Thursday, November 09, 2006

Disturbing News From Survivors and Victims Empowered

After viewing yet another segment of Dateline NBC's To Catch a Predator, I was gearing up to write about the need to purge child sex predators from our streets and how stings like this may help negate the solicitation and access to children for sex via the internet. The series has definitely resulted in more sexual predators being arrested and locked up...a good thing IMO, because then they can't attempt to sexually prey upon and molest more children.

Then, I get an email from Survivors and Victims Empowered to find out this disturbing news:

The Child Protection eNewsletter
Volume 4, Issue 46 November 9, 2006

Texas prosecutor caught in Dateline child sex sting commits suicide…

A prosecutor killed himself as police tried to serve him with an arrest warrant alleging he solicited sex with a minor, authorities said. msnbc.msn.com Louis “Bill” Conradt Jr., 56, chief felony assistant district attorney for nearby Rockwall County and former district attorney in Kaufman County, died Sunday.Conradt solicited sex from a decoy posing online as a 13-year-old, according to Police Sgt. Snow Robertson from the town of Murphy, in nearby Collin County. NBC News confirmed the sting operation involved "Dateline" and its "To Catch A Predator" series and issued the following statement:

NBC News' "Dateline" was in Texas reporting on its "To Catch A Predator" series in conjunction with online watchdog group Perverted Justice. In the midst of that effort, Rockwall County Assistant District Attorney Louis W. Conradt Jr. contacted a decoy from Perverted Justice who was posing as a 13-year-old boy. Local authorities launched an investigation into Conradt's online communications and went to his home with an arrest warrant. In the course of that investigation, Conradt committed suicide. There was no contact whatsoever between Conradt and "Dateline" at any point in the investigation.



Conradt had been Kaufman County’s elected district attorney for more than two decades before resigning in 2002 to run for a judgeship. He lost that election and later took the Rockwall County job.While they were glad predators had been arrested, neighbors in the community used for the sting were outraged their town was used as bait.

"They set up a sting to attract child predators to our neighborhood that otherwise would not have been in our neighborhood," said Murphy resident Mike Daniels.

Murphy Mayor Bret Bishop demanded that the city manager who approved the sting apologize to the neighbors. "I think they deserve an apology, absolutely. Their children were placed at risk without their knowledge," said Bishop.

I heard that this will be a topic of discussion on the O'Reilly Factor tonight.

My questions:

Will we ever know how many children this guy had previously solicited for sex and molested?

This man was a prosecutor and considered for judgeship?

Ugh!! The disgusting ugliness of it all!!

When I watched the first few episodes of the To Catch a Predator series, I wondered why they didn't have police there to arrest the people caught! Then, they did get police hiding outside the houses who arrested the perps as they exited. I thought that this was a good thing. But the two additional problems being faced are how the law will react to both the parents in the neighborhood's concerns (can't blame them at all for that!) and how this suicide will affect any future "sting" operations.

I just hope that the predators don't get more (undeserved!) legal protection(s) as a result of this incident! It's the kids who are being solicited and molested who deserve the most legal protections.

3 comments:

ebsfwan said...

I think we are on the same page with this one.

We had a show here in New Zealand which showed men picking up underage prostitutes. When the police came they told off the TV people and didn't arrest any of the men involved.

Jaded&Opinionated said...

From what I read when this story first surfaced, Dateline had no direct contact with this man. He didn't actually show up at the sting house, although they expected him to. Because they were able to track his identity, they went directly to him first. Since he was never actually part of the actual Dateline program, I think the program should be ok.

I remember the first time I saw one of their shows. Perverted Justice was giving all of the information to law enforcement in Virginia, and they were doing nothing with it. My husband and I sat there in total disbelief! We were thrilled when police became part of the actual operations.

This is a subject that touches a nerve with me, because it's often the people you'd least expect. I had a student for a couple of years who was a beautiful, vibrant, outgoing Christian girl. She did all sorts of volunteer work, was the president of her high school's Habitat for Humanity group, she visited the elderly in nursing homes....you name it, she did it. She decided to do an exchange program in Ecuador for a summer. Her dad went with her to make sure things were ok, and left after 10 days. After they dropped him off at the airport for his trip home, she returned to her host family's house to take a shower. The propane tank that heated the hot water was right outside the bathroom window, and was apparently leaking. She died in the shower before her father even got home.

Naturally, the family was devastated. They were a very tight-knit, Christian family and they were always there to lend a hand. They started foundations in her name, built a HFH house in her name, built and dedicated parks in her name etc. Her father had been a high-powered executive in the casino industry, but he gave up his job to become a Spanish teacher, in honor of his daughter. She loved the language, and wanted to teach, so he decided to do it for her.

During his second year of teaching in the local high school, the same one his daughter attended prior to her death, the police showed up. He was caught in a huge child porn/internet sting. He was soliciting sexual encounters from teenage girls, passing explicit videos and pictures to children and had hundreds of child pornography photos/videos both on his home computer AND the one at school. His wife had no idea! Nobody did. He'd been in my home, although only occasionally, but I'd known the family for years. They attended my church! As if the death of a child wasn't bad enough, this horrific thing tore the family apart. His wife left him and he's estranged from his other daughter. I know I should probably have compassion for him, but I honestly don't. I do pray for him, but, what he did was horrific.

Christinewjc said...

Jaded,

What a terrible situation you were in with that guy. How chilling it must have been to realize that you had a sex predator in your own home!! That's awful!!

Some people lead deceptive, double lives and it often makes me wonder if we can trust anyone anymore!

I just watched the segment on O'Reilly. The mayor sounded like a real a** er IDIOT!! He was complaining about the sting operation in his town, but got caught lying right on the air several times by the Perverted Justice guy!

Sure shows the truth of the verse that says:

Jer 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?