Michael J. Salamon
Michael J. Salamon

Is Judge Moore an Abuser?

Dear Judge Moore,

I think you should avoid public life now. Some of your colleagues have suggested that you step aside. You would do well to heed them. I am not suggesting that you are guilty. I will leave that up to the members of your political party, your legal colleagues, and your religious community. However, there are certain things about your behaviors that I would like to highlight.

Do not bother suing the Washington Post. It will only cost a lot of wasted money. It is not in your best interest. If you go after the media, they will dig up even more dirt on you.

Pretending not to recall the names of malls and restaurants in your community where you hung out and sought out teenaged victims is also not advisable. You see, there are patterns that predators follow and you seem to fit some of them.

Abusers often have a script that they choose to perform from. They groom victims, select people they are familiar with either personally or by virtue of their lifestyle and personality and try to establish a good name for themselves in the community — it acts as a buffer against accusations. It’s almost like lying or massaging the truth as certain politicians are highly adapt at. But, you’re right, patterns are not so simple and many predators manage to get away with their heinous acts because of their overpowering images, rhetoric and bluster. In fact, when asked why they abused many sexual abusers simply say, “Because I could.”

Yes, predators can be great liars but because people known to their victims do most of the abuse, they can, at times, groom entire communities without too much effort. They are also good at creating a narrative of us versus them. It goes something like this: “The people that are accusing me are liars who want to destroy our way of life.” Abusers exist in every community and religion. Sound familiar Judge?

Another pattern is that abusers often have multiple victims who do not come forward about their abuse for many years.

We have a special division in our practice that deals with sex offenders and I personally treat survivors of abuse. We have seen many cases over the last 30 years of offenders abusing multiple victims and those victims not reporting their abuse, often for decades. They have reasons for doing so, most common that they were afraid of repercussions or shame.

We have one prominent case where a camp counselor is known to have abused at least 36 boys between the ages of 11 and 13 over the course of 14 years while at camp. None of the victims came forward until they were well into their late 20’s. The abuse was all confirmed. The abuser died before he was prosecuted.

We have another case where a man, a teacher, managed to teach in parochial schools in six states and, by his own admission, sexually abused at least 16 teenagers. He was dismissed from each of the schools he taught in when rumors started to circulate about him. But, he was never prosecuted. His victims did not come forward for over 20 years.

Some abusers flee to other countries where they continue to abuse. I doubt that you would do that but who knows?!?!

Many abusers know how to bolt at just the right time, how to play insular communities or are adept at grooming large groups of people or simply call it “fake news.” Those individuals continue to abuse! Maybe you stopped your alleged abusing when you were in your 30’s but the harm you caused is retained in the bodies and minds of those teenage girls. So, it is far from fake and still very real for them.

Simply put there is no single profile that fits an abuser. However, there are some general patterns as you must surely see.

You need to understand that you sound wrong for an innocent. You protest just as an abuser protests. You accuse others just as a predator accuses others. You create false facts and fabrications that only serve in my mind to further validate the accusations against you. If you are not guilty than you have no reason to fight so fiercely. The facts will bear you out.

If you are guilty and want to make this right, you should get into therapy and apologize to the victims. Show some remorse. Be contrite and help victims heal.

About the Author
Dr. Michael Salamon ,a fellow of the American Psychological Association, is an APA Presidential Citation Awardee for his 'transformative work in raising awareness of the prevention and treatment of childhood sexual abuse". He is the founder and director of ADC Psychological Services in New York and the author of numerous articles, several psychological tests and books including "The Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures" (Urim Publications) and "Every Pot Has a Cover" (University Press of America). His newest book is called "Abuse in the Jewish Community: Religious and Communal Factors that Undermine the Apprehension of Offenders and the Treatment of Victims."