Sex Offender Reveals the Truth, and Parents Need To Listen


“Harvey Lee Duncan, now 62 years old, wrote us a letter from prison asking us to interview him because he says he wants to help parents better protect their children from predators.

While a lot of what Duncan said was very difficult to hear, it’s important for parents to hear to help understand what’s going on inside the mind of a sexual predator in the hopes of saving children from sexual abuse.”

[My notes in blue] –Frankly, I think it is more important to know what goes on in the mind of the child in order to prevent and minimize child sexual abuse. We KNOW what goes on in the mind of the perpetrator.

“Duncan says he molested five girls in 1995 in Mandarin and Riverside. He says he started doing inappropriate things with young girls very shortly after he got married. He says first, he molested two family members. Next, he says it was three young sisters who were also friends of the family.

Duncan says his wife had no idea what he was doing and that earning the children’s trust was easy.

“If they believe that you will listen to them and talk to them they start asking you questions and eventually they start bringing up questions about the body and sex that they are afraid to talk to their parents and others about. That’s really how it got started.”

Duncan goes on to say young girls are emotionally needy. He says parents make a big mistake not being open with them about their bodies and about sex –- something he says predators take advantage of.

Duncan pleaded guilty in 2002 to lewd assault on a child, sexual battery of a child under 12 years old and sexual performance by a child. His arrest report says he tried to have sex with one of them.

He says the girls’ parents never suspected him.”

–It’s also vital to talk about what goes on in the mind of the parents. Too many parents are disconnected from their kids these days, and way too many of them want a free babysitter, or anyone -regardless of who they are- who will take their children off their hands so they can go to work, go to bars, go out on dates, go on weekend getaways with their lovers, etc etc.

Asked if the parents of the girls that he molested in Riverside found it odd that he was spending time with them, he said:  “No, they seemed to like it.  They let them stay over at our house sometimes.  When we went to visit, when we went home, the kids would want to come with us.”

–Of course the parents enjoyed it. Anyone who will take the kids off their hands so they can have more free time —even a guy who looks like this:

Harvey Duncan

Harvey Duncan

“To protect children who are the victim of abuse, their identities are blacked out of police reports, so we don’t have any way of knowing what their parents thought of Duncan at the time.  We can only assume they didn’t consider him a threat, perhaps because Duncan was married to the same woman for 30 years, they had a son and Duncan had a job.  He worked as an electrician.

Asked how he was able to manipulate these children into not telling their parents about what was happening to them, Duncan said: “To tell you the truth, I never said one time don’t say anything about it.  I actually stressed being honest…. I always told them to tell the truth, many times.”

The secret was kept for nearly two years.  What Duncan told us next will sound like twisted rationalizing by a perverted mind.  We want you to know what he told us because it illustrates how effective pedophiles can be at manipulating children. Duncan suggests the girls liked what was happening to them.

–It’s time to tell the truth society. Duncan is right. Rewards for child sexual abuse are as old as time! Children learn quickly they can get candy, gifts, favoritism, or attention through sexual acts with adults.

Many children like feeling special with sexual abuse. They like taking the attention away from other children, or even from the adult woman in the family.

“I told them as long as I hear good reports from your parents that you are doing well at home and well at school, then I would let them participate in what we were doing.”

That seemed shocking, to use the abuse as a reward.

–It has to stop being shocking. It is common. People need to get it through their thick heads that not all children react to sexual abuse with disgust and rejection.

This fact does not mean that child sexual abuse should be condoned, ignored, allowed, legalized or in any way permitted!

What this truth does mean, is that more children would be protected if the adult world understood that not all children are going to tell them what is going on if the child is receiving rewards. Not all children are going to show signs of distress, injury, trauma, or anger.

It is imperative that adults don’t base their perception of a perpetrator on how the child behaves around the perpetrator or, that the child does not complain about being with that person.

“That’s just the way I did things,” Duncan said. “I’m not saying it’s right, wrong or otherwise. I’m just saying that’s the way it had worked.”

Duncan says something else parents need to know about predators.  When he was molesting girls, he says he could not stop.

“The fear of losing the social contact with people, who I could associate with, of losing that contact, is what prevented me from doing something…. I basically became one with them, not them with me, but me with them,” says Duncan.

Duncan says he was picked on in school and isolated himself as a child, so he says he never felt like he could fit in with people his own age.

