‘NCAA’s First Openly Gay College Wrestler’ Sentenced for Heinous Crimes Involving Images of Children – Parents Pay Attention

‘NCAA’s First Openly Gay College Wrestler’ Sentenced for Heinous Crimes Involving Images of Children – Parents Pay Attention

Americans face a devastating mental-health epidemic. And while many who suffer do not become sexual predators, those who do cannot seem to leave children alone.

Alec Donovan, a 2015 state wrestling champion at Brick Memorial High School in Ocean County, New Jersey, who later became the “NCAA’s first openly gay college wrestler,” per WPVI-TV, received a federal prison sentence of seven years and three months after pleading guilty to distribution of child pornography last June, per the Daily Voice.

Donovan, 26, had coached at the Shore Thing Wrestling Club in Lakewood, New Jersey. According to its website, Shore Thing has offered classes for elementary-, middle-, and high-school-aged wrestlers.

After seeking out and befriending young males online, Donovan “sent the victims images and videos of child sexual abuse.” He also sent nude photos of himself and requested nude photos of the victims in return.

According to the Asbury Park Press — a local news outlet focused on Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey — FBI Special Agent Brian Salamone described the child sexual abuse victims in the images and videos as “prepubescent and teenage boys,” some of whom looked to be as young as 8 years old.

Donovan’s predatory behavior and exchanges of child pornography occurred between Jan. 17, 2021, and March 20, 2021.

U.S. District Court Judge Zahid N. Quraishi handed down the sentence on Thursday. It included an additional 30 years of supervised release.

In 2015, the LGBT-focused Outsports identified Donovan as the first “publicly out gay NCAA wrestler.”

By then, he had made college recruiting trips, for he had enjoyed great success on the wrestling mat. In fact, as a senior, he finished 39-1, won the state championship in the 145-pound division, and ranked in the top 25 nationally for his weight class.

He also had suffered serious depression and harbored suicidal thoughts as a freshman in high school. But he credited a female friend named Haley for persuading him to tear up a suicide note.

“I was so happy she made me do that. Because now I don’t think about it. I’m moving forward,” he said at the time.

As he looked toward college, Donovan fancied himself a kind of LGBT mentor.

“I’ve done a lot of great things ever since I was suicidal,” he said. “But yeah, helping other people makes me most proud.”

Donovan began his college wrestling career at California Polytechnic State University before transferring to Centenary University in Hackettstown, New Jersey, where he continued his winning ways, the Daily Voice reported. In fact, he became the school’s first All-American in Greco-Roman Wrestling.

Thus, the former state champion and college standout must have enjoyed substantial credibility at the Shore Thing Wrestling Club.

Of course, parents who sent their children to those wrestling classes could not have known about Donovan’s predatory behavior. And authorities described him as having targeted boys online rather than in person.

Still, we hear a great deal these days about affirming one’s gender and sexuality for the sake of mental health. In fact, we hear that demand for affirmation most loudly when applied to minors. And it has become a source of tyranny.

Donovan’s story, however, should remind us that mental health is a complicated subject. We still have much to learn.

Furthermore, affirming one’s sexual desires does not constitute an act of healing. In most cases, it causes only spiritual harm.

After all, psychological focus on “affirmation” prevents the afflicted individual from moving beyond the self. Thus, to the inward-looking person, other people appear as objects for sexual gratification.

And when those other people happen to be prepubescent children, something has gone terribly wrong.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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