To the editor:

I am outraged by the letters sent in by Terrilyn Taylor. As the mother of a sexually abused child, I cannot, in good conscience, let the latest letter showing pure ignorance of this situation pass without comment.

Yes, I gave birth to my child and was very protective, making the financial sacrifice to stay at home to raise her until she started school. The occasion was rare that I ever left her with someone else and when I did it was with a family member. By the time she was 8 years old, she did not have a father figure at home. We, as a family, started spending time with another family of a coworker. As the years went by, my trust in this coworker grew to the point where I finally let him and his family keep my child overnight on occasion. She was 12 years old. I did not find out for two and a half years what was going on. That trusted individual, who is now a convicted pedophile, did unspeakable things to my daughter using the trust I had in him and his family situation to keep her from telling. She believed that he “loved” her and no one would understand. It would tear up his family, he would lose his job, etc. You, Ms. Taylor, must have no conscience at all to say that the children are not “blameless.” My daughter was 12 years old. She was and is a very “nice-looking girl,” but whether or not she “made a move” on him is not relevant. She had no idea how perverted this individual was. He was very crafty. He not only physically abused her and taught her to lie, he totally warped her sense of values. These have had to be re-taught through extensive counseling.

It is not just a matter of a child telling an adult what is going on. Yes, we teach them to do this, but then someone comes along and mentally stalks this child making them believe that what they are doing is OK.

I take your latest letter very personally. I think you show your ignorance of a situation like this by the pure stupidity of some of the comments in the letter. Because of the position of trust Mr. Ariaz held, I think that what he has been accused of doing is reprehensible. Because of what has happened to my family I have little trust in anyone, but the people in this or any community should be able to trust certain people with their children.

As far as Mr. Ariaz’s family, they are just as much a victim as the children. They should not be blamed for his actions and my heart goes out to them just as it does to the family of the man in prison now paying for his actions.

I will stand up and fight for my child now as always. And I will respond to any injustice done to our children, whether by action, Mr. Ariaz, or words, Ms. Taylor. This community needs to let our children know that there are individuals who will stand up for them and help them in any way possible, not blame them for an injustice that was done to them by a supposed “trusted” adult.

Ann Simpson

Blanket