Jasmin Merdan / Moment
USA Today deleted tweets following public backlash to its article attempting to normalize abnormal adult attraction to children.
The article, titled "What the public keeps getting wrong about pedophilia," was quickly moved behind a paywall.
The writer quoted researchers who claimed there's a difference between pedophiles who harm children and people who only think about it.
The writer claimed scientific studies found "pedophilia is determined in the womb, though environmental factors may influence whether someone acts on an urge to abuse."
"Not all people who sexually abuse children are pedophiles. Some pedophiles never abuse children, experts say, and some people who sexually abuse children do not sexually prefer them, but use them as a surrogate for an adult partner. They may be disinhibited and anti-social, with impulse control problems."
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"The evidence suggests it is inborn. It's neurological," said James Cantor, a clinical psychologist and sex researcher. "Pedophilia is the attraction to children, regardless of whether the (person) ever ... harms."
Cantor said there's no treatment for pedophilia, but pedophiles can be taught self-control and strategies to compensate, which he said is more likely if they're under the care of a professional.
"There are the people who are sexually attracted to children ... (and then) there are some people who molest kids who are not pedophiles," said Anna Salter, a psychologist, author, and internationally recognized expert. "They molest kids because of anger. They molest kids because they're scared of adult women. They molest kids to get revenge, but they don't actually have an age preference for prepubescent children."
After deleting the tweets, USA Today explained:
"A previous thread did not include all information and the story it was written about is behind a paywall. We made the decision to delete the thread."
Old Dominion University has removed a controversial professor who advocated for "minor-attracted people," following disruptions on campus.
Dr. Allyn Walker, a female-to-male trans, was placed on paid leave amid public backlash to Walker's research and book titled "A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity."
In the book, Walker claims so-called "non-offenders" -- pedophiles who don't act on their urges -- should be treated with empathy.
Dr. Walker supports "affirming therapy" for non-offenders by using child pornography and child sex dolls to suppress their urges toward children.
Part of affirming therapy is to change "pedophile" to MAPs because the P-word is offensive to non-offenders.
ODU issued a statement announcing Walker's suspension on Tuesday.
"Reactions to Dr. Walker's research and book have led to concerns for their safety and that of the campus. Furthermore, the controversy over Dr. Walker's research has disrupted the campus and community environment and is interfering with the institution's mission of teaching and learning."
A Change.org petition calling for the removal of Dr. Walker from the ODU campus has collected over 11,000 signatures so far.
One person who signed the petition wrote:
"I am disgusted that Old Dominion would employ someone who tries to normalize the sexuality of Pedophiles. They should think of the children in their own families."
Old Dominion University students have launched a petition to remove a female-to-male trans professor who promotes legalizing pedophilia.
Dr. Allyn Walker, who teaches sociology and criminal justice at ODU, sparked outrage by changing the terminology "pedophile" to MAPs: minor-attracted persons.
In a book titled A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity, Walker argues that minor-attracted people are simply misunderstood.
"A lot of people when they hear the term 'pedophile', they automatically assume that it means a sex offender, and that isn't true. And it leads to a lot of misconceptions about attractions towards minors."
"From my perspective, there is no morality or immorality attached to attraction to anyone because no one can control who they're attracted to at all. In other words, it's not who we're attracted to that's either OK or not OK. It's our behaviors in responding to that attraction that are either OK or not OK."
Old Dominion University's administration responded by distancing itself from Walker's comments, but stopped short of removing the professor.
Alumni are outraged at the school's response to the controversy.
A Change.org petition calling for the school to remove Walker has garnered nearly 3,000 signatures.
Mikiah Everett, an ODU alumnus, said she was "disgusted" by ODU's decision.
"We do not need to change the 'terminology' for pedophiles," Everett said.
"I am disgusted at their response to protect someone that is an advocate for pedophiles and affiliated with the organization Prostasia (a pedophilia advocate group under the guise of a children protection organization.) Dr. Walker has crossed a line and has dressed it up in academic jargon."
Walker reacted to the outrage by saying, "I want to be clear: child sexual abuse is an inexcusable crime."
Walker, who has interviewed child victims as part of research, said:
"As an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, the goal of my research is to prevent crime. I embarked on this research in hopes of gaining understanding of a group that, previously, has not been studied in order to identify ways to protect children."
Olga Efimova / EyeEm
North Carolina has made it harder for pedophiles to marry children. The state Senate unanimously approved a new bill raising the legal marrying age from 14 to 16.
Senator Vickie Sawyer initially pushed to raise the marrying age from 14 to 18, saying most child marriages involved pedophilia and abuse and ended in divorce.
"If you can't rent an apartment or drive a car ... or get a tattoo before you're 18, why should you be able to get married?" Sawyer said.
But her older male colleagues convinced her that their mothers and grandmothers got married young and lived happy, if difficult, lives, according to WRAL.
