Found out daughter is a sexual predator--help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by kwioake, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. kwioake

    kwioake New Member

    I am new to this forum but very desperate for help...Ten days ago, we found out that our daughter who is 15 years old has been sexually molesting our next door neighbor who is 8. In the process of finding this out, we found out that there are at least two other younger girls, and about four peers (that she has admitted to) that she has done this with over the years. We reported to child protective services as did a therapist. We got her into a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but they don't think insurance will cover for more than four to eight weeks. At this point, she has molested the neighbor girls on either side and across the street. We adopted her eight years ago internationally. We have no specific information about the first seven years of her life but every professional that has worked with us has strongly suspected significant trauma. She has almost no memories. She is not violent or aggressive (which is part of the reason that insurance probably will not cover much) towards people, only destructive of property. As far as we know the police have not been called. Our next door neighbors were good friends. They now have their house on the market. They don't want to press charges. We don't know what to do. We don't have the money to pay out of pocket for treatment.

    We understand that if she lives at home, we'd have to monitor her 24/7. She lies a great deal so we don't know what is true but have confirmation of two of these incidents. She was definitely the one who initiated. She doesn't have any remorse. Her perspective is the activities were "games." She knew that she wasn't allowed to play these "games" but doesn't see the harm.

    Any advice where to start looking for resources? What to do?
  2. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    I am so sorry you are going throught this. I have no experience with this type of situation, so I can only offer some thoughts based on my experience. Does your state have an infoline? Like "211" in my state - you can call to inquire about any social services programs. If not, call your local police. Tell them you have a serious behavior issue with your daughter and where call you call to identify appropriate services. Good luck and god bless.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, some might see it as non-violent or aggressive and I do know what you mean by that, but others will surely see sexual molestation as aggressive. In any case, you have already taken the best first steps by reportingit to cps and getting her out of the environment, at least short term. The ins co is looking for a way out of paying more. But other 'help' should be available thru cps. It's hard to tell what she endured before she was adopted and what kind of mental illness she now has as a result. Still, you have to protect any young child from her. Do you have other children in your home? I think your best bet is to stay on top of things with cps. I personally have no experience with this type of problem (but trust me, I've had my share with my son in other areas) but other members here have and can offer more detailed advice. There might be something available for more help simply because she was adopted, I'm not sure.

    You have done the best you can to not be in denial and take appropriate action, and to seek out help from this board. There is a lot of experience and emotional support for you here. Welcome! I'm sorry you had to find us under these circumstances.
  4. kwioake

    kwioake New Member

    Well, CPS is actually not going to do anything since it didn't happen within our home. Our 13 year old son is physically bigger than my daughter and I don't think he is in any danger. My daughter has always played with younger children because she is developmentally very far behind. She didn't have any kind of formal education until she was adopted. In many ways, she is able to be very superficially charming and can be compliant outside of the home. The therapist at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (fortunately, we had done the initial paperwork this summer based on other behaviors so it took less than a week to get her admitted) suggested contacted a CRCG representative??? We did this today and she is on the docket for their meeting next month. My understanding is that this is an interagency group to help support people in our situation. Our two biggest fears (not sure in which order) is either not getting any support or her being sent away to a place that creates more problems/that we wouldn't have a choice about where she was sent.

    CPS has known about this for over a week at this point and no one has contacted us from law enforcement. We had thought this would happen but it hasn't...

    We feel so torn...she already has so much abandonment issues and don't want to "ship her off," yet we don't know that we physically or emotionally have the resources/strength/energy to make this work at home. I am a junior high school teacher and my husband works full time. so torn...
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    How old was she when you adopted her? Do you know anything at all about her bio-parents or the situation she was in prior to being adopted? Has she been found developmentally delayed by neuropshychological testing?

    Let me PM a member here who might have more answers and see if she is available to respond and help you more than I can.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hello and welcome. I am so sorry for you, for the kids who were abused and for your daughter who surely was hurt terribly before you adopted her. I too am an adoptive mom to a child with many behaviors. He has hurt other kids when playing too rough, but not sexually (yet, you never know I guess). It is very hard to parent hurt kids, espeically when you feel you need to protect yourself and others from them.

    I agree to keep working the cps angle. She clearly needs long term intensive treatment, and at 15 it could be that she needs permanent living placement with supervision and protection. I am not sure i is a good thing your neighbors are not pressing charges. I wonder if they did if she would then be on record, she could be a life long offender. Others here have better insight on that, so I admit I do not know the pros and cons of all of that. I feel for you to have to fight insurance.

