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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

The sex offender you know

Fear, Kids

While the city is mulling more restrictive ordinances controlling where registered sex offenders can live, Wauwatosa's getting some attention as the home of Joseph Hallows and Mark Lubinsky.

Hallows, a disbarred lawyer who looks like every mother's nightmare of a sexual predator, is facing charges for recent and past sexual assault and more. Lubinsky, a pediatric geneticist, was sentenced to 18 months for possession of child pornography.

Lubinsky is not so scary, either in looks or, I think, actions. He's a slight man with an odd gait who always seemed a little uncomfortable. I have a nodding acquaintance with him from my years of attending ethics seminars at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he talked with obvious concern about subjects like end of life rituals with families of dying patients.

While his access to children made him a greater potential threat than Hallows, who apparently got to kids mainly through their mothers, I'm willing to hazard that it's because Lubinsky knows right from wrong and feared going down the path to where child pornography can lead that he arranged to be "caught" downloading files.

But this isn't about trying to figure out why educated men, men who, despite their mug shots, are like the ones we are married or related to, work with, and live near, harm children or dream about having sex with them.

It's about reminding us that the creepy looking guys in the Family Watchdog are a very small percentage of the people who commit sexual crimes involving children. The ones on the map are easy to guard against, whether they're 500 feet or 5,000 feet away from your home or school.

Two things to keep in mind. All convicted offenders are not the same. A 17 year old boy who had consensual sex with a 15 year old girlfriend is not the same as someone who rapes infants. And a man who looks at child porn is not the same as someone who creates it.

Most important to remember is that, depending on whose statistics you read, 80-90% of child molestation is committed by someone the child knows, which means someone you know.  Someone who hasn't been convicted or even accused.

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