After a year, the final member involved in the female pedophile ring in the UK plead guilty:
Care worker and grandmother Tracy Dawber, from Southport, was found guilty by a unanimous verdict of sexually assaulting a five-month-old girl and allowing pictures to be taken of the abuse.
She is one of four women who was persuaded by convicted paedophile Colin Blanchard, 40, to engage in child sex abuse.
I wrote about this case last year. Four women recorded themselves raping toddlers and infants and sent the pictures to a man named Colin Blanchard. Blanchard contacted the women via email and phone calls, asking them to abuse children and share the images with him. The women did so for some time. Their ring met its end last summer.
This case garnered a lot of attention in the UK because of the age of the victims and the gender of the abusers. This spawned more coverage of female-perpetrated sexual violence in the following months. All of this did a good job of chipping away at the myth that women rarely abuse. Unfortunately, it did not chip away at the myth that women who abuse only do so because a man forced them to. That theme continued in the BBC article:
Ms Reddrop, who oversaw all the evidence gathered from five different police forces, was keen to stress that Blanchard was “a highly controlling and manipulative man”.
“He was the reason that it all happened in the sense that he started the activity off, had it have happened without him I don’t know,” she told reporters outside court.
Blanchard only met one of the women offline. The rest he interacted with by email or phone. While it is certainly possible that Blanchard is so manipulative that he can get people who do not know him to do whatever he wants, it is more likely that he simply sought out people who shared his interests, i.e. female pedophiles willing to act on their desires. After all, these women acted on their own accord, raping toddlers and infants, recording it and sending it to Blanchard apparently without hesitation. Yes, Blanchard is responsible for his part in this, but he is not responsible for the women’s actions and the attempt to make him solely responsible for what these women did smacks of apologism and excusing female pedophiles’ behavior.
One of the detectives seemed to agree:
Det Con Andy Pilling, of Greater Manchester Police’s Sexual Crimes Unit, who led the investigation into the paedophile, said: “Blanchard’s involvement with Lyons and Dawber shows his willingness to entice like-minded people into his world.
“Blanchard is the common link between all these women. However, no-one should be under the misapprehension that they were somehow forced into abusing children – they willingly took part.”