    One thing we have in our state is a post adoption program for children adopted from any situation, not just foster care. They connect and support crisis placement, therapy etc.... Is there anything in your state. Or through your adoption agency?

    Did she have any diagnosis prior to this?

    Glad you found this board, there are many really caring people here and you will see that you are not alone.
  7. zaftigmama

    zaftigmama New Member

    Gosh, I'm so sorry...if I were you, I'd consult with a criminal lawyer (most will consult for free) and find a way to get her court-ordered into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). That way, you don't have to worry about insurance or paying for it yourself. This is in the public interest. If nobody's pressing charges, that might be hard, but talking to a lawyer will give you some answers.
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi kwioake--I'm glad that you found us. First off I'd like to say that my heart goes out to you. It's heartbreaking to learn that a child has been involved in such behaviors. :grouphug:

    I agree with the others about staying on top of things with child protective services. Be assertive in asking what resources are available locally, and if you have other children in the home what needs to be done to protect them. Outside of insurance-paid Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s we've had parents who were in your shoes resort to various other options. Some of those that I can think of include:
    1) one parent moving into an apartment to keep the offender away from siblings
    2) placing the child in a therapeutic foster home
    3) therapeutic day treatment, which is less expensive than residential
    4) court-ordered treatment
    5) taking out loans or second mortgages on homes to pay for longer treatment programs
    6) surrendering guardianship to the state, which means giving up all family ties and legal responsibility (this should only be done with consultation with an attorney in the state of residence so it's done in accordance with the law).

    Other members will likely have other possible ideas for you.

    None of these are easy on families, but you are in a very hard place already.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Without the personal experience in this type of problem but having dealt with the courts over my son on other types of stuff, I'd strongly suggest using the local mental health dept instead of the court system if possible. The court system is punitive and therefore, yes, it will be on record. The help the court system orders is typically not nearly enough to really rehabilitate anyone. It';s all based on the concept that rewards and consequences can and should change any behavior and if it doesn't work, sanctions are invoked. Some things just can't be punished out of a person. That's just my experience with juvie courts in this state though.
  10. kwioake

    kwioake New Member

    Thank you all for the support. I feel like I am in a bad dream and am waiting to wake up. We have thought about all these options. One other question: She is diagnosed Severely Emotionally Disturbed in the school system and has been for five years. We do have a decent income but have no assets, some minor debt (car payment), and have a son who we want to send to college next year. Does anyone know anything about SSI disability?
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hang in there- you might need to wait until tomorrow for some of these answers. I know we have members here who have gone thru all these various things but sometimes they are only on a couple of hours every couple of days. It might help to give it a little time and post some questions in a new thread- like the SSI question. You can post a new thread in General or maybe even the watercooler asking what it takes to qualify for SSI. I'm thinking determination by a mental health professional, then various application processes, then an appeal after the first try gets rejected. But again, I'm not positive. I think you mentioned there is a therapist involved- what does the therapist say? Is the therapist a psychologist or a social worker? You need more than a social worker. Has she ever been seen by a PhD level psychologist who specializes in this sort of thing? Has she been seen by a board certified child & adolescent Psychiatrist? If not, try to get her in for a MDE at a Children's Hospital- actually, I think I'd do that anyway.

    Yeah- all of us here can relate to the 'bad dream' feeling. It's tough.

    PS Just because my own hx and conscious is driving me to ask this- the parents of the molested child do have her going to therapy and understand the importance of her getting therapy for this, right? If not and you can still approach them, I'd recommend suggesting to them that they take her, even if you have to contribute somehow. My conscious as a person who was molested as a kid just requires that I say that.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    YOu can actually go to the website and do a screening to see if she would qualify for benefits.

    If she has this diagnosis too, she may qualify for county support regardless of income or using a sliding scale. / parent co pay. Most states have a mental health division and some lump it under disability services. Either way, you would get a case manager (separate from cps) an they help find funding and resources. the more heads the merrier when it comes to trying to get funding for things. (Plus this would connect her for future .... like when she is an adult)
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member


    I think I'm the only person with experience with a sexual predator in my house, and I strongly urge you to keep her out of your house. You didn't say if you have other younger kids, but if you do I would keep him out of the house forever. Our sexual predator came to us at age 11 and left at 13. Hiding it really well (scaring the younger kids with death threats and threats to burn down our house), he abused them the entire time and they were afraid to tell us. I am very frightened to think this, but I think that he abused younger kids in the neighborhood whose parents did not even know about what he did. He gravitated toward younger and disabled kids and one child had epilepsy and he actead like he was overly concerned about him in school, but this child had cognitive delays and trouble moving and I'll just bet he molested him and he had no way to tell anybody. This child also abused animals and killed a few dogs. That's kind of how we found out he was so sick, because he acted like a normal kid to all adults, if not a charming one.

