Source: Jan Shuijer and Benjamin Rossen (1992). “The Trade in Child Pornography” Appendix E: “Interviews with Three Boys”, IPT-Forensics Journal, volume 4.
Interview conducted by B.R. on March 20, 1990, with Stephan B. (19), born 13 December 1970.
Taken from the collection Positive Memories, compiled by T. Rivas.
Stefan’s parents were divorced and he often stayed over Elly’s. Elly was the sister of his mother’s new boyfriend’s. He got to know his adult friend Ferdi [the same Ferdi as in Peter’s story] through Elly, when he was about eleven years old.
“It was a lot of fun. We clicked immediately. We dived from the diving board and we played ball at the swimming pool.”
After some time, Stefan slept over with Ferdi for about ten times while his mother thought he was staying at Elly’s place. Ferdi decided he wanted to talk it over with Stefan’s mother, who accepted their friendship and even believed Stefan’s behavior had improved considerably since he had been seeing Ferdi.
“Whenever I felt like going to Ferdi, I went to see him, and if I did not feel like it, I simply did not go.”
“At first we just played games at Ferdi’s place. And we went to amusement parks. We continued to do so later on [when they were also having sex]. And we also used to swim a lot together in the beginning. And we rode our bikes as well. And when I had to study or do my homework, Ferdi helped me with it. Yes, it all was a lot of fun.”
Stefan adds that they often also went to the dunes or played hide and seek with friends, or soccer.
“I went to see him, simply because I liked him, because I thought he was nice. At that moment in time, I saw something of a father figure in Ferdi, because my parents had just been divorced.”
They started having sex after about two or three months.
“It happened very naturally. I used to be a nudist, so I always slept naked. And so did Ferdi. And I just felt attracted to him.”
“Everything was exactly like in any relationship between a man and a woman, for instance. The first night we had sexual contact, we made love, by which I mean stroking each other and Ferdi gave me a blow job.”
After this experience, Stefan felt he had to cry because of the strange sensations the blow job produced in him, and Ferdi really tried to comfort him and felt guilty for putting Stefan through this. All the same, the sex became a normal part of their relationship. It more or less increased their emotional attachment to each other.
In the end, Stefan realized that he liked girls and that’s when the sex with Ferdi stopped.
Stefan used to love Ferdi a lot and he still continues to love him. He considers him a very good friend and they talk a lot. Ferdi supported him and taught him important things about people and life.
Stefan is convinced that his relationship with Ferdi had almost no negative aspects. He stresses that his relationship should not be seen as a surrogate for the insufficient parental skills of his father and mother; it was a goal in itself.
There was only one negative experience related to the relationship, which concerned an erotic photo session by a friend of Ferdi’s, Fred. Though Stefan enjoyed the session as such, he was afraid the police would discover the pictures. [Cfr Peter’s story]
When Ferdi was arrested and sent to prison, Stefan remained in touch with him. The sexual contact had stopped already, but they remained friends after his release, and continued to talk and do things together.
At the time of the interview, Stefan and his girlfriend were happily living together.
Interviewer: I first want to ask you a few questions about your contact with Ferdinand.
Stephan: Yes, that’s fine.
Interviewer: Then I want to ask some questions about the photo sessions with Fred V. and last about your experience with the police. If there are things you cannot remember then say so. Also, if you don’t want to give an answer then feel free to say so. How did you first meet Ferdinand?
Stephan: Uh … Ya. My parents were divorced and my mother had a new boy friend, and I often went and stayed overnight with the sister of the boy friend. She was called Elly. One day Elly said to me “Let’s go to the nude swimming at the Heiligeweg207 baths,” and I said, “Fine, I’ll come along” and Ferdinand also came with us. He was a friend of Elly’s and so I got to know Ferdinand via Elly. Now, it was really nice. It clicked straight away. Just diving from the diving board and playing with a ball in the water. For some time after that I didn’t go swimming. Then one day Elly said, “Come, let’s go and visit Ferdinand because his wife is having a birthday.” I said, “Great, terrific.” And then Elly added, “You had better watch out for Ferdinand because he’s pedophile.” Now, I was pretty well up with the times when it came to sex. I knew about all kinds of sexual things.
