LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Community must protect children
June 15, 2011
Recently my sense of security as a parent in our community has been compromised by recent events. Joseph Scanio’s arrest prompted me to research many variables of his case and the charges he pleaded guilty to that led to his conviction. Mr. Scanio was convicted on charges relating to child pornography. He admitted to possessing roughly 50 compact disks containing child pornography and subsequent searches discovered more than 18,000 images of child pornography and child erotica on his work computer. As part of the terms of his supervision he is required to register as a sex offender. After his most recent arrest, many people, including myself, were confused as to why he was not listed on Megan’s Law. During my investigation of the facts surrounding the case, I learned that Mr. Scanio along with several other sex offenders fell through the cracks of legislation loopholes. This allows him and others to carry on, flying under the radar, unnoticed, while we the community are none the wiser. It’s these cracks in the system that enable sex offenders to re-offend, and endangers every child in the community.
Another disturbing fact in all this is the issue of child erotica. Child erotica is anything that may cause sexual arousal in a pedophile. Images of child erotica often include images of children engaged in everyday play at obvious places of recreation. Pools, playgrounds, day cares, recreation centers and ice rinks. The images can be captured simply via cell phone or small compact camera. The images are downloaded and often shared with a network of other pedophiles.
Many in the community feel that they can relax since their child was not physically harmed by Mr. Scanio. This is dangerous thinking. A child predator does not need to physically touch your child to victimize them. What we need to do is remain vigilant against child predators and speak out when necessary. Sweeping the issue under the rug and turning a blind eye furthers the potential of abuse. Ignorance is bliss, until it’s your child that has been victimized.
South Lake Tahoe