How would you feel if your children’s caretaker was keeping a journal of how your kid responded to their touch? So creepy, right? Prosecutors in Colorado are saying that the journal was about “grooming” children for abuse. But defense attorneys say there is nothing against the law with his scribblings.
The journal runs 800 pages long and is evidence in a chid-porn case. Prosecutors say it shows Dave Moe is a threat to the community and shouldn’t be released. In it, he recorded the daily interactions he had with young girls at the preschool where he taught. It records the hugs, tickles and affectionate words he gave to more than 100 young girls:
In the journal, a federal agent testified Moe talked of being alone with female students – in one instance – making sure the child got off his lap before her mother arrived. Selected entries of the journals, as transcribed by the prosecution, indicate Moe carefully recorded the children’s reactions to his affections…
“Did hold [name withheld by prosecutors] by the waist briefly, and she didn’t flinch,” one entry read.
“Had [name withheld] by the hips, and she was fine by that,” another read.
“I was overly affection with her, but I love her so,” an entry read. “No more of that.”
“Gave her a kiss on the cheek, and no bad reaction,” Moe wrote of one student. “I love her so much.”
“I only let my family tickle me,” Moe recalled one girl telling him. “She’s obviously been coached.”
Just reading those lines makes me sick. Prosecutors say it’s classic grooming behavior but defense attorneys say it shows that Moe — who had a ton of child porn — kept a strict line between his online behavior and his professional interactions.
For his part, the judge says the journal might simply be a defense against allegations of inappropriate conduct:
The judge appeared to struggle to reconcile the journal’s contents with the lack of a proven allegation of sexual contact with children.
“There’s no evidence of grooming,” Judge Michael Hegarty said. “There is an obsession with his interactions with small children.”
“That is strange. It is odd. It is disconcerting. It is alarming,” the judge said. “I don’t want a horrific event occurring on my watch.”
The creep is on trial for 200 images of child pornography but it turns out he had more than 4,100 images on more than 500 CDs, six portable hard drives and two desktop images. Feds say they’re digging through five or six terabytes of data for evidence.
Moe taught at the same elite preschool in Denver since 1993. Let’s hope the damage he caused is minimal.