Interviewer: How old were you then?
Stephan: I was 11, about.
Interviewer: And you say that you knew a whole lot about sexual things?
Stephan: Yes. I’ve never had sex education or such like. I learned everything myself, or saw it, or did it.
Interviewer: Before Ferdinand did you have contact with a pedophile?
Stephan: No. But I knew that it existed. I didn’t know the name ‘pedophile’ yet. But I knew that ‘man with young child’ was also possible. That I knew. The word not, but certainly what it was.
Interviewer: What did you think when Elly said that?
Stephan: Nothing actually. I wasn’t shocked, and then she said, “He sometimes has relationships with young children.” And then she added, “mostly boys.” I didn’t respond. Then we went to the birthday party. Now, for the whole evening I followed Ferdinand around, of my own will. At that time I was crazy about Andre Hazes, that is a singer, and I kept asking, “May I put this tape on?” and that sort of thing. When Ferdinand went to the kitchen I went to the kitchen. When Ferdinand went into the bedroom, by way of speaking, I also went into the bedroom. I followed him the whole time. Then from my own initiative I said, “I’ll come one day and visit.” After that we went home. For a while after that I didn’t stay overnight with Elly, but then later on a few more times.
One day Elly had to go away and she couldn’t have me to stay for the night. She then asked me, “Would you like to go and stay the night with Ferdinand, because I have to go away?” So that is what I did, without informing my mother. And after that I went again for a few weekends in a row. And then I told my mother. “Listen, I’m not staying the weekends with Elly. I’ve been sleeping over with Ferdinand.” Then she asked, “Who is Ferdinand?” And so I told her, “He is a friend of Elly’s. It is really nice with him. We go swimming in the weekend and that sort of thing.” And my mother asked further, “What sort of person is that?” And I said, “Just an ordinary person.” The next weekend I told Ferdinand what I had said at home and then Ferdinand said, “Yea, I would like to speak to your mother. Do you mind?” And I said, “Uuh, No.” And so that was done as agreed. And that is how I got to know Ferdinand.
Before that discussion I did not visit Ferdinand for a very long time. Certainly half a year. I didn’t stay with Elly and I didn’t stay with Ferdinand. I just went my own way with my friends and so on. One day I was playing football on the street and I was acting a bit crazy, singing really loud on the street and having fun. Then I heard a car horn, a claxon, and I looked around and it was Ferdinand. He had seen me. I ran immediately to him and then I made a date and then I went to visit him.
Interviewer: Why had you not been to see Ferdinand for half a year?
Stephan: I don’t know. Just that I was too young to follow up my agreements. I just went my own way and if I felt like going to Ferdinand then I went to Ferdinand and if I didn’t feel like it I didn’t go.
Interviewer: Did your mother know that he was pedophile?
Stephan: After the discussion that Ferdinand had with her for sure. He told her himself.
Interviewer: And how did she respond?
Stephan: My mother said, “I can’t forbid anything. I can see that Stephan has improved at school and in his behavior at home.” And I had improved. And then my mother said, “I can’t forbid it because he will go secretly to him anyway, and it is his life after all.” That’s what she said.
Interviewer: But you had only stayed overnight with Ferdinand a few times. That seems rather fast to me to have improved at school and in your behavior at home.
Stephan: No. It had been more often. About 10 times. Thus I had slept with Ferdinand for, say, about 10 weekends without telling my mother.
Interviewer: And after that not again for about six months?
Stephan: Ya. Something like that.
Interviewer: Then you started again?
Stephan: And then I started again and then Ferdinand told my mother what it was all about. I don’t remember precisely how many weekends that must have been, but my mother said that I had improved after that discussion she had with Ferdinand.
Interviewer: What kinds of things did you do with Ferdinand at that time?
