By Kathleen Vanesian
By Amy Silverman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Jim Louvau
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Benjamin Leatherman
By New Times
By Becky Bartkowski
Neddermeyer: But do you know who those kids are? They're sexual-abuse survivors who are acting out exactly what they've experienced. They've been sexualized prior to seducing someone.
NT: Why would any parent allow their kid to bunk down with a middle-aged man?
Neddermeyer:We have parents who are letting their kids go with him despite the previous cases because of the reverence we have for celebrity.
NT: Okay, so we're all star-struck. But if Brad Pitt came to your house and asked to defecate in your oven, would you let him?
Neddermeyer:No, but people don't want to be seen as bitchy or nasty, and certainly not with a celebrity. And there's the seduction of the celebrity: the glamour of the money and the gifts and the travel and la la la. In the case of Michael Jackson, the kids love his music, and he seduces the parents as well as the kids [with his fame]. And their common sense goes out the window. It doesn't help that we don't teach our kids appropriate suspicion.
NT: You keep mentioning that.
Neddermeyer:The truth is we need to start protecting children from sexual abuse from the moment they're born -- including from family members. Only 1 percent [of sexual abuse] is from strangers. The guy lurking around the playground in a dirty trench coat is not the main danger. If your husband is alone with the children, if he's bathing the children, dressing them, you walk into the room. Keep an eye on him. That's appropriate suspicion.
NT: You're going to have a hard time selling the idea of keeping an eye on one's spouse for signs of child abuse.
Neddermeyer:The man you married may not know he has it in him, until your child turns a certain age.
NT: And then one day, he morphs into a child abuser? Kind of like Michael Jackson morphed from a young black man into a scary white woman?
Neddermeyer:It's a direct connection between him and his abuse. He's trying to put distance between the small black boy that he was -- and he was quite dark when he was young -- and the person he is today. So he won't have any connection with that other person, the boy who was abused.
NT: I keep seeing interviews with Jackson family members defending Michael, which seems like the wrong way to go. I mean, once you have your nose surgically removed, your credibility goes straight out the window.
Neddermeyer:Well, no family believes their family member is a perpetrator. They have to believe this way; it takes a lot of courage for them to say, "What I'm looking at is very suspicious."
NT: Jackson does seem to be boasting about his proclivities. That whole "I love to share my bed with kids" interview on international television was really creepy.
Neddermeyer:Michael Jackson is flaunting it in our face, begging us, the United States and the world, to stop him. Because he can't stop himself -- no perpetrator can, because it's a compulsion. But because he's a celebrity, he might very well get out of this and not go to jail. I hope not. I hope the DA has enough evidence that the jury can't let him off with reasonable doubt.