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Old 09-08-2009, 12:06 AM   #1
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Man Arrested for Kissing Daughter in Public

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There is growing controversy in Brazil over the arrest of an Italian tourist held after kissing his eight-year-old daughter in public.

Witnesses told police the man allegedly touched the girl in an intimate way.

Under a strict new law partly designed to combat child sex abuse in South America's largest country, he faces eight to 15 years in jail if convicted.

The unnamed man has been in custody for almost a week. A new attempt to secure his release this weekend failed.

His Brazilian wife says the case is all a misunderstanding, while staff at the resort where the incident took place have been reported as saying they saw nothing unusual.

'Misunderstanding'

The Italian tourist, a 48-year-old businessman, was arrested on 2 September in the coastal city of Fortaleza, in the north-east of Brazil, where he was on holiday with his wife and daughter.

He was reported to the police by a Brazilian couple who claimed he had been touching a young girl inappropriately and had kissed her on the mouth while they were both at a swimming pool close to the beach in full view of other tourists.

It appears the couple who made the allegations did not know that the man was with his daughter.

The north-east of Brazil has for some years had a problem of paedophiles travelling to the area, often from overseas, and strongly-worded warnings about the penalties for exploiting children are posted in most hotels.

However the wife of the arrested tourist says it was all a misunderstanding by witnesses who had misinterpreted seeing a foreign white man with a young darker-skinned girl.

She told the Brazilian state news agency if there was any suggestion the claim was true she would not hesitate to take her daughter's side, and recalled that she had been present the whole time.

The woman said the allegations had the potential to destroy her family.

Under strict new legislation passed only last month the offence of molesting a child under the age of 14 can carry a penalty of between eight and 15 years in jail.

The arrested businessman - who had been due to return to Italy with his family last week - remains in custody, and it is thought another attempt to secure his release will be made on Tuesday.
BBC NEWS | Americas | Man held after kissing daughter

Geez. Pedophilia is a serious problem and needs to be combated, but a situation like this makes the combat out of control. If a parent cannot be affectionate with its child in public, what has this world come to?
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:28 AM   #2
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It sounds like a sad case of paranoia...

I've never been to Brazil, but from what I've heard they are a very affectionate people, so this does suprise me a little.

Maybe I'm wrong. I do think some societies are much more prone to this type of reaction than others, plus it sounds like there may have been a slight racist issue here as well...
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:26 AM   #3
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On the one hand, actual pedophilia is, it should go without saying, evil.

On the other hand, something is wrong, collectively wrong. I think the handwringing around children and childhood has some pretty deep roots probably... in my strictly non-expert fashion, I mentally trace it to a sense of 'circling the wagons' within a fairly troubled culture. Which we are.

There's no sense in trying to turn the clock back, because we cannot. But the way forward seems uncertain at best. There is a fear about it all. Actual pedophilia and the threat thereof (relatively small, surely?) is just the tip of the iceberg.

And so you see these situations where something dreadful has the potential to happen because of ostensibly noble intentions taken to possibly scary extremes.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:13 AM   #4
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Yikes! I hope this is just paranoia...

Something like that happened to me once on a much lesser scale. In grade school and highschool, I did the grocery shopping every Saturday morning with my dad, to help carry the bags and make sure he got all the stuff my mom wanted. One time we were in line, and we could hear this couple gossiping behind us (maybe she intended for my dad to hear). The wife was hissing about how sick it was that this 40+ year old man was with a teenager. The husband said she must be mistaken. Her rebuttal was that my dad was wearing a wedding ring, ergo I must be the wife (wtf?!?). The husband said, well duh that's because he's married and that's his daughter! My dad was trying not to laugh and I was trying not to look mortified, the whole thing was ridiculous. Oh and my family has never been affectionate at all, so it's not even like my dad put his hand on my shoulder or anything that would give her pervy ideas.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:46 PM   #5
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I think he was probably OK until he slipped her the tongue.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:00 AM   #6
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Given northeastern Brazil's international notoriety for child-sex tourism, I'd probably rather they err on the side of 'paranoia,' generally speaking. Still, it's nothing to take lightly if (as seems probable) this man was completely innocent--particularly since he's now been hospitalized with dangerously high blood pressure and other stress-related complications. How likely is it that someone who really is molesting their own children would broadcast it by interacting lasciviously with them in public?