The International Center for Research on Women reviewed marriage licenses in the state from 2000 to 2019 and found more than 4,000 minors had applied to be married in that time period.
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In most of the applications an adult male was marrying a child. Such relationships would be considered statutory rape, a felony, in other states.
Sen. Danny Britt amended the proposal to leave the four-year age difference restriction in place, making it illegal for a man older than 20 to marry a child.
16- and 17-year-olds still need parental consent or approval from a court to get married.
Both the legislation and Britt's amendment passed by a vote of 49-0 on Wednesday. The bill now moves on to the House.
Most NC residents who commented on the article were stunned to learn they live in a state that legalizes pedophilia. Many had no idea such an archaic law was still on the books.
One Twitter user wrote "What the actual f***? We're a pedophile state?"
Another user wrote, "Please help bring this state into the 21st century... this should not be JUST happening... grown ass folks out here shouldn't be getting married. Y'all letting kids get married and writing articles about it."
And a third tweeted, "16 is still a child who should not be married. Just because earlier generations did doesn’t make it right or ok now. #endchildmarriageinN."
Chesterfield County PD
Two male cheerleaders linked to Netflix's "Cheer" have been arrested on charges of sexual misconduct with minors.
Robert Joseph Scianna Jr., 25, and Mitchell Ryan, 23, were both arrested on Wednesday.
Scianna, a choreographer and cheer coach, was arrested in Virginia, and charged with felony taking indecent liberties with a child and using an electronic communication device to solicit sex, the Chesterfield County Police Department said, according to WRIC-TV.
Scianna allegedly solicited sex from a minor on social media. He is being held in the Chesterfield County Jail without bond, WRIC reports.
Ryan, a college cheerleader, was arrested in Texas, and charged with felony aggravated sexual assault of a child related to a July incident, according to the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.
Jim Spellman/Getty Images
The arrests come after "Cheer" star Jerry Harris was charged with multiple counts of federal child pornography and sex crimes in September.
Harris and Ryan were on the Navarro College cheer team, which was featured on the reality TV series, but Ryan did not appear on the show, People reports.
Ryan posted his $50,000 bond and was released Friday morning, according to People magazine.
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Popular TikTok user Zoe Laverne, 19, has apologized for kissing a 13-year-old boy named Connor. She insists she is not part of the left's campaign to normalize pedophilia on social media.
Fans grew concerned about the nature of close Zoe's relationship with Connor - also a TikTok personality - after she split from her ex, Cody Orlove.
Cody later insisted he left Zoe "because of her interactions with Connor," which, "got very intense and it's something I do not stand by what so ever. It's pedophilia."
Days later, a video of Zoe and Connor kissing surfaced online, prompting Zoe to release a video apology in which she says she, "didn't groom Connor, I wouldn't do that".
"He's a kid and I'm aware of that. It just happened," says Zoe. "We both were in a dark place when we first became friends and we both just ended up catching feelings for each other. And friends do that, they catch feelings for each other. That's not a bad thing."
According to London's DailyMail.com, Connor, who uses the TikTok handle @cxnnorjoyce, addressed the controversy in his own posts to social media, insisting Zoe "did not rape" him.
Omaha police have arrested a public school employee after he confessed to killing a convicted pedophile in an anonymous email to the news media.
Police arrested James Fairbanks, 43, and charged him with criminal homicide in the death of Mattieo Conduluci (right), whose body was found near 43rd and Pinkney late Saturday night,
The email sent by "Stop Predators," said "I killed Mattieo Conduluci Thursday May 14th."
According to KETV, the anonymous sender said he was looking for an apartment in the area when he discovered Condoluci's name was on the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry. He described Condoluci standing in his driveway pretending to wash his truck while staring at a group of children playing in the street.
Conduluci was previously convicted of raping a child and served less than 3 years in prison. He was released for good behavior.
"Having had my own experience with these type of predators I knw [sic] the damage he would do to those kids," Fairbanks wrote in the email. "I've worked with kids for years who have been victimized and I couldnt [sic] in good conscience allow him to do it to anyone else while I had the means to stop him."
He added: "I know in this messed up judicial system that means I will face far more severe punishment for stopping him then he did for raping KIDS."
There have been calls from the public to raise money for legal defense for Fairbanks, who worked as a school corrections officer.
His wife, Kelly Tamayo, said Fairbanks probably killed Conduluci because he, "like all parents, was disgusted with that man's actions and wished justice."
She described her husband as "a protector who cared for some of the most vulnerable and victimized children."
She said "Developmental Services of Nebraska had to create a special award for him because he never had to restrain kids and was always able to verbally de-escalate them. Many of them were victims of sexual abuse."
Omaha Public Schools confirmed Fairbanks worked at Morton Middle School from 2016 to 2018 and most recently worked for the middle school alternative program.
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