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May 17, 2024 22 mins

In this bonus episode, Andrea speaks with the Director of Stop It Now, an organization working to prevent the sexual abuse of children. The team also checks back in with Erin from Season 2, and Ashley meets the person at the center of Betrayal Season 3. 

If you would like to reach out to the Betrayal Team, email us at betrayalpod@gmail.com.   

To report a case of child sexual exploitation, call The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline at 1-800-THE-LOST  

If you or someone you know is worried about their sexual thoughts and feelings towards children, reach out to stopitnow.org  

If you or someone you know is worried about their sexual thoughts and feelings towards children, you can find help at Stop It Now! by visiting, www.stopitnow.org or reach out via the confidential helpline by visiting www.stopitnow.org/get-immediate-help.  

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:12):
I'm Andrea Gunning with another Betrayal bonus episode. As the
Betrayal team works hard to bring you season three and
at the same time turn Ashley's story into a docu series,
we wanted to introduce you and Ashley to Stacy, the
person who will share her story in season three. We
also wanted to check in with Aaron Adams, who was

(00:32):
having a hard day after getting some bad news. First,
we wanted to learn more about one of the organizations
working to keep kids and family safe, so we asked
Jenny Coleman, the director of Stop It Now, if she
would sit and speak with us. Jenny, thanks so much
for joining us today.

Speaker 2 (00:49):
Oh, thank you for having me. I'm really happy to
be here.

Speaker 1 (00:53):
I'm with Ashley Lytton, she's the subject of season two
of Betrayal. Before we get into ashle story, I want
to hear a little bit about what you do. Can
you tell us about Stop It Now?

Speaker 3 (01:05):
Oh?

Speaker 2 (01:05):
Absolutely, Stop It Now is a national child sex abuse
prevention program. We actually focus on perpetration prevention, which means
we really want to help folks who are in a
position that they're seeing warning signs or a vulnerable environment
and help them know what steps they can take to
interrupt any sort of harmful or abusive trajectory. It could

(01:28):
be signs in a spouse, a partner, a family member.
You're concerned that they're struggling with safe boundaries. But we
also serve everyone parents who have found out their child
has been harmed or abused, or that someone they know
has abused someone. Anybody who's in position that says, you know,
I want to keep kids safe and I feel like

(01:49):
I could do more, or I'm seeing something that's concerning
me and to do that, we offer a free confidential helpline.
We also have a website full of free downloadable resoalce
verses on everything from what are warning signs? To how
do I check into my child's school? So visit us
at stopittnow dot org.

Speaker 1 (02:09):
Ashley, do you want to share with Jenny a little
bit about your story and some of the hurdles that
you're dealing with now?

Speaker 4 (02:15):
Yeah, Hi Jenny, Hi Ashley, I'm glad to meet you. So,
my husband was convicted of a child sexual exploitation and voyeurism.
He served ten months in county jail. He will be
on our sex offender registry for ten years and now

(02:37):
we have been going through a pretty terrible divorce for
two years now, and because he is doing well in
his court mandated therapy for sex offenders, he has had
supervised visits with our ten year old, and as soon
as the end of this month he will have unsupervised

(02:59):
visits with her.

Speaker 2 (03:00):
I'm so sorry that you and your family have had
to go through this. I can't imagine just what a
difficult time. And you've been such a protective mom, and
you are the epitome of what to do when you
make such a horrific discovery.

Speaker 1 (03:15):
In your line of work, do you see a lot
of parents navigating this process of visitation and what are
some recommendations that you can offer to Ashley.

Speaker 2 (03:26):
I was thinking earlier about how important it is to
know that we can't control everything that happens in the world,
but how we respond is what really makes or breaks us.
And so we look at what do we have control over,
and that's how we talk with our kids about safety.
What are good boundaries? What are our rules so that
if anybody, even someone you love and care about, parent,

(03:49):
a grandparent, a professional, someone in a faith based institution,
does cross your boundaries. We give our children tools to
keep them safe stistic.

