Pedophile Says Abuse Is Religious Right

By Steve Jordahl
Family News in Focus
August 4, 2006

A Cleveland man is being charged with multiple counts of raping nine boys with disabilities. His excuse? It's a ritual of his religion.

Phillip Distasio told the court, "I'm a pedophile. I've been a pedophile for 20 years. The only reason I'm charged with rape is that no one believes a child can consent to have sex." Armed with an ordination from an online church, he is claiming the charges are a violation of his religious freedom. Daniel Weiss is with Focus on the Family Action.

"That's really the story of pornography. It warps a person to the point where they no longer have any sense of reason."

Dr. Judith Reisman of the Institute for Media Education says a pedophile's break with reality is shocking.

"That is someone who can see in front of him a child screaming, writhing in pain, fainting, having convulsions and who will conclude those children are enjoying that."

Distasio's claim that children can and do consent to this abuse is a common rational for pedophiles. Weiss says it's a byproduct of a culture saturated with pornography.

"People who see this stuff become very warped and twisted and they end up believing that what they're doing has no consequences, and there's nothing harmful about it. It's only in a culture that's thoroughly pornographic that is completely okay with seeing adults as sexual commodities that we get to the point where children now become sexual commodities."

Distasio's court appointed lawyer refused to use the religious freedom defense, so the pedophile is representing himself. If the aphorism is true, not only is he a fool, he's a deluded one.


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