Is there anything you can’t do on the Internet? You can order a pizza, pick your hairstyle, and even find the love of your life. And these days, it turns out, you can even be a hero without having to leave the comfort of your parents’ basement. In fact, a 17-year-old girl from England managed to foil the rape of a five-year-old North Carolina girl, thanks to the internet.
Twenty-year-old James Carroll was, according to instant messages he sent, planning to take advantage of the preschool-aged girl while babysitting her. The downside of the story is that the British girl had been having an “internet sex relationship” with Carroll since she was 14 years old, itself an upsetting revelation. Carroll was arrested and released on bail; the college student lived at home with his parents who are cooperating with police.
The most frightening aspect of this story is that it was the babysitter who was planning the abuse of his position. As parents, it is horrifying to think that someone we entrust with ensuring our children’s safety could be responsible for such abuse. It can be difficult enough to find a babysitter; how can one possibly search out the monsters hiding behind the smiles and friendly faces?
I guess the only thing you can do is to make sure you know the person taking care of your children as best you can. What are your thoughts on the matter? How do you find a babysitter that you feel comfortable leaving your kids with?
And, of course, kudos to the unnamed British teen who came forward to save the little girl from this monster, even though it meant exposing her own embarrassing connection to him. We need more kids willing to do the right thing like that.