Dear Abby: Regarding “Needs a Playmate” (Feb. 15), I agreed with your advice to 7-year-old “Jessie’s” mom to make it clear that what happened was not her daughter’s fault, and that “Jason” was in the wrong. You also addressed Jason’s mother’s unwillingness to deal with the issue. However, I don’t believe your advice went far enough.
What 13-year-old Jason did was not merely misbehaving. It was an attempt at sexual molestation and a huge red flag. Chances are he has tried this behavior before, and likely succeeded. There is also the possibility that Jason himself has been a victim or has been exposed to sexually arousing material. In any case, he needs help. An investigation should occur to locate other possible victims. The appropriate reaction to something like this is to contact the local authorities and child protective services.
— Concerned Reader in Utah
Dear Reader: Thank you for raising this issue. Other readers were also concerned that my advice did not go far enough. Read on:
Dear Abby: In many states, if there is a four-year age gap between children who engage in “sex play,” it may constitute a crime. In many counties, children’s services will step in to investigate whether Jason has also been abused or, more likely, is watching pornography. Jason needs to be reported. Reporting this would be a good thing for him to ensure that he won’t eventually become part of the juvenile justice system.
— A Little Shocked in Dayton, Ohio
Dear Abby: That 13-year-old boy attempted to sexually abuse Jessie, which is a crime. He may also have done other things to her that, at her age, she may not be able to understand were wrong. Her mom should have her examined by a physician and get a referral for counseling. The police should also be notified to investigate. Don’t forget — Jason has a younger sister who could be a victim, too.
He’s old enough to know his behavior is wrong, and without intervention he could repeat it. He may even make another attempt on Jessie, since she lives close by. Mom: Please don’t overlook this.
— Nancy in New England
THIS WEEK’S BLIND TASTING
Cabernet Sauvignon, the venerable statesman
Rodney Strong, 2015 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% alcohol, $20. ★★★★
This is a cab that clearly overdelivers. It has generous fruit — black cherry and black raspberry — with herbs and spicy oak. It has good structure with firm tannins and a nice length.
J. Lohr, 2015 Hilltop, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.9%, $35. ★★★★: This is a pretty cab with black raspberry fruit, herbs and spice, and the flavors meld together seamlessly. The cab has good balance, ripe tannins and a lingering finish. It’s well-crafted.
Duckhorn, 2014 Three Palms Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.9%, $98. ★★★★: This is a gorgeous cab with notes of black raspberry fruit, and notes of cinnamon and clove in the mix. It has a soft and supple texture, with ripe tannins. Nice length. Striking.
Cliff Lede, 2015 Stag’s Leap District, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 15%, $78. ★★★★: This is a striking cab with complex aromas and flavors. It has notes of jasmine, black currant, blackberry, cinnamon and black pepper. The Cliff Lede has bright acidity and great balance. Top rate.
Justin, 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5%, $25. ★★★1/2: This is a savory cab with dried herbs at the forefront, while cherry and black currant fruit play backup. What melds it together is a hint of caramel. Smart.