Speaker 4 (04:00):
The recidivism rates for sex crimes are pretty low, but
you're kind of on the ground running. What do you see?
What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 2 (04:09):
So recidivism is really tricky because it is low, but
that's what we know. Interestingly enough, what we do here
is from people who do want to change and who
want help. But that's why they come to our site.
They recognize that they're struggling with safe boundaries or struggling
with their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. These are people who

(04:30):
want help to not cross a line, or if they
have crossed the line, they want help not to. But
I think the point with that is that they've taken
responsibility and are accountable. So there's kind of a model
of success.

Speaker 1 (04:44):
In terms of model for success. If you hear I
found God and now I'm healed, or I was sick
but now I'm healed, how do you feel about those
statements in terms of recovery.

Speaker 2 (04:59):
This is not to in any way diminish the power
of anybody's faith. It is fine to say I have
found faith through this process. But here's how that's impacted me.
Here's what I've learned about myself. Here's what it is
that I plan to do differently, Here's how I plan
to get support. There's got to be a lot more
than just oh, I didn't have God in my life

(05:20):
before and now I do, and so I'm a safe person.
That is not going to cut it.

Speaker 1 (05:26):
And if someone is communicating just that, does that give
you cause for concern about their rehabilitation process or where
they are in their recovery process.

Speaker 2 (05:37):
It absolutely does. That statement in and of itself, to me,
is really leaving out such a huge important part. It
doesn't help heal the harm. It just doesn't demonstrate an
understanding of the harm that they've caused. God didn't cause
this harm. I, as a human being, harm the people
I love in my family by crossing their boundaries and

(06:00):
violating their privacy and engaging in a legal harmful behavior
by doing X, Y and C. It doesn't include that.
So it's not enough.

Speaker 1 (06:08):
So much of this process, I feel like you were voiceless, Ashley,
And part of the podcast was you reclaiming your voice,
reclaiming your power. Jenny, do you have any recommendations for
Ashley on how she can stand in her power and
all of this?

Speaker 2 (06:25):
That's a great question, just because I already see you
doing that. I mean, you're such a protective mom and
you are speaking out, and I do want to say
I'm not one of those folks that feel like everybody
has to disclose abuse in their life, but I do
think being able to use your voice to educate others,
share your experience, encourage others is incredibly powerful. And realizing

(06:50):
I couldn't control everything and I'm doing all the right
things now forgiving yourself, having your own good personal therapy
or counseling to support you and just self care really
important to reclaiming your power as well.

Speaker 3 (07:04):
Well.

Speaker 1 (07:04):
Jenny, thank you so much for joining us today and
I appreciate all of your insight.

Speaker 4 (07:10):
Yeah, thank you so much. I will definitely look for
some different resources on Stop It Now. I didn't know
that was also a resource for people like me, so
thank you for that.

Speaker 2 (07:21):
Absolutely write me directly and I'd be happy to point
you to some resources I'm thinking about that may be
helpful as well.

Speaker 4 (07:28):
Oh all right, cool. Thank you so much, Jenny, and
thank you for all the work that you do.

Speaker 2 (07:32):
Thank you, Thank you again.

Speaker 1 (07:35):
Go to stop it Now dot org if you or
someone you know is worried about their thoughts and feelings
towards children. Next, we'll get an update from someone you
met before in season two, Aaron Adams, and if you
haven't heard her story before, check out season two episode
six member Aaron Adams. She was a marriage and family

(08:02):
therapist whose husband Joel, pled guilty to twenty five felony
charges of child sexual abuse material and was sentenced to
eight years in prison, but was released just after three years.
After finding out that Aaron's husband had reoffended, Ashley and
I wanted to catch up with her to see how
her custody fight was progressing.

Speaker 4 (08:22):
And you have the hiccups I do.

Speaker 3 (08:24):
I'm trying to calm myself.

Speaker 4 (08:28):
I think it's cute. How are you.

Speaker 3 (08:32):
I'm mad as hell today, big bad, Yeah, big bad,
big sad.

Speaker 1 (08:40):
No, it's gone on.

