advice sought. Suspect Brother-in-Law a child molester/ into child porn

Mods please move this if it is in the wrong forum.

First, let me say that I don’t know anything for sure. My wife and I suspect strongly that there is something going on in my B.I.L’s house, and we aren’t sure what to do about it.

Signs: He recently took one of the bays of his three car garage and made it into a private office that has more security on it than the pentagon. We went to look at the room when it was finished, and when we came out, he was standing in the garage staring at us like we just caught him jerking off. :eek: It was weird. A feeling. A gut feeling, but it was there for both of us. He immediately pushed past us and locked up the door.

No one in the family is permitted in the room. All of his computer equipment is in this bunker. I at first suspected child porn, because he has some serious unexplained income. However, it’s how he acts with his oldest daughter that has us concerned. He is always *touching * her. I can’t say it’s inappropriate, but he’s always putting her on his lap and she’s now 12. Since this has been going on for as long as I can remember, I wonder if this is just normal. His behavior has seemed, I don’t know… just a bit too odd.

I do not have a daughter, so it’s hard for me to gauge. And I have to say, this is a sticky wicket. I don’t want to accuse someone of a heinous act if they aren’t guilty, but my gut and my wife’s gut are both telling us the same thing. I can’t put my finger on it, and I can’t explain it better than that. But I’ve been around a lot of kids and their parents and at no time has the interaction between parents and their children given me the heebie jeebies like this.

I’m worried about my niece.

What does one do in a situation like this? If we are wrong, boy that’s something to be wrong about. But if we are right and do nothing, I fear for my niece’s safety. I am afraid to contact the authorities because I don’t want my name associated with it.

But I’d bet money there is kiddie porn on his hard drive. He shows no interest in his wife and he has shown entirely too much interest in his oldest daughter. His other kids don’t even get a blip on the radar screen.

Oh, and the weirdest part is that his oldest daughter resembles his wife when she was younger.

I don’t know. Every time I see this guy I want to put him through a wall, but I admit it is only a suspicion… and a fairly baseless suspicion at that. I don’t want to turn over all these lives just because of my gut.

So, I ask you all for advice. When does a little girl stop sitting on her father’s lap? When does the father stop stroking his daughter’s hair? What would you do? What really can be done legally?

Thanks.

That can hardly be helped now, can it?

There’s nothing in what you wrote that suggests he’s doing more than locking himself in his bunker and jerking off to good old heterosexual (or more likely, faux-lesbian) porn, or perhaps not jerking off at all, but working on some secret project like jamjar fusion or a perpetual-motion-powered-flying-car.

It’s not unusual or suspicious, in my experience, for a daughter aged 12 to be quite clingy and cuddly with her father.

But of course I am lacking the subtleties of having witnessed body language and personal acquaintance with the guy, so maybe you’re picking up on something that cannot be, or has not been related here. I dunno.

But I do have to ask; why is ‘the weirdest part’ the resemblance between his wife and daughter? That’s just genetics, isn’t it?

I think he means that he finds it significant that the father’s main interest is in the child that most strongly resembles her mother.

My only suggestion would be for you and your wife to try to be there for your niece so that she feels she can talk to you if she needs to. I can’t see a resolution to this situation until/unless the child makes an allegation against her father. If she feels she can trust and talk openly with you, she may come to you if she feels she needs support. Would your situation allow for the nieces and nephews to have visits and perhaps sleepovers at your house on occasion? One-on-one time with them would be ideal, but group activities will also help build up your bond with them and their trust in you.

Since you seem to be close to the family (is he your wife’s brother, or you sister’s husband?) can you have a private talk with your niece and let her know that if she needs you, you’ll be there for her? Can you approach his wife and ask her gently if there’s anything worrying her? I know school is probably out for the year, but a phone call to her counselor might help him or her to watch for any signs.

Or you could hire someone to hack into his computer. Oh wait, that’s not legal, is it? Talk to a local cop and ask their advice…perhaps they already have their eye on him, unbeknownst to you.

I don’t see why that need necessarily be a sexual thing though - father doting on daughter who is the image of the (admittedly, departed) mother is one the key plot points in the movie Herbie:Fully Loaded, for example.

If you call the police involved and are dead wrong he is absolutely going to hate you and that could make family reunions dicey. Why not spend some time with your neice? It might be fun, plus she might feel comfortable to tell you something, if something is in fact going on.

Just spitballing…

Just be absolutely careful that any attempt to spend extra time with your niece (in the specified absence of her father) does not itself appear as suspicious.

You could always hire a private detective. A good one will know how to find him online, and can observe his behavior when no one else is around. If he’s involved in child porn, it probably wouldn’t be all that difficult to track.

Well, his wife could, perhaps as the Aunty, to give her time away from Mom. I know when I was that age, my mother and I were constantly at each other’s throats.

You may be sensing something real here, but just as likely your “gut” is making you suspicious without just cause. The fact that your wife has the same gut feeling only signifies that you two are on the same wavelength, probably on a lot of things. Keep in mind that suspicion alone can ruin an innocent person, and suspicion expressed, especially if it turns out to be wrong, could destroy you as well. It is well that you brought this up here in this anonymous forum. But be careful where else you say these things. I hope you are wrong about this person. If you are not, I hope proof comes to hand soon.

Bingo. The mother (my wife’s sister) is now disgustingly obese, looks and dresses like a bag lady, and seems to have some serious issues. I think what bothers me is when they were married 20+ years ago, the mother was thin and looked just like the oldest daughter. I understand the genetics, but his second daughter doesn’t have these traits, and is pretty much ignored by my BIL.

