You are here

What sex offenders were looking for in a child

People who sexually abuse children reveled in an interview what they were looking for in a child they targeted for grooming:

  • “The warm and friendly child or the vulnerable child. Friendly, showed me their panties.”
  • “The way the child would look at me, trustingly.”
  • “The child who was teasing me, smiling at me, asking me to do favors.”
  • “Someone who had been a victim before [sexual abuse or spankings], quiet, withdrawn, compliant. Someone, who had not been a victim would be more non-accepting of the sexual language or stepping over the boundaries of modesty.”
  • “Quieter, easier to manipulate, less likely to object or put up a fight…goes along with things.”

Convicted offenders also shared what they did to engage the child in sexual contact:

  • “Talking, spending time with them, being around them at bedtime, being around them in my underwear, sitting down on the bed with them. Constantly evaluating the child’s reaction… A lot of touching, hugging, kissing, snuggling.”
  • “Playing, talking, giving special attention, trying to get the child to initiate contact with me… Get the child to feel safe to talk with me… From here I would initiate different kinds of contact, such as touching the child’s back, head… Testing the child to see how much she would take before she would pull away.”
  • “Isolate them from other people. Once alone, I would make a game of it (red light, green light with touching up their leg until they said stop). Making it fun.”
  • “Most of the time I would start by giving them a rub down. When I got them aroused, I would take the chance and place my hand on their penis to masturbate them. If they would not object, I would take this to mean it was okay… I would isolate them. I might spend the night with them. Physical isolation, closeness, contact are more important than verbal seduction.”