Outed pedophile leaves Mt. SAC

Wednesday, October 03, 2007



Outed pedophile leaves Mt. SAC
Student hosted talks on `child sexuality'

"WALNUT - A student abruptly left Mt. San Antonio College recently after details of his self-professed pedophilia surfaced, officials said Friday.

Damien Cole, 29, of Pomona was a longtime student and briefly worked on the college's student newspaper, the Mountaineer, officials said.

Cole's identity was originally revealed in 2006 by Perverted Justice, an organization devoted to tracking and busting Internet predators. He reportedly had been using the online moniker "Rookiee" on various pedophilia-oriented Web sites and forums.

Cole did not return three phone calls.

"He is one of the most dangerous pedophiles we've run across and profiled, as we caught him actively `grooming' a young boy and his family in Southern California as a target for molestation," Xavier Von Erck, director of operations for the Perverted Justice Foundation, wrote in an e-mail.

On Perverted Justice's Web page devoted to Cole, he's described as a member of Boychat, an organization and message board for pedophiles sexually attracted to little boys.

Gabriel Mendoza, editor in chief of the Mountaineer, said Cole's identity was made known at the newspaper after boasting about his Internet prowess led another student to google his name. Mendoza and Victor Gastellanose reported the story in Tuesday's Mountaineer.

Cole was the host of the now-defunct podcast "Pedologues," described on its home page as "a podcast which offers a glimpse into the controversial and often taboo subject of child sexuality, the laws and social norms that surround it, and how it affects the lives of those in the adult world throughout society."

Mendoza said the episodes would "talk about a lot of social and political issues that would affect pedophiles."

Through his podcasts, Cole has been associated with various members of the North American Man/Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA, the Mountaineer reported.

Mendoza said Cole in a podcast connected to the Web site interviewed a woman who said she was a victim of molestation and thought it beneficial to expose her own young daughter to a pedophile.

College officials said Cole voluntarily withdrew from all his classes Sept. 14.

Marketing and Communications Director Clarence Brown said Cole was in good standing grade-wise and was in compliance with the junior college's behavior codes.

Brown said he doesn't believe Cole was "actively promoting" his views in classroom settings.

Local authorities said Cole is not under criminal investigation and is not listed on the Megan's Law Web site as a convicted sex offender.

Perverted Justice's Von Erck said Cole was investigated over a relationship with a 13-year-old Southern California boy that was featured in some of his podcasts, but no charges were filed.

"As far as Damien goes, it's true they did find out this history, but he has a right to attend Mt. SAC," said Toni Albertson, professor of journalism and adviser to the Mountaineer. "His views don't interfere with his being a student."

Students on campus Friday afternoon expressed surprise about Cole.

"There's a daycare here," said Denise Pineda, a West Covina nursing student who had her 10-month-old with her. "I wouldn't want to put her in a daycare here if I knew that."

Chris Suh, 21, of Hacienda Heights said Cole's presence hit close to home.

"I know there are people out there like that," he said. "But being this close to it is kind of surreal."

Isn't it great, every now and then to go back and you know? just listen to the old pedologues?

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