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I've heard a similar story several times about a man in Alaska who was convicted of child molestation. It could be urban legend, but I heard the story from a lawyer who had personal knowledge of the man. (Isn't that how all urban legends begin?)

He was an FAS child. His mother left after he was born, and his dad was a bad alcoholic who beat the tar out of his kids. His slightly older, non-FAS sister raised him until she was taken by the state at the age of 7 or 8.

From the age of 5 he lived with his dad and didn't have his slightly older sister to sheild him from his dad's abuse. The boy's fondest memories were of hiding with his sister when his dad was on the rampage. She would hold him and caress him as his dad raged looking for them until the dad passed out or left the house to get more booze.

Psycologists determined that those were the only nice memories the man had and he was trying to recapture the feeling he had when his sister held him when he was a boy.

I probably didn't tell the story very well, but trust me. You would feel sorry for the child molester if I was a better story teller.

I'm not implying that the man should go free, I'm simply echoing the problems that FAS can cause in society.

Linda K.

I used to work with runaways and lived in Mountain View for years - it's a toss-up which was more educational.

A frequently-drunk woman in the apartment building across the way had two FAS children. She regularly locked them outside on the balcony (winter and summer), abandoned them with anyone who would watch them for several days while she went on drinking binges, dressed them in tattered clothes that were too small and either thrashed shoes or no shoes at all, etc...

She became pregnant with another child. That baby was also born FAS and crack addicted, so she was taken away. The oldest one was taken away as well as a result of the abuse, leaving the one poor little girl. Eventually, she was taken as well. So, of course, the woman got pregnant AGAIN and had ANOTHER FAS BABY! It was then that I learned that she also had two PREVIOUS children that I'd never met who were FAS, both of them removed by the state and living with foster parents as well!!!! (They may have been adopted by that point.)

That's when I started to understand why some folks want to be able to enforce court-ordered sterilizations.

I hate to see what her children will become.

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