During the holiday season, thousands of victimized children in America will not have a merry Christmas.
Can’t we change that picture? One thing we can do is hold people accountable who occupy positions of power and influence, who seem oblivious or worse, sympathetic.
Like federal officials and judges.
Recently, 15 women accused a West Coast judicial superstar of sexual misconduct. It seems top federal Judge Alex Kozinski has a sexual harassment problem as well as a devotion to hardcore, workplace porn.
Now under the pressure of current and past scandal, Kozinski just announced he is retiring. This may be good news, depending on his replacement.
Kozinski, a federal jurist on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who was even chief judge at one time, was accused by numerous women of sexual misconduct, including deliberate exposure to porn in his chambers.
Do men with affinities for vulgar images descend to the most depraved level – material involving children? Many speculated that if such a case had come before his bench, it was doubtful the criminal would be punished to the full extent of the law.
And that concern extends to many other judges and government officials.
Back in 2008, while Judge Kozinski presided over an obscenity trial, hardcore porn images were found on his office computer. He claimed they were uploaded accidentally or possibly by his son. The trial was halted and declared a mistrial.
But it gets worse. Kozinski “broke into a judicial computer security system to restore access to pornographic websites,” according to a petition on Change.org that called for his impeachment.
What kind of judge does that? Commonly, one addicted to porn, according to an expert.
I asked Dr. Judith Reisman what she thought about Kozinski, and she believes his actions resemble the profile of porn addiction. Scenes of bestiality and other degrading images of women on all fours, painted as cows, were found on his office computer.
Reisman said in an interview in 2008 that Kozinski’s objectivity was in grave question. “Having this kind of material on any kind of website already indicates that he has lost his way, his boundaries, his perceptions,” she said. She also believes this “hidden pathology” is alarming in someone with power over so many people.
And she, along with author Lori Handrahan, notes the probability that child pornography will show up involving a surprising number of public officials. Dr. Handrahan started the Kozinski impeachment petition and is the author of a powerful new book called “Epidemic: America’s Trade in Child Rape.”
This book is so disturbing, you might want to change to reading something else before bedtime. But we must engage with the issue. Gruesome sexual victimization of children is increasing rapidly along with its severity.
On the website Medium, Handrahan names influential men (and a few women) convicted on child porn charges in recent years, including physicians, lawyers, judges, educators, child care workers, law enforcement officers and officials in federal agencies.
She is one of the only people in America reporting on the trends and detailing the horror. What is desperately needed is national demographic data on child pornography arrests by profession and place of employment. For some reason, the federal government has been lax in this effort.
Child porn becomes a national security issue when numerous federal employees are involved. In May 2016, a high Pentagon official told reporters, as revealed in “Epidemic,” that the amount of child porn on government computers is “unbelievable.”
We need more investigations. The Department of Justice needs to tackle this in a much more aggressive way. Our government workforce needs a housecleaning of those involved or sympathetic to this abominable practice.
Among numerous other examples, Handrahan cites the arrest of former acting director of cyber-security of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Timothy DeFoggi, who “expressed an interest in the violent rape and murder of children.” Virtually every federal agency has seen child porn arrests, including the FBI, DHS, DEA, TSA, Customs and Border Protection, ICE, FEMA, Department of Defense and others.
Handrahan talks about the inadequacy of terminology. What is being done to children is not “sex” but child rape, often qualifying under the definition of torture by the Convention Against Torture. She thinks the phrase, “trading in child rape and torture” is the most descriptive. Groups like Amnesty International should get involved.
Pedophiles increasingly exhibit more extreme practices. Viewers of child porn are often aroused by blood, violence and even killing children. Why? Sometimes the goal is not just stimulation, but the elimination of witnesses.
And the audience is huge and growing. Handrahan writes, “Microsoft, working with NCMEC [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children], says 1.8 billion images of child sex abuse are shared online every day.”
Some pedophiles use their own children as bait, and because it is now so profitable, some submit their own children to this cruelty. One reason child pornography is an epidemic is the involvement of organized crime. Handrahan writes, “The easy-profit model of child rape is rapidly overtaking drugs and guns as organized crime’s preferred money-maker.”
So how do judges fit into all this? Lori writes about judges like Jack Weinstein of Brooklyn, New York, who sentenced a father to only five days for trading in violent child porn involving children as young as 3 years old. Or worse – judges caught themselves. Tim Dolan, district judge in Campbell County, Kentucky, was arrested in May 2017 for child trafficking. Or Joseph Boeckmann in Arkansas who reduced sentences to trade for sex and child porn. In one chapter, Handrahan details judges, prosecutors and prominent attorneys caught and charged with child porn. In another chapter, she discusses educators.
We must closely examine any judge who is known to be soft on pornography, like Kozinski. Too many young lives are at stake.