The process of police interrogation is often harmful for the child. In this file we consider harm connected with the form of the interrogation itself.
I don't think this is the major harm connected with persecution. Especially for consensual relations, the harm caused by guilt feelings and the outing of the childs sexual desires are much more dangerous. Moreover, they cannot be avoided by a more "friendly" or "child-adequate" interrogation.
An American detective, Lieutenant William G. Thorne declared proudly, "The problem is getting underage boys to testify against their male lovers. The interrogation can be intense. We've got to crack the boy and it's not an easy thing to do."
Ingalls 1984, cited by Brongersma 1990, p.118
I can certainly confirm that it is common practice here in the United States for police to intimidate and coerce young people to testify against their male lovers.
I personally know of several cases where boys were treated this way.
Young boys have been taken into police custody without their parents knowledge or permission and interrogated for hours. (This is illegal, but is done anyway.) They are threatened with exposure to their friends and community as gay, even when they are not. If there are any minor offense that the police can charge them with (for example, if they have run away from home) they are threatened with being sent to youth detention centers where the police tell them that they will be raped by the other inmates.
The boy's family is also threatened into cooperating. They are told that since their child was involved in a man/boy relationship then the parent is obviously an unfit parent and that their child will be taken away from them, and that the parent will be prosecuted for neglect and imprisoned if they do not force their child to cooperate!
Lloyd Martin, the former Los Angeles police detective sergant, who is said to have held a recalcitrant boy witness by his heel over a cliff, threatening to drop him if he did not make a statement, said at a Congressional hearing (1977, p.64), "In fact, the child molestor or chickenhawk is usually the victim's best friend."
[He] boasted that he had never read the Kinsey report. He said he had decided that sex with a boy was a worse crime than homicide. "A homicide is terrible, but it's over with very shortly. The victim of sexual exploitation has to live the rest of his or her live with those memories." (Subcommitee on Crime 1977, p.62-63)
Brongersma 1990, p.118,125
The very structure of the situation, even where an investigation is conducted in a psychologically and pedagogically impeccable manner, is in itself sufficient to traumatise the child seriously.
How much greater the damage where the police officer promises the boy that he will see that the case is dealt with so that nobody will be hurt, and where the boy later learns he has been lied to because the policeman had no control whatever over the way in which the records would be used. Or where examinations took place in frightening environments such as police stations and the court. Or on line-up procedures in which the child is confronted with a molester (Examples can be found in Illinois Legislative 1980, 32-36,61,65,70,73,108,122,169). Or in common lies used while examining children ("Your friend has already confessed everything."), threats ("We'll send you to a reformatory."), insults, name-calling ("queer, faggot, pervert, filth"), etc.
Formerly many policeman were not satisfied until they had made the child state that he was enormously relieved to have at least been able to unburden himself of this terrible secret and have the pernicious activity put to an end. Certainly not all policeman are masters of tact and sensitivity.
Brongersma 1990, p.116-117
Not a few men who, like the author of this book, have had to read many records of many examinations of children have perceived the voluptuous curiosity of the examining policeman demanding the most intimate sexual details which were of no importance for the trial. One Dutch police commisioner told me he had found that records of sexual offenses, unlike those of other kinds of deliquency, were circulated among his officers and assiduously read by everyone. "Nowhere else," he sighed, "is there a greater manufacture of pornographic texts than in a police station."
Brongersma 1990, p.117
How do you protect a boy by putting his older lover in jail, by dragging the man through the courts and subjecting the boy to the harassment he will get from the police and the authorities?
Especially if the boy is gay, and the police call him a little faggot, and take him off to threaten and physically abuse him, hoping to coerce statements from him that will implicate his manfriend, as has happened in several cases involving NAMBLA members.
Thorstad 1992, p.98
In an affair surrounding the prosecution of photographer Guy Straight, one of the boys "killed himself because he had to go to trial" (Illinois Legislative 1980, p.167). But not all the autorities involved in such a case show much concern when this happens. In another case the police told the man they had arrested, "Your young friend has killed himself: it's probably the best thing he could have done." (O'Carroll 1980,p.66)
I have spent decades dealing with the massive damages caused by those child-sex laws as they currently stand, and by people who group wide varieties of activities together under the banner "child abuse" and then generalize the damages caused by a small and definable subset in order to condemn actions outside that subset. I have seen children driven to suicide after being subjected to "investigations" of unfounded "suspicions" that they had engaged in "inapropriate" sex. I have treated children who were taken out of their homes, denied access to their parents (even by phone), forced to undergo humiliating physical examinations and exhausting interrogations by strangers, told that if they didn't "cooperate" (say what the questioners wanted to hear) they would never see their families again - all because some untrained teacher or other official suspected that "maybe, possibly" something might indicate that the underaged child was no longer a virgin, and was required (by law) to report that "suspicion" to the authorities.
Because of those laws, teachers and daycare workers can no longer even hug their students in most parts of the US. Adult-child (and adult-adolescent) friendships are becoming rare. People are being arrested for taking the traditional naked-baby-on-a-bearskin-rug pictures. Traditional paintings of cherubs are being confiscated as "child pornography" and their owners prosecuted for posession/sale/transmission thereof.
Given the frequent reports of "unfounded suspicions" and the destruction of lives and reputations they continue to cause, I wonder why anyone would even try to defend those abominable anacronisms.
Rhiannon Marie Isles
In Article jlynnD7I2vH.email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org (Jonathan D. Lynn) writes: : > but any policeman that interrogates a minor without the consent : > of that minor's parents is in deep shit and WAY out of line.
Really? Only if the parents brought a complaint, and probably not even then.... When dealing with those "evil, wicked, mean and nasty pedophiles," many normal procedures and protections can be conveniently "overlooked" due to the general attitudes of society wrt this topic.
I personally know several situations similar to that described above, as wenn as countless investigations where the younger partner was given to the therapists for brainwashing and interrogation.... Anybody here old enough to remember the prison camps in N. Korea? We learned a lot fromn them.
: I know of SEVERAL cases where police acted in this manner. This is NOT : an isolated case.
I concur with Roy. Add the investigations where parental consent to interrogation, and "therapy" is given, and the statistics grow to monumental proportions.
I feel that concentual and non-harmful contacts are just that. Persecuting those involved in such relationships harms EVERYBODY, including the society which allows such persecution and wrongly denies a class of citizens, based solely upon chronological age, avenues to explore their sexuality.
Jonathan D. Lynn