Inside the mind of a child molester - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Inside the mind of a child molester

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, child sexual abuse is reported up to 80,000 times per year. And what's worse - the number of unreported incidences is likely far greater.

Those numbers are devastating, but one way to protect our kids is to get inside the mind of a convicted child molester and one of his victims to learn first hand how to keep our children safe.

Don Corley is serving 30 years at Kilby Prison for molesting teenage boys.

"Here I was, in the community all this time and nobody ever recognized the dark side," says Corley.

In order to protect your kids, what's important to know is how he did it.  It starts with access - being around a lot of kids a lot of the time.

Here's a conversation Corley had with our reporter:

    Corley: "The boys that would be targets would be ones that needed somebody - needed a relationship."

    Reporter: "So what you offered them was time?"

    Corley: "Yes - time, attention, being their friend, being somebody they could talk to."

    Reporter: "Being somebody they could trust?"

    Corley: "Trust. All the time. I was there for them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Corley gained access and trust by working with highly reputable organizations like the Boy Scouts and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Corley said, "Nobody recognized the dark side. And they need to know that."

One of the boy scouts Corley abused was identified in court documents as "Victim #1."

After all these years of being identified only as "Victim #1", Jason Lee is going public.

Lee said in response to viewing Corley's comments on video, "It's much worse than a dark side."

Lee is in his upper 30's now with a family of his own. But, it's been a struggle.

Our reporter asked Lee, "After all you've been through, do you think of yourself now, do you look at yourself as a successful adult?"

Lee replied, "No. No. Uh, every day when I compare myself with my coworkers, with family, with friends, I always have a feeling of 'I'm less than'."

Lee's mind is never far from those teenage years.

What nobody knew was that for several years, Don Corley was doing what he described as "helping" kids.

Our reporter asked Corley, "Even while you're taking advantage of this child, you're thinking you're helping them?"

Corley replied, "There was no thinking. I was taking advantage there. It could be as simple as - this is sex education.  Much better I give you sex education than you find out on the street."

Lee, viewing this exchange our reporter had with Corley, replied, "That's exactly what happened with me. It was all about an educational opportunity - let me teach you how things work. And I was taught to listen... To my adults.  And my adults knew the best for me. This was the guy I was supposed to pay attention to. And so I did."

But, Lee is now coming forward publicly to help others and to try to ensure that Don Corley serves all of his thirty year prison sentence.

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