Cameron County, Texas Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested 39-year-old Gilberto De Leon on aggravated sexual assault of a child charges after a young woman came forward, accusing him of having sexual relations with her since she was 7 years old. Records show that De Leon used threats and lies to have his way the victim until she was 21 years old. According to sources, the abuse happened early on, starting with oral sex and leading to full molestation when the girl left middle school. De Leon is supposed to have raped her while she was wearing her graduation dress. However, that doesn’t make it a Horror Show Sunday story, does it? It gets worse. In order to keep the girl in line, he told her that if she told anyone, especially her priest, that she would go to hell.
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common technique to keep kids quiet by making threats about eternal damnation. We know that it’s widespread among pedophile priests and whether or not De Leon actually believed in hell or it was a convenient excuse to keep the unnamed girl in line, that doesn’t stop the fact that it worked. Belief in such absurd things has kept many people from taking actions that they ought to have taken but were afraid to be condemned to an imaginary pit of fire and torture.
Luckily, a friend talked the girl into coming forward with her allegations after 14 years of abuse and now it’s in the hands of the police. Her mother confronted him with the accusations and he replied with a text that said “It’s all a lie. I’m on my way….” but he never showed up. The girl had reason to worry, De Leon had numerous guns that he had pointed at her while cleaning them, the implication was clear, he intended to harm her if she told anyone about his crimes.
Yet while it is clearly illegal and unacceptable to threaten someone with bodily harm at the point of a gun, nobody thinks twice about teaching impressionable children about hell and eternal damnation. How can that not be considered child abuse? Oh wait, because religion gets to do things that nobody else would ever think acceptable. If a criminal like De Leon told a child, any child, that he’d torture them with fire if they told what he’d done, he’d get another rider on his conviction. If he tells the child that she’s going to hell, nobody bats an eye.
As of this writing, he is on the Cameron County Inmate list awaiting trial. It’s too bad that hell isn’t real, criminals like this deserve to burn there for eternity. Off to the Religious Horror Show you go.