Tonight I am unable to get to sleep early despite needing to be up early, so I’m sitting here watching the show “To Catch a Predator” on youtube, as I like to do occasionally. Worthwhile, interesting show, IMO.
When I was younger and first heard about Perverted Justice’s tactics and mission, initially I actually thought they were taking things too far. Guess it made me a bit queasy thinking they were luring guys into situations the guys might not necessarily have pursued in-full on their own. This show cured me of that illusion, by-and-large. So I watch it from time to time, mostly online since I don’t subscribe to cable and otherwise can only catch it by random chance at other people’s houses.
Anyway, what I wanted to write about tonight is a former friend of mine who was busted several years ago (2005) in just such a sting, except one pulled off by the local PD without Dateline NBC’s involvement. The man in question was in his 30s and, come to find out, had allegedly been chatting on yahoo with a decoy girl who claimed to be 14, and he was arrested when he drove to her location.
At the time I was in the dark on all of this. Whenever he was initially arrested on until his sentencing date, he managed to keep it completely silent from me. The way I found out anything at all was amiss was the day (late August 2005) Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi gulf and I tried calling my friend only to learn from a young woman he had staying with him that he was in jail. Wasn’t clear on why. So I had to set that aside and tend to my shit since that hurricane obviously did a ton of damage and a news site down there later claimed my hometown was “leveled” (which turned out to be a lie, and those sacks of shit at the Jackson Channel deserve to be slapped for scaring the hell out of people to gain ratings!). Loaded down my truck with bottles of water and potentially useful supplies and headed down to check on my grandparents via smaller highways (to avoid the clusterfuck scene on the interstates). Stayed down there for 9 days, and thankfully my people and their property were all fine.
Hella-bad news that hurricane was though. Can’t ever forget the dread that filled me those days wondering if my grandparents were okay. Their phone lines being down, my only choice was either to sit there and wait for who knows how long or abandon my studies and drive down. “Leveled.” Those Jackson Channel motherfuckers like to gave me a heart attack with that headline. Worst two days of my life right there, scared stupid for my grandparents.
Another guy (otherwise completely unrelated to the former friend story I will get back to in a minute) who’s since turned into a very close friend drove a couple hours to see me when he heard the news (and after I managed to slam my finger in the truck door, which didn’t help calm my nerves), and thank god for him! I was totally cracking up and needed some help for a minute there. The neighbor guyfriends didn’t understand. These are my grandparents. Life just doesn’t make sense to me without them in it. Ya know? Scared the bejeezus out of me. So this good and decent man got me chilled for the night and aided me in tying down my supplies with a tarp so I could leave out the next day. That’s a real friend right there.
This being Thanksgiving Day now officially, let me pause to say the man who helped me that day during Katrina, though he doesn’t read this blog since we talk everyday on the phone anyway and it makes his computer act glitchy (in ways I don’t know how to remedy), HE turned out to be a TRUE friend. And I’m thankful of him ever since the day I woke up to the realization of how lucky and stupid I am. He’s a trustworthy person with his heart in the right place, and I’m glad he’s my buddy and am sorry for the period back when I didn’t appreciate him enough (took me a few years — trusting people was and still is tough for me, and obviously my judgment hasn’t always been the best). Had to mention that since I hate to have to rag on a bullshitter without first stating who I am grateful for on this day. He’s turned into someone being right up there with my grandparents in my heart. Gonna go over and have a plate of ham and corn casserole with him and his mom and his sister today if I can find the time (busy workday), otherwise he’ll fix me a plate to go.
[And I should so seriously be in bed right now. Will write a bit, to the universe (per my custom), until I can get a bit drowsy. Hopefully won’t take too long since this is a ramblefest already and I seriously do have a busy day.]
The other guy, the former friend, the one who was sentenced to jail the day Katrina made landfall — that guy has been out of my life since mid-2007. He’s tried calling (didn’t answer him), texting, emailing, and even going through my business contact form to try to get me to talk to him. We had a weird chat talk way back around when I split where he just weirded me out further, so the vast majority of his attempts at communication after that I haven’t responded to. Told him I was done being his friend and explained why and left it at that. Yet he’s kept at trying to get me to talk to him over the entire last 7 years. And you want to know what he likes to email or text me to ask? If I would have sex with him or direct him toward an escort who would. Yeah. THAT is his major concern in respect to me. Then he told me his dog died, which is actually sad since she was cool. And then he kept at it until I had to tell him once again a few months back to give it up and cease contacting me. Hopefully that’ll be the end of it.
