Benjamin Clinton Stribling, 33, from Elbert, Colorado, contacted the 13-year-old child on Facebook in the summer of 2013 and lied that he was a “sexology student” who needed to have sex with a virgin for educational purposes. He then proposed to pay the child if she participated in his “research.”
— Mark Neitro (@CBS4Mark) September 26, 2015
According to Arapahoe County District lawyer, the man continued to cajole the child into having sex with him. The child asked him to stop bothering her before blocking the sex offender on Facebook. Stribling tried to contact her again, but, this time, the parents of the young girl brought the matter to the police.
In order to capture Stribling in the act of the crime, an investigator from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office communicated with him through the 13-year-old’s Facebook account and arranged a meeting. Stribling’s plan was to pick up the girl and film their sexual activity in Colorado Springs.
On August 2, 2013, police arrested Stribling when he arrived at the meeting place. He brought with him two video cameras, fake permission slips from his “professor,” sex toys, a stethoscope, condoms, girls’ underwear, and fake rose petals, according to the investigators who looked through his vehicle.
It was revealed that the fake sexology student was on parole for a similar offense in El Paso County. According to CBS Denver, Stribling had pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse and was sentenced to serve 21 years in prison by an Arapahoe county judge. He will also have to spend five years in the sex offender intensive supervision program, on probation.
“The justice system gave this online predator a chance to be rehabilitated. But he didn’t want rehabilitation; he wanted to sexually exploit another child,” Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said in a statement.
Brauchler continued with a message for parents out there: “Stay involved in your child’s online lives. Predators, like this one, are out there and are relentless about robbing our kids of their innocence to feed their deviant desires. The message for those would-be assaulters of our children is: Law enforcement is out there and they will find you.”
Pedophiles prey upon young, innocent people and they are anywhere. Contrary to popular belief, pedophiles are not only old men. The pedophile is at least sixteen years old and at least five years older than the victim. People suffering from this mental condition always feel the urge to exploit children.
According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), pedophilia is a persistent sexually arousing fantasies or impulsive behaviors that involve sexual acts with a child.
Rutgers Law Professor: Pedophilia Is A Mental Disorder And Should Be Treated Early To Avoid Child Sexual Abuse – http://t.co/fmQuIaA8tc
— Talk Radio 1210 WPHT (@TalkRadio1210) October 10, 2014
Studies have shown that cerebral dysfunction could be one of the reasons for this behavior. Childhood experiences also contribute to pedophilia. In many known cases, child sex offenders went through unpleasant experiences when they were young. Some of them were even sexually assaulted during their childhood.
Pedophiles sexually abuse children to relive their past trauma and to feel in control of the situation. This role reversal numbs them from feeling victimized and powerless when they themselves were abused as children.
Pedophilia is a mental disorder that stems from many biological and social factors. There may be no sure way cure this condition; however, there is still chance for Stribling and other child sex offenders to re-enter society and curb their compulsion through rehabilitation.
[Images via CBS Denver; Justin Sullivan, Getty Images]