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Did Pedophilia Hysteria Cause Child's Death?

GTaudiophile

Lifer
Oct 24, 2000
29,767
5
81
From Fox News:


On Nov. 28, 2002, 2-year-old Abigail Rae died by drowning in a village pond in England. Her death is currently stirring debate because the ongoing inquest revealed an explosive fact. A man passing by was afraid to guide the lost child to safety because he feared being labeled "a pervert."

In the article "Day of the dad: paedophilia hysteria leaves men afraid to help," The Telegraph raises a question that applies equally to North America. Have high profile cases of pedophilia created such public hysteria that the average decent human being, especially a man, is now reluctant to approach a child in need?

Consider what happened to Abby. The toddler wandered from her nursery school, Ready Teddy Go, through a door left open. A bricklayer named Clive Peachey drove past her in his truck. At the inquest, he stated, "I kept thinking I should go back. The reason I didn't was because I thought people might think I was trying to abduct her."

Instead, he assured himself that the parents must be "driving around" and would find her.

A few minutes thereafter, Abby fatally fell into an algae-covered pond. Meanwhile, the nursery staff searched. When the mother noticed the staff near her home, she was told they were looking for a "lost dog" but the truth soon emerged. The frantic mother's search ended when she leaped into the pond to fish out what she thought was Abby's shoe.

She stated, "As I grabbed for the shoe, I missed and was shocked to touch what felt like a leg. I pulled the leg upwards." The dead child emerged.

Abby's case may be extreme but it hinges on a question that commonly confronts everyone who interacts with other people's children. Is it possible to touch a child in a non-abusive manner without risking terrible repercussions?

Before moving to this question, however, it is necessary to consider a related issue that arises in almost every discussions of Abby. Is Clive Peachey legally or morally responsible for her death?

For several reasons, I argue that he is not. First and foremost, the responsibility lies with the nursery staff who became her guardians. Abby was in no immediate danger when Peachey saw her and he contacted the police upon later hearing a 'missing child' report.

Arguably, if he had phoned the police immediately, Abby would have been dead long before they arrived. Moreover, by coming forth, Peachey has accepted the damage to his life that comes with the public disgrace of saying "I drove past her."

Important information in judging Peachey is missing. For example, if Peachey has a family, he may have been reluctant to place his reputation or livelihood at risk. He may have balanced possible harm to his own children against helping a stranger's child.

Peachey's fears have precedence on this side of the Atlantic.

Last summer, an Illinois man lost an appeal on his conviction as a sex offender for grabbing the arm of a 14-year-old girl. She had stepped directly in front of his car, causing him to swerve in order to avoid hitting her.

The 28-year-old Fitzroy Barnaby jumped out his car, grabbed her arm and lectured her on how not to get killed. Nothing more occurred. Nevertheless, that one action made him guilty of "the unlawful restraint of a minor," which is a sexual offense in Illinois. Both the jury and judge believed him. Nevertheless, Barnaby went through years of legal proceedings that ended with his name on a sex offender registry, where his photograph and address are publicly available. He must report to authorities. His employment options are severely limited; he cannot live near schools or parks.

Arguably, the law would have punished Barnaby less had he hit the girl or not cared enough to lecture her. Perhaps that's the equation that ran through Peachey's mind.

Again, Barnaby is an extreme case. But ordinary people make decisions on how to interact with children based on such high profile stories.

The effect on average people in non-extreme situations can be partially gauged through a study conducted by Dr. Heather Piper at Manchester Metropolitan University: "The Problematics of 'Touching' Between Children and Professionals." Piper examined six case-study schools through interviews with teachers, parents and children regarding the propriety of touch.

Commentator Josie Appleton reviewed the study, "Reported cases include the teacher who avoided putting a plaster [bandaid] on a child's scraped leg; nursery staff calling a child's mother every time he needed to go to the toilet; a male gym teacher leaving a girl injured in the hall while he waited for a female colleague."

One school reportedly kept an account of every 'touching incident.' They stated, "We write down a short account and date it and put which staff were present and at what time, we then explain it to the parent and ask them to read and sign it."

Appleton observed that this is more in keeping with "police logs than teaching children."

The last words encapsulate the problem.

Touching a child, even to render medical assistance, has become a potential police matter.

