At the sentencing hearing of Larry Nasser, the former USA Gymnastics physician who molested more than 150 young female gymnasts, the judge referred to him as the kind of predator "we rarely see." However, recent history clearly refutes that statement.
Over the past twenty years, the number of predators with a similar pattern of cultivating trusting relationships with children and the community as a cover for their abuse has become all too common.
Predators portray a pattern of activities that must be recognized by adults if they are to be able to stop them. These predators have expertise and demonstrate genuine concern for children. They usually exercise some kind of authority over children and also take time to cultivate a relationship of trust with parents and others in the community. They weave their way into the child's life and develop trust with the family. They present themselves as someone who can help. They are surrounded by children and often praised for the work they do with children. Their pattern of grooming is predictable.
In addition, the organizations affiliated with these predators have protected the institution's reputation first and foremost, and not the children. Frank Bruni "Larry Nassar is a Familiar Monster" nytimes.com (Jan. 27, 2018).