Stephan: In the beginning period, with him at home, just ordinary games. Ya, ordinary games at home with Ferdinand, and we also went to entertainment parks, for example the Efteling.
Interviewer: Did that happen in the initial period?
Stephan: Yes, also. That has been so all along. That always went on. In the beginning we also went swimming frequently. And if I had to study, to finish my home work, then Ferdinand helped me. Yes, that was really great, everything put together it was great.
Interviewer: Why did you stay over the weekends with the sister of the boy friend of your mother?
Stephan: I just wanted to. My mother sometimes went away for the weekends and then she would say, “Why don’t you go and stay with Elly.” And I never had any problems with that because Elly went swimming often and that was fun.
Interviewer: And Ferdinand took over that role?
Stephan: Do you mean that I went to stay over the weekend with him because of my mother? No. I just went because I thought he was really nice. Because at that time I saw in Ferdinand, because my parents had just been divorced, I saw a sort of father person, and I took hold of that very hard. At that time I really needed that, and as it happened, I preferred to be with Ferdinand than with Elly. In the beginning that had mostly to do with the swimming, because that was fun, but also because I thought Ferdinand was really nice. But after that I began to see a real father figure in Ferdinand. From then on I have always had that. Still now.
Interviewer: Can you remember any more things that you did with Ferdinand?
Stephan: Yes. This is about the initial period, huh? What we did at that time we have always done, actually. From the beginning to the end. Doing things with Ferdinand became a normal routine. We both had fun and we saw that we liked each other’s company. We went swimming, and after that we went into the sand dunes in Noordwijk or in Castricum. And we often played hide and seek with other kids, or played football. They were friends of mine or other kids we had met in the swimming pool. Sometimes we bought French fries first and then went to the dunes or to the sea. At that time I was also in a football club and Ferdinand sometimes came along to watch the football.
Interviewer: Did Ferdinand pay for the French fries and those sorts of things?
Stephan: Sometimes I had money with me and then I paid everything for myself.
Interviewer: Did you have sex with Ferdinand?
Interviewer: From the beginning?
Stephan: Uh … No. From about two months, three months. I guess you want to know how it started? It just happened naturally. I was a nudist and so I slept naked. Ferdinand also, and I felt myself attracted to him. We played games sometimes, for example, helicopter. I’d sit on Ferdinand’s belly and he’d jiggle to and fro and he would say something like, “Wind force ten”, or “Wind force one.” I would get such a warm feeling inside. It came up in myself, and then everything went along like in any relationship between and man and a woman, for example. The first night that we had a sexual contact, that was a real cuddling208 session. By cuddling session I mean stroking each other and then Ferdinand sucked me off. When that happened such a strange feeling went all the way through me that I began to cry. I didn’t regret doing it, but the crying suddenly came up, and then Ferdinand comforted me and then he also began to cry. He even shouted out, “What have I done?” He was actually shocked. He was rather badly shocked that I was crying. And then we talked about it, and then there wasn’t a problem any more. After that the sexual contact went on quite naturally.
Interviewer: Did you have an orgasm then?
Stephan: Apparently yes. I was 11 years old and … Look, I certainly knew what an orgasm was but I didn’t yet have any sperm. But I’m sure that was an orgasm because such a tingling went through my whole body. I’m sure. And from then on the sex went on naturally of its own accord.
Interviewer: Playing games had become a habit with Ferdinand. Did the sex also become a habit?
Stephan: Yes, you could put it that way. Sex had become just as common between us as in any heterosexual relationship. Thus, not that we had sex every night or every day. But yes, it was part of our relationship. To a greater or lesser degree it strengthened our bond.
Interviewer: For how long? For at a certain time the sex stopped.
Stephan: Yes, because at a certain stage you think to yourself, “What am I actually doing?” You choose your own way, being a boy. And I must honestly say, in that end period I had a strong feeling of, “What on earth am I doing?”
Interviewer: Guilt feelings?