Child abuse must be addressed but it is worse than folly to punish those who help children. Our society is creating Clive Peachey -- decent men who will walk away from a child in need.

Abby Rae died not only from drowning but also from bad politics.



I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing more examples of this. It use to be that women slapped men for opening doors for them, accused of not respecting their liberation. Now men will get labled as pedophiles for attempting to aid children in distress.



 

acemcmac

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
13,712
1
0
The 28-year-old Fitzroy Barnaby jumped out his car, grabbed her arm and lectured her on how not to get killed. Nothing more occurred. Nevertheless, that one action made him guilty of "the unlawful restraint of a minor," which is a sexual offense in Illinois. Both the jury and judge believed him. Nevertheless, Barnaby went through years of legal proceedings that ended with his name on a sex offender registry, where his photograph and address are publicly available. He must report to authorities. His employment options are severely limited; he cannot live near schools or parks.
That's even more disgraceful IMHO
 

TGS

Golden Member
May 3, 2005
1,849
0
0
The part that directly relates to her death:

The toddler wandered from her nursery school, Ready Teddy Go, through a door left open.
The man would have been an opportunity to help her, but the blame lies in those to whom the cares care was placed. I would see to it that this nursery school was shut down forever.

Pedophilia accusations be damned. If I saw a child that was in need of help, as a father of two you would be hard pressed to stop me. You merely need to prevent the child from moving into a dangerous location, and hopefully have access to a phone(cell or otherwise) to make a call to police.
 

cKGunslinger

Lifer
Nov 29, 1999
16,346
26
91
Originally posted by: acemcmac
The 28-year-old Fitzroy Barnaby jumped out his car, grabbed her arm and lectured her on how not to get killed. Nothing more occurred. Nevertheless, that one action made him guilty of "the unlawful restraint of a minor," which is a sexual offense in Illinois. Both the jury and judge believed him. Nevertheless, Barnaby went through years of legal proceedings that ended with his name on a sex offender registry, where his photograph and address are publicly available. He must report to authorities. His employment options are severely limited; he cannot live near schools or parks.
That's even more disgraceful IMHO
I remember when that was posted here and discussed. Truly disgusting.
 

dopcombo

Golden Member
Nov 14, 2000
1,394
0
0
Wow, if what is written there is true, I feel for that Barnaby guy.
Why was his name listed in the registry if the judge and jury believed him anyway?

And yeah, this is eventually going to happen. If some kid is hanging by a rope and will die if you don't rescue her, but if you grab her by the waist and save her, and she turns around and sues you for child molestation, what do you think you'll choose?

I think in this case, Abby Rae died because her teachers were not being responsible. And lying to the parent? They obviously knew they were in the wrong. It's got nothing to do with the guy who walked by.
 

Argo

Lifer
Apr 8, 2000
10,045
0
0
The 28-year-old Fitzroy Barnaby jumped out his car, grabbed her arm and lectured her on how not to get killed. Nothing more occurred. Nevertheless, that one action made him guilty of "the unlawful restraint of a minor," which is a sexual offense in Illinois. Both the jury and judge believed him. Nevertheless, Barnaby went through years of legal proceedings that ended with his name on a sex offender registry, where his photograph and address are publicly available. He must report to authorities. His employment options are severely limited; he cannot live near schools or parks.
Wow, that's assinine. No wonder this society is going down the drain so fast, can't even grab the kids by the arm.
 

dopcombo

Golden Member
Nov 14, 2000
1,394
0
0
And the more I think about it, isn't there any form of respite for the Barnaby guy?

He's really a victim of the system in this situation. Can't he appeal against the law or something?
Write to the politicians?
 

Viper GTS

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
37,798
176
116
I remember when I was in gradeschool (2nd grade I think) I had a new pair of pants that had a very tough snap. My hands weren't strong enough to snap them.

Can you imagine the trouble my (female) teacher would get in these days for assisting me?

Viper GTS
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
71,978
6,334
126
I feel the same way.
I live in the mojave desert. Many is the time I see young kids walking long roads with no shade or water.
And I damn sure wont pick the kid up even if it is 120 degrees. If his/her parents dont know how to parent, then the kid is doomed anyway.

