Sex crimes against children are considered to be among the most reprehensible transgressions a person can make. Such offenses are judged as beyond the pale even by other criminals. It is telling that inmates convicted of child sexual abuse must often be kept separate from other inmates for their own protection.
A recent incident making international news seems to highlight how reviled such crimes are. Earlier this month, a burglar robbing houses in southern Spain happened to steal a camera and some home movies from one house. When he watched the tapes, he discovered to his horror that some contained scenes of an adult sexually abusing young boys. He decided to take action that few criminals would be brave enough to do under other circumstances: he contacted police.
To be sure, the burglar didn't go so far as to turn himself in. Instead, he sealed the tapes in an envelope and hid them underneath a parked car. From a public phone, he called police and anonymously gave them a tip about where to find the envelope. When police found and opened it, they received the tapes along with a written message from the burglar.
He had written down the address of the house the tapes were taken from. He also included this message: "I've had the misfortune that these tapes have fallen into my hands and I feel obligated to turn them in so that you can do your job and put that (expletive) in prison for life."
Police were able to arrest the 64-year-old man who lived at the address, where they found additional tapes containing similar content. The man had called police to report the burglary, but conveniently failed to report the stolen camera and videos.
It is often said that there is no honor amongst thieves, but this case shows that the old adage is not entirely true. When it comes to protecting children and exposing those who would abuse them, there is no moral gray area. Such issues are black and white.
Source: CNN, "Burglar finds child sex abuse on tapes he took, so he points out suspect, police say," Al Goodman, Dec. 19, 2013