True though that cultural and social differences can play a big role in perceptions of the 'appropriateness' of other people's conduct with their children. I'm trying, and failing, to recall where it was--some country I've visited in maybe the last 5 years--where I remember noticing, in observing families strolling by, that many fathers were clearly quite comfortable and nonchalant about stroking their adolescent daughters' hair and shoulders, keeping an arm casually draped around them etc. (and vice versa). That's pretty rare in the US, to see that degree of physical intimacy between parents and their adolescent children of the opposite sex--and for fathers and daughters, the time period when you can 'get away with it' ends considerably earlier than for mothers and sons. Many parents are reflexively uncomfortable even with (e.g.) their preschool daughters having a playdate at the house of a friend where Dad, and not Mom, will be the sole supervisor. Of course, as Lies mentioned, there are always individual variations between (and within) families too, parents who are 'touchy-feely people' and parents who aren't; but generally, people are aware that those kinds of sensibilities are particular to them, and don't judge other parents' 'appropriateness' by it so much.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:57 AM   #7
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I think its sad how paranoid we are now. MY friend who is a male teacher has to be 100% more careful with the way he is with his kids then i do. Little kids are very affenctionate, give you a hug or try to hold your hands or stroke you leg when you're sitting down reading a story (weird i know! haha) but he has to shut it down before they get any where near him just incase it is misconstrued by someone who has an inherantly "err on the side of PEADONESS' whenever they see a grown up with a daughter.

ITs like all the stories where people have been caught out like that lady getting arrested for naked pictures of 3 year olds on the beach or the fact that US Tv blurs out baby bums and genitals, im mean WTF is that about? The fact it stupid things like that happens worries me more than what they think will happen if they DONT react!

Poor man.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:57 AM   #8
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It is sad. Decades ago, almost nothing was done about child abuse. Now, sometimes people are looking for it, where it doesn't exist.

Dazzlingamy, brought up an excellent point. In regards to teachers and daycare providers. Young children are naturally affectionate. And want to hug their teachers. I know. I have a five year old grand daughter and she is always hugging her teacher at the end of the school day. We see nothing wrong with this.

Every normal adult, gay or straight, knows the difference between good touching and what is crossing the line, with children.
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:52 PM   #9
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That is sad. It's important to get physical affection from both of your parents. Kids are naturally affectionate and some adults are taking that away from them. And adults are afraid to be affectionate with kids too.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:59 PM   #10
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It's the whole custom of kissing children in the mouth that got him in trouble. He's Italian and from what i've seen in other Italian families that seems to be an acceptable behavior. Just as it is here in the US, which is, to put it mildly, disgusting.

We are indeed very affectionate in Brazil, but we don't go around kissing children in the mouth! In my personal opinion it is absolutely inappropriate for adults to kiss their children in the mouth!

If children think it's ok to kiss their parents, grandparents and other relatives in the mouth, how are they supposed to know the difference when a stranger does the same?
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelK View Post

If children think it's ok to kiss their parents, grandparents and other relatives in the mouth, how are they supposed to know the difference when a stranger does the same?
No offense AngelK, but to say that a child wouldn't know the difference when a stranger kisses them on the mouth is frankly silly.

I kissed my parents on the mouth when I was little. They were innocent pecks on the lips, no big deal.

Also, my parents did teach me about being aware of strangers, and not talking to them or letting them touch you. So, if a stranger were to try to kiss me on the lips when I was young, I definitely would've knew that it was wrong.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:02 AM   #12
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I'm not trying to create controversy, but i don't think it's silly at all... Do you really believe that a 3 or 4 year old child, for example, knows the difference?

I've worked with small children here in the US and whenever i tried to explain something wasn't a appropriate behavior, they would say "oh it's ok, daddy does it to me all the time" or "but mommy likes it when i do this to her"... So in their tinny little heads if it's ok to do something with mommy and daddy it's ok to do it with any other adult.

In Law School i also studied countless cases of molestation, with children as young as 2. Most of the cases it started with something innocent enough or something the mother or father didn't think was a big deal, then it escalated to full blown molestation or rape... Worse yet, a lot of the children didn't think there was something wrong at all because it was what they knew and were used to.

Parents need to create boundaries and respect going both ways... You can't have mixed messages or rules... You need to be clear and consistent on what's appropriate or not. There are some lines you just don't cross and, in my opinion, kissing children in the mouth is one of them.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I'm not trying to create controversy, but i don't think it's silly at all... Do you really believe that a 3 or 4 year old child, for example, knows the difference?
Yes. Have you ever noticed that at 3 or 4 most children cling to their parents, and are often too shy to give an aunt or uncle a hug good bye? Believe me they can tell the difference.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:36 AM   #14
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I think there is a huge difference between a quick peck on the mouth and molestation. Kissing someone on the lips is not just a romantic thing. Sure you kiss your partner on the lips, but its a lot different when i kiss my friends, and i kiss a lot of them on the lips. If you don't do it, or are uncomfortable with kissing them obviously seeing someone else kissing their children or friends on the lips is a foreign thing and may make you uncomfortable, but its not a "sexual" thing at all with those people!

ITs like the good ole boob fight. People not wanting to see someone breastfeed in public because they immediately attach sexuality to a boob and turn it into something shameful and abbhorant by seeing a bit of boob in public.

ITs your MIND, and your SUBJECTIVITY that makes you think its disgusting, and although its my opinion, i think if you take a step back you'll realise that its your ideas that make it a bad thing.

Also like what BVS said, children know the difference between mummy and daddy and strangers. Not everyone is out to hurt a child.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:34 AM   #15
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i had a college professor once that didnt think sex offenders should have to register after prison. she had a real "im right, you're wrong" attitude about it too.
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