I keep asking myself whether I would drag 'McQueary' - an associate I know fairly well, but not closely - straight to the police if he made an accusation of that nature, with that level of detail, to me about my wife, or my father, or my best friend. Or, if instead I would want to go and talk to that person first to find out their side of it - hoping like hell it is clearly a horrible misunderstanding. And every time I come back to it I choose the latter. My instinct would be complete disbelief. I would be desperate for a plausible explanation, and getting one would provide incredible relief. And as much time passed, any lingering doubt would be erased. If it were me being accused, I would also most certainly want the opportunity to explain myself before it was turned over to the authorities, and would want my wife or parents or best friend to give me the benefit of the doubt.
I keep pondering that aspect of this because I think for some reason it is very easy for us to believe that someone we don't know well, even if they have an immaculate reputation, is evil. But I think it's much harder to believe that of someone we know very personally, respect completely and even love. And I think that's why predators are able to deceive so many for so long. I think that's the real takeaway from all this, and it's being completely lost.
If this lesson is learned and taken to heart by our culture, the great positive would be many more predators exposed, and many children saved. But the downside would be the multiple innocent people accused, and lives likely ruined from a misunderstanding, for every one predator caught early. For the children, that cost is worth it, but it is a high cost nonetheless.