The news that former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle will admit possessing hundreds of pornographic images of children and having sex with underage girls is provoking widespread outrage. “This is about using wealth, status and secrecy to illegally exploit children,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler in Indianapolis. In front of the federal courthouse there, a large crowd gathered yesterday to gawk at the former TV personality. They taunted and jeered, hurled insults, and voiced their disgust in the bluntest terms, says the Washington Post. The science of sexual disorders, called paraphilias, is far less developed than other areas of psychiatry, and there are few resources for treating potential abusers.
There's almost no way to identify child abusers before they commit a crime. Penalties for sex crimes against children have gotten harsher and harsher, often in response to horrifying stories of violence and abuse. The federal mandatory minimum sentence for a sex offense by an adult involving a child under 16 is 30 years. “Right now, our society is more equipped to look at it as a moral problem than a medical or scientific problem,” said psychiatrist Fred Berlin of the Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit at Johns Hopkins University. “But there is a biological basis for these cravings … and society is just giving lip service to that side of it.”