An Anthem, AZ man was arrested after a mother called the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office stating a man, who was looking for a baby-sitter, had come on to her 12-year-old daughter.
Michael Whitlow, 26, was arrested on charges of kidnapping and luring a minor for sexual exploitation. He also faces a variety of drug charges.
According to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla, after the girl’s stepfather dropped her off, Whitlow took the girl inside and locked the doors. The girl later said she felt trapped and frightened. She said Whitlow told her he could hardly keep his hands off her. He allowed her to leave without assaulting her, the Sheriff’s Office said. Chagolla said Whitlow has admitted wanting to engage her as a sexual partner.
The 12-year old girl’s stepfather made a fatal mistake when he dropped his 12-year old step daughter off at Whitlow’s home. It is astonishing that an adult would drop a child off at an unknown person’s home for any reason. Although, Whitlow did not physically/sexually assault her, the emotional damage as a result of her feeling trapped and frightened is unknown and might not be known for several years. His statement, “…hardly keep my hands off you, you are very attractive; do not tell your parents…” is abuse. In addition, she feared for her life that is abuse.
Although, many adults would not consider this incident sexual abuse, the fact Whitlow made sexual statements toward her fits the criteria for sexual abuse. “If the experience has sexual meaning for another person, in lieu of a nurturing purpose for the benefit of the child, it is abuse. If it is unwanted or inappropriate for her age or the relationship, it is abuse. Incest [sexual abuse] can occur through words, sounds, or even exposure of the child to sights or acts that are sexual but do not involve her. If she is forced to see what she does not want to see, for instance, by an exhibitionist, it is abuse. If a child is forced into an experience that is sexual in content or overtone that is abuse. As long as the child is induced into sexual activity with someone who is in a position of greater power, whether that power is derived through the perpetrator’s age, size, status, or relationship, the act is abusive. A child who cannot refuse, or who believes she or he cannot refuse, is a child who has been violated.” -E. Sue Blume, Secret Survivors