How common is sex addiction and the related charges?
The saga continues for Dr. Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State University sports doctor. He has been accused of sexually abusing more than 100 former patients through MSU’s sports programs and as sports injury doctor working with USA Gymnastics – the national women’s gymnastics organization.
Dr. Nassar has agreed to plead guilty to federal child pornography charges, as reported in the Detroit News and ESPN. In exchange for a guilty plea to child pornography, the FBI has agreed to drop its investigation into “conduct that allegedly occurred in his swimming pool during the summer of 2015 involving two minor children” and allegations of sexual abuse which occurred during interstate and international travel between 2006 and 2012 involving two different girls.
Thirty-seven thousand pictures of child pornography were found on Nassar’s computer. The grand jury found that Nassar used a third-party vendor to permanently delete his laptop hard drive after he came under investigation. The FBI found external hard drives in his trash.
Sex Addiction Becoming Increasingly Common
According to a 2011 article in Newsweek, sexual addictions are becoming increasingly common. In addition this is not only for men in their 40s and 50s who used to be the typical individual seeking treatment for sex addiction. Now more women, adolescents, and elderly people are seeking treatment for what has become labeled as a disease.
Men and women – but predominantly men – are seeking treatment in greater and greater numbers for sexual behavior that has become out of their control. In some cases, it has led them to illegal behavior.
One of the main culprits, according to Newsweek, is the anonymous and constant availability of online pornography. We can’t know for sure if this is what happened in Dr. Nassar’s case, but “…a growing body of research shows how hypersexual disorder can fit into other forms of addiction.”
The dopamine high created by this hyper sexual behavior masks a sufferer’s feelings of insecurity or loneliness much the same way as the high created by drugs or alcohol. When hyper-sexual behavior ceases, withdrawal-like symptoms can occur. Whether or not this behavior is primarily solo and fueled by pornography or has ventured into abuse territory there are treatment options available.
If you suspect that you are suffering from a sexual addiction, getting help is far preferable to what will happen to you if you venture down an illegal path. Even if you do not molest children or commit sexual assault, there are serious consequences for even being in possession of underage pornography, which is defined this way by the Justice Department:
“any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age).”
- Digitally generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor
- Images modified to appear to depict an actual minor
- Undeveloped film
- And electronically stored data
The definition of explicit also extends to a simple nude photo of a minor if it is sexually suggestive. Internet child pornography (this includes any child who is under the age of 18) always qualifies as a federal crime. Those found in possession of it could face up to life in prison under the right circumstances.
This is not a road you want to go down if you can help it.
If you believe you have an addiction, especially if your addiction is illegal in and of itself, it’s best to get help immediately.
If you are facing criminal charges related to sexual addiction, child pornography or sexual assault related to those things, get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.