Dear Amy: Over 20 years ago, my middle school-aged younger sibling was violently sexually assaulted by the adult son of my parents’ best friends.
When my sibling told me about it, I convinced my sibling to tell our mother, assuming she would do the right thing. But alas! Not only did my mother refuse to take any action, she forbade either one of us from telling anyone: the cops, our school counselors, even our dad.
I live with great shame that I obeyed and did nothing more to help my sibling, but I was a minor as well, and didn’t know any better.
Fast-forward two decades, and my sibling and I are well-adjusted adults with loving spouses and wonderful families.
My spouse and I are active in the geek culture scene and attend a few gaming/comic/geek conventions annually.
My sibling’s abuser is also a frequent patron of these events, always alone (which is unusual in that scene). Every time I see him, I want to run to the site security and tell them he’s a predator, but legally I have no grounds to do so, since he’s never been convicted or even charged for what he did.
Instead, I keep watch, to try to ensure that he’s not luring some poor child off-site.
I can think of no other viable course of action. Can you?
— Wrathful Geek
Dear Wrathful: First, you should check and see if this man is on the sex offender registry. Each state maintains one, and the FBI compiles these into a national database. Check your state, or search using fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/sex-offender-registry. If he is on this list, you should absolutely notify the security team at the convention site.
You should contact your sibling to see if they want to try to pursue legal action against the perpetrator. Rainn.org offers state-by-state information about the statute of limitations for sexual crimes. Even after all this time, your sibling could choose to try to report this attack to the police. Another option is to try to sue for damages.
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Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle