Over the decades, Oprah has done countless shows about child abuse and sexual predators…but this is a first. In January 2010, Oprah sat down with four admitted child molesters and their therapist, Dawn Horwitz-Person, for a frank discussion about the cycle of abuse, graphic details of their crimes and how they methodically groomed their victims.
"I was raped at 9 and molested from the ages of 9 through 14, and because of that, I've always wanted to be able to sit down and talk to a group of child molesters and ask them why and how they do what they do," Oprah says. "It's the most honest conversation I've ever had with sex offenders."
Watch Oprah's two-hour conversation in its entirety.
After getting a rare insight into the minds of molesters, Oprah says there are four things every person should know.
First, 90 percent of child molesters know their victims. Most are not strangers who lurk in the bushes, waiting to kidnap children. "We're talking about family friends, uncles, fathers, brothers and neighbors," Oprah says. "Less than 10 percent of molesters are the strangers who are abducting kids who you see on the news."
Before Lee was caught molesting a 5-year-old girl, he says he was a close friend of the girl's family. His victim even called him "Grandpa." "She relied on me quite a bit instead of her parents," Lee says.
Both Darren and David were related to their victims. David says he molested and raped a close family member for 12 years, while Darren was once sexually obsessed with his 12-year-old daughter.
At first, Darren says he had sexual fantasies about his daughter. Then, he began to act on these fantasies. He started touching her inappropriately while she slept or pretended to sleep out of fear. Over time, the abuse escalated. "I asked her if I could orally copulate her, and she said no," Darren says. "She actually told me once that, 'I didn't want you to do that because you're my dad.'"
Despite her plea, Darren says the abuse continued.