A while back I blogged about Jack McLellan, the guy who published photos of little girls on a website he created for the purpose of discussing his sexual obsessions with them. He also used this website to keep other predators up to speed as to events and venues where little girls could be ogled, objectified and similarly photographed (without their or their caregivers’ permission). McLellan is in his 40s, has lived with his parents most of his life, and does not work. He receives Social Security because, says he, he is disabled by “depression, anxiety disorders, and paranoia.” He says he has never “broken the law” or sexually assaulted a little girl. However, since he regularly writes about the ways he finds to touch little girls, there is no reason to believe him. Touching a girl or a woman without permission is sexual assault.
When parents and others became concerned and angry and his Washington website was closed down, he moved to Southern California where he started up his website afresh. Parents again were outraged, he was served with restraining orders requiring him to stay away from little girls, he violated the restraining orders and was arrested twice, and his site was again closed down. Now he’s moved to Portland. Since he’s never been charged with a crime so far, he is free to move anywhere, live anywhere, and presumably, to continue to start new websites, take and post photos of little girls, and share information with other sexual predators until the level of public outrage results in his sites being closed down again.
I came across an article about McLellan in the Seattle Weekly last week. It was written by Judy McGuire, who usually writes a sex and relationship advice column, “Date Girl.” McGuire wrote about having received many letters from McLellan several years ago, before he outed himself as a man who sexually preys on little girls. At the time McLellan was writing to McGuire, his “habit” was not stalking and preying on little girls but on prostituted women. McGuire writes about one letter which particularly disturbed her:
His letters were super-creepy, and the intense, psychotic loathing he professed for the sex workers he regularly hired was so palpable, I wondered if he was a serial killer. But this particular letter was different. This time he told me he’d given up on banging pros and, instead, found himself increasingly drawn to little girls.
He wrote, “I don’t watch much adult TV anymore because I’m checking out the girls on Nick, Disney, etc. I don’t consider myself a pedophile and believe that forcing my man-size penis into a girl-size vagina is an abusive and violent act. However, I see nothing wrong with loving, nurturing touch, like cuddling, kissing, massages, and stroking hair.”
…In his letter to me, it seemed like he wanted help. He wrote, “The problem is that I’m afraid it might eventually progress beyond that—into Jacko-style sleepovers, showers, full-nude body contact, cunnilingus, etc. I’m aware of how harsh the laws are regarding adults fooling around with girls this young, but the power of the attraction is difficult for me to resist.”
McGuire consulted with Weekly editors and published McClellan’s letter, resulting in calls from police officers and others. She describes having been deeply disturbed but wondering whether mostly, McClellan just wanted media attention. She mentioned that McClellan had had another letter to the editor published in the Weekly. I looked it up. It is in the May 19, 2004 issue and reads as follows:
I was appalled to see Knute Berger condemning the abuse at Abu Ghraib and ex–Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt having consensual sex with a teenage girl under the banner “Evil Gone Wild” [Mossback, May 12]. Does he really think the two events are remotely comparable? Berger says: “Goldschmidt . . . admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl back in 1975. Only he didn’t call it that.” Well, neither does Canada—where the age of consent is 14. Is Canada “evil” in Berger’s estimation? Anyone who is old enough to reproduce is old enough to accept some responsibility for whom they have sex with.
The girls McCLellan stalks — who are 7, 8, 9 — would occasionally be “old enough to reproduce.” Here is a guy who defends, in writing, having sex with girls to whom he is sexually attracted, so long as he figures they can “reproduce.”
It is deeply disturbing that articles about this clearly dangerous man invariably focus on the fact that he hasn’t been charged with crimes, that he isn’t doing anything illegal, or speculate that he is just doing it for the “attention.” He’s moving all over the country, creating, and re-creating his little-girl-stalking websites because he “wants attention”? He documents and publishes lists of where to find little girls to photograph, touch and exploit, over years, because he “wants attention”? He violates restraining orders and goes to jail because he “wants attention”?
As to his activities being “legal,” I think his prostituting of women should have been illegal. He is said to have loathed them, who knows how many of them he hurt, beat, raped? I think his sponging off of his parents through age 40-something while creating websites about the girls he stalked should have been illegal.
And in particular, I think his using his Social Security income — funds he receives every month courtesy of all of us who are taxpayers — to prostitute women and to create these websites which stalk little girls, for the sake of aall that is holy, ought to be illegal!
Why doesn’t anybody say this? Why doesn’t anybody think about it? Bigots and misanthropes of all stripes gleefully document, for example, the candy they once saw in the shopping cart of the single mom on food stamps. They grouse stupidly on about the use of “taxpayer dollars” to treat and support people who abuse alcohol and substances, or, for that matter, single mothers trying to care for their children, and yet here is this guy living on the public dole, using it to prostitute, stalk and assault women and girls and all anybody seems to have to say about it is, “He hasn’t done anything illegal.”
It’s because of men like Jack McClellan that little girls like Zina Linnek, Jessica Lunsford, Shasta Groene, the Tamas sisters, and countless, countless other girls and women have suffered. As women we know that McClellan’s behaviors are not illegal because in our culture, hurting women and girls, stalking them, exploiting and objectifying them, prostituting them, touching them against their will — for the most part, these are not illegal.
I am a peace-loving person, wholly committed to nonviolence. I oppose capital punishment and have since I was old enough to understand what it was. I think the racism, classism and injustices in the criminal justice and prison system in this country are atrocious and inexcusable. I believe in, and advocate for, transformative justice. Having said all of that, it is mind-boggling to me that what this guy does is “legal” and that he may freely do what he does on my dime. If I’m going to support him, I vote to throw his sorry ass in jail for the duration, without access to computers, telephones, or any photographs or visual representations of girls and women. I think I, and all women, since we are footing the bill for his sorry existence, ought to be the people to determine what happens to a guy like Jack McClellan.