North Miami, Don’t Look The Other Way

 

— “Criminals thrive on the indulgence of Society’s understanding.” 

 

It’s easy to assume that Child Molesters are monsters in all facets of life. Their crimes are so evil, it only makes sense that they’d live in a secluded trailer and dance around with chubby-girl skin on their heads. In reality, they’re often creeps in sheep’s clothing.

The shock pouring out of Penn State isn’t just due to the torrid details surrounding Coach Jerry Sandusky, but because a highly regarded public figure was able to succeed as a predator for many years. How could someone do so much good, but also do so much harm?

Jerry Sandusky had help. Maybe not explicit assistance, but too many people at Penn State and Second Mile (a charity for at-risk kids) knew something was off and looked the other way.

The Grand Jury Report lists 8 victims, but at least 10 more have spoken out since the story went national. How many of those boys could have been saved if someone took real action? The victims were failed morally and legally when everyone allowed Sandusky to stay around children.

Sandusky was well known for putting his hands on boys’ legs while driving. That was just Jerry being Jerry. Everybody knew Sandusky was touchy-feely and liked to wrestle, but that was just Jerry being Jerry. Coach would insist on showering with some of the boys after activities.

Just Jerry being Jerry.

Predators put themselves in a position to "succeed"

Knowing all this, they still let Sandusky continue with Second Mile, and in doing so they provided him a breeding ground for his sexual prey. How could anyone let those kids be subjected to someone who could pose even a remote danger? Don’t potential (and actual) victims deserve more protection than a potential abuser?

The people we entrust with the education, guidance and safety of our children, should be held to a higher standard.

Even if a scintilla of reasonable evidence points to illicit behavior with children, they have to be removed from their position.

Safety of the children should trump all other concerns.

I shutter to think this happens all around the country. Even worse, I’m confident it’s going on near me in North Miami, Florida.

In 2008, my friend’s 26 year old brother committed suicide. In his suicide letter he admitted to being molested at age 12 by his 28 year old baby-sitter and friend.

The man named in the letter is Scott Galvin, now a 4th term North Miami Councilman.

Scott Galvin is also Vice President of Junior Achievement of Miami, an organization that mentors Middle School and high school students for the business world and puts them on a path to find their own financial success.

Galvin denies knowing the victim as a boy. He explained his name in the letter as revenge of a scorned lover from an adult relationship. Galvin’s supporters accepted this explanation and decried the accusations as baseless attacks from hateful homophobes or organized by political opponents.

The case against Galvin was dropped for lack of evidence, but this last summer six more young men came forward to police. Their statements supported the young man’s story of molestation. They each recalled hearing the young man say Galvin molested him. They all regretted uncomfortably laughing it off.

The new witnesses further described Galvin as a camp counselor who picked up prepubescent boys, drove them around, got them drunk and high, and took them back to his house to party.

This was a 28/29 year old man partying with 12/13 year old boys.

Just Galvin being Galvin.

[For a recap of the horrid, shocking story, read Is Councilman Scott Galvin a Child Molester? and More Witnesses Come Out Against Scott Galvin]

This was enough to convince North Miami Police to reopen the investigation. The testimony from the six witnesses, along with the fact that Detectives felt Galvin “may not have been truthful”, gave some hope that legal action was right around the corner.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough hard evidence (the victim is no longer alive to testify), and the other incidents (providing drugs/alchohol to minors) took place too long ago to prosecute. The legal case against Scott Galvin was closed.

That might be ok for the Courts, but should that satisfy parents? Should that satisfy Junior Achievement?

Scott Galvin and your kids

The six brave young men who spoke out against Galvin aren’t political opponents. They’re real people who were shocked to hear Galvin lie and deny knowing the victim as a boy. They saw Galvin in action. They used to hang out with him when they were boys. He claims he doesn’t remember those days, but the boys did; life has a way of making us remember the shady ones.

Does the fact that no more victims have accused the 4th term Councilman make everything ok now? Why is it acceptable for someone accused of molesting a child to have a job around young adults?

Galvin’s supporters refuse to believe he’d hurt a young boy. After all, he does so much good for North Miami. If Sandusky proves anything, it’s that anyone, even those in the spotlight for doing good and helping people, can have a secret life behind closed doors.

Its also showed us that the most dangerous predators are the ones who put themselves in a position to “help” children. When the kids trust you, and when they know everyone else trusts you, they keep their mouths shut.

When people dismiss the obvious skeletons, other victims are too embarrassed to c0me forward because they believe their claims will be dismissed as well.

No one wants to believe the worst, but the worst happens. It’s the refusal to believe that lets this happen.

I understand why people are uncomfortable arresting alleged offenders when the hard evidence is lacking, but that person definitely should NOT be working with children. That person should also not be a City Councilman.

One comment I hear often is: “What if he’s innocent?”

I hope he is innocent! Innocence is a best-case scenario; someone loses a job, but no kids were harmed. It’s the worst-case scenario I worry about.

It’s easier for someone to get a new job than it is for a rape victim to get a new life.

Knowing the details that you know, would you let Scott Galvin babysit your children or grandchildren?

If your answer is “no”, why would you let other kids be in his care?

People need to speak out. Parents need to demand that Junior Achievement take proactive measures to protect students from possible harm. Citizens need to demand the City of North Miami take action.

In Happy Valley, a man who everyone knew was improper with children was allowed to stay around children. Looking the other way led to the harm of many more young men.

In North Miami, a man named in a suicide letter as a child rapist, a man who by multiple accounts would regularly party with and intoxicate pre-teen boys, still has a job working directly with teenagers.

How much longer will everyone look the other way?

People to contact:

 

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4 Comments

  1. I don’t know if he is guilty or not, but you say “It’s easier for someone to find a new job…” Really? Do you think it’s “easy” to find a job when you’ve been falsely accused of such a horrible crime? No matter what happens, he’ll be known as a possible suspect. Just bringing it up makes him guilty in many people’s minds. Where there’s smoke there’s fire is what people think. The authorities decided there was not enough to prosecute. To you and many who read this he will ALWAYS be a pedophile no matter what evidence there is or is not there.

    • Carlos, just because “the authorities decided there was not enough to prosecute” we should leave this alone? That’s exactly what the authorities decided in the Sandusky case and look how many more innocent lives were ruined. The potential risk to society is too great — like Ryno says, would you let this man babysit your children or grandchildren? The authorities don’t always get it right on the first try…

  2. As an outsider looking in, the main thing that hits me is this. If I am going to kill myself, am I going to lie about things in my goodbye letter? That is the one piece of this story that I think is getting overlooked. I am not saying Galvin is innocent or guilty because I have not looked at the details of the case very hard. But I just can’t see it in my mind where this young man, who is fed up with life to the point where he no longer wants to live, would write these allegations to friends and family, merely for political purposes or payback for a potential adult relationship. I just can’t see that.

    • While I obviously feel the other facts pointing to illicit behavior with children are strong as well, the suicide letter is what initially sealed the deal for me. It’s my opinion that people don’t use their final words to spread lies; instead they unload the truth, no matter how painful.

      The fact that people are looking past the suicide letter and pretending it was a lie is beyond me. But that’s why we have to be annoying jerks about it. You can’t look the other way in light of such information