Gift-Giving and Grooming

Jose Alfonso Jimenez, 46, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl under 14. He was also assessed a $10,000 fine. He must serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole and will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Three young women testified at the trial that they were sexually abused by the accused by Jimenez. They said he used gifts to lure them. David Ibanez “Kendall County man sentenced to 17 years in prison for child sex abuse”(Aug. 01, 2022).

Commentary and Checklist

The goal of grooming is to build trust. Giving gifts can build trust between a perpetrator and a target.

Obviously, not all gifts are for the purpose of grooming. Gifts for special occasions are common, and so are gifts that are provided with the knowledge and, hopefully, the approval of parents or guardians.

Inappropriate gifts are gifts not for a known occasion and that are given in secret.

In addition to giving gifts, grooming behaviors can include:

  • Being overly interested in a child
  • Frequently initiating or creating opportunities to be alone with a child or several children
  • Being fixated on a child
  • Giving special privileges to a child (e.g., rides to and from game practice, etc.)
  • Befriending the potential victim’s family and showing interest in building a relationship with the child than with the adults
  • Displaying favoritism towards one child within a family
  • Catering to the interests of the child, so the child or the parent may initiate contact with the offender
  • Tickling and “accidentally” touching the child’s genitalia
  • Discussing sexually explicit information under the guise of education
  • Showing the child sexually explicit images

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