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Be Wary of Sexual Predators in Community

By Staff | Jan 24, 2018

The front page story involving Steven Douglas Southerly is disturbing, disgusting, and frightening. It should make all of us, who have children near and dear to us, wary. Though Southerly pleaded to a lesser charge of possessing 50 to 600 images that visually portrayed minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, the man was originally indicted with having more than 600 images.

This is alarming.

And frankly, when it comes to sexual offenses, the punishment is never enough. A child’s innocence can never be restored. Time in captivity cannot heal those wounds, as the mental and emotional trauma can endure forever. Trust in adults, protectors, is betrayed.

Therefore, we must do what we can to prevent these horrific crimes. One tool at our disposal is our state’s sex offender registry.

Check out apps.wv.gov/StatePolice/SexOffender.

Be alert to who lives around you. Keep an eye on your child’s whereabouts; remain vigilant as to who your child is hanging out and communicating with. Stay on top of your child’s social media accounts.

If you suspect the unimaginable, contact law enforcement. It’s better to be safe, rather than sorry. Also, if you need further advice, might we also suggest keeping our local Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center website in mind. It’s located at thelighthousecac.org/ This site includes a plethora of information and resources to help keep our society’s most vulnerable protected.