Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Predator Sentenced to a Year in Jail

One of my favorite things on television to watch is "To Catch a Predator", which is on Dateline NBC now and again. While surfing the web, I chose to visit Perverted Justice's website. PJ is the organization that uses decoys in chatrooms to expose online predators who want to meet children for sex. Anyway, two days ago, it was posted that one of the men featured was sentenced to a year in prison.

This wasn't just any predator, but one of the most memorable from my perspective, due to his position around children; he was a middle-school teacher. Also, it was funny as hell to see his interview with Chris Hansen after he found out that there was no 12-year old girl for him to have sex with. He pleaded with Hansen to "just execute" him. While such a thing isn't permitted by law, Walter Babst is still facing justice. He will serve a year in prison and five years' probation. On top of that, he will have the restrictions of a registered sex offender, like not being able to be around children unsupervised, and to not have a job dealing with children. So, no more teaching for him.

I just finished the book, and one of the things that really hits you as you're reading these accounts, is that the day of the weird-looking guy in the trenchcoat, watching over kids in the schoolyard, really doesn't exist anymore. That guy can just get behind his computer and hit up kids on personal sites like Myspace. Myspace, and sites like it, are "shopping malls" for pedophiles, as Hansen puts it in the book. And what's worse, most of the guys on the computer aren't even the weird guy in the trenchcoat. The case of Walter Babst, like David Kaye (the infamous rabbi) and countless others, reveals an ugly truth: that many of these guys are indistinguishable from you & me. They have families and friends, and are considered upstanding members of the community. Go on the website, www.dateline.msnbc.com, and watch the California investigation to see this guy, Walter Babst. You'll recognize him immediately, his first line to Hansen is "I'm a sick son of a bitch" (I'm not going to argue that one). But just looking at the guy, you'd never think he'd want to risk it all to have sex with a 12-year old.

Anyway, here's the link to the article on PJ's website: http://www.perverted-justice.com/?con=kinky_man_in_corona

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