But I know if I pull over and ask some kid to get in my (a strangers) car, I'll get sued by the parents and/or put in jail and labeled as a pedo.
Fvck 'em. The parents and the kids can both learn the hard way about heat stoke.
 

arcas

Platinum Member
Apr 10, 2001
2,155
2
0
Frankly, I don't blame him for refusing to stop. Had he stopped to help, there's a very real possibility that we'd be reading about his conviction for attempted child molestation or abduction. The risks of being wrongly accused are simply too great to ignore.

 

Runes911

Golden Member
Dec 6, 2000
1,683
0
76
Originally posted by: acemcmac
The 28-year-old Fitzroy Barnaby jumped out his car, grabbed her arm and lectured her on how not to get killed. Nothing more occurred. Nevertheless, that one action made him guilty of "the unlawful restraint of a minor," which is a sexual offense in Illinois. Both the jury and judge believed him. Nevertheless, Barnaby went through years of legal proceedings that ended with his name on a sex offender registry, where his photograph and address are publicly available. He must report to authorities. His employment options are severely limited; he cannot live near schools or parks.
That's even more disgraceful IMHO
After reading that I would have to say I would be VERY hard pressed to stop and help her also...
 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
48,904
9
81
Originally posted by: TGS
The part that directly relates to her death:

The toddler wandered from her nursery school, Ready Teddy Go, through a door left open.
The man would have been an opportunity to help her, but the blame lies in those to whom the cares care was placed. I would see to it that this nursery school was shut down forever.
Accidents happen, and people make mistakes. I don't see a reason to shut down the nursery school because of one inattentive staff member. That's just spiteful and really won't accomplish anything.
 

Ime

Diamond Member
May 3, 2001
3,661
0
0
Can you blame him?

1) Do nothing. Kid dies. You get labeled a heartless bastard, and maybe fined/a little jailtime. That's it.

2) Help the kid. Go to jail. Get labeled a child molester. Get raped/stabbed/beaten in jail by prisoners who hate child molesters. Have you entire friends and family abandon you. Lose all your property and money. Never be able to get a decent job again. Be shunned and feared for the rest of your life.

Which option would you choose?
 

So

Lifer
Jul 2, 2001
25,915
2
81
Originally posted by: Ime
Can you blame him?

1) Do nothing. Kid dies. You get labeled a heartless bastard, and maybe fined/a little jailtime. That's it.

2) Help the kid. Go to jail. Get labeled a child molester. Get raped/stabbed/beaten in jail by prisoners who hate child molesters. Have you entire friends and family abandon you. Lose all your property and money. Never be able to get a decent job again. Be shunned and feared for the rest of your life.

Which option would you choose?
It's really sad, but true.
 
Jun 19, 2004
10,861
1
0
Originally posted by: Viper GTS
I remember when I was in gradeschool (2nd grade I think) I had a new pair of pants that had a very tough snap. My hands weren't strong enough to snap them.

Can you imagine the trouble my (female) teacher would get in these days for assisting me?

Viper GTS

I used that "New pants, tough snap" routine on a few teachers back in the day.

You sure you just didn't need some husky pants ;)!
 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
48,904
9
81
Originally posted by: Ime
Can you blame him?

1) Do nothing. Kid dies. You get labeled a heartless bastard, and maybe fined/a little jailtime. That's it.

2) Help the kid. Go to jail. Get labeled a child molester. Get raped/stabbed/beaten in jail by prisoners who hate child molesters. Have you entire friends and family abandon you. Lose all your property and money. Never be able to get a decent job again. Be shunned and feared for the rest of your life.

Which option would you choose?
I agree that the guy was in a lose-lose situation and of course he lost. Hopefully it doesn't affect his life too negatively.
 

Cooler

Diamond Member
Mar 31, 2005
3,835
0
0
Originally posted by: mugs
Originally posted by: Ime
Can you blame him?

1) Do nothing. Kid dies. You get labeled a heartless bastard, and maybe fined/a little jailtime. That's it.

2) Help the kid. Go to jail. Get labeled a child molester. Get raped/stabbed/beaten in jail by prisoners who hate child molesters. Have you entire friends and family abandon you. Lose all your property and money. Never be able to get a decent job again. Be shunned and feared for the rest of your life.

Which option would you choose?
I agree that the guy was in a lose-lose situation and of course he lost. Hopefully it doesn't affect his life too negatively.
Some of child laws need to changed. I my self would never put my hand on child with todays current laws.
 

arcas

Platinum Member
Apr 10, 2001
2,155
2
0
The articles linked-to by the OP's link mention that he had to testify in front of a jury but none mentioned why. Who's on trial? Surely he's not on trial for choosing not to get involved?