Speaker 3 (08:42):
I just thought this was over, you know, and it's not. Yeah. Basically,
they just said, yeah, you still have to take your
kids to supervise visits. I'm like, he's awaiting sentencing next week,
but they said, listen, family Court, we know nothing about that.
You still have to take your kids. I'm just I

(09:05):
rate about the best that this has caused.

Speaker 1 (09:08):
Jewelry offended. Yeah, how did you find out about that?
And how did that all play out?

Speaker 3 (09:16):
I don't know the circumstances of how or why he reoffended.
All I know is that it was a felony charge.
It's public on the court County website. And my lawyer
had called me to prepare me for court and she said,
guess what, he did it again, So this should be easier. Now.

(09:38):
I've never once felt anything got easier throughout this entire process.
I've never felt that freedom like how to get caught?
He had things on his phone that violated his parole
and got him sent back for more charges.

Speaker 4 (09:58):
Wow, I think you and I both are fighting that
same bite right now. I was like, fuck, no, he's
not seeing her, I'm not doing supervised visits. And I
got in trouble for it. They told me I had
to let her go to supervise visits, even though I
said she doesn't want to go. How are we supposed

(10:19):
to protect these kids?

Speaker 3 (10:21):
That's exactly how I feel. I mean, it'll always be
our job, but I don't think they should have to
be on us. Because I told the judge the very
same thing. I said, my kids are still the same
age as the kids that he's viewing.

Speaker 5 (10:40):
And he just did it again. So this isn't an
oopsy whoopsie. This isn't he accidentally stumbled across this page.
He purposely made a habit out of this. This is
something that he does.

Speaker 3 (10:57):
She didn't listen to me at all, and I said,
we've moved on. I'm not even mad at him. I
feel sorry for him. Right, I'll abide by the court order,
but if he ends up going to prison, I might
have bought us some more time. And I absolutely don't
coach my kids. I'm only trying to inform my kids.

Speaker 2 (11:20):
I know.

Speaker 3 (11:21):
This is a super fine line. I said, if you
ever change your mind and you want to meet him,
you have questions for him, I will one hundred percent
uphold that. I will make sure you go and you
get your questions answered and you are in a safe place.
I don't know that every parent would do that, but

(11:41):
I know I will do that.

Speaker 1 (11:44):
You're wonderful, mom, you really are, and we are thinking
and rooting for you on the sidelines. And keep us
updated for what happens in the next few weeks.

Speaker 3 (11:55):
Okay, yeah, I'm always a text away up.

Speaker 1 (12:00):
We'll meet with the woman at the center of Betrayal
season three. We wanted to introduce you and Ashley to
the person we will all get to know in season
three of Betrayal Stacy Rutherford. Hi, Stacy, Hey, I have

(12:23):
Ashley here with me and I want to introduce you guys.

Speaker 4 (12:26):
Finally, Hey, Ashley. Hi, Stacy. Good to hear from you.
It's so good to hear you, so.

Speaker 1 (12:33):
Stacey wrote in After Hearing season two, Stacy, do you
want to just share you know what hearing Ashley's story
was like for you?

Speaker 3 (12:43):
Yeah?

Speaker 6 (12:44):
Well, my boss at work had told me that she
had listened to the podcast and it was so similar
to my story that she shared it with me and
I went home and binged it that week. It was
just like, for the first time, I felt understood, like
I wasn't alone. I know Ashley probably realizes, like in
this situation, there's very few people you can talk to

(13:04):
who know what you're going through, and I just I
wanted to reach out. Actually, I wanted to find her
because I just wanted to talk to her, like I
just wanted somebody that understood me and understood my situation.

Speaker 4 (13:15):
Wow, as you're telling me that, it's kind of getting
teary eyed, because I think when I first started out
on this journey, it was for the exact same reason.
I mean, I could be in the room with you know,
all the people that loved me and care about me,
and still feel really alone because nobody really knows.

Speaker 1 (13:33):
What was it about Ashley's story that felt similar or
felt like you understood.

