It's a secret he's kept from friends, family, neighbors for decades. Macon Ross decided to share that dark secret with 10News anchor Courtney Robinson to take you inside the mind of a pedophile.
He approached Robinson in June. She was uncomfortable and skeptical, but listened to his story because he was adamant that he could help other adults like him and parents. Ross says he is attracted to young children, but that is where it stops. He says he has never sexually assaulted a child.
The two sat down in late September for an interview.
Robinson: “Are you attracted to children?”
Ross: “Yes, yes most definitely.”
Robinson: “You kind of smile when you say that.”
Ross: “Yeah, I am. I guess just because I’m not gonna lie and I’m just gonna tell you the truth.”
His truth is dark and it’s something most of us cannot relate to and do not want to sympathize with.
Ross: “You can’t help who you’re attracted to, okay? I don’t want to be attracted to children.”
He says his attraction to children is part of who he is and also how he was made.
Ross told Robinson that at age 9 another boy who was his age, a neighbor, began sexually abusing him. Ross is now 62 years old and says he cannot remember how it started.
Ross: “I didn't like it at first. I just didn't like it and then he kept doing it to me and I got to the point where I liked it. You crave it after a while and the craving doesn’t stop, even after you come an adult. It doesn’t stop for me.”
Courtney: “You were actually abused as a child, so you know what that does to a child.”
Ross: “Absolutely and I know every day what it has done to me, so I don’t have sex with children and I’ve never had sex with children. I’m repeating myself. I’ve never had sex with children as an adult.”
10News looked into Ross’s background. Robinson searched the sex offender registries in the states where he’s lived over the years.
He’s never been arrested, charged or questioned about a crime against a child. Ross says he has seen professional therapists to be treated for pedophilia. He’s taken medication for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. He says none of that stopped his urges.
Ross: “I'm not gonna do anything physically because I don't want to go to jail and because it's a sin against God. But that's complicated, but I don't do anything physically, but mentally? Yes.”
Ross says while thinking about children is bad, it is not illegal. He says actions would mean consequences with his faith and with the law.
Courtney: “Why do you want to share your story?”
Ross: “Because I want to help people who are like me.”
Ross also shared four pages that he wrote about why he wants to go public with his story. He believes that ostracizing pedophiles leads to child molestation. He says if you can understand that pedophilia is a mental disorder then you might understand treatment is needed.
Ross: “Most people are not going to tell you they're actually attracted to minors. Don't you think?”
Robinson asked Ross what she could do as a mother and what other parents could do to protect their children from child molesters.
His advice was to never let your children out of your sight, press them if you notice a change in their behavior and if you notice someone looking at your child then stare them in the eye. Ross says that intimidates him.
Ross also says that he avoids the beach and the pool. He says it’s even difficult for him to see children without clothes running through sprinklers in their front yard.