That’s fine. That’s what I asked for.

We’ve discussed this, but again, not sure about anonymity. We both hope we are wrong, but are worried if we are right.

One problem. After the “room incident”, we have not been invited back to the house. We also have not been able to spend any time alone with the niece. It’s a very awkward situation. They control access to the children, and do not permit them to come to our house for sleep-overs, or any sort of social event without the parents being there. This is my wife’s family, and I think a woman would be better at speaking to her niece than I would be, but we’ve never had a moment alone with her to even fish.

This, incidentally was not the case before the “room incident”.

I don’t know what’s in there, but he doesn’t want anyone to find out.

His wife is a trainwreck, and I would suspect that she would turn her back on this behavior if she knew. Without her husband, she would be homeless and possibly institutionalized. She is a very bizarre woman, and not very sexual.

One more strange behavior that totally slipped my mind until now. When I was at their house playing kickball with the kids, The son (about seven at the time) ran up to me after kicking the ball and grabbed my “privates”. This was in broad daylight with the whole family outside watching the game and socializing. No one that I know of noticed, and I brushed it off.

The older niece that I’m concerned about did the same thing on the same day to me.

I told my wife about this story and she thought it was odd, but said it was kids being kids. I thought it was *extremely * odd, and has made me very uncomfortable around the kids. Their comfort level at grabbing my “package” freaked me out, quite frankly. I would have never done that at their age (or any other age, to be honest). It seemed to be something they didn’t view as abnormal. I never said anything to anyone but my wife and I didn’t make a big deal of it at the time because I didn’t want to embarrass the kids or draw attention to it.

Is this behavior normal or a red flag? Kids reaching for my genitals is not something I would ever consider normal. And it was during a kickball game for crying out loud. I’ve told my wife that I never want to be alone with the kids because I don’t want to be accused of anything.

I don’t know. have any of you with kids observe/experience this type of behavior? Or is it a sign that something else is going on?

Dificult question. He may have set up a fortress for any number of reasons. Jerking off (to normal porn) , gambeling, (which his wife should really know about but it’s not up there with child porn), or just wanting to get the fuck away from her.

But if you have a vibe…I have to say talk to the niece. Carefully. If anything happened she’ll have a hard time talking about it. I did. But she’s the only one who can answer the question.

Talk to her.

Well it all sounds suspicious to me as well.

Could you contact a Support Group of some kind and describe the situation to them, and ask them for advice? Or the police, or Children’s Services?

It also sounds like one hell of a f*cked up family and I feel very sorry for ALL of the kids.

Good luck with this situation.

You are exactly right, DesertGeezer. If we are wrong (and I pray to God we are), the accusation isn’t something that will wash off easily. I don’t want to ruin a person’s life with no tangible proof.

The only two people (as far as I know) that have discussed this is my wife and me.

I’m sorry if someone has answered this (I haven’t read all the responses yet), but did anyone read my story about the genitalia touching? Has that happened to anyone or has anyone had children do this? It still bothers me, and it happened years ago. I can’t believe I forgot to mention it in the OP… maybe it *is * normal behavior, and I’m being a bit over concerned.

I hope I’m wrong, but if I ever find out he touched those kids, I’ll do everything I can to make his life hell.

Well usually unusual sexual behaviour is a big red flag that points towards a child being molested.

But from the description of their household, it could be just a strange attention-getting behaviour too.

Talk to an expert - under condition of anonymity. There may be a Children’s Helpline or something who could guide you.

I once reported a neighbour who was a completely unfit mother, anonymously, to Children’s Social Services in our province. They were at her place the next day, for quite a while. I felt weird doing it, BUT when I weighed a grown woman’s feelings against the right of her baby to a safe, healthy life, there was really no decision to be made.

I’m not going to be much help here (I’m usually not), but is there any way to casually mention to the BIL that you’re sorry that you seemed to have freaked him out in the garage last time you were over, and maybe kind of see where that goes conversation wise? It’s so hard to comment without really knowing the interpersonal dynamics of your relationship with the man.

Me, I’d just have to find a way into that room, security be damned. If my gut was telling me what yours is telling you, then I’d just have to. That’s just talk though, and I don’t recommend you doing anything of the sort.

What do you mean by “Pentagon level of security”, by the way?

I can’t imagine grabbing someone’s “package” during a kickball game at any point in my life. 7 years, 12 years, 45 years old - it’s just something I have always know wasn’t right.

The mother of the children is your wife’s sister, am I correct? Can your wife maybe make some unscheduled “visits” and maybe see if she can talk with her sister? Or her niece?

I really feel for you on this one - you don’t want to falsely accuse someone of something like this - if it is unfounded the accusation can still ruin someone’s life. On the other hand, you definitely don’t want that happening to your niece. Good luck.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to do any surveillance yourself (trying to bypass his security, sneak the kids off to talk to them, etc.)

You’ve only got three choices that I can see from the other posters:

  1. Talk to the kids
  2. Hire a detective
  3. Do nothing

And…you can’t talk to the kids. Perhaps best to ask what sort of privacy you can expect from a detective, and how good they tend to be at not being spotted.

This is why you’re not invited to the SDMB kickball tournaments. :wink:

I don’t think that this in and of itself is a warning sign. I had a nephew do the same thing, and I know he’s not being molested. Sometimes kids are just weird. Freaked me right out, but his parents said that he’d been doing that for about a week or so.

Ah, or…

  1. Call up a social service to give them the once-over.