    He about destroyed our family. As soon as we knew what he was doing, we called CPS to take him and he was gone. The county we lived in, without our even asking them to do it, charged him with 1st degree sexual assault of a minor (he was six years older than both of my other kids) and he was convicted and sent to a home for young sexual predators. It took a couple of months for them to press charges, but they did. From tidbits I heard, he did not do well in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). But he was no longer a threat to anyone in the community, especially our younger kids who needed intensely therapy (as did we). The county paid for his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and dissolved the adoption. We also figure he had a terrible life before us, but that is not the fault of my other two younger kids a nd I would not risk him in our house after we knew. Once in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) he admitted he had been sexually abusing younger child since he was five years old (and had never been caught). His caseworker said he had no remorse and didn't really seem to understand the magnitude of what he did. He did not remember being sexually abused himself, but obviously he had been. Sadly, we learned that we can not save all kids, even with all our love, which he had (until we found out). He was not attached to us and did not miss us beyond being sorry he could no longer get treats and toys from us.

    This is totally your call. In our family, we drew the line at sexual abuse. It is hard to treat and there is no guarantee a child won't re-offend or keep it up as an adult. Our decision was to have a peaceful, safe home for our healing younger kids (who were also adopted...we have NOTHING against adopted kids). Keeping him at home was not an option. The two other kids were terrified of him and hated him. I could not make them live in his presence.

    If she continues to offend, somebody may well press charges, including your county. She is abusing much younger kids and it is predatory if they are six years younger. The child we'd adopted has to sign as a sexual predator for the rest of his life (although we know...without explaining...that he was prosecuted once for not signing as a predator and that he still has not). He could end up in prison for a long time...this is a felony.

    He is married now with two baby daughters. It makes me sick to my stomach.

    At any rate, I can not sugar coat sexual predatory behavior. These kids hurt many, many kids and are not safe at home or in the neighborhood. Hopefully, she can stay out of the home for a long, long time. ((((Hugs)))) as I truly know what you are going through.
  14. kwioake

    kwioake New Member

    Try to answer some questions...

    My daughter has been diagnosed at various times with: ADHD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), ODD, intermittant explosive disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), depression, PTSD. bipolar disorder and possible schizophrenia.

    She is currently on: Focalin, Intuniv, Prozac, Valproic Acid...

    She has seen multiple therapists, psychiatrists, play therapists, tried equine therapy. She always been super resistant to talking about anything.

    The situation is very complicated. The neighbors had kind of taken my daughter on as their personal cause (were literally starting a non-profit to help raise money for orphans from her country). They had taken her to their family reunion. She had spent way more time at their house than ours over the course of the last year. So...they are very skeptical about therapy for their daughter---scared that a therapist would make things worse. This was all discovered by us. The little girl had spent the night and my daughter was on her IPOD touch seeking out strange men to chat with. I just had one of those weird gut feelings that something wasn't right. I told my daughter that we knew what had happened and she admitted some things. We went and talked to the parents and they talked to their daughter. The two girls stories aren't exactly the same but enough so that there is no question that molestation took place. One of the other girls that my daughter admitted to "playing the game with" is also a friend so I talked to her.

    My daughter lost her primary language within a month of moving here, which leads me to think even more that the abuse was significant. She has from day one resisted any kind of attachment to me...refuses to let me touch her and has gotten where she won't receive anything from me---even an ice cream cone, a shopping trip...she doesn't let me do anything positive for her. This is why the idea of her having me as her primary caretaker seems pretty impossible...She has more of a mixed attachment with my husband but still not very affectionate, super oppositional (asks for things than doesn't want them) and very deceptive. basic things like brushing her teeth, taking showers are daily battles so to add this whole layer on is beyond overwhelming...

