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Conversation with a Convicted Child Molester

Pete Springer/OPB

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in three girls and one in six boys are sexually abused by the age of 18. That means there are an awful lot of offenders out there as well. Can they be rehabilitated?

We’re speaking with “Joe” (not his real name) a convicted sex offender who says it’s possible. He is serving the last year of his 68 month sentence from home through Washington’s unique Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative. This allows him to hold down a job, but as a registered sex offender, he has restrictions on where he can and cannot be. For example, a complaint from a parishioner has kept him from attending his church. He has undergone treatment for alcohol and pornography addiction and says he is rehabilitated.

Joe, like many registered sex offenders, will still be banned from certain public spaces and online social networks, even after his 68 month sentence is up. 

Can sex offenders be rehabilitated? If you are a survivor of sex abuse, what would it take to forgive your abuser? If you are an employer, would you hire a convicted sex offender?


  • “Joe” (not his real name): Washington resident convicted of child molestation in the first degree
  • David Schuessler: director of Innovative Counseling Enterprises, which treats sex offenders in Oregon and Washington
crime protecting kids from sexual offenders sex offender treatment

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