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Effects of Delayed Molestation Accusations

November 20, 2017

A study in a close religious community of long-past allegations were seldom verified but led to unwarranted alienation and stigmatization of those accused who were placed on a community watch-list. Second-generational effects were still felt years later without the accusations being substantiated in the majority of cases. Accusers tended to belong to the lower socio-economic spectrum with less income and less social stability compared to those in the accused group and respondents tended to believe that the complaints had ulterior motives.


I conducted a study among 100 respondents living in a religious community which had created a “Watch-List” to identify “pedophiles”.

The stated intention of the Watch-List was to protect the community from potential sexual predators living within the community.

To qualify as a sexual predator required any individual to anonymously identify the predator by filing a complaint up to 10 years following any incident of perceived molestation during summer-camp by older campers.

Accusations of sexual-molestation resulted in 15 men, with a mean age of 26-years appearing on a Public Web-Site referred to as “The Community Watch-List”.

The mean age of the accusers was 24-years. At the time of the study, 40% of the accusers were married compared to 80% of the identified molesters.

The mean income of the accusers was $30 K, while that of the so-called pedophiles was $75 K. While 80% of the cases were brought-up on criminal…

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