    We are heartbroken because we knew adoption wouldn't be easy but feel horrible that other children were hurt in the process. It is very disillusioning that none of these kids told nor are the police getting involved...
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am so sorry for you. We are amazing here, (have to say that and not saying to go anywhere away from here.. but to add to your support....) there is a good attachment site for kids adopted with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). It is called attach-china and was started by moms who adopted from China but it is open to any child who is adopted and has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

    There is a website and there is a yahoo support group which is closed and only for people who are raising kids with serious issues related to attachment, trust, behaviors, etc.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and welcome. I am so sorry you had to find us. This is probably going to be a long term, very traumatic situation for all involved.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not just assume your son is not affected/abused. You have NO idea if she has hurt him or if she might. Kids who are this damaged are capable of doing far more than you can even conceive. He has to sleep and it is really really really easy to go and abuse someone while they are asleep. I know partly because my bro would come to my room at night, not for sexual abuse but to hit me or to get me to do things that we were not supposed to do, or just to sit and threaten me. I also know because by the tme I was a teen I would go in and hit/kick him as hard as I could to get back for things he had done to me. I didn't ever start things because I did NOT want to hurt anyone, but I knew that if I didn't give a show of force occasionally then I was nothing but a target for him. I often waited until he was passed out drunk and then would go and beat him black and blue while he was unconscious. Yes, I DO know how bad it sounds, but it was the ONLY thing that kept him from killing me or forcing me to kill myself. It was NEVER done unless he had hurt me badly first. NOT that it makes it any better, just that it was what seemed logical to my young mind.

    Your son is very much at risk no matter what anyone tells you. Males are FAR less likely to admit to sexual abuse - they have the whole "male protector" identity in our society and it is very very hard for them.

    I strongly advise you to get an atty to help you and your child. Call CPS and ask for a meeting - they know what is going on and you need to meet to figure out what the next steps are. Do NOT go to the neighbors and tell them how sorry you are - of course that seems like the thing to do but there are legal and financial repercussions and you have got to get legal advice so you don't lose everything you have worked for. I don't know f you wll be sued, but you need to protect yourself. I KNOW it sounds awful to not apologise, and of course you will at some point, but first you have to figure out how to protect your home and son.

    Get therapists involved. Start a Parent Report (document with all the info about your child organized in one binder) by following the link in my signature) for each of your kids. Make SURE your son is seeing someone. Get a therapist for yourself, and a lawyer, and keep coming here.

    It really sounds like bringing her home is not going to be a safe option. You must sleep. It isn't possible to keep track of someone 24/7. It just isn't. Not even with 2 parents who do nothing but monitor her. Prepare for that. Speak with CPS and an attorney about your options.

    I am so very very sorry.
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm so sorry. First, please understand that you did not cause this and in all likelihood, there was nothing you could have done to prevent it. My oldest foster/adopt daughter (Kanga) terrorized my younger children and most of it we didn't find out about until after she was placed out of our home. She use to whisper through the walls vents -- both to threaten them and say horrible, horrible sexual things to them.

    Sadly, your daughter likely needs YEARS of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) not weeks. I suggest writing a parent report (see the link in my signature below). The parent report is a ""work in progress" and as you write it and review it things may suddenly click that you hadn't put together previously. Have your husband participate in writing/reviewing it. Often each parent will recall different events. I agree with calling CPS and stating that you feel that a family environment cannot keep others safe from her and that she needs to be in a staffed facility where she can get both intensive treatment and 24/7 eyes-on supervision. Document! Document! Document! your efforts to get her into a secure facility so that if she is forced back to your house and something goes wrong, you have some 'proof' that you did all you could to keep others safe. You may want to meet withsomeone from the DAs office as well.

    It sounds like she did not attach to you. Having her placed in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or other facility will not feel like an abandonment to her since she'd have to be attached to feel abandoned. The number one priority has to be to keep other children safe from her and a close second would be to get her intensive treatment. Please be aware that many times, children who do things like this will often make false allegations to distract from their guilt (your husband should never be alone with her).

    I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. MWM already posted and there is at least one other member that had a similar situation who posts a couple times per week, I'm sure she'll add her support later this week.

