The Strange case of Frank Lombard
Little media attention has been given in the case of Frank Lombard, the Duke University employee arrested for the sex abuse and attempted prostituting of his 5 year old adopted, African American son.
Lombard is gay, and the media may have feared a scenario in which he would - wrongly - become a poster boy for gay adoption.
Nevertheless, the story, lurid and chilling in its details, merits some attention: While the blogger below may go into a suspicion of the media which I do not wholly share, the fact that Lombard, a homosexual, adopted an African American boy, and by age 5 had committed numerous sex acts on him, and was at least attempting to loan him out to others - all documented in the police investigation, which accessed his chats and his emails - seems to be something which ought not be swept under the rug.
The Edge, BostonSome right-wing bloggers jumped in with anti-gay accusations when the news of Lombard’s arrest broke, leveling charges against gay parents in general and holding Lombard up as an example of why gays should not be allowed to adopt children. A June 29 Christian News Wire article titled "Lombard Demonstrates Why Gays Should Not Be Able to Adopt" reported the broad outlines of the case, in which Duke University Center for Health Policy Associate Director Frank Lombard allegedly offered an undercover officer the sexual services of his young adopted son.
Indeed, Lombard is said in the media to be only a man, age 42, who will plead guilty to indecent acts with a minor. No mention that the minor is not 15, but 5; that the minor is not a white female, but an African American infant, and that Lombard is a homosexual who adopted the child.
I do not believe justice is served by silencing the fact of this case. Most gay males would not do as Lombard did; why not stress that? There is a kind of confession in silence, and gay advocates should rather emphasize why Lombard is NOT the typical gay male. When a heterosexual father molests his daughter, does it follow that all will? There is a way to handle this without covering the story up, and without casting suspicion on gay adoptions, one would think.
Update: Oddly enough, the gay publication, the Edge, Boston, MA, has indeed bravely given coverage to the case; to their credit, with the title, Gay Adoptive Father faces arraignment in abuse case. I have just found this item:
A former Duke University employee and adoptive gay father charged with molesting his five-year-old son--and offering the boy as a sex object to pedophiles online--is expected to make a plea bargain, according to a Dec. 1 article in local newspaper the Durham Herald Sun.
Frank Lombard faces charges stemming from alleged instances in which he molested his young adopted son and chatted about the deeds online even as he carried them out. It’s thought that the U.S, Attorney’s Office is positioning the case for a plea arrangement because the Office is set to file an "information," which allows the prosecution to sidestep a grand jury indictment. The "information" will be filed in Washington, D.C., and will charge Lombard with sexual exploitation of a minor, the Herald Sun reported.
Typically, guilt is tacitly acknowledged in the "information" filing, which serves as a first step toward a plea agreement. The "information" regarding charges against Lombard says that the former Duke University administrator
"engage[d] in sexually explicit conduct ... for the purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct." Sentencing for such crimes is typically about a decade and a half, but Lombard could have faced 20 years if the initial charges of sexual offense involving a child and inducement of another party to cross state lines for illegal sexual purposes had been pursued.
Lombard was arrested in June at the culmination of an online sting that state and federal investigators, during the course of which Lombard allegedly bragged about the sexual offenses he had carried out against his son. Lombard has not been charged in connection with any crime involving the other boy that he and his partner adopted; nor has Lombard’s partner been implicated in the alleged abuse. Lombard has been detained at a Washington, D.C. jail since his arrest.
Some right-wing bloggers jumped in with anti-gay accusations when the news of Lombard’s arrest broke, leveling charges against gay parents in general and holding Lombard up as an example of why gays should not be allowed to adopt children. A June 29 Christian News Wire article titled "Lombard Demonstrates Why Gays Should Not Be Able to Adopt" reported the broad outlines of the case, in which Duke University Center for Health Policy Associate Director Frank Lombard allegedly offered an undercover officer the sexual services of his young adopted son.
The article also used the case to decry, in equally broad terms, adoption by same-sex couples, taking the occasion to promote a purported study reportedly done by discredited researcher Paul Cameron, a long-time anti-gay activist and chairman of the Family Research Institute who was quoted in the article as saying, "The cant that ’gay parents are no more likely to molest’ is not based on evidence but liberal ideology."
A former Duke University employee has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, authorities said Tuesday.”
Here, the “sexual exploitation of a minor” is not described in any great detail. That is good because the sexual exploitation Lombard inflicted upon his own child is simply too graphic to reprint fully. I have read all of the documentation in this case. It contains descriptions of conduct, which can only be described as sub-human.
“Frank M. Lombard, 42, of 24 Indigo Creek Trail in Durham, will enter the plea in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 17, authorities said. He likely will face 15 years in prison, authorities said.”
It is interesting that the first demographic mentioned is age, as opposed to race or sexual orientation. As I proceed with my commentary it may be worthwhile to ask, once again, a question I will ask now: Is Frank Lombard’s age the most relevant demographic variable in relation to the charges to which he agreed to plead guilty?
“Authorities on Tuesday filed a criminal information in the case, indicating that they were negotiating a plea and didn't want to pursue an indictment against Lombard. According to the filing, Lombard coerced a minor, identified only as ‘M.L.,’ into engaging in sexual conduct so that Lombard could transmit a live video of it over the Internet.”
And now we have another mention of the “minor” followed by the assertion that the criminal information only identifies the minor as “M.L.” But WRAL knows precisely what the “L” in “M.L.” means. It means Lombard. It is his adopted black son.
But to acknowledge that “M.L” is the son, not daughter, of Frank Lombard is to acknowledge that Lombard is gay. And the Gods of Diversity frown upon the notion that males can be victims of rape and that the perpetrators can be homosexual men.
And to acknowledge the race of the victim is to suggest that homosexuals might be capable of committing hate crimes, even if they do not play Lacrosse. Hate crimes legislation is supposed to protect, not prosecute, gay men.
And, finally, there should be no mention (yet) that his son was adopted. The public, when confronted with such information, might use it to form dangerous opinions – such as the opinion that gay men should not be adopting little boys.