portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro


Ten Years? Pedophile...

Are we doing enough to protect our children from sexual abuse? Are we punishing the abusers? What happened to me...
Ten Years was not enough
author: disabled
The fate of dozens was held above my head unbeknownst to me. Revelation came in November of 2001; or closer yet in February 2002 at a sentancing for the convicted. I went unrecognized. The faces of the four familes that were finally given validification and "Justice" by the System was the most horrible sight I've seen, as bad as war documentation and photographs. I was in tears and wanted to shout at the Judge for the ridiculously minor sentance given to a monster; but for the detective that asked me to attend; hand on my arm restraining me, I would have. breaking point was a week or so later when my attorney and i were having a discussion, I was inquiring as per the sentance. He shifted a stack of papers across the desk to me...Pages and pages and pages of names, victims...The bastard plea bargained for four guilty counts 10 years for 4 live's + families damaged.
My dilemna now is...Why couldn't I have done something sooner? How many ended up institutionalized? how many Suicide? Substance abuse (Escape)?
Answer....I was 8-11 years old...Too confused by my own escape. Thank God I'm alive.
Does this haunt me? YES....Can I do something to change the screening and followup system? YES!! That's why I'm here.
Will this haunt me? Yes...Forever
Wonder why the story? Real life, Screw Paris and her dimwit cohort....Take care of our kids.

Article below

Dusenberry 'stole my childhood'  
Portland man recalls devastation of alleged abuse by 'father figure'

   Christopher Ritter was 8 years old when he first met Jerry Dusenberry, the Olympic boxing official and volunteer for numerous youth programs who Portland police say may have abused hundreds, perhaps thousands, of young boys over the past few decades.
   The year was 1977, and Ritter's mother had enrolled him in the YMCA's Big Brother program after he started getting in trouble following his parents' divorce. When he was caught shoplifting, Ritter's mother decided he needed a male role model, a substitute father figure who could straighten him out.
   Dusenberry, a volunteer Big Brother, seemed to fit the bill.
   "He seemed to be the perfect father figure, an ideal role model," Ritter says now. "He was handsome, very charming and into sports."
   Dusenberry lavished attention on Ritter. The first time they went out together, Dusenberry took his young charge to a sneak preview of "Star Wars," the sci-fi spectacular that became a film classic. During future visits, they would go out for pizza or visit various gyms around town where Dusenberry worked with amateur boxers and basketball players.
   It only took a few months for Dusenberry to win Ritter's confidence.
   "I looked up to him," Ritter says. "I trusted him completely."
   Then Dusenberry asked Ritter's mother if her son could spend one night a week at his house. She said yes. "The guy was sly. He charmed my mother completely," Ritter says.
   That's when the abuse began, Ritter says. Once Dusenberry got him alone in his Southeast Portland home, his personality changed completely. He began drinking red wine, his eyes grew cold and he stopped pretending to care.
   Dusenberry started coming into the guest room where Ritter slept. He'd sit on the edge of the child's bed and talk about how evil women were. Ritter says Dusenberry would start running his hands over the boy's body, first above the covers, then under them and, finally, under his clothes.
   "I can still remember the smell of his breath and his stubble on my face," Ritter says.
   At first Ritter was afraid to tell anyone. He said Dusenberry threatened him, saying he would be taken away from his mother and placed in a foster home if he complained.
   Ritter broke down and told his mother. But, he says, she didn't believe him.
   "I remember telling her, I know I did," Ritter says. "But she didn't believe me, and she kept sending me back. She was busy with her own life."
   When he finally couldn't take it anymore, Ritter refused to see Dusenberry again. But by then the abuse had gone on for approximately two years, he says.
   A history of abuse Dusenberry, a former Bonneville Power Administration administrator, was charged with four counts of molesting an 8-year-old boy on Dec. 10, and was charged with 10 additional counts of molesting two other children on Jan. 2. He has pleaded not guilty to all 14 counts and is currently in the Multnomah County Detention Center with bail set at $1 million. His trial is tentatively set for Jan. 23.
   Dusenberry's lawyer, John Henry Hingson, did not return repeated phone calls for comment on this story. The Tribune also was unable to reach Ritter's mother.
   Portland police say Dusenberry may have abused hundeds, perhaps thousands, of young boys over the past few decades.
   "Dusenberry went to great lengths to find multiple victims in multiple organizations for multiple years," says Lee Gossen, the lead Portland police detective on the case.
   Because the statute of limitations expires when child sex-abuse victims turn 24, it is too late for the Multnomah County district attorney to charge Dusenberry for abusing victims such as Ritter.
   But it's not too late for Ritter to sue Dusenberry personally. He has retained Portland attorney Gary Bisaccio to explore the idea of a lawsuit against Dusenberry.
   Stepping forward Sitting at the dining room table in his Northeast Portland home, Ritter is occasionally overwhelmed by the events of the past few weeks. He offered to talk about Dusenberry to warn parents about how some sexual molesters find their victims and hide their crimes. But, as the memories rush forward, tears frequently fill Ritter's eyes, and he has trouble speaking.
   "I actually had blacked out most of what happened," Ritter says. "I had gaps in my memory. But I'm remembering everything now."
   On the surface, Ritter, now 32, appears to be a well-adjusted adult. He has held a series of responsible management jobs and is in a loving, long-term relationship with the mother of his 2-year-old son.
   Achieving stability has not been easy for Ritter. As a teen-ager, he was hospitalized for psychiatric problems and a good friend prevented him from killing himself. He still has trouble sleeping, fights an unpredictable temper and is terrified at the thought of sending his only child to school.
   But Ritter thought his most serious problems were under control until he received a phone call from Portland police in early December after they had arrested Dusenberry on charges of molesting the 8-year-old boy. A police search of his house had turned up a handwritten journal with Ritter's name in it.
   According to Ritter, the police said the journal includes the names of many other boys, too. It appears to be Dusenberry's personal record of his victims.
   The police wanted Ritter's help. They needed to learn how Dusenberry operated and were having trouble finding many of the other people listed in the journal. Adult victims of child sexual abuse frequently drop out of mainstream society. They have trouble holding jobs, move often and don't leave forwarding addresses.
   "We end up talking to relatives a lot of the time, when we can find them," Gossen says.
   Ritter agreed to cooperate, discussing his deepest secrets with detectives for hours. When he first sat down with them, Ritter drew a map of the inside of Dusenberry's house to prove he was there.
   "They said it was very accurate," Ritter says.
   To help organize his thoughts, Ritter has filled pages of a notebook with phrases and sentence fragments. Under the heading "Effects," he has written "Basically — Lost childhood" followed by "Shame" and "Guilt."
   The pages tell a story of betrayal and lost innocence.
   "He basically stole my childhood and almost ruined my life," Ritter says. "Parents don't want to believe there are people like that out there. But there are."

