John Grisham, the author of big sellers like The Firm, A Time To Kill and The Rainmaker (or as I like to call him, the king of 90’s thrillers) spoke out recently about his views on older guys viewing child porn and how we shouldn’t be classifying them in the same category as pedophiles. Especially in terms of jail time. “We’ve got prisons now filled with guys my age, 60-year-old white men, in prison, who have never harmed anyone. Who would never touch a child, but they got online one night, started surfing around, probably had too much to drink whatever and pushed the wrong buttons, and went too far and went into child porn or whatever.”
On one hand, I understand what he’s saying, but on the other, I personally can’t say I’ve ever been super drunk, “pushed the wrong buttons” and downloaded something that could be deemed questionable. He speaks as if computers were literally just given to us yesterday and no one knows how they work, let alone capable of reading words on a website.
He goes on to get specific with a story about an old pervy friend of his:
“A friend of mine, ten years ago, was drinking. His drinking was out of control. And he went to a website—it was labeled, 16-year-old wannabe hookers, or something, some stupid website. And it said, 16-year-old girls. So he went there. Downloaded some stuff. It was 16-year-old girls who looked 30. You know, they were all dressed up and whatever. He shouldn’t have done it, it was stupid. But it wasn’t 10-year-old boys and he didn’t touch anything. And golly, a week later there was a knock on the door. FBI. And it was a sting set up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to catch people—sex offenders. And he went to prison for three years.
Uhhh, what? Personally, if you’re looking up “16-year-old wannabe hookers”, booze or no booze involved, you gotta know somebody might be watching your actions. And if it was an accident, well then that could be debateable. But who knows what kind of record his pal has. Maybe this wasn’t the first time, which seems to be more likely.
Either way, clearly Grisham has really thought about this one. A plot point I certainly hope to see in his next book “The Pedo-Files”.
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