Print 42 comment(s) - last by TomZ.. on Feb 26 at 9:03 PM

Fly me to the moon, let me play...

Life must be lonely at NASA. Travis Johnson, a 23-year old researcher at NASA, was busted for soliciting sex from a cop posing as a 13-year old over the Internet. Police officers arrested him on NASA's property and seized computers and peripherals from his home. NASA officials are also going to probe their computers to see if they can find any evidence to help police with the investigation.

McGuire said that Johnson, a graduate of the University of Arizona, was doing post-graduate research at NASA on the effects of zero gravity on the muscles of astronauts. Johnson has a research grant through UH, and used the UH Internet for his e-mail, McGuire said.

What's interesting to note (from anyone that has caught NBC's recent specials on Internet predators) is that Johnson used the most often quoted line from the "Child Predator's Handbook:"

He said this was the first time he had ever talked to somebody who was 13, and look where it got him.

I'm sure that Johnson will meet a few new unwanted "research partners" in jail.

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RE: No Sympathy
By bersl2 on 2/24/2006 3:34:23 PM , Rating: 4
I'm sorry if I offended you or anyone else. I'm simply trying to make a point that all of the "monsters" in the world are people too; they can't all be "evil". I also did not mean to imply impossibility of self-control, genetic predisposition, or the like; I simply wished to say that controlling something as powerful as one's sex drive is one of the hardest things one can do. Furthermore, I hope that no one stoops to the level of inferring from my previous statements that I somehow approve of the practice.

I do, however, disagree with your statement that there is somehow a recent epidemic of pedophilia; it's always been there throughout human history, but due to our ability to (mis)communicate, you are simply hearing about more instances. Also, demonizing it will not make it go away.

RE: No Sympathy
By TomZ on 2/24/2006 4:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
What is different now is that the Internet provides a new, very easy, seemingly anonymous way for pedophiles to lure victims. In the past, they had to go out and find children. Now they just jump on the Internet.

I'm glad that law enforcement is taking this seriously.

RE: No Sympathy
By Calidore on 2/24/2006 9:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think the conflict in this thread is coming from a distinction not being made: pedophiles (those sexually attracted to children) vs. predatory pedophiles (those who act on it). Even Andrew Vachss makes this distinction.

I believe you're right that pedophiles can't help how they feel. We all have hard-wired attractions--zaftig woman with pretty smiles in my case (Kate Winslet! Yowza!)--that we have zero control over: Same sex, opposite sex, tall, short, thin, heavy, bald, hairy, etc. And just as the vast majority of people have a moral sense and would never consider sexually assaulting their preferred type, so I'd bet that the vast majority of pedophiles know these feelings are wrong and would never act on them.

The problem is the predators, those who are willing to victimize those who can't protect themselves--adults and children.

Happily, though the internet has offered more ways for predators to find victims, it's also become easier to trap the predators. I wish these big stings could be ongoing 24/7 things instead of annual ratings-grabber specials.

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