The very words "child molester" send chills down my back. But when I heard an LAPD officer was arrested on suspicion of luring little girls to his house and abusing them, a pit in my stomach joined the typical chills. Miguel Schiappapietra was supposed to protect little kids from sickos.
Now he's been charged with being one. And to top it off, Schiappapietra is a dad!
How do we protect our kids from guys like him?
According to the allegations against the LAPD officer, Schiappapietra lured two little girls under age 10 to his home, where he molested them. He's since been charged with two counts of lewd acts with a child, and he's being held on $100,000 bail.
It's comforting to see that even LAPD officers are not above the law, but his arrest is little comfort to parents.
As we struggle to teach them about bad people in this world, we are trying too to teach them about the good ones, the ones they can trust. We tell them that when the chips are down, they need to turn to parents with kids, to people in uniform.
Schiappapietra was both.
The hardest part to accept about child molesters is that they exist. But the second hardest is that we can't pin down a type. Not in a way that we can describe to our kids.
They are male and female.
They are parents and not.
They are doctors, lawyers, bakers, candlestick makers ... and cops.
And right now our best defense against them -- maybe even our only defense -- is a parent's gut. This arrest should be a flashing light for parents.
If something feels off about that guy (or lady) down the street, ignore the fancy degrees or the prestigious titles. Keep your kids away.
Do you get feelings in your gut that people could hurt your kid? How do you judge who is good and who is bad?
Image via Ringoeshire/Flickr