UPDATE: Friends and neighbors react to woman's child pornography scandal
COLUMBIA - People close to Brittany Bailey are reeling from the news of the 29-year-old mother's arrest with crimes related to child sexual abuse.
Bailey was arrested Wednesday in connection to online groups that distributed and conspired with others to receive child pornography.
Some neighbors of Bailey's south Columbia house were surprised to hear about the investigation.
One anonymous parent said, "How did I let a monster get that close to my kid?"
Gamal Castile, Bailey's ex-boyfriend, said he is in shock and disbelief and is focused on taking care of the child he shares with Bailey.
"I am confident both of her kids were not involved in anyway, but they're now involved in the aftermath," he said.
Court documents indicated Bailey's children were not involved in the child pornography that was shared in the online forums.
Castile said both of her children are now living with their respective fathers.
Candice J. Kundert, a licensed clinical social worker with Individual Marriage and Family Counseling Center, said addictions to child pornography usually stem from some sort of trauma.
"It's a defense mechanism that they use to calm themselves. When it becomes an addiction, it becomes shameful and they keep it hidden," Kundert said.
Kundert said she has seen rates of addictions to pornography increase in the last couple of years, with the rising popularity of the internet. She said online chat forums, such as ones Bailey used, make pornography more accessible, and make addiction easier to hide from loved ones.
"They can compartmentalize it away from the rest of their life. They can erase searches and hide it from their families," she said.
Kundert said she treats child pornography addiction just like other addictions. She leads a group that supports people with sex addiction twice a month at her office. She uses techniques such as the 12-step program and hypnosis to treat the addiction.