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Miami Herald - Letters to the Editor re Series on Sexual Predators

Beginning on Sunday January 29, 2006 The Miami Herald published a four-part front-page series titled Predators Among Us along with over a dozen ancillary articles and editorials. This series was based on a six month investigation. Even after a six month investigation, however, there was no mention in any of these reports of female sexual predators.

The letters below were published in The Miami Herald in response to this inexplicable omission.


Women molest, too

January 31, 2006

Thank you for publishing the series Predators Among Us. However, the Jan. 29 installment does not mention a growing group of sexual predators: teachers who take liberties with their students. Best known of this group is Debra Lafave, who is accused of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old boy. Her trial is slated for April 14.

Other Florida teachers are similarly accused. Sadly, a double standard surrounds these cases. As CNN's Nancy Grace put it, "Why is it when a man rapes a little girl, he goes to jail, but when a woman rapes a boy, she has a breakdown?"

The story says that, "Florida's program for screening, confining and treating sexual offenders who pose the greatest threat to women and children is failing." In the interest of protecting all our children, we need to remember that many teenage boys are at risk of sexual exploitation by their female teachers.

Rockville, Md.


Women molest, too

February 22, 2006

Re the Feb. 17 story, Predator program faces overhaul: Published reports of clinical interviews with adult female sexual predators indicate that they began molesting children when they were baby sitters.

Because of underreporting and the unwillingness of parents and police to believe that female teachers, nannies and baby sitters molest children, I believe that the few reports that do surface represent just the tip of the iceberg.

For Florida's children to be truly safe from sexual predators, we must go down a politically incorrect road and face the reality that female sexual predators exist. They must be given the same treatment as male sexual predators. Anything less represents gender bias and continues to leave our children at risk.

Gordon E. Finley
Professor of Psychology
Florida International University
Miami, Fla.


Female abusers

February 28, 2006

Re the Feb. 22 letter Women molest, too:

As a parent of a daughter who was sexually abused for five years by a female live-in nanny, I know all too well that people fail to recognize how many adult female sexual predators live among us.

The Miami Herald's sexual-predator series shed new light on issues involving sexual predators and offenders in our state. I hope that through this series and further review by state lawmakers, policymakers will better understand that the issue of female predators is larger than most people realize.

It is the underreporting and the unwillingness of parents and police to believe that females commit these heinous crimes that add to this. It is only through the communication provided by the media that our community will fully understand the magnitude of this issue.

Ronald L. Book
Aventura, Fla.