Stephan: No! But rather more a feeling of, “You are now doing something really important. Am I homosexual or heterosexual?” But I felt in myself at that time that boys turned me off, so I knew that I was heterosexual. I also had girl friends, so that also played a role. Ferdinand was actually the one who helped me build up my experience and from my side I had sex with Ferdinand for the daring and excitement, but also out of love.
Interviewer: Love for Ferdinand?
Stephan: Love for Ferdinand, yes.
Interviewer: Is Ferdinand important for you?
Stephan: Very important! And he still is. As a friend, as a father. No longer in the same way as before, I mean with the sexual contact. But still, a really very good friend. I say to my girl friend sometimes if I haven’t seen or spoken to Ferdinand for a week, “Listen, I must call him.” And then I call him and then it’s good again. Yes, I talk often with him and it’s really great to be with him. Because I still have in Ferdinand a father figure. Ferdinand really picked me up in a terrific way. I have learned lots from him, I’ve had many experiences and I’ve done lots of things with Ferdinand. I have learned something about human nature from Ferdinand. And other important things in society, responsibility, how to go about with money. I still don’t do that very well, you know, it just didn’t stick with me. But, you know, that sort of thing. The important things in life. Before Ferdinand I didn’t know about any of these things and through him I have discovered them. Also, I always say, “I didn’t have a childhood until I met Ferdinand. Then I received my childhood.” And that is really how it was because before that I had so many problems.
Interviewer: What are the negative aspects of your contact with Ferdinand?
Stephan: Not one! That is very easy to say. Not one.
Interviewer: No? That seems rather black and white.
Stephan: Ah no. Absolutely not one!
Interviewer: What do your parents think about your contact with Ferdinand?
Stephan: As far as I am now concerned I don’t care what they think. But in those days they thought, “So long as nothing happens.” But I wanted it all myself. So I left them with the delusion that everything went according to what they wanted. In fact I never really asked them for their opinion.
Interviewer: But you were 11, a rather small boy, and the opinion of your parents at that age is certainly important.
Stephan: I was up with the times. I was 11,but I had the thoughts of a 14- or 15-year-old. There was thus a big difference between me and other kids, I think.
Interviewer: Did you feel that you got a raw deal at home?
Stephan: A very raw deal, yes. Very raw.
Interviewer: Therefore you can say that Ferdinand filled your need for attention and love. He came as a rescuer at a moment of need?
Stephan: No. He was not a rescuer at a moment of need. I mean, not in that sense. OK, it was chance and luck that I met him, but the relationship between Ferdinand and myself was no emergency solution. It was something in its own right. I have never regarded the situation as such that only when I had a problem I could go to Ferdinand. I have always seen our relationship as something along the lines of, “Hey, it’s fine to go to Ferdinand.” And with feelings such as, “My friend and my father in one.” Yes, a parent of mine.
Interviewer: What did your friends at school think of your contact with Ferdinand?
Stephan: No one knew about it. I am no longer at school, but no one knew about it.
Interviewer: What can you tell me about the photo sessions with Fred?
Stephan: Which photo sessions? Do you mean the ordinary holiday photos, or if we had to pose and that sort of thing?
Interviewer: I don’t know anything about them. What can you tell me?
Stephan: The holiday photos were just ordinary. There were always things such as, for example, a great huge balloon. Photos were taken while we were playing. Fred and Ferdinand took the photos. And for the rest there is nothing much to say.
Interviewer: But there were also child pornography photos?
Stephan: I wasn’t there. At least, I did have one photo session with porno. That was with a boy from Belgium. And, we both found it exciting, and we just did it because we were really good friends. It was fun and exciting for us both. Fred made those photos. He didn’t say, “Sit here. Do this. Do that.” It was altogether done out of our own free will and at the same time some photos were made.
Interviewer: And the boy from Belgium, where did he come from?
Stephan: He was Fred’s little boy friend from Antwerp, if I have it right. We were together on holiday in Yugoslavia with a whole group. It was a big rabble, it was gigantic fun.
