Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'There's No Cure for Sex Offenders' Expert Speaks in Wake of Pedophile's Release

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'There's No Cure for Sex Offenders' Expert Speaks in Wake of Pedophile's Release

Article excerpt

Sexual offenders, particularly pedophiles like Ruffner Bright, can never be rehabilitated, only controlled, a local expert on deviate sexual behavior said Thursday.

"There's no cure for any sex offender. That's a given," said Marie Clark, director of the Behavioral Science Institute in Clayton.

"You can control the sex offender's behavior through therapy, but you can't cure them." Clark was asked her views on sex offenders such as Bright after the Post-Dispatch disclosed Thursday that Bright has been free since Feb. 25, when a sodomy charge involving a 5-year-old boy was dropped. Bright, 70, had been an inmate at the City Workhouse, awaiting trial on the charge since January 1996. The charge was dropped when the circuit attorney's office had communication problems with the victim, a 5-year-old boy who is Vietnamese. The child was unable to provide specific details of the alleged fondling, and the case boiled down to his word against Bright's. Several attempts to reach Bright for comment were unsuccessful. Bright has a criminal record in several states dating back to 1945. The record includes several convictions of sex crimes against children and various stays in mental hospitals. Judges have formally labeled Bight a criminal sexual psychopath, and state psychiatrists have diagnosed him as a pedophile with an antisocial personality disorder. In St. Louis, Bright has on separate occasions talked his way into two grade schools as a volunteer. In the case of the 5-year-old, Bright pers uaded the boy's immigrant parents to give him power of attorney over the child. Clark, a therapist for 15 years, said pedophiles' behavior can be controlled only through several years of treatment. "The average sex offender takes two to three years of treatment, but the pedophile takes many years," she said. "They need intensive counseling and often various medications. Pedophiles start early, as teen-agers, in their behavior, and that attraction to children becomes ingrained in their personality. Medication sometimes doesn't even deter their behavior. "In some places, such as Texas, castration is used to deal with a pedophile. …

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