Seven years where we haven’t spoken on the phone. Where I don’t reply to the vast majority of his messages, and when I do it’s a quick word or sentence, typically dismissive. I stated in no uncertain terms that I am done with him and refuse his friendship. Wasn’t really worth it back when I did value it.
He and I met in 2003 when I scouted him on Yahoo Personals, just starting out as an escort with not much of a clue yet. He hadn’t been seeking or wanting an escort, but I pushed his buttons, so he wound up paying me over a year or more, somewhat begrudgingly. He was and still is (which I know since his photo is up on the sex offender registry list and renewed periodically) a very obese man, but he could be really funny and playful. The way we knew each other and how he hadn’t been searching for that sort of arrangement noticeably made him treat me as a bit inferior to himself, like he suspected I was cunningly taking advantage of him and obviously wasn’t his equal socioeconomically — he, the man who was paying a mortgage on a nice house, driving nice automobiles, working in some techie position with a bunch of colleagues he got along well with. I was 21 and he was nearing or past 30 probably around then. He considered himself Mr. Responsible, Mr. Has-It-Together.
Then there came the fateful day when he decided to cut me off monetarily so that he could afford a huge flatscreen tv. LOL And I stayed largely-platonic (which means we very rarely had sex) friends with him still on up until 2007. He was funny and could be fun to be around. Wasn’t sexually interested in him without the pot being sweetened, but we were able to be cool with each other beyond that. And so it went for a spell. He was pining for some gal in his office for the longest time there, she being older than him and in her late 30s. So I always figured he was into older women, from the attractions he mentioned to me. Like, my youth didn’t even seem like a huge to deal to him, that being one way to explain it too. So you can imagine my shock when in October 2005 he’s released after 2 months in the county jail (during which time he had no contact with me, so I had to rely on news reports to know what had happened) and can finally start telling me what’s going on, learning it involved him trying to meet up with a 14-year-old for sex. Didn’t compute at first.
In the months leading up to his sentencing (when I was still completely in the dark), we had become closer friends and were talking more frequently. So when the story started coming out, I felt an obligation to judge him reasonably, and I wanted to believe his claims of innocence. His arrest was mentioned in the local newspaper, and I looked up info on it online. And I’d ask him to tell me what was going on, to walk me through it, but initially he just wanted to shut up about it, stating simply that he was innocent and fighting it with his lawyer. I know how cops can behave in stings and how innocent people sometimes get falsely accused. The Law is what it is in this country — skepticism is required (me also studying Criminal Justice during that time, working on a double-major before dropping it to my minor). So I kept asking questions and prodding and listening to his answers and comparing that against what I was able to learn about the case elsewhere.
Color-me-retarded for sticking around, mostly as a phone pal, through 2006. Then I went through some drama in my own life in early 2007 that spit me out looking at things differently. Completely. Literally. He picked me up from the airport, and about two days later I flat-out told him I was done with him and our friendship and wish to cease all communication. Part of that decision had little to do with him becoming a registered sex offender but rather I figured out he didn’t even really know who I was (and all that I knew about him had just been thrown into question obviously) and we certainly weren’t compatible anymore. Gave me some bad advice during a very rocky time that I stupidly followed, and though he wasn’t the only one, all of the three who said the same thing turned out to be people I needed to leave alone and did (having learned of the wretchedness and gotten rid of the last one in Jan. 2009 — that one being a priest who concealed from me for years that he was indeed a priest, even after being directly asked, KNOWING I had a clearly-stated anti-clergy policy posted on my escort website — still went ahead with seeking out my services as a client and then befriending me, waiting nearly 4 years before coming out with it — another story for another time). This guy was not only seeking to have sex with young minors, troubling as that certainly was; he was also a shitty friend who couldn’t take the other’s perspective in any real way, which finally dawned on me concretely. Had time to reflect on all the bad advice and passive-aggressive comments and rude condescension and realized where I stood and told him after I stepped off that plane.
