World's worst human and perhaps the dumbest guy around, Jared Fogle, has turned in to a pretty sad punchline. It wasn't bad enough that he was hocking his disgusting, processed food to the masses. He's also a child molester.
In all seriousness, it's obvious that what he was doing is awful. His wife made a smart move and immediately filed for divorce. That indicates to me that she had no idea that any of this was happening and lets hope that is true.
You'd think that if you discovered your spouse was sexually abusing a kid it would be easy to just go to the police, tell them what is happening and go on from there. But as I learned from a caller to my office recently, it's not that easy.
She has a live in boyfriend and was looking at photos on his phone when she saw a video of him being naked with young girls. The girls were her daughters from a previous relationship. She was stunned as it seemed way out of his character and while you'd think the first instinct would be to call the cops, it takes a while for the brain to process what is going on. This is someone she trusted, loved and was also financially dependent on. She lived in his house with her kids and it was their first stable home as a family. It was her expectation that she would marry this man.
She did do the right thing and take her kids to her mother's house. It was there that she was able to get a handle on what was really going on. She wanted to go to the police, but was worried that if she did, her daughter would have to testify in a court case and thought that would traumatize her even further. She was also worried that DCFS would take her kids away for not protecting them.
With respect to testifying, while nobody can guarantee that won't have to happen, the reality is that when you get these images off of someone's phone, it usually does not lead to a trial. It's not surprising that scumbag Jared took a plea deal. It was smart for him and probably best for his victims. So the first thing I told this woman to do was go to the police. The goal is to get his phone and have him arrested. Chances of anyone having to testify are very limited.
The second thing I told her to do is to get an order of protection on behalf of herself and her kids. It would probably be moot when he gets arrested, but it's a nice safety step.
As far as DCFS goes, they are an awful organization which doesn't always protect children. It wouldn't be unheard of for them to blame her for this monster hurting her kid. But by going to the police, moving out and seeking an order of protection, you certainly show that you are trying to do everything right. If you wait too long and it happens again, that's usually when you get in trouble.
I realize that a lot of this sounds like common sense, but you can't discount how shocking to the system it is to find out your loved one isn't who you thought they were. It's not a far stretch from battered women who ask that domestic violence charges be dropped because they rationalize that their guy did something which was just out of character for that day.
Final piece of seemingly obvious advice is to get counseling for everyone. Cook County actually has some good services for victims in these situations. Don't get the Duggar family type of counseling where they send you off to a labor camp and tell you to just pray. Actually get with a licensed medical professional. Much like taking care of a broken bone, the sooner you treat this issue, the better you will be in the long run.
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