Judge says he's powerless to block marriage of molester to woman with children
By PAULA McMAHON Sun-Sentinel
Nov. 2, 2000
A Broward County judge ruled Wednesday that
he is powerless to stop a convicted sexual
offender, who had abused his stepchildren, from
marrying and moving in with a woman who has
John Medlock, 47, who
lived in Miramar at the
time, pleaded guilty in
1990 to charges that he
repeatedly molested his
three stepdaughters from
a previous marriage. He
served eight years of a
20-year prison sentence
and was released in 1998.
He will remain on probation
for nine years.
Medlock's fiancée, Kathy
Anderson, says he is a
wonderful man. The couple
met 18 months ago, and
she wants to marry him as
soon as possible and have
him move in with her
family, a 12-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy,
But probation officers who supervise Medlock
in Monticello in North Florida were so concerned
about his plans to marry that they tried to limit
his contact with Anderson's children.
So Medlock's attorney, Ken Malnik, filed court
papers in Broward, where Medlock was
convicted and sentenced, to try to adjust the
terms of his probation.
In response, Assistant State Attorney Dan
Stiffler asked Broward Circuit Judge Marc Gold to
prevent Medlock from moving in with Anderson's
"We can't stop him from marrying her," Stiffler
said. "But I'm very uncomfortable with the idea
of him moving in with children who are the same
age as children he has abused in the past."
Anderson and her children asked the judge to
let Medlock, who has been ordained in the
Southern Baptist Convention, move in with
them. The children said he is a "nice man" who
helps them with their homework.
One of Medlock's victims wrote to the judge,
saying she hoped Medlock would not be allowed
to be in a position where he could do to other
children what he did to her.
On Wednesday, Gold examined the results of a
polygraph that Medlock had taken at the
request of probation officials. Medlock passed
the polygraph test that questioned him about his
interaction with children.
Barry Jones, a licensed clinical social worker
who runs the court-ordered therapy program for
sex offenders in Monticello, told prosecutors
that Medlock successfully completed his
therapy. Jones said he could neither object to
nor support Medlock's plans to move in with the
family, Stiffler said.
Jones cautioned that Medlock was not
showing good judgment by so quickly putting
himself in close contact with children and should
be monitored in case he reoffends, Stiffler said
But because the judge who sentenced him at
the time said only that Medlock could not have
contact with his victims, Gold said there was
nothing he could do to prevent Medlock from
moving into the family home.
"Since I've been on the bench, I've never
seen a case where the state didn't seek to
impose (that the defendant have) no contact
with children under a certain age," Gold said
Gold said he had no authority to change
Medlock's sentence unless he violated his
"If this man violates probation in any way, the
probation officer should notify this court," Gold
said. "This doesn't mean we have to wait for a
criminal act. If the probation officer feels
contact with an under-16-year-old is a violation,
they can submit that."
From the day he went to prison for his crimes,
Medlock said, he decided that he would change
his life. He turned to religion and earned a
university degree in prison.
Medlock met Anderson at the church where he
is now a minister of music.
"I've never lied about my past. I tell everyone
what I did," he said. "God changes people."
"I'm not what I was 11 years ago," he said,
and added that he was not the kind of pedophile
who "stalked out" children.
Paula McMahon can be reached at:
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