What would you do if one day you found out an older male wrestling coach was attempting to coerce your young son into a sexual relationship? A very good friend of mine faced this dilemma a few years ago after her son was targeted and decided to take action. Little did she know how difficult it would be to expose this pedophile preying upon juvenile wrestlers in East Cobb.
After years of tireless effort, she finally got charges brought against the habitual abuser in Pennsylvania. Ron Gorman, a volunteer wrestling coach most recently at Life University in Marietta faces over 250 counts relating to his sexual advances toward young wrestlers under his tutelage. Here is a story from the Marietta Daily Journal that provides details – CLICK HERE.
According to my friend who has requested anonymity, Gorman followed the classic pedophile technique of ‘grooming‘ his targets by contacting them via phone, text and social media. In the linked article, Dr. Phil explains the 5 stages of ‘grooming’ – 1> Identify 2> Gather info 3> Fill a need 4> Lower inhibitions 5> Initiate abuse.
There is a federal law against ‘grooming’ – CLICK HERE – and also this code section in GEORGIA relating to sexual abuse of juveniles. Unfortunately the Georgia law does not explicitly discuss ‘grooming’ by name so in the case my friend encountered, the law did not apply. She was told since no naked pictures were sent and no straight up request for sex offered, there was nothing authorities could do. Seems like we might want to work on amending the code section to cover ‘grooming’ specifically since it is the standard practice of pedophiles everywhere when they decide to seek out their next victim.
We as a society need to make it easier for victims of sexual abuse to seek justice, especially easily influenced, high risk juveniles. How many victims are out there afraid to come forward due to peer pressure or the perceived embarrassment of announcing what happened to them? Then to come out and try to expose the predator only to find the law as written does not apply until an act of perversion occurs that will punish the victim mentally and physically far worse than any punishment we can apply against the perpetrator. After reading the Criminal Complaint filed in this case, it is hard to imagine how a child recovers from such mistreatment.