It is perhaps logical for decent and empathetic people residing in California and across the world to posit a certain type of individual when they contemplate a child sex abuser.
After all, such people are not like us, right? They stand in the shadows, being noticeably scarred and flawed individuals who cannot possibly share traits -- most notably, understandable thought processes -- in common with most other people.
Sadly, that is not the case, with ample evidence available to prove that child molesters, pedophiles and sexual abusers of all types fit a rather disturbing demographic.
And that is this: They look, act and behave in society largely in ways that mark the rest of us.
That is to say, child sex abuse is egalitarian. Abusers come from every race, ethnic background and from both sexes. Moreover, many of them occupy a prominent social status in positions that elicit trust, like teachers, police officers, coaches and clergy members.
Media accounts across the country are now exploding with the lurid and tragic details relevant to one California brain surgeon's decades-long quest to impregnate women and then raise "sexual families" pursuant to which he could freely molest his offspring.
The doctor, who recently appeared in a Santa Cruz court, has been arrested along with two women, all who allegedly participated together in videotaping their sexual abuse of multiple children on numerous occasions.
The physician faces 48 criminal counts, which could put him behind bars for the rest of his life.
The tale is tragic, of course, but it is not truly surprising. As noted above, sexual activity targeting children -- at once, the most vulnerable and trusting of all populations -- is authored by all kinds of people in all kinds of positions.
And it absolutely must be stopped, with perpetrators being held both criminally and civilly accountable.