Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Possible Extradition in Pagoria Case

Christopher Donald Lobben, from Mullaloo in Western Australia, faces possible extradition to Polk County, Florida in the Robin Pagoria case.  According to news stories, Lobben allegedly told Pagoria how to make a "spanking table" and encouraged her to videotape herself severely beating two naked girls with a paddle.

Some of the media's coverage seems a bit confused.  The Orlando Sentinel claimed that Pagoria allegedly uploaded the videos to a website called "spankolife" where Lobben could watch.  It's quite likely that she did indeed upload the files somewhere Lobben could access them, but it probably would not have been to spankolife.com.  Although Pagoria had a profile there, the site apparently does not support any kind of private video, nor does it tolerate anything involving minors.  According to The Ledger, Pagoria used a popular video-sharing site called Vimeo.com to upload the videos.  This actually makes more sense, since Vimeo supports password-protected videos.

From what I could put together, it's unclear whether this is the first time that Lobben has connected with a woman online who had access to children and persuaded her to send him videos.  Although most adults with a sexual interest in spanking do not seem to be predators, it's possible that secrecy and shame may help a predator get away with victimizing others.  It'd be a lot harder for someone in the closet to go to the police about something they saw or experienced on a kink site.

The outrage and disgust directed at Pagoria have been palpable, but corporal punishment of children continues to be widely accepted in the U.S.  The WA News story noted this in its final paragraph:
Florida still permits corporal punishment in schools and a number of books on child-rearing advocate spanking, with the more extreme "Christian" ones recommending doing it on bare buttocks.
Some of the articles made a point of saying that she'd used a "leather sex paddle" in an apparent effort to distinguish it from the wholesome wooden paddles that can still be legally used in Florida's public schools.  But the reason she moved to a leather paddle from a wooden one was that the wooden paddle left severe bruises.

Let's take a look at a couple of things she posted on her Spankolife profile.  She says that lying was "spanked out" of her as a child.

On her profile, she also indicates that her fascination with spanking began early.

Human sexuality is complex and not yet well-understood.  But some people do experience some sexual imprinting from early experiences, and a study has shown a correlation between being spanked as a child and later sadomasochistic behavior.  People's idea about what is normal is also shaped by their formative experiences.

The potentially sexual aspect of spanking can be confusing to children.  In an essay titled "I Don't Believe This Was God's Will," a young Christian man writes about his childhood experiences and his struggle to deal with his adult fetish.  "Taking My Medicine" is another story of growing up with frequent and severe physical punishment and developing a paraphilia.  Robin Pagoria arguably represents a far worse outcome, perhaps because she also developed a very impaired sense of boundaries.

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