Jack McClellan is an admitted pedophile who has been hiding in broad daylight.
"I find them physically more attractive than adult women," he told "Nightline." "The other thing would be the whole gamut of personality traits that is quite a difference from adults. The more lightheartedness, irreverence, playfulness, anarchy."
McClellan has broadcast his feelings on the Internet, where he has discussed locations to see children in public situations and has even posted photos of girls he liked. But despite his offensive words and actions, McClellan, apparently, has broken no law. He has, however, outraged two communities.
The 45-year-old man's trip from pedophile Web presence to the subject of newspaper articles and television appearances sheds light on the dark, seedy underbelly of the Internet. McClellan has been operating in that world nearly invisibly for at least six years.
A Guide for Pedophiles
In 2001, McClellan said he started "chronicling" the "street prostitution scene" in Seattle -- a scene he claims he patronized as a customer.
But four years later there was a shift, a manifesto of sorts. In July 2005 he wrote that he had "developed an attraction to prepubescent girls. … I'm determined not to cross the line to sexual touching."
Eventually, McClellan launched what he called the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Girl Love Web site. There, along with animated images of hearts, he would post the pictures he took of young girls at parks or festivals. Then he would rate how good these locations were for spotting so-called LGs -- little girls.
"I've never done anything illegal with girls," he told "Nightline."
McClellan said the site was aimed to serve other pedophiles. For two years, it was up and running, until this past March when a local Washington paper broke the story, forcing McClellan out of the shadows.
"We just love being around children. It's almost like a high, a legal high," McClellan said. "And it just makes us happier than anything in the world really." McClellan told Fox News in an interview last March.
'It's Not OK'
The attention brought more traffic to McClellan's Web site but not just from pedophiles -- shocked and angry parents began logging on as well.
"[I] saw the site, then the fear started welling up inside of me," said one Seattle mother, who saw a picture and details about her daughter.
"I'm mad," said another mother. "I'm mad that somebody can invade our lives like that way, in the way. And that it's OK. It's not OK."
Mothers were incensed. An anti-pedophile Web site -- www.JackMcClellan.com -- was created, and lawmakers got involved.
However, it soon became clear that because McClellan is not a registered sex offender, has no sex crimes record and hasn't commited a crime, McLellan's Web site is actually protected by the First Amendment.
From Seattle to California
With his site shut down temporarily and facing what he called "media hysteria" (plus trouble in his parent's home, where he was living), McClellan fled Washington state in mid-May.
According to a blog he wrote at the end of May, he stopped in Oregon, but there weren't enough little girls there. He headed south, where he renamed his site Los Angeles Girl Love.
Los Angeles parents quickly learned about Jack McClellan. Taking a cue from the mothers in Seattle, Rachel Korbin and other moms used a social Web site to spread the news that a pedophile was in their midst.
"So, in an interesting way Jack McClellan is actually much, much safer than so many other people who are out there," said Korbin. "We know what Jack McClellan looks like. We know he wears that hat. He has not made himself invisible. In fact, he has done quite the opposite. He's made himself very, very public. So if I see him at this park I can choose to remove my child from the premises."
"There are many, many other people in our society who are very much like him who we don't know about," Korbin added. "We haven't seen them -- they are invisible. And that's what's scary."
Saying he was attracted to Southern California's amusement parks and fairs, McClellan has been far from invisible.
Suspicious and Afraid, Parents Speak Out
Citizens have been posting sightings of McClellan in west Los Angeles throughout July. And at the end of last month, one of the moms spotted him in the Santa Monica library. She called police, who issued the first alert, posting McClellan's picture on the Internet and around town, labeling him a notorious pedophile advocate.
While Los Angeles-area mothers have sounded the alarm about Jack McClellan's activities, they've done so with some fear and trepidation, worried that being too public could put them at risk.
"Of course, I'm afraid I might be targeted," said Jane, who asked that her real name not be used. "There are a lot of pedophiles I've come across in the past few months, and I've spent quite a bit of time in chat rooms, shadowy places, where they sort of hide or lurk."
"These are people who are angry at people like me for casting a light on this very, sort of shadowy world," she said. "And instantly they're sort of angry at Jack McClellan for casting a light on a very shadowy world. So, there's a lot of angry pedophiles, and I don't really want them targeting me or my family."
Parents Outraged, Police Discouraged
While some mothers just want to alert their neighbors, Jane wants to see change. "My fear has really crystallized into a very motivating, powerful force."
Parents like Jane feel a growing sense of frustration toward authorities. The Los Angeles police have been inundated with phone calls from people outraged that McClellan can say the things he does and post pictures on the Internet while police do nothing to stop him.
"What the public doesn't understand is that the police are bound by the current laws as they stand," said Cpt. Joe Guiterrez, from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
"So we are also responsible for protecting the rights of all citizens, including Mr. McClellan," said Guiterrez. "In this particular case we have to evaluate the situation and determine whether Mr. McClellan has risen to the level of committing a crime, and at this time we have not determined that he has committed a crime."
McClellan's Web site is currently shut down (his server took down the site last month), but on Aug. 3, a Superior Court judge in Los Angeles issued a temporary restraining order against McClellan, ordering him to stay 30 feet away from anyone under the age of 18 in California.