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It was a bizarre tale which a retired deputy superintendent of police supervising a case involving paedophile John Colin Middleton alias Stephen Christopher King alias Steve told Tehelka. “Middleton was let off, as he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. How could he indulge in intercourse with that kind of an illness?” the former cop reasoned.

Boys as young as six are bribed with clothes, cash and their first pair of shoes to perform depraved sexual acts and pose for porn pictures

The accused had been arrested in 2001 with three minor Nepali boys at the Maria guest house in Benaulim, South Goa where another foreigner Avison Paul was also present. A year prior to that, Middleton had been seen with minor boys of Tamil origin. Months of sloppy and sluggish investigations later, the police shelved his case, due to lack of evidence.

Contradicting information like Middleton’s possession of a passport in the name of John Colin Middleton and a bank account in the name of Stephen Kings was overlooked. The police do not even have Middleton’s photograph.

When Middleton was arrested by the Colva police the local community actually stood up in his defence. The young Goans in Colva were upset that the man who would shower them with gifts was behind bars. They were angry with the ngos who had filed the complaint.

Importantly, Middleton—in his mid-seventies—who was arrested in New Zealand for sodomy, is a frequent traveller on the infamous child-sex trail, hopping from Kerala
to Goa onto Nepal. Middleton’s travel chart is too conspicuous for a man afflicted from Parkinson’s.

Middleton was back in Goa in March this year. Tehelka got scent of it and reached where he had put up. We were late by a few days. Middleton had already left for Nepal. Nothing could describe the grave state of affairs vis-a-vis paedophilia in Goa more effectively than the Middleton case.

He had set up base in Benaulim, where Freddy Peats had flourished and was later exposed a few years ago. And yet Middleton’s penchant for boys was construed as ‘good samaritanship’. “He used to take children to the beach. He was a very nice man,” lauds Maria Rebello, who runs the Maria guest house. Tehelka has copies of statements of eyewitnesses submitted to the police, stating that Middleton was masturbating a minor boy on the Benaulim beach in public view. He was also thrown out of a shack located near Taj Exotica, Benaulim, for publicly kissing and fondling a child.

Maria’s husband claims, “There used to be boys roaming around with him. All those boys have gone abroad now.” Middleton is a sinister reminder of the Freddy Peats case, where boys from the Peats’ orphanage were trafficked abroad by Peats’ paedophile friends. Peats may have been the past. But Middleton is the present. He is on the loose and lurking.

August 14, 2004

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