Interviewer: How often have you been in Yugoslavia with Ferdinand?
Stephan: Yugoslavia, that was from 1981 to 1986 or 1987. Say, about six years. And once to Spain, to Benidorm. Johnny has also been there. We weren’t there together. I had been two or three years earlier than Johnny, because I knew Ferdinand longer than Johnny.
Interviewer: How long did you go for?
Stephan: Varied. Two weeks, three weeks.
Interviewer: What are the positive aspects of the photo sessions with the boy from Belgium?
Stephan: It was all rather a big joke. It was daring, and exciting. Still it was a bit frightening, the idea, “What would my old man think of this?” But then again it was also fun. It was a dare for both of us.
Interviewer: How old were you then?
Stephan: I don’t know any more. Let me think. I think I was about 13 or 14,about.
Interviewer: What are the negative aspects of the photo sessions?
Stephan: The negative aspects. The fear that the police might raid Fred and that the photographs would then be seen.
Interviewer: How long have you had that fear?
Stephan: Not really long. Shortly after the photo session. Sometimes it came back to me, we’ve done this and that. And then the fear would come up again and I’d think, “Hopefully there won’t be a raid.” And for the rest there weren’t really any negative aspects.
Interviewer: Do you think that your ignorance was exploited?
Stephan: What ignorance?
Interviewer: Your innocence over the possible consequences of the photo sessions.
Stephan: I didn’t even stop to think about it. Afterwards for sure. That was the fear.
Interviewer: Can you tell me how you came in contact with the police?
Stephan: I went one evening to Ferdinand and I had a good talk with him about problems that I had at home at that time. I had been kicked out of the house because of problems I had with my parents. I have had problems with my parents all my life, for that matter. About twelve o’clock I left Ferdinand’s place. Between half past twelve and half past one the police came and took Ferdinand with them to Utrecht.
Just before they arrested him, he was helping me. Just think about that! And he knew that the police might be coming. I didn’t know that. That’s the kind of friend Ferdinand is!
I heard it about a week later. I don’t remember precisely any more. I received a letter from Ferdinand’s lawyer and there he said that Ferdinand had been arrested and that his house had been turned upside down. That really cut into me because I also felt guilty that I was not there, at the time that Ferdinand was taken away.
After that my mother got a telephone call from the police in Utrecht. “We want to talk to you and also with your son.” Then my mother made an appointment. I had to be at school on that day and I didn’t want to stay home for that. They gave me a time, about three o’clock, when they would come and pick me up from school. I told the concierge, “At three o’clock I will be picked up by some friends.” I obviously couldn’t say police detectives, and at three o’clock they came and I was taken to Utrecht. Hardly anything was said on the way. I only asked them why I had to go.
So, I was taken to Utrecht, and I ended up in the little interrogation room and I had to talk. You don’t come for nothing into such an interrogation cell. And then they started putting questions to me and I answered or didn’t answer. Actually, I had nothing to do with the case for which Ferdinand had been arrested. In fact, they were putting questions to me about which I knew nothing. The porno photos — I didn’t know anything about them. We also just talked some. Then there was a break, to eat, and after that we carried on talking. And then they took me home.
Interviewer: Did you have any further contact with the police?
Interviewer: Ferdinand was eventually sentenced because of indecent assault, not for the pornography. The porno was made by Fred V.
Stephan: Yes, I know.
Interviewer: What are the positive aspects of your contact with the police?
Stephan: Hey? I don’t see anything positive! How so positive!? There weren’t any positive aspects. After all, they had arrested my friend and I was angry. And everyone has some fear of the police and I had that too at that time.
Interviewer: What are the negative aspects of your contact with the police?
Stephan: That they put their questions in such a way that you had to think 10 times before you gave an answer. They said, “You can go ahead and tell us everything because the others have already told it all.” And also the double edged questions. They tell you something and then give the answer themselves, and you have the inclination just to agree with them. I mean, they don’t ask fair questions like, “Is it possible that this or that could have happened?” and that sort of thing. They use all sorts of dirty tricks and methods so that they actually already have come to their conclusions. That is very unpleasant.
