The Florida father who made international headlines and garnered universal support for beating unconscious his babysitter, an 18-year-old man whom he had allegedly caught raping his son, is now facing almost universal condemnation for a subsequent act: He posted a photo of his 11-year-old son online in an effort to raise donations for the future therapy and treatment of his son.
Reuters reported July 22 (via Yahoo 7 News) that the Florida man had posted a photo of his alleged abused son on gofundme.com, a website akin to Kickstarter, and asked for donations for the future treatment, therapy, and recovery of his abused son. The post, entitled "Rebuilding Innocence," contained the photo of the man's son and a requested $1 million to take care of his son. According to Daytona Beach News-Journal, he later altered the amount to read $100,000 but had apparently reconsidered and removed the post altogether by Monday evening.
"Our son was sexually (sic) assaulted and we are now faced with the challenge of picking up the pieces, the emotional and financial burden is about more than we can endure," the father wrote, according to the News-Journal.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood, who had publicly stated that he had no issue with the father for his reaction to discovering his son being sexually abused, found the man's latest action puzzling. He said he was "bewildered" when he saw the photo of the 11-year-old online.
In the photo, the young boy was apparently sleeping.
But Chitwood sees a problem with the online posting, knowing the difficulty mental health and child protective services have in protecting young people's identities from prying eyes. “It’s sad,” the chief told the News-Journal. “You don’t go out and exploit what happened to this young man (the son) for money.”
The 11-year-old told police after Raymond Frolander was arrested that the man, who was a friend of the family, had been sexually abusing him since he was eight years old. Specifically concerning the arrest, Frolander and performed oral sex on the boy, according to his statement, and had requested the boy fondle his genitals.
The father, who had been out, returned to his apartment and, while talking to Frolander, watched as the young man's pants fell to the floor. The father called 911 after he severely beat Frolander, leaving him bleeding and unconscious on his living room floor. Obviously still upset, he told the dispatcher, "I just walked in on a grown man molesting ... And I got him in a bloody puddle for you officer.”
The father told the 911 dispatcher he had not asked questions when he saw Frolander "molesting" his son. Then the dispatcher asked, "Is he still doing it or has he stopped?"
The agitated father replied, "Oh, absolutely not, he is nice and knocked out on the floor for you. I drug him into the living room."
Raymond Frolander admitted to police that he was guilty. He was arrested and charged with sexual battery on a victim under 12.
The father was not charged in the incident.
The mugshot photo of Frolander, depicting him bruised and abraded, his lips distended and his right eye nearly closed, went viral with the story.
"Why are you exposing your son?" Chief Chitwood told Reuters in a phone interview. "Once you put that out there, he just lost what little cloak of anonymity he already has."
The Daytona Beach police chief was clearly agitated by the bizarre turn of events, telling the News-Journal, "This is unbelievable. The stigma that goes with being sexually abused is terrible.”