kids had been a LIFE magazine issue a few years earlier – I guess they delayed releasing the movie until the kids grew up for whatever protection that might give them.
I phoned and wrote Louis Lee of Children of the Night in California and Greg Loken of Covenant House in New York with the idea. Louis Lee at first got some bad advice that it couldn’t be done but later wrote me that she had hooked up with the head of Loyola Law School to work on it. Greg Loken said on the first phone call: “I wish I had thought of that.” But a month later he said: “The child would never stick around; we do this.” Typical young lawyer crap: making two contradictory statements separated by a (unpronounced) semi-colon.
Don’t know how it worked out with Louis Lee. Sometimes this kind of thing works better with a couple of heavily publicized, even if ineffectual cases than with the best legal work that nobody hears about. Connecting suing child using Johns to the suing of priests might be just what it takes catch the (prurient?) interest of the media – while more strongly pointing the courts to the corner of the abused children (have an idea courts may be too forgiving of such Johns).
I don’t connect suing for sexual abuse to the kind of thing you see on MSNBC’s child predator program. I think such behavior is blown out of proportion. I think those guys should get a misdemeanor and a year in jail – and not be listed for life as sex-offenders (there are so many categories of so-called sex-offenders that it is like the boy crying wolf; you cannot sift out the so-called from the genuinely dangerous).
Child prostitutes essentially suffer criminal rape for their supper. Here, I would even go easy on Johns who patronize homosexual boys who are not homeless but, again, are essentially consensual. The massive damage done to hungry, homeless kids is incomparable to that supposedly done to consensual boys. I don’t ever count girls as consensual. A girl has to be seriously pathological to be out there selling herself.
Again, linking suing child using Johns with suing abusive priests and teachers, etc., might be just the think to bring child prostitution to a sudden end. Might be a good way to put a big dent to the kidnapping of children for prostitution in Eastern Europe – initially by holding the threat over Americans of losing their house for such behavior (lower proof standards and such travelers have to be affluent with much to lose) and eventually by holding the same civil threat over citizens of other (all?) nations as other nations get the idea of how to permanently discourage child raping Johns.
PS. 1 out of 14 priests being serial molesters of children should wise us up that such predators are targeting the priesthood – not created by the priesthood. You could not design any program, religious or otherwise, that would condition 1 out of 14 participants to become serial rapists of children.
Gay catholic males may see the priesthood as an opportunity to stay in the closet (not have to explain…), have a family (“…more sisters and brothers…”) – and if they happen to be of the “four thou shalt nots and six do the best you cans” outlook, then, after prayers they can sneak down to the Castro or Halstead or Christopher Street; this no way leads to serially raping children. Ditto for celibacy for those who cannot handle it – they just do whatever other (most?) Catholics do who cannot handle it; again, no way this leads to serial rape.
Unfortunately, the only way the Catholic priesthood may be able to guarantee no serial rapists among its numbers may be to bar homosexual prospects or at least take an extremely close look at same. This is only for the operational reason that it is extremely easy to know who is straight and who is gay (where you expect to see the big – time stops until we straighten out whose territory is whose – ego: in males or in females). I’m no pro but I sense that detecting the serial rapists must not very clear cut or they would have been screened long ago.