Cops botch checks on accused molester 
Indictment of youth volunteer Jerry Dusenberry spurs more accusations
BY JIM REDDEN     Issue date: 12/14/2001
The Tribune
   Local law enforcement agencies missed two opportunities to prevent Portland resident Jerry Dusenberry from having contact with an 8-year-old boy he is accused of molesting.
   Dusenberry, who was arrested Monday on four counts of sex abuse involving the boy, first met him in May this year as a volunteer mentor for Portland Impact, a local nonprofit organization that serves low-income families. Dusenberry subsequently enrolled the boy in a basketball program he ran through Portland Parks & Recreation.
   In March, two months before Dusenberry met the boy, two men told Portland police that they had been molested by Dusenberry as children more than 20 years ago.
   Police said they took the report but did not open a formal investigation because the statute of limitations had passed and the alleged victims did not say Dusenberry was currently involved in youth programs.
   "They briefly described the incidents that occurred in the past and did not say anything about him being involved in parks programs or anything like that," said Portland police Capt. Larry Ratcliff, head of the bureau's Family Services Division.
   The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office also failed to inform Portland Impact that Dusenberry had a 1999 felony theft conviction in Colorado. He was convicted of defrauding USA Boxing of more than $10,000 when he served as the Colorado-based organization's volunteer president from 1992 to 1996.
   Suzanne Washington, the organization's family and youth program director, said the felony conviction would have prevented Dusenberry from becoming a mentor.
   "If we discover an applicant has a felony conviction, we don't proceed," Washington said.
   Portland Impact requires all volunteers to undergo criminal record checks conducted by the sheriff's office.
   According to sheriff's Lt. Garr Nielson, the check revealed that Dusenberry was listed as a fugitive from Colorado. Nielson said the employee who ran the check apparently did not investigate the listing, which was the result of an arrest warrant being issued against Dusenberry in the theft case.
   "Clearly, we weren't doing all that we could to ensure that things were completely followed up on," Nielson said.
   The employee who conducted the check has since retired, Garr said.
   Meanwhile, news of Dusenberry's indictment has prompted at least 10 more people to step forward with additional allegations against him, according to Sgt. Brian Schmautz, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau.
   A Multnomah County grand jury indicted the 61-year-old Dusenberry on Monday and he pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday. He currently is in the Multnomah County Detention Center with bail set at $1 million. His trial is tentatively set for Jan. 23.
   History of youth programs According to police, Dusenberry has had contact with thousands of children over the years. He has worked as an employee or volunteer in numerous youth programs since 1959, in addition to USA Boxing. They include those run by Portland Parks & Recreation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, the Girl Scouts, the YWCA, the Bonneville Power Administration and the Oregon Amateur Athletic Union Association.
   Police began investigating other possible victims — including a 10-year-old boy — even before Dusenberry was indicted on the abuse charges, according to Schmautz.
   "We have identified additional individuals who may have had contact of a criminal nature with Dusenberry," Schmautz said. "In addition, 10 people have called with additional information since he was indicted. All of the possible cases are being investigated."
   Portland police also have served search warrants on Dusenberry's Southeast Portland home and his computer at the Bonneville Power Administration, where he works as an administrator.
   The search of his home turned up evidence of sexual contacts with children, including personal journals, according to Ratcliff.
   "We are operating on the assumption this is not his first time," he said.
   Dusenberry was asked to leave Portland Impact in October because he wanted to work with the boy outside the classroom, according to Andy Nelson, the program's development director. Portland Impact does not allow mentors to meet with children outside of supervised settings.
   Dusenberry continued his relationship with the boy by enrolling him in a basketball program he was running as a volunteer for Portland Parks & Recreation.
