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He says he began fondling the girls four years after he met them.
"It was my job to get the girls ready for bed," he explains, "and I noticed I was becoming sexually interested, having sexual thoughts." Welch soon sought the advice of a therapist. "I wanted to see if this was a problem or not." Welch says the therapist was cautionary. "'Stop right there. You can tell me things that will make me have to go to Child Protective Services,' the therapist told me. That's as far as I got. We've created a situation in our society where, if you want to seek help, you have to be very careful about what you say."
He thought, he says now, that this was a problem he could handle himself. It wasn't, and he describes the subtle progression. "First you put your hand on their knee, so next time you put your hand on their thigh, then a little higher on the thigh. It's easy to think that by placing your hand on their thigh you haven't done anything wrong, but you've taken the next step."
His victims, he claims, were easily seduced. Welch says he preyed upon their innate curiosity about sexuality and their innocence, rather than using the violence and intimidation that so often makes the news in molestation cases. "Oftentimes, I would say, Should we stay here in the living room and play a game or go down to the basement?' Which was where fondling took place. They chose the basement."
Derek is outraged when he hears of men like Welch. "I'm angered by the fact that they give in to such things when I can't; I have to be the responsible one. I'm angry at them, and I'm angry at society for letting this happen."
He wonders why those who commit crimes are offered therapy, albeit after a prison sentence, when those who don't – those who manage the disorder responsibly – aren't encouraged or even supported.
It's child molesters like Welch, Derek believes, who give pedophiles a bad name. And Derek dreads the day when he, too, will transition from pedophile to a "human yielding to temptation." The inevitable day when – without further therapy – all the years of ammonia capsules, intimacy scripts and alternate sexual fantasies fail him and two decades of repressed sexual deviancies propel him to the mall.