My husband and I recently moved to a new area, and even more recently had a daughter. We work from home, and don't really know anyone in our new city, so we were delighted to meet James*, our across the street neighbor. He's smart, friendly, funny, pretty much who you'd wish to meet in a new place. He works for a bakery chain, and he brought us breads and pastries throughout the last few months of my pregnancy. We had many long talks in my back yard, my husband gave him tech support for his new computer, and he lent my husband his woodworking tools. Over the last year, we became pretty close. Then everything changed.
We were watching the news, and they were doing a segment about the sex offender database in our state, and how it now lets you find predators using your address rather than by name. We went to the site, entered our address, and lo and behold, James* was the first result. He was convicted of the sexual battery of a minor under the age of 12. Our state defines sexual battery as damaging, by a body part or any other object, the sexual organs of a child. There is no wacky set of zany misunderstandings wherein one can explain away damaging a child's sexual organs. I was abused as a child, and I'm at a loss for what to do. We have a new daughter, and the fact that we felt so safe with this person that in an emergency, we would've left her in his care freaks me right the fuck out. Was our trust really bought with free cinnamon rolls?
Usually, in my circle of pretty amazing and intelligent long distance friends, we can figure out pretty much anything, but my current situation has everyone at a loss. There is no Emily Post outlining the etiquette of ending a friendship with a pedophile.
So, now we have a close relationship with James*, my husband has a bunch of his tools and he's calling for more help with his computer. Things are getting awkward FAST. There are 15 children on my block, some of whom have parents that do not supervise their children for hours at a time, some of whom play in his yard. What do we do? How do we handle this? Do we move? Help!
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