Have you heard about Kenneth Klassen?
If you haven’t, Kenneth Klassen is a Vancouver, BC man, a 59-year-old father of three who traveled to places like Columbia and Cambodia so he could have sex with young girls between the ages of about 8-14. He was caught bringing pornographic videos and photos of these experiences back into Canada. After entering a guilty plea, he awaited his sentencing.
Klassen has referred to these young children as “sex trade workers” and argued that the sex between them was consensual. His lawyer stated in an interview, “If the girls had ever said ‘No’, he would have stopped.”
Is he serious??
Klassen also requested of the judge that, upon his parole, he not be denied access to places where children congregate such as schools and playgrounds, explaining that he has children himself and might someday have grandchildren.
Um… Hello? Is that not the best reason in the world to keep him away from places like that? Does that not show his own lack of understanding about the reprehensible crimes he’s committed against every one of the many young girls he has sexually assaulted?
We have been hearing a lot about sex addiction lately in terms of husbands who have multiple affairs, such as Tiger Woods and Jesse James. Although I don’t for a moment condone what those men have done, they have predominantly hurt adults (except for the residual emotional effects their children will likely suffer for the rest of their lives, of course).
But Klassen’s unspeakable acts and apparent lack of remorse take “sex addiction” to a whole different level. Contrary to popular belief, sexual addiction is not about sex, and it is certainly not about anything resembling love. Sex addicts (as well as sexual predators of any kind) have a profound fear of intimacy, they feel the need to wield “power” over others, and they have a horribly narcissistic sense of entitlement. Until such an addict hits bottom, deeply understanding the tragic harm and trauma he has caused his victims, he is likely to relapse and re-offend over and over again.
Last week, Kenneth Klassen was sentenced to 11 years in prison. And thankfully the wise and compassionate judge in this case saw fit to ban him from all parks, schools, and playgrounds upon his release. I am among many thousands here in Vancouver who are relieved by this decision.
I deeply hope Klassen is also required to attend ongoing intensive counselling while he is in prison, because even if he believes today that he’ll never sexually assault another helpless child, he may have grandchildren waiting for him when he gets out…
Is it just me, or does that thought scare anyone else?