In his new book, The Evil &The Innocent, long-time child pornography activist Maine State Senator Bill Diamond presents a thoroughly researched accounting of what he describes as a cancerous sub-culture that is thriving and spreading just beneath the consciousness of our society – child sexual abuse. The book explores the devastation of the evil assaults on innocent infants and children, the inner workings of the minds of those who commit these horrible, inhumane acts, as well as those collaborators who will pay to watch.
Based on decades of experience as a public school educator at all levels, and then as a State of Maine public servant, including service as Maine’s Secretary of State and eighteen years as a state Representative and state Senator, Diamond has, over the past seven years, researched, written, and sponsored over fifty proposed laws pertaining to child sex offenders for the consideration of the Maine Legislature. Many have become laws. One clearly senses from his Introduction, and throughout the book, the toll this issue has taken on the author himself. At the outset, Diamond makes the goal of his book crystal clear. “This book may startle and sicken you because of the cold, hard facts that until now have been mostly hidden from you. Why? To protect you. It is my strong belief that the real life suffering must be brought into the light of day so that the collective ‘you’ demands that it stop – no matter what the cost.”
While the title of the book probably sums up the public’s perception of what child sexual abuse is about – innocence versus evil – the author actually presents a fair and balanced exploration of the numerous legal and cultural complexities that make most current laws both good and bad and of grappling with implementing better ways to deal with the safety of our children and justice for the offenders. Like all of the content included in the book, every example and case study presents real and actual cases. Even in presenting what the average person, and hopefully other legislators around the country, his own well thought-out model for a new bold, common sense approach to better laws and practices, the Senator makes fair accommodation for the relatively small number of offenders who pose any further threat to society. But he comes down swift and hard on those offenders who are found to be truly evil and inhumane. His model also reflects zero tolerance for the vast, worldwide pornography industry and those who support it. He is especially harsh on the most intolerable and sickening segment of that industry, those who produce “snuff” videos which show infants and young teen children being savagely brutalized sexually and then killed by their attacker on camera.
The cost of Diamond’s model is far beyond any amount of money currently budgeted by states. Much of that cost increase is accounted for by Diamond’s significantly proposed increase in funding for Computer Crime Units (CCU) which is a rescue and apprehension cornerstone resource for the battle with child sexual offenders and the porn industry. The book offers real examples of the effectiveness of the too few trained CCU investigators and shocking facts that make it clear that the collective “us” must demand that our federal and state public officials unite in funding this resource properly.
The Evil &The Innocent will disgust you. And that is what Senator Bill Diamond believes it will take to stop the horror. The book will also make you think, and never forget. In the books closing chapter, Diamond writes, “Witnessing the terrorized eyes of an innocent 3-year old toddler after being subjected to continued sexual assaults unleashed tormented images of suffering that refused to leave my mind.”
I will never forget The Evil &The Innocent by Senator Bill Diamond. And I will never stop telling people about this cause until our society does the right thing.
(Reviewed by Joseph Yurt for Reader Views)