It was the hardest thing he had to do
Parenting can be hard no matter the temperament of your child. However, when you realize that your child could be a danger ― not just to himself or the immediate family, but to the most vulnerable victims ― it can turn heartbreaking. But what else can you do? This father was presented with that decision and had to make a heart-wrenching call to contact police about his son’s behavior. While he wonders if he made the right choice, others are applauding his bravery and commending him for making sure others are safe from his predatory son.
On Dec. 30, Paul Spensberger took away his 17-year-old son Andrew’s cellphone because he was misbehaving. Paul started combing through the gallery on the phone for an unknown reason, and he was met with two images that disturbed and “disgusted” him. The two images showed an unclothed toddler that he recognized to be the daughter of Andrew’s girlfriend.
Paul approached his son about the images, and Andrew admitted that he took the diaper off of the sleeping two-year-old girl when she was resting at his house. He took the photos hoping to sell them to a classmate at his high school for troubled teens who he believed to be a child predator in the hopes of making over $300. Andrew, who worked at KFC, said that he needed the money because he owed it to another acquaintance.
Paul was horrified by what his son had done and felt that he had no choice but to call the police. Andrew was arrested by O’Fallon Police officers.
Andrew remains in county jail for the Class D felony of possessing child pornography, and he has a $10,000 bond that his father is conflicted about paying. Paul told Daily Mail, “He feels like s**t. He feels remorse and he is scared, he’s facing time in prison. I could go and get him but he needs to learn.”
Andrew could be imprisoned for years, and his mother ― who is separated from Paul ― feels like Andrew may be in danger of being brutally attacked while incarcerated.
Turning his son in wasn’t easy for Paul even though he felt it was the right thing to do to get his son to see the egregious error he made ― not to mention to protect other children. He claimed that he didn’t know what he was expecting from having his son arrested. “I don’t know if I would do the same thing again now,” he said.
Paul doesn’t believe that his son is attracted to children himself but that he took the photos because he has an issue with stealing. “Andrew is a thief but he is not sexual like that. He was in a bind [for money]…” he continued. “I have no doubt there are kids at his school that would buy s**t like that.”
Paul claims that the child’s family has forgiven Andrew already, but Paul feels that what took place is “unethical and it should never happen.” Andrew’s future is unclear at this point, and Paul will hopefully find some peace with the situation knowing that he likely prevented his son from doing something far worse.
According to The Huffington Post, child molesters usually begin their assaults in their teen years. Most children who are molested under the age of six are touched by family members or romantic partners of the parents. Children who live with a single parent who moves in a romantic partner are 20 times more likely than children living with both biological parents to be assaulted in this manner. Unfortunately, the little girl in question in this story is one of them.
Do you think that Paul did the right thing by turning in Andrew? Let us know in the comments and SHARE this story.