   According to police, Dusenberry took the boy to his home on several occasions, where he molested him. The boy told his mother about the incidents, and she reported the allegations to the police on Nov. 29.
   The boy was interviewed, and Dusenberry was arrested the next day. His home and work computer were searched on Dec. 3, and he was indicted one week later.
   Boxing scandal Dusenberry is best known within the local sports community for his 30-year involvement with amateur boxing. He served as a local coach and referee before volunteering with USA Boxing, the national amateur boxing organization that fields America's Olympic boxing teams.
   Dusenberry worked his way up the ranks of the organization's directors until serving as president from 1992 to 1996. Among other things, he developed the computerized scoring system intended to eliminate cheating by judges to favor their country's boxers.
   USA Boxing is based in Colorado Springs, Colo., which is located in El Paso County. Dusenberry continued to live in Portland while serving as president.
   El Paso County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dave Zook said Dusenberry supposedly used the more than $10,000 to reimburse a secretary he claimed to have hired in Portland to handle his paperwork. Zook said there was no secretary, however, and Dusenberry merely pocketed the money.
   "He filed phony reimbursement claims to compensate himself for paying for the secretary," Zook said.
   Other USA Boxing officials eventually grew suspicious of the arrangement and brought the matter to the district attorney's office.
   Dusenberry pleaded guilty to felony theft charges on July 21, 1999. He was given a three-year suspended sentence on the condition that he reimburse USA Boxing in the amount of $10,778, perform 250 hours of community service and not commit any other crimes.
   Told of the Portland indictment, Zook said, "Sounds like he violated the terms of his probation and should be sentenced on the theft charges."
   Police received earlier reports Charles Jordan, director of Portland Parks & Recreation, said that from employees' reactions, "this guy was the ideal volunteer, worked with parents very well and was very dedicated to what he was doing," he said. "You never would have suspected this based on his performance."
   Jordan said the parks bureau is now reexamining the way it screens the background of its volunteers. The bureau currently runs background checks through a system called Commercial Information Systems Inc., which is used by many local nonprofits, he said.
   "This guy was able to fly under the radar of some 30 years of a lot of well-established agencies," he said. "What we're doing is what I would surmise all of our other strategic partners are doing is taking a look at our processes and seeing how we can change things."
   Portland Mayor Vera Katz said the city's child abuse investigators do not have the time to respond to all the complaints they receive.
   "They are overwhelmed by complaints and are lucky to be able to investigate those that allege ongoing abuse," she said.
   The police bureau's Family Services Division investigates all child abuse and domestic violence reports in Multnomah County. Child abuse complaints are investigated by a 10-member team that includes eight Portland police officers, a Multnomah County sheriff's deputy and a Gresham police officer.
   Anyone who has information about Dusenberry is urged to call the police referral line, 503-823-4636.
Dusenberry timeline 
BY JIM REDDEN     Issue date: 12/14/2001
The Tribune
   Jerry Dusenberry's youth-related positions Paid
* Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland (activities director), 1956-1961
* Neighborhood House Inc. (men's and boys' activities director), 1962-1963
* Portland Parks & Recreation (recreation supervisor, instructor), 1965-1970
* Portland State University (summer activities director), 1969
* Girl Scout Camp Fire Program (day camp director), 1975 Voluntary
* USA Boxing (instructor to president), 1975-1996
* Oregon Amateur Athletic Union Association, 1970-1984
* Portland Impact (mentor), 2001
* Mt. Scott Community Center (program director, official, gymnastics instructor, basketball camp director), 1986-present
* Hands on Portland (led 11 activities), 2000-2001
* Bonneville Power Administration mentoring program for middle school youth, dates unknown
* Franklin Babe Ruth Baseball (coach), dates unknown
* Sunrise Little League Baseball (coach), dates unknown
* YWCA Learn Links program (position unknown), dates unknown — Jim Redden
WATCH YOUR KIDS!!! Too many creeps out there like this and they always get off easy, lobby for stricter punishments.
Does anyone ever truely heal?

