Let Nudist Parents Beware

This transcript is reprinted from KCBS T.V., Los Angeles, Friday 21 April 1989.

KCBS-LA News Moderator: A man convicted of child molestation in a child pornography and prostitution ring during the seventies in Los Angeles appeared for sentencing on yet another child molestation charge in Northern California today. This latest case raises new, disturbing questions about pedophiles taking advantage of children at nudist colonies. Our legal reporter Harvey Levin was in that Oakland Courtroom today and said that today's sentencing did not go according to plans. [A taped segment begins. Visual shows a full-bearded Tim Wilcox walking into the courtroom with his attorney.]

Harvey Levin: [following Wilcox's lawyer] Is it possible just to find out if he is planning on staying away from nudist camps in the future?

Wilcox's lawyer: Sir, I just told you, he has no statement to make.

Harvey Levin: As Tim Wilcox entered the Alameda Courthouse today he expected to walk out a free man, and with good reason. After being charged with molesting a ten year old girl, his lawyer and the prosecutor struck a deal. Wilcox would plead guilty to felony sexual battery and be sentenced to probation and no prison time. But that deal fell apart in court when Judge Mark Eaton squarely rejected the arrangement.

Superior Court Judge Eaton: Having read the probation report, and reviewed the psychological evaluation, taking into consideration the defendant's background, and the nature of the offense here, the court cannot in good conscience accept the negotiated disposition.

Harvey Levin: Wilcox is no stranger to the law. In 1978, he was convicted of multiple counts of child molestation in Los Angeles. He received treatment for his sexual disorder in a mental hospital then served prison time. Wilcox was released as a registered sex offender in 1984. After his release, Wilcox began frequenting nudist camps similar to this one located near Barstow. [Film footage of nudist children at The Naturist Society's Western Naturist Gathering at Silver Valley Nudist Camp.] 
     This nudist camp, like many others, has members who bring their children. Wilcox became a photographer at several nudist camps which gave him easy access to children, one of whom he is now accused of molesting. Action News has learned that Tim Wilcox is not the only pedophile to frequent nudist camps. Law enforcement officials tell us that an increasing number of pedophiles are congregating at these camps. Oakland Vice Officer Bill Grijalva's investigation of Tim Wilcox led in part to Wilcox's most recent arrest.

Officer Bill Grijalva: For a pedophile, you couldn't find a more perfect place than a nudist colony to seek out your victims.

Harvey Levin: Is he a danger right now to kids?

Officer Grijalva: I think he is. I have no doubt in my mind that he is going to do it again.

Harvey Levin: Wilcox would not speak with us after his court appearance, but we did catch up with his lawyer. Do you think he's a threat to the public?

Wilcox's lawyer: I believe my client is innocent.

Harvey Levin: Wilcox has pleaded "Not Guilty," and will stand trial for child molestation. His preliminary hearing is set for next month. Now, if convicted, he faces a maximum of fifteen years in prison. For now, Wilcox is out on bail with no restrictions, which means he is free to rejoin nudist camps. [Taped segment ends. Live studio commentary follows.]

KCBS Moderator: Harvey, what made the judge put the brakes on this?

Harvey Levin: The judge said he had read the probation report, the background report, on this man. We have seen some of the documentation that apparently is contained in that, and it has extensive letters that Wilcox has written to other pedophiles. It tracks his history from the time he was let out of prison in 1984, and shows that his conduct seems to be right on the track of the kind of pedophile that the judge simply fears. And he didn't think it was appropriate in this case to allow probation.

KCBS Moderator: Harvey, your story suggests that Wilcox isn't the only person who would be going to nudist camps because children are there. Are the nudist camps themselves doing anything to monitor this?

Harvey Levin: We spoke with the leader of a nudist camp yesterday who said that they do indeed find these pedophiles and throw them out. Detective Grijalva, however, said that the problem is that you don't immediately know who it is. Then, by the time there is a problem, the damage has already been done. So for parents, it is "Caveat Emptor." Let the buyer beware.