The other day I wrote something on celebrities and how we pay way too much attention to them. In it, I quoted something a buddy of mine once said about major league baseball players. This buddy was Joe Maglie, the adopted son of the famous pitcher Sal Maglie, also known as “the barber,” because of his effectively intimidating strategy of pitching inside and high.
With a heavy heart I learned a terrible thing about Joe. While researching for my previous post I found out that he was busted last October, in 2006, on child pornography charges. It seems that he got caught up in a sting.
The articles I found online state that an under-cover Internet detective got Joe to offer to sell him some child porn. That’s all the evidence the police needed for a search warrant, which was served without delay. I read that there was a prodigious amount of kiddy smut stored on two of Joe’s computers located in his home or office, well up into the terabyte amount; enough to download onto hundreds of CDs. Now THAT’S a lot of filth.
Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Joe and I were pretty close pals. We were both still in the Air Force serving in the same unit on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Joe was a staff sergeant working as a comptroller; and I was a master sergeant, doing my thing as an aircraft maintenance inspector specializing in avionics. I helped him move twice and we played golf a time or two. He was a basically a good guy and a good friend, someone who was always there for his buddies.
What I remember most about Joe was his continuous involvement in the community. There was not a charitable organization that he wasn’t involved with, and he used to drag the rest of us his Air Force mates, including me, into volunteering as well. With all his benevolent deeds, it seemed there was no one he didn’t know—whether it was the mayor, or local newscasters, and all sorts of other regional celebrities. The base commander knew him by name, which is pretty impressive for a lowly staff sergeant.
I remember asking him if he was related to “the barber,” and he gladly told me, “Yes, he adopted me. I’m his son.” At the time, his pops was still alive, but I guess he was not really in the world anymore due to Alzheimer’s or some other similar mind ruining disease. It was always great talking to Joe about his dad, because he would gladly explain what it was like being around big league baseball as a kid. He even signed a baseball card of his dad for me.
Overall, I knew Joe to have a good heart and he did lots of good. That’s why I’m so sorry that he allowed himself to fall into this child porno trap thing. When I saw the story I felt bad for him that he had descended in such a way that he had basically destroyed his own life, but I was also very angry with him for the harm he was doing due to pure sinful selfishness.
The detectives are quoted that Joe had in his possession countless digital recordings of child molestations. I hope like hell that he wasn’t involved in producing any of it, but even if all he did was download it from file sharing and distributing it, in effect, he was contributing to the very acts done to those children. It’s like drugs—if no one used them… Well, you get the picture.
I know Joe, and I know that intellectually he understands how wrong it was to do what he was doing. The only person he can blame now is himself. I hope his example will influence others to stop it, if they are involved in similar activity. Aside from the terrible harm its doing to innocent kids, on a personal level, it’s just not worth it. Delete it and stop viewing it. Do it for yourself and for the innocent babies, toddlers and young children in the world. They are being horribly harmed by YOU.
Perhaps if you are on the fence on this subject, you should keep in mind little Madeleine McCann. That poor little innocent angel was probably scooped up and swept away from the loving arms of her family, perhaps forever, all because of the same decadent malevolence that Joe Maglie was evidently involved in.
I haven’t lived in Arkansas since 1998, and I don’t really know anyone very closely there anymore; so I don’t know what ultimately happened to Joe. The most recent information that I could find concerning his child porn charges was that he was out on bail for $5,000 and would go in front of a judge for a hearing in December 2006. For all I know the charges were dropped; or, he was found guilty as hell and is sitting in a cell right now. Either way, I hope he’s looking deep within himself and vowing to do good for the rest of his life to atone for all this.
As I said though, I hope to hell that he had no play in making any of this terrible stuff. If so, he should serve a long sentence. Still, regardless of where he is and what he did, I know he has a virtuous side. There is good and evil in all of us, and because of my years of associating with him I know that there is hope for the guy.
Having said that, I hope he comes out the other end of this thing a better man, even if it’s a better OLD man.