Does anyone ever truely heal? 04.Jun.2006 15:38


What a good question. I don't know, but I hope so. I've been through an awful lot. After lots of counseling and even being institutionalized a couple times, I've managed to pull myself out into a good life. I learned a lot of healthy coping skills to get me through the hard times. I'm 26 and I still struggle with short bouts of depression and anxiety, but it seems to get a little easier with time and practice. I find the hardest part is letting go of the defense mechanisms(learned behavior and fears in response to abuse) that no longer make sense for my life.

I see a lot of cuts in counseling programs. The very programs that made it possible for me to cope and live a somewhat normal life. I've seen more and more of these programs turned into pharmaceutical dispensaries(as a cheaper alternative to actually educated/talented staff). They've been putting people permanently on drugs like Prozac which were never designed to be taken more than 6 weeks. These drugs are meant to be a temporary escape so that someone can get the help and coping skills they really need through quality counseling. Instead of learning coping skills, people are learning to be legal junkies while the pharmaceuticals rake in millions from our suffering. Something we can do about this is set up some free clinics(like the Panthers did in the 70s). We can leave out the pharmaceuticals and focus on what survivors really need. Also we could start education campaigns to educate the public on how abuse crimes go unpunished or barely punished while crimes of poverty(like drugs, theft, political acts) are getting massive/cruel sentences and how corporations and capitalists exploit survivors for huge profits. At the very least we could start more independent support groups.

A few years ago I saw a group that was started for and by mentally ill folks. They had a campaign going to stop forced psychiatric drugging and inhumane institutional treatment(ie shock therapy, lobotomy, rape, unsanitary conditions, and spinal tap). I looked em up again and here's their website:  http://www.mindfreedom.org/

Surviving and Thriving 30.Jun.2006 14:51

Christopher Largen

Here is one example of how survivors are becoming empowered by joining together to fight back against not only the predators, but public officials who refuse to prioritize public safety over private morality. http://www.building-block.org

jerry 11.Jan.2007 15:03

regretful ancmomma@gmail.com

Jerry was a volunteer in one of my programs from 1998-2000. We did the background search, we did the in-home visit, called his references, all of the thing agencies are supposed to do.
he completed his training. he kept good records, called me monthly. The whole time he gave us the creeps,but he passed the checks...i think he even went on local cable access with us one time to promote our program.
It's been 6 years since I've seen him, but I think about the families that we matched him with; the children, the young boys, that we connected him to, and I'm horrified.
Absolutely horrified, still.
I'm so so so sorry.