Speaker 6 (13:39):
I think it was after everything happened, you know, having
that anger towards my husband at the time for the
betrayal and for doing what he did. But also when
you go from loving someone one day to the next
day finding out all of these things, everybody thinks you're
just automatically supposed to just shut these feelings off. Your
love just doesn't magically go away, or does the memories

(14:01):
that you had with that person, And I felt shameful.
And I think when I heard in Ashley's story that
she still had those similar feelings too, it was like, Okay,
I'm not abnormal for feeling this way and missing those
parts of my life.

Speaker 4 (14:17):
That's been like a really hard thing for me to reconcile.
We did build a life with these men. They were
good fathers, they were good husbands, and we did have
really great times but then to have them also be
the perpetrator of these terrible things. For me to bring

(14:37):
those two together was insanely hard, but I had a
therapist tell me that it's possible to have had this
past life with Jason that was happy and good, and
Jason to be this good person and he is also
a monster. In the beginning stages of the podcast, I
was embarrassed, but I had made a vow to myself

(15:00):
that I was going to be one hundred percent truthful
with the whole story because I knew that I couldn't
be the only one that felt these same things. And so, yeah,
I'm glad that that was something that you were able
to connect with, because I knew people were going to
either love it or hate it.

Speaker 6 (15:18):
Well that's my fear also, just like, oh gosh, what
are people going to think? And I think you can
very much compartmentalize those kinds of things in that moment.
You know of this is the person I know in
this box, this is the person he truly is. And
it's hard for someone who was on the outside to
see that and understand that that it just doesn't stop overnight,
and so you keep it quiet and you don't tell anyone,

(15:41):
And so therefore I just like say, I suffered in silence, right.

Speaker 1 (15:45):
I just think people expect grief to be a linear process,
but it's not. And what I've gravitated towards both of
your stories is that it's very real, and the struggles
and the things that you have to ask and question
is what I believe people relate to. And it's a
very real human experience and we're not hiding from any

(16:07):
of that. And so I applaud both of your ability
to be vulnerable and transparent. Stacey, do you have any
advice that you want to ask Ashley going through this experience.

Speaker 3 (16:20):
Yeah.

Speaker 6 (16:20):
When everything happened, ours was very highly publicized, and I
shut everything down on social media for a while because
I was afraid people would try to reach out. So,
you know, just that kind of thing, like, have you
had any issues with that, with people trying to reach
out to you to say horrible things, not like what
I wanted to reach out.

Speaker 2 (16:39):
To you for.

Speaker 4 (16:39):
Yeah, actually I did, surprisingly though. I was in a
social media support group for women going through divorce and
I had asked a question, nothing related to our story
or anything, and somebody posted links to the news article

(17:00):
and just said things like her husband's a pedophile. So
I did. I shut my social media down, started a
new one with just my family and close friends for me,
you know.

Speaker 6 (17:11):
I had some of his family who didn't support him,
but yet wasn't ready to tell certain family members. So
it was kind of one of those things of like,
can you guys just not blast this all over social media?
Which I hadn't intended to anyways, you know, it was
on the news, but luckily we had moved back home
so we were far from that. But you know, I
kind of feel the same way, like we had to
be quiet for so long.

Speaker 1 (17:33):
Stacy, do you mind sharing with Ashley a little bit
about what happened to your family?

Speaker 3 (17:41):
Sure?

Speaker 6 (17:42):
In summer of twenty twenty one. July of twenty twenty one,
we had Social Services show up at our house. They
basically just said that there had been a complaint filed.
So for the next three weeks, Social Services investigated us.
And at the end of the three weeks, I go
to work, our nanny calls and she's like, you need
to come home. So I pull in the driveway and

(18:03):
there's all these vans and SGVs and they're raiding my home.
I walk inside, I see my husband sitting at the
table with police officers around him, and they take me
downstairs and they proceed to tell me that for those
three weeks they had been investigating us, and they laid
out all these photos. So from there I ended up
making him leave the house.

Speaker 4 (18:22):
So they didn't arrest him that day. No, oh wow.

Speaker 6 (18:27):
This was July and he was not arrested till October.