They also interrogated my little brother. And he told them all kinds of lies about indecent assault and so on, “Yes I had to go and stand and there was a row of 10 other people, all men, and I had to choose who I would go to bed with,” and also, “I have often been away on vacation and I’ve often been to the amusement parks.” Those are the sorts of things my brother said which were totally not true. My brother has never been a friend of Ferdinand’s. He once stayed overnight at Ferdinand’s but nothing happened. He was then a little kid of 10, and the police just took in everything he said because he was so young. That is a very negative point. In that way the police made their own conclusions, such as, “Yeah, this and that happened and so this must have also happened.” And that is actually really very bad.
Interviewer: What did your parents think of it?
Stephan: I don’t know. I hardly have any contact with my parents. The only contact we have goes something like this, “Ferdinand phoned,” or “Ferdinand has been through this or that”’ or “The solicitor told me this or that”’ and then I reply to my mother, “Now I shall call myself,” or, “I’ll write to him.” My mother sometimes asks, “How is it going with Ferdinand?” Luckily I now live with my girlfriend, for one and a half years now.
Interviewer: How is it going?
Stephan: Real crazy, man. Our house is almost finished. Soon we are getting a new settee and dinette. It is really going fine. Now and again we have an argument, but that is normal in a relationship. Everyone has that once in a while.
Interviewer: Back to Ferdinand. Why did you continue writing letters and telephoning Ferdinand while he was in jail?
Stephan: Why not? He is my friend, so I am concerned about what happens to him and I want to know how he is doing because he is my friend. I want to know how he feels. I wanted to know what they were doing and what would happen next. Just my concern. And also out of love, naturally, because it really hurt me. Look, it didn’t affect me so badly as Johnny. Johnny was really lying awake at night. I couldn’t do that because I had too many problems of my own. And I regret that at the time Ferdinand was arrested and in jail, that I had so many problems that I was not always up with the latest. Certainly with the main part, but not the details. That I really regret. But I wrote to Ferdinand in order to keep in touch and because I also wanted him with me. And thanks to the letters he was, in a way, always with me.
Interviewer: How have you been able to carry on you friendship with Ferdinand after his release?
Stephan: My relationship, or rather, our relationship continued because we love each other. That is why. And … that is why.
Interviewer: Has your relationship with Ferdinand changed since his release?
Stephan: The sexual contact was already over. But the spiritual contact, talking with each other and doing things together, that was still there. Look, I don’t go every weekend to see Ferdinand because … I have my own life now, and I have my girl friend. We have our own lives and many things to do. But whenever I come to see Ferdinand it is always comforting and friendly.
Interviewer: Has your contact with the police changed your ideas about the police?
Stephan: I am not frightened of the police any more. Police agents are, after all, also people. I now know that the police also make mistakes, many mistakes. I have seen how the police work and I realize what they are like. They are just ordinary people. If I was arrested today, it doesn’t matter what for, I would just remain calm. I am not afraid any more.
(The tape recorder was switched off at the end of the interview. Stephan then asked if he could make a final statement and the tape recorder was switched on again.)
Stephan: I have something more to say. First; I hope Ferdinand and I stick with each other for a very long time, keep seeing each other for a very long time, just as friends, talk to each other as real friends. I am glad that I got to know Ferdinand. I still see him as my father. Still now, even though I now live in my own place. Secondly; I don’t want to have anything more to do with Fred. He said, “the photos won’t be published in booklets and magazines.” Then he went and did that, without Ferdinand’s knowledge. I take that very badly. He always said, “Only Ferdinand will get to see these photos,” and then he went and gave then to total strangers and because of that Ferdinand was arrested. It’s because of him that this whole case got started, and I take that very badly. Because of that I want to have nothing more to do with Fred. That was it.