Fuck him. His professed version of events were transparent bullshit too. Claimed he didn’t know the girl was 14 and that the decoy had actually typed in “114,” which he claims to have found to be a funny joke, despite her also stating she lived with her parents and had to sneak out her window to meet him. The entire transcript wasn’t released, but excerpts were made available. So he claimed that the cops altered the Yahoo chat session transcript and essentially framed him, and he claimed another guy who was arrested in the sting was unfairly trapped the same way. Uh huh. Then he tried blaming the Paxil he was prescribed, saying it made him crazy. You mean the Paxil he’d been taking nearly the entire time I knew him? Hmm. And I’m not defending Paxil here, but damn. He claimed he was feeling SO depressed and SO suicidal that night that he went on a chat forum and began talking to a young girl who seemed depressed too and who he felt a connection with, who he then drove to see and got promptly arrested. Tried claiming it was just a friendly attempt to share compassion and help one another cope. Yeah. Right. Too bad the papers didn’t release excerpts detailing whatever sexual discussion he and the minor did have online.
Basically he blamed everything and everyone but himself. Then his lawyer supposedly “flaked out” on working with him on his appeal, so he got another lawyer and that didn’t pan out either. Throughout this process he lost the new computer repair company franchise he’d recently invested in, lost the friends he had from his old job, had to sell his house and move to another state and in with his parents out in the boonies (since he can’t live near schools). And during that transition I was still being his friend, waiting for more information to come to light. I happened to move shortly after that for business and other personal reasons and wasn’t terribly far away from where he’d relocated. Since then, he mentioned something about his parents living elsewhere, so I’m not sure if they moved now too or what. He’s gotten his own place and works in some techie job again a few towns over, known to me since he sure likes to keep sending email updates from time to time (though this last time he said he’d go away and stay away — one can hope).
The former escort in me gets pissed, like what the fuck, dude? If he wanted sex, I’d have given him a discount as a former “client”-of-sorts (though he certainly could afford the full rate — the man wasn’t hurting for money). I was still working as an escort back then and throughout the entire time we knew one another. And through me, he knew about all the rest and which sites to go to. He had an option of grown women, and he clearly knew it. Plus, he let some female friend stay at his place who I believe he was occasionally intimate with. And he and I talked on the phone very regularly back then and I did visit regularly. He always put on a smiley face, though he knew he could tell me anything. But no. He went and tried to find a young teenager, something he knew damn-well I have serious hang-ups about due to my own experiences at that age, then tried hiding it from me. He knew damn-well the harm grown men can do to youths who aren’t ready for all that. Knew damn-well and tried to do it anyway. And he acknowledged this, even after I told him to fly a kite, in that one yahoo IM session I permitted after telling him to kick rocks. He blatantly acknowledged that and how it factored into his considerations at the time. 14. Twenty years younger than him. And he decided to go for it because he felt depressed, like having sex with a minor is some sort of cure for that.
Obviously, I can’t respect him. He fucked up, then he lied and made 3,000 excuses for it. He clung to me during that time because everybody else, including his siblings, distanced themselves from him. Because I felt some pity for him.
I don’t regret sticking around to learn the details since my curiosity desired it that way. But I’m glad he’s gone. Still think about him regularly enough though, but mostly as a warning to myself going forward. Grateful to not be as naive as I once was, but we tend to learn a lot of things the hard way. If you ask me, he got off pretty light with 2 months in jail, 3 years of probation and registration on the sex offender list. And where were those suicidal tendencies after he got arrested and sentenced and lost everything? Vanished?
And when he wants to reach out to me, asking me to reply to him, to interact with him, he has the gall to ask me now to please have sex with him? Or to give him the name of somebody who might? LOL Seriously, he can go fuck himself. He can get himself laid all on his own at this point. Gotta be fucking joking, though I know he wasn’t. That’s just totally bizarre.
I’ve certainly met some colorful characters over the years. And just think, because I was the prostitute, he used to act like I was the bad news one of the duo. Ha! Seriously. I’m happy when I don’t hear from him, so hopefully he’ll permanently and finally leave me be. Already tried to be his friend and look where that’s landed us. There’s nothing left and there’s been nothing for at least 7 years. He’s still only thinking of himself and his own needs, and that be all.
Do I ever miss him? Sometimes. I mistook him for my friend for a few years there. It was very disappointing to learn of all this and to have to come to the decision that I can’t have him in my life anymore. And if he hadn’t been trying to reach out to me nearly every 6 months since, I might be further past this by now. Maybe it’s sprung to mind because it’s been about six months since his last attempt at contact.
Ya’ll want to talk about fucking creepy … try that on for size.