But in the good way, not the way Michael Gary Gilbert manipulated and abused boys as young as four over the course of eleven years. From the Times & Transcript:
A pedophile told a court yesterday that his desperate need to keep his homosexuality a secret led him to have inappropriate relationships with children that he now knows were wrong.
I find that to be a curious phrase. Where on earth would he have gotten the idea that it could be right?
For the first time in more than two years, Gilbert openly addressed the court about his crimes.
He said he’s sincerely remorseful for his actions and that the fault is his. Gilbert, who appeared casual and relaxed when sheriff’s officers escorted him into the courtroom in custody yesterday, had sex with six different boys at various points between 1997 and 2009.
While some of the victims were in their teen years at the time of the offences, one was only four years old when he had sex with him, which included anal penetration, and another was seven.
Five of those boys were coerced into starring in home-made porn movies besides.
In a letter he wrote to the judge, Gilbert apparently explains that his behaviour was triggered by the belief that he couldn’t admit to people that he was gay, let alone admit it to himself.
He’s glad he was caught, he said, but the last two years out of the closet, even though they were spent behind bars, have been among the best of his life because he’s free of the lies. Gilbert said his crimes were his fault and he expects no sympathy from anybody.
“I pray daily that (the victims) all find peace and healing,” he said.
Gilbert, who’s been in custody since his arrest Jan. 27, 2009, said he’s found God while in custody and plans to help other offenders to get back on the right track when he’s eventually released from prison.
“I am completely confident I am at no risk to reoffend,” Gilbert told the court, noting he’s not an evil person.
No doubt the parents of these boys think otherwise. Families have been wrecked by what he did and some of the boys were so young it’s unknown as yet what impact this experience really had on them.
In his pre-sentence report interview, he told a probation officer that he doesn’t feel he needs counselling.
Hopefully he’ll get some anyway. Maybe it’ll be mandatory as part of his sentence. Stating a new belief in God and declaring “I’m a changed man!” won’t be enough to reassure anyone that he actually is capable of modifying his behaviour in order to make good on the promise of helping others later. If he actually wants to help, he’ll have to go through counseling and then learn how to properly counsel others. It’s not like you can solve the problem by throwing a bible in the lap of a child molester and say, “Play with this instead.”
The Crown prosecutor, Karen Lee Lamrock, thinks he ought to get up to 20 years for his crimes and
said the sex offender does a disservice to the gay and lesbian community by suggesting that his efforts to hide his sexuality led to sex with children. Morris said his client didn’t mean that his sexuality led to the crimes.
“I don’t think he was making that excuse,” he said.
He said the crimes have nothing to do with Gilbert’s sexuality but rather with a condition from which he suffers: pedophilia.
“It’s a disease. It’s a mental illness,” Morris said, noting his client needs counselling. “I think he has to have help.”
Lamrock probably has a good reason to assume he’s blaming his sexuality for his crimes. There are still some who think homosexuality and child molestation go hand in hand.
Judge Alfred Brien will announce his sentencing decision on March 21st. I’ll try to remember to check back and see what results.