Letters to the Editor

From the week of April 1, 2004

Busted: David Holthouse's February 26 "Cruisin' for a Bustin'" contained quite a few errors. Allow me to address some of the egregious ones.

I am not and have never been executive director of Equality Colorado, an organization that suspended operation three years ago. I am executive director of the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, a fact that is clearly stated across the bottom of the several e-mails I sent to Mr. Holthouse, and which should have been apparent to him when staff at our agency answered the phone "Anti-Violence Program."

Lambda Legal is not based in Washington, D.C., but in New York City. Lambda has regional offices in several cities around the country, including Washington.

It is not true that men arrested by the Adams County Sheriff's Department who agreed to plea dispositions were not made to register as sex offenders. At least one of the Colorado Anti-Violence Program clients was made to register as a sex offender after a plea arrangement.

The overwhelming majority of pedophiles (studies vary, but the estimate is around 95 to 97 percent) are straight men. The quote by Sergeant Louis Dixon from the Adams County Sheriff's Office that children might be "in danger of being taken advantage of" reveals that his understanding of sexual predators is based entirely on myth. Holthouse, by repeating this misinformation, has directly contributed to the erroneous belief that men having consensual sex pose a threat to children, or anyone. Heterosexuals actually pose the greatest threat to children in terms of sexual violence.

In a similar vein, I've never heard of arresting people described as a "proactive" effort, but maybe it's an innovative new community policing strategy that Adams County has developed. Generally, "proactive" efforts regarding sex in public parks have focused on posting warnings, holding public forums, distributing materials describing rights and responsibilities to people using the parks, and forming coalitions to identify strategies to change or reduce behavior.

By now the pattern is apparent: Holthouse's article was sloppy and inaccurate. But it wasn't bad, as soft porn goes, which I'm guessing was the point. I hope Westword readers enjoyed the titillating fantasy, but don't mistake the article for a thorough, thoughtful, nuanced discussion of a serious issue. Try Penthouse for that.

Denise de Percin, executive director
Colorado Anti-Violence Program

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