 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,388
73
91
Originally posted by: mugs
Originally posted by: TGS
The part that directly relates to her death:

The toddler wandered from her nursery school, Ready Teddy Go, through a door left open.
The man would have been an opportunity to help her, but the blame lies in those to whom the cares care was placed. I would see to it that this nursery school was shut down forever.
Accidents happen, and people make mistakes. I don't see a reason to shut down the nursery school because of one inattentive staff member. That's just spiteful and really won't accomplish anything.
But spiteful and over reacting to accidents and mistakes is what we do in the brave new world of the 21st century.
 

cKGunslinger

Lifer
Nov 29, 1999
16,346
26
91
Originally posted by: Ime
Can you blame him?

1) Do nothing. Kid dies. You get labeled a heartless bastard, and maybe fined/a little jailtime. That's it.

2) Help the kid. Go to jail. Get labeled a child molester. Get raped/stabbed/beaten in jail by prisoners who hate child molesters. Have you entire friends and family abandon you. Lose all your property and money. Never be able to get a decent job again. Be shunned and feared for the rest of your life.

Which option would you choose?
What you left out of 1) was the guilt over having been such a gaint, selfish pussy that you'd risk the life of a child to save your own hide. What if the kid had been picked up by a real child molester before he was died?

Meh, maybe I'm just being too sentimental because I have kids of my own, but sometimes you just ahve to say "Fvck it," and up and do what's right, potential consequences be damned. *shrug*
 

dabuddha

Lifer
Apr 10, 2000
19,575
16
81
That's why our countries going to hell :( We produce more lawyers than any other country.
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
8,086
0
0
I had a bizarre situation years ago that this reminded me of. I was living in Los Angeles and was waiting in the car in a parking lot at a mall or such waiting for my wife to come out of the store. A little girl - I'd guess about 3 or 4 - was walking by herself in the parking lot, lifting up her skirt to people. With no underwear on underneath. Like I said - bizarre.

So, how to handle this? If I approach her, and try to help I can envision circumstance that would cast doubt on my motivation. If I take her hand and lead her somewhere - perhaps to a phone so I can call police. What happens if her parents interupt me before I can actually make that call and accuse me of trying to abduct the girl? Given what happened to the Illinois man & the 14 year old, that sounds very risky.

FWIW, nothing like that occured to me at the time. I got out and asked her where her parents were, but she wouldn't talk to me. I took her hand - apparently in her world it was ok to flash a stranger and hold their hand and walk with them, but not actually talk to them. And we walked back toward the stores to try and find a phone or her parents. About 20 yards from the store I found her mother looking frantically for her and nothing more came of it.
 

GTaudiophile

Lifer
Oct 24, 2000
29,767
5
81
Originally posted by: Armitage
I had a bizarre situation years ago that this reminded me of. I was living in Los Angeles and was waiting in the car in a parking lot at a mall or such waiting for my wife to come out of the store. A little girl - I'd guess about 3 or 4 - was walking by herself in the parking lot, lifting up her skirt to people. With no underwear on underneath. Like I said - bizarre.

So, how to handle this? If I approach her, and try to help I can envision circumstance that would cast doubt on my motivation. If I take her hand and lead her somewhere - perhaps to a phone so I can call police. What happens if her parents interupt me before I can actually make that call and accuse me of trying to abduct the girl? Given what happened to the Illinois man & the 14 year old, that sounds very risky.

FWIW, nothing like that occured to me at the time. I got out and asked her where her parents were, but she wouldn't talk to me. I took her hand - apparently in her world it was ok to flash a stranger and hold their hand and walk with them, but not actually talk to them. And we walked back toward the stores to try and find a phone or her parents. About 20 yards from the store I found her mother looking frantically for her and nothing more came of it.
Damn! That was risky man! I don't know if I could or would have done that. I may have called 911 and informed them of a 4yo flasher at the mall and to come arrest her.

Edit: And then have them press charges against the mother for allowing her child in public without propper atire.
 

notfred

Lifer
Feb 12, 2001
38,241
4
0
"Ready Teddy Go" is the most awesome name for a nursery school that I've ever heard.
 

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