The difference between a pedophile and a sexual offender

Robin Sax, Attorney & Legal Analyst, explains the differences in the definitions of a pedophile and of a sexual offender
The Difference Between A Pedophile and a Sexual Offender
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The difference between a pedophile and a sexual offender

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People throw around the words, predator, opportunist, pedophile, sex offender, all suggesting that they mean different things. In my world as a prosecutor, they are all the same things. I don't care if the person was classified by some psychologist as an opportunist or as, technically, a pedophile by the DSM4. The fact of the matter is anybody who touches children is a sexual predator or a pedophile or an opportunist in my book. And parents need to not worry about labels but treat all of those people the same. A pedophile, technically, according to the DSM4 requires that you have been convicted of some crime, so you can imagine, as a parent, having someone have a conviction doesn't really matter much if they're touching your kid. And sexual assault in it of itself is so murky in terms of what actually counts. Sexual assault, a lot of people assume, means touching. But in my world from a prosecutor prospective and as a mom perspective, showing pornography, peeping at someone, looking at someone, undressing someone, grooming someone are all behaviors that lead to sexual assault or sexual conduct. To me those are warning flags.

Robin Sax, Attorney & Legal Analyst, explains the differences in the definitions of a pedophile and of a sexual offender

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Robin Sax

Attorney & Legal Analyst

Robin is a legal analyst for Fox11 Los Angeles (KTTV). She appears there daily offering legal insight and analysis as well as parenting and safety expertise.  She also regularly contributes her legal and parenting expertise to The TODAY Show, Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America, CNN, and HLN. She covers both the unknown and known high profile cases including Conrad Murray, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Casey Anthony, Jaycee Dugard, OJ Simpson and many more.

Robin is also a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and Riverside County Deputy District Attorney who specialized in sex crimes against children. For over 15 years she prosecuted some of the most despicable defendants who committed the most heinous crimes, prosecuting hundreds of felony crimes including homicides, stalking, domestic violence, child sexual assault, and gang crimes. 

She is an author who has penned six books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Criminal Justice System and Predators and Child Molesters:  A Sex Crimes DA Answers 100 of the Most Asked Questions all of which draw on her vast experience as a prosecutor and victim right's advocate. Her powerful insights have regularly graced the pages of The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, People Magazine, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, The Los Angeles Times and the Women in Crime Ink blog.

In addition to advising numerous legal foundations, Robin regularly shares her valuable insight and expertise through speaking and teaching with members of the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, and the California District Attorney’s Association. Robin has served as adjunct professor of Women and Crime at Cal State Los Angeles and lecturer on criminal law and the justice system in UCLA’s Paralegal Training Program.

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