Things parents can take-away from this disturbing look into the mind of a sexual predator:

  • If your child is going over to a neighbor’s house, ask who else will be home and what do you know about them? –Ha! I would say, don’t allow them to go to a neighbor’s home unless it is to play with their kids, and unless you have established through time and trust that the family has principles and morals.
  • Will your child ever be left alone with that person? –If so, then don’t do it!
  • Don’t assume your child is safe from a predator just because he or she is with another sibling. Duncan says he molested the sisters when they were all together. –and don’t assume that older siblings won’t sexually abuse the younger ones.

We talked with a local attorney who prosecutes child sex abuse cases and he says it’s usually a relative, a family friend or a neighbor who commits this kind of crime.  Rarely is it a complete stranger.

Duncan remains behind bars at the Union Correctional Facility in Raiford.  He has served 10 years of his 25-year sentence.”


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7 Responses to Sex Offender Reveals the Truth, and Parents Need To Listen

  1. Grace says:

    “–and don’t assume that older siblings won’t sexually abuse the younger ones.”

    Yes, Alethea. Thank you so much for all of this.

  2. Star says:

    “If they believe that you will listen to them and talk to them they start asking you questions and eventually they start bringing up questions about the body and sex that they are afraid to talk to their parents and others about. That’s really how it got started.”
    Duncan goes on to say young girls are emotionally needy. He says parents make a big mistake not being open with them about their bodies and about sex –- something he says predators take advantage of.

    “I just saw my Therapist, she mentioned that the parenting style “authoritarian”… contributes to children not being open about what happens in their life. The “do as I say” and “not as I do” type of mentality hurts the “parent-child” relationship; Sexual abuse can occur due to the “closed door” policy of the parents. If it is an open door mentality, the child may be more apt to tell if someone sexually abused him or her. My own child was sexually abused and came and told me about it. I have an open door policy in my home. I am open with my child about the body/sex and what our family expectations/ morals are.]]]]]]]
    Authoritarian parenting, also called strict parenting,[16] is characterized by high expectations of conformity and compliance to parental rules and directions, while allowing little open dialogue between parent and child. Authoritarian parenting is a restrictive, punitive parenting style in which parents make their children follow their directions and respect their work and effort.[1] Authoritarian parents expect much of their child, but generally do not explain the reasoning for the rules or boundaries.[20] Authoritarian parents are less responsive to their child’s needs, and are more likely to ground their child rather than discuss the problem.[21] Authoritarian parenting deals with low parental responsiveness and high parental demand, the parents tend to demand obedience without explanation and focus on status.[18]
    Children resulting from this type of parenting may have less social competence because the parent generally tells the child what to do instead of allowing the child to choose by him or herself.[22] Some children of authoritarian parents may develop insecurities and display anti-social behavior.

  3. Little Nel says:

    Sexual predators are so covert and sneaky. If we knew how to recognize them at first glance, then our children could not be harmed.

    We can only go by our experience or our intuition that tells us something is not right with this person, place, or thing.

    One day my nine year-old daughter asked me if she could sleep over at a friend’s home. I told her no. To my surprise, the girl and her step-father came to see me in an effort to get me to acquiesce to the sleep over, in front of my daughter.

    Red flags started waving inside my brain. There was something about this girl and her stepfather’s demeanor and their strong pleadings for permission to take my daughter for the night that made me feel panicky and uncomfortable with their efforts to get me to change my mind about the sleep over. I stood my ground and said, “No” again.

    Later, I thought that those two reminded me of my father and my step-sister who had an incestuous relationship. My step-sister was instrumental in procuring new “friends” and disarming them emotionally and mentally, so that they could be exploited and seduced by my father.

    I agree that young girls who are emotionally “needy” are easy pickins’ for perps. All my father’s victims were in need of acceptance from a father figure.

  4. Casey says:

    Thank you for sharing this. As a mother, I will keep this all in mind. I’m already VERY picky about who watches my child, and have found an amazing couple of moms to watch her who constantly text photos of her playing and keep me updated while I’m at work.

    Meanwhile, I have a friend who is a police officer, and she taught her daughter all about “good touch/bad touch” and all those situations like being grabbed, kidnapped, and such. She’s going to be teaching my daughter, too.

    Also, when the time comes, I will remember to be open about her body and sex. I just hope it’s not too soon, as I will miss her innocent brain. 😦

    • Alethea says:

      Casey, as a person who was sexually abused by my police officer father, and also by a woman….please be there when this friend teaches your daughter. Don’t allow her to touch your daughter, and remember that even kids who are taught “good-touch/bad-touch” can find themselves being sexually abused and not know what the hell to do, and never tell anyone about.

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