  18. 1815ak

    1815ak New Member

    My partner and I adopted three siblings who had been exposed to extensive trauma and the two oldest g age 9 and b aged 7 have sexaul predatory behaviors. They also have been fiat osiers with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) so we have and continue to struggle with the decision to send them to a residential treatment or trying to keep them home and work with the resources in our community. Two years ago when the children were still in foster care their social worker tried to send our daughter to a treatment center out of state. We fought and got th state to hire a specialist to come and work with both our children. He is an attachment specialist but he worked with the kids therapists to develop a new treatment model including having the kids see one therapist weekly just on the sexual reactivity issues. The have been using a curriculum called Pathways to Recovery. It has been a year and half and our daughter has made huge growth. Both our children attend therapy twice a week and one of those sessions my partner and I attend with each of them. It has been a huge time commitment with therapy sessions for just two of our kids being 4 days a week. However, I am certain that had we agreed to send her to residential tx then our relationship and her ability to bond with us would have been destroyed.
    Our son has een working on the same program however he continues tom have serious issues and despite having lived withnus for almost five years continues to display serious attachment and bonding issues as well as aggressive sexualized behaviors towards other children. He has had a serious recent incident and his dr is recommending residential tx for him now. We are not sure what to do. What more can we do here in our community but even if we agreed to send him where would we send him. He is only 7 yes old and even if we could find a placemthat specialized in sexual behaviors in young children how would it impact his bonding and attachment with us.
    I do believe that there are other options available to your daughter because of her age. I would suggest looking into treatment options and if residential is something you decide on make sure the facility specializes in her issues and is not a facility that "treats" many different issues.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am going to be more blunt I think. I think your neighbors whose children have been molested really need to call the police and insist charges are pressed. They are doing neither your daughter, or most importantly, their children any good service by not reacting in a strong manner. Those parents need to show their daughters that they feel that what happened to them was wrong and that they will protect them from harm and will prosecute anyone who harms them. I know this because when I was 3 or 4 a babysitter molested me and my parents did nothing. They just told me to forget about it because I wasnt really hurt badly. It wasnt all that bad because she was only a girl. Well obviously I still remember and I am still angry they did nothing to protect me.

    If you cant get that done, go push CPS and go to the juvenile courts yourself and tell them what has happened. You may have to file what is called either a Child in Need of Services or a Person in Need of Services to get access to help. I think with what she has done you should be able to get her before the judge relatively fast. I doubt they will go through the basic steps of having you try in home therapy and such because the risk of her acting out again is just too great. You simply cannot keep her safe 24/7. She needs a placement for kids like her. I would search your state and states around you for placements and have them available to talk to the judge about when you see him.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janet....amen. At age fifteen, almost an adult, she KNEW it was not a game. She knew it was wrong, whether she cared that she did it or not.

    My kids are doing really well and part of that, by my daughter's admission, was our acknowledgement of it, our sticking up for them and believing them, getting them help, and seeing their perpetrator prosecuted and put into a youth jail for sexual predators, even though the county prosecuted him...we did not ask them to. We just wanted to work on healing. Sexual acting out to the degree of your daughter is something the person does not outgrow. They are "iffy" as to whether or not it is even treatable It is best for the victims to have it acknowledged and see justice done (and the perpetrator get any help available, even if it doesn't usually work).

    Although all sexual predators have had terrible lives (otherwise they would not be sexual predators), so do most murderers...there is a line to be drawn, in my opinion, when you have to take up for the victims rather than the offender. It is unlikely that you know the degree of the sexual behavior. The child we had did not admit it until he was in jail/Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and in therapy. He was alarmingly not sorry and even puzzled at why this was a big deal.

    After he aged out of foster care, they had to let him out. I fear for his wife and two baby girls and any children in his neighborhood, especially since he is risking a felony and is not signing up as a sexual predator. This sort of dangerous behavior that can seriously harm the victims for life. I'm shocked that your friends did not call the police. I wonder what the victims are thinking. Having seen this first hand, I again do not recommend that you keep her either at home or in the community. There are no resources for young sexual predators that are not related to the juvie justice system as t his is a serious crime. Likely, she has no conscience because of her Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (sounds l ike full blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) to me).

    I never ever ever liked to think of kids that were too late to save, which is why we adopted an eleven year old boy. We wanted to give a loving, safe home to a child least able to get adopted (older boy of color). It was a disaster. These days I tell people who want to adopt a child from anywhere to adopt as young a child as possible. We have adopted kids from Korea, out of foster care (at age two) and one that we adopted privately straight from the hospital. None of them had attachment issues or criminal behavior. It is only the eleven year old who did, but, boy, did he! Our family almost fell apart (only a strong core kept us hanging in there) and I almost had a nervous breakdown. We can not save every child. Some are already too damaged to be in a family or even society by the time we get them. And, although it's very sad, we can not undo all the damage.

    We are never sorry we let this boy go. Our other children would have lived in fair, anger and resentment if we had not. And our stress level would have been off the charts too if we had to run our house like an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), complete with alarms on the door, plus worry about whether or not Boy was perpetrating on neighborhood kids.

    We called CPS as soon as we found out, and they took him to a hospital first for assessment and my two younger kids had to be seen by a kindly pediatrician who only sees children who were sexually hurt. This was for prosecution purposes. We had no choice in the matter, but she was so good to both of my other kids. It was confirmed that my five year old daughter had been violated and they were able to show the kind doctor scars from small knife cuts that he had put on their bodies (they had not told us about it and daughter had blamed cat scratches). We had no blew us away...that he had used a knife to make them comply.

    Hugs from me to you. I know, oh, I *know* how you feel and the pressure you are under.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012