One Mans Road To Recovery After Sexually Abusing His Step-DaughterPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash. - Sex offenders live in neighborhoods throughout our community. They can be your neighbor, your friend and even a relative.
One Richland man was arrested for molesting his stepdaughter 12 years ago. He received years of treatment and despite the experience his family stayed together.
He expressed sincere regret for what he did 12 years ago. He said it took a very long time to repair the damage done to his family, but with the help of treatment he has reconciled with his victim, his wife and even himself.
He didn't want his identity to be revealed but he did want his story to be told.
12-years-ago he led a dark life filled with heavy drug abuse and selfishness.
12 years later the vivid memory of the horrible sex crime he committed to his stepdaughter is still crystal clear.
He said, "As time went on it led to me touching her."
After three months of abuse the 10-year-old girl told her mother and he was arrested and taken to jail. He said, "At that point my secret was out."
He was sent to receive treatment from Counselor Michael Henry. Henry has worked in the field for almost 30 years.
Henry said he has seen hundreds of sex offenders get better. He said his job is very stressful because of the nature of the issue.
Henry said society has a myth about sex offenders. He said "people think sex offenders are lurking in the bushes, waiting to grab your child, but that isn't the case. 95 percent of victims know their offender."
Henry said part of treatment for a sex offender is recognizing what they've done wrong.
The unidentified man said his sex offender recovery treatment classes had a big impact on his victim's ability to forgive him. He said, "As far as the offense, it effected every move, every family function, I wasn't included ... I had to work my way back into the family."
Henry said, "Offenders also need to reduce their risk to re-offend... if that means not being around children, then that is one regulation. Recovery is a lifetime process."The man said, "I've forgiven myself, my victim has forgiven me. My wife has forgiven me, but not forgotten either."