Thomas G. Plante is is the Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor at Santa Clara University, Clinical Adjunct Professor in Psychiatry at Stanford University, and author of several books on clergy sexual abuse including, "Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012."

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News of an FBI raid at the Indiana home of Subway spokesman Jared Fogle stunned the public on Tuesday. No charges have been filed against Fogle and authorities have remained mum on what they’re looking for, though a “shocked” and “very concerned” Subway said in a statement that it believes the search “is related to a prior investigation of a former Jared Foundation employee” — the organization’s executive director was arrested on federal child pornography charges this spring. The sandwich chain also announced the end of its relationship with Fogle.

After evaluating and treating clerical sex offenders in the Catholic Church, as well as treating a variety of men troubled with pornography and other sexual problems for about 30 years, I find myself saddened but certainly not shocked by such investigations.

The public typically maintains a highly stereotypical and largely inaccurate view of pedophiles, defined as adults or teens 16 and up who are sexually stimulated by pre-pubescent children (typically 11 and under). We imagine pedophiles as creepy men with shifty eyes, stubble and a trench coat. We think they lurk around schools and playgrounds, waiting to snatch children. We think of these men as despicable lowlifes whom we can spot when we meet them, which is why news of sex crimes against children are invariably met with disbelief. “Stunned” parents and community members say the same thing: “He never seemed like that type of person.” In my three decades working with many men who sexually violate children and teens, I’ve never met one person who fit “that type.”

Pedophiles come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Some are rich and others poor; some are highly educated while others aren’t; some are very socially skilled and delightful conversationalists and some more reticent. So often we hear that people would never in a million years expect so-and-so to harm children, be a pedophile or engage in child pornography because they’re charming, clean cut, fun to be around, successful in their careers, have a nice family life, and so forth. We wonder how such a winner could be a pedophile.

Perhaps that’s why news that Fogle could be associated with a child pornography investigation has been so sensational. After all, we really like him. His terrific and well-known story of losing 245 pounds through a simple exercise program and eating Subway sandwiches, along with his wholesome and sincere persona, made him a popular spokesman — famous and admired. He sure doesn’t look and seem like a pedophile, right?

Contrary to public perception, pedophiles are often married or in a committed relationship; they are not more likely to be gay, even if they victimize boys; and their education, religious identification and intellectual functioning isn’t significantly different from the general population, according to leading researchers. Most of what we know about pedophiles is from those who get caught and are then incarcerated, which doesn’t represent the entire population of offenders — those who don’t match the stereotype or who have more resources often just don’t get caught.

It’s important to mention that not all pedophiles engage with child pornography, and some who engage with child pornography never physically violate a child. Yet too often one thing leads to another, and needs for further stimulation and sexual satisfaction means going from their pornographic viewing activities to actual engagement with real children in the real world, though the exact overlap between these activities is difficult to ascertain. This is one of the many reasons why child pornography use is alarming and disturbing.

Dateline NBC’s controversial show “To Catch a Predator” has actually provided much material to dispel the myth of the low-life pedophile. The show lures unsuspecting men to a home where they anticipate a 13-year-old girl waiting for them, ready to have sex. Men from all walks of life including pillars of society, find themselves ambushed by host Chris Hansen before they are dramatically arrested by local law enforcement. But even the popularity of the show hasn’t really altered the stereotype that most people maintain about pedophiles.

And quality research and best clinical practice clearly inform us that this stereotype is not only unhelpful and incorrect, but also dangerous. If we assume a child molester looks and acts one way, then we won’t see the warning signs and won’t suspect those who don’t match that image. This is especially dangerous since people that we admire, including leaders in the community, can get away with much when it comes to victimizing children. The friendly cleric or youth group leader, the engaging teacher and the dedicated coach all don’t fit the stereotype of a pedophile, but they do have easy access to and trust with children and their parents. Research tells us that about 80 percent of pedophiles are not strangers to the child they molest but are actually family members: stepfathers, uncles, older brothers, cousins. Additionally, many so-called “pedophiles” don’t target young children at all. In fact, most of these crimes against minors are committed against teens. About 90 percent of all known cases of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church during the past 60 years have involved teens, not young children. And the percentage of clerical offenders in the Church (4 percent during the past 60 years) is actually lower than rate of public school teachers during the same time period (about 5 percent).

Whether Jared Fogle ends up being charged, today’s news provides an important teaching moment to reconsider who might engage in sexual crimes with children and youth. Understanding that anyone, even the nice guys, could harm children will better help our society ensure that policies, procedures and practices are in place to keep children safe from sexual predators. While we don’t want to create a climate of paranoia, we do need to use the best science and practice to do all that we can to ensure that our kids are safe from sexual crimes.