Speaker 3 (18:30):
Wow.

Speaker 6 (18:31):
They told me that they wanted to build a big
enough case, because that was my question too, is like,
what are you guys waiting on? You know, what more
do you need? Right from there, my understanding is he
left the country pretty quick after that. He spent a
month over in Europe. He ended up being apprehended when
he came back that October of twenty one.

Speaker 4 (18:52):
Wow. Our timelines are pretty similar, really, yeah, Because Jason
was arrested on the twenty ninth of September twenty twenty one.

Speaker 6 (19:02):
Oh wow, so he was like a month before.

Speaker 4 (19:04):
Justin was wow. I have so many questions, but I'm
gonna I'll wait.

Speaker 1 (19:09):
You know, it's so interesting because when Jen approached me
to tell her story, our goal was if we could
make one person feel less alone than we did our job,
and then through that season you found the podcast Ash
and we told your story, and then through Ashley's story, Stacy,
you reached out to us. So I just think it's

(19:30):
so amazing that, you know, our little community has gone
from Jen to u Ash and now we have you, Stacy.
And I'm so grateful that you guys trust us to
tell your story.

Speaker 4 (19:41):
It's truly remarkable. Yeah. I call you guys part of
my tribe. Stacy, you're part of it too.

Speaker 3 (19:47):
Yeah.

Speaker 4 (19:48):
I can't say it enough, Like we have to build
up so many people and bring light to this like
really ugly dark thing. Yeah, that is so prevalent.

Speaker 1 (19:56):
Well, Stacy, thank you so much for giving us your time.
I'm this afternoon and I'll connect you guys so you
can continue to talk throughout this process.

Speaker 4 (20:06):
Yeah, that'd be great. Yeah, as you go, you have
questions or anything, you just go ahead and give me
a call and shait me a text.

Speaker 6 (20:14):
It was so awesome to me too. And you know,
like we said, if it reaches you know a few
moms or people questioning things, it's worth it.

Speaker 4 (20:21):
Absolutely you too, So hold on tight because here you go.
Yeah exactly. Whoo Okay, bye bye bye.

Speaker 1 (20:30):
Thank you to our growing Betrayal community. If you missed
all of our big updates from the last bonus episode,
you missed some pretty exciting news. Season three of Betrayal
will follow Stacy Rutherford's story. When she laid eyes on
doctor Justin Rutherford, she was sure that she was looking
at her soulmate. They fell in love and life was perfect.

(20:52):
But this family doctor, beloved father, and treasured husband had
dark secrets. The man who had sworn an oath to
do no harm would go to great lengths, using any
means necessary to save himself. Listen to Betrayal Season three
on May twenty third on the iHeartRadio app or wherever
you get your podcasts. Also, because of the overwhelming response,

(21:15):
we are launching Betrayal's weekly series. It's about the people
we trust the most and the deceptions that change everything.
This new series debuts end of July, and look for
Ashley on the small screen as her story has been
turned into an ABC News Studios in Hulu docuseriies streaming
this summer on Hulu. If you want to contact the

(21:38):
Betrayal team, email us at Betrayal pod at gmail dot
com to report a case of child sexual exploitation, call
the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's cyber Tipline
at one eight hundred The Lost. If you or someone
you know is worried about their sexual thoughts and feelings
towards children, reach out to stop it now.

Speaker 2 (21:57):
Dot Org.

Speaker 1 (22:00):
Is a production of Glass Podcasts, a division of Glass
Entertainment Group, in partnership with iHeart Podcasts. The show was
executive produced by Nancy Glass and Jennifer Fason, hosted and
produced by me Andrea Gunning, written and produced by Kerrie Hartman,
and also produced by Ben Fetterman and associate producer Christen
melcurri Our iHeart team is Ali Perry and Jessica Crincheck.

(22:23):
Audio editing and mixing by Nico Aaruca and Matt Delvecio.
Betrayal's theme composed by Oliver Bains. Music library provided by
my Music. For more podcasts from iHeart, visit the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, wherever you get your podcasts.
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