The New York Times reports that coaching gives the abusers opportunity and trust. Notably the New York Time article points out:
According to Thomas Plante, a psychology professor at Santa Clara University who has studied and treated pedophiles, including many priests, about 5 percent of all men have a predilection to be sexually attracted to children. Some set out to act on those impulses, but others, he said, “sort of fall into it.”
“They have unsuccessful adult relationships or other problems in their lives and they get involved with kids as a coach and one thing leads to another and that leads them to sexual behavior,” Plante said.
That is precisely what happened with one of the patients of Dr. Fred Berlin, the director of the Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. On the referral of Berlin, the man spoke in a telephone interview about his experience as a youth baseball coach who sexually abused a boy. He pleaded guilty to the charge and served prison time in 1983. He has undergone years of therapy to help keep him from acting on his attraction to boys, he said. He did not want to identify himself for the article because of the lasting stigma attached to his offense. He is 66 now and living in the Baltimore area, where he is registered as a sex offender.
“I loved sports, I loved baseball and I felt I was pretty good at coaching, so it just evolved,” he said. “It just happened to put me around young boys and, unfortunately, that’s not where I need to be.
“There were times I tried to gain control over myself, but it kind of took control of my life. By the time I got arrested, I knew I needed help.”
The man said he pleaded guilty because he did not want to subject the boy to any more trauma, and found Berlin’s program before he was sentenced. Therapy, he said, has given him a set of tools to deal with his attractions and not act on them. He also said that he created boundaries for himself so that he is never alone with a child.
The man said he had no independent knowledge of the case of Sandusky — the former Penn State assistant football coach who has been charged with assaulting 10 boys — but said he had watched and listened to Sandusky’s public statements and explanations of his behavior.
He said interviews suggested that Sandusky did not understand the harm abuse can do to children. “I did try to send information about Dr. Berlin’s program to his attorney, but you have to recognize you have a problem before you can get help,” the man said
Read More: Coaching Gives Abusers Opportunity and Trust
- Opportunity and Authority Attract Abusers to Coaching (nytimes.com)
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- Conlin Accused by Victims of Sexual Molestation