Have you ever met that guy who seems too good to be true? The handsome, warmhearted guy all the girls wanted to date, or even marry? That was Dr. Todd Calvin, a prominent dentist in Lakewood, Texas, a small tony suburb just outside Dallas.
Known for his charm and skill, he was even profiled on Dallas' WFAA-TV as an expert on new trends in dentistry. And there was Todd Calvin's lighthearted side that thrilled his patients. A trained singer, he sometimes serenaded them." He would call the female patients on their birthday and sing them 'Happy Birthday,'" said Gayla Kirk, the dentist's chair assistant for four years. That extra touch earned him the sobriquet "the singing dentist."
Darlene Doxey was 26 when she got swept up in Todd Calvin's warmth and charisma 13 years ago. It was "his blue eyes," she said, that caught her attention. "He was nice-looking and had good ambition. We both had a tremendous love for music and both loved kids." In other words, Todd was a great catch. But what Darlene never suspected was that her handsome new boyfriend kept a troubling secret.
Facade of Domestic Bliss Disguises Hidden Troubles
Within six months of meeting, Darlene, an associate psychologist, said Todd had swept her off her feet. They were married and off to a romantic honeymoon. Then, unexpectedly, there were signs of trouble. She said her new husband showed flashes of coldness and expressed doubts about the marriage. She wondered if their whirlwind romance had been a big mistake. Still, the newlyweds went forward and within a year she was pregnant.
Though each was thrilled about the pregnancy, Darlene felt something wasn't completely right. "He was more excited about the baby than the woman who is giving birth to this baby," she said. When he was born, their baby boy was the brightest spot in what was quickly becoming an unhappy marriage. Todd focused on his successful practice and growing desire for the rich man's toys: a new custom-built house, a sailboat, even a private plane, his new passion.
The Calvins soon joined an elite group of families who flew privately all over the country. But since Darlene was fearful of small planes, she was content to stay home. Often, she said, Todd would leave on Thursday and return home on Sunday. Though some women may have found the mysterious trips suspicious, Darlene said she was relieved that her husband was gone. To the outside world they appeared to be the perfect couple, but behind the happy smiles the marriage was crumbling. There were a lot of fights and very little intimacy. "There wasn't a lot of sexual relation between us," Darlene said.
Despite their problems, the couple kept up appearances and even decided to have another child, hoping that a growing family would heal the troubled marriage. One day, during a bitter argument, the tension came to a head: Todd asked for a divorce. He screamed, "I don't want to be married to you. ... I don't like you. I don't know why I married you. I want to get a divorce," Darlene recalled. She shouted back, "You got it."
After 10 years together, the facade had collapsed. Darlene and Todd Calvin's seemingly fairy tale existence was over -- to the shock of friends and family. Darlene stayed in the family home and Todd moved just a few miles away to be near the children. Not surprisingly, the divorce was not pleasant. Darlene said she and Todd fought over money.
The Shocking Storm After the Calm
But nearly a year later, a calm set in and Darlene adjusted to her new status as a single mom. She had begun teaching yoga and focused mostly on the children.
On the morning Feb. 12, 2005, Todd's dark secret was about to be revealed. Darlene got a phone call from the security company protecting Todd's home, saying the alarm had gone off and the FBI was on the premises. Within minutes, Darlene was there watching agents carry out boxes and search the house.
Darlene Calvin's world was about to come crashing down. The lead agent told her to sit down. Then he hit her with the shattering news. Her ex-husband had been arrested, swept up in an elaborate year-long FBI sting operation that infiltrated the North American Man Boy Love Association, a controversial group that claims to exist only to lower the legal age of sexual consent between men and boys.
Darlene could barely focus. "My head was screaming, man boy love, man boy love, what does that mean" she said. She could barely hear as the agents explained that Todd was suspected of preying on young boys for sex.
Todd's office staff was just as stunned. "How are they going to make this up to him because this is a mistake, this is a horrible mistake. Dr. Calvin wouldn't jaywalk. He wouldn't spit gum on the sidewalk," Gayla Kirk remembered thinking.
How could it happen? How could the straight-laced, singing dentist be involved in such an unthinkable crime? Psychiatrist Gail Saltz, who has written about the power of secrets, said that it doesn't surprise her at all. "People who harbor secrets like that often actually do appear super moral," she said.
For Darlene, there was no end to the shocking revelation. In court documents she learned that during a phone call with the undercover agent, Todd had talked about a past encounter with a 13-year-old boy. And when a trip to Mexico was planned, Todd was recorded saying he hoped to find 12- to 13-year-old boys willing to engage in sodomy.
"The man who shared our life and who shared our children. The man who shared my bed -- prefers young boys."
Last week Todd pleaded guilty to traveling across state lines for the purpose of having sex with a minor. Though Darlene is convinced that her ex-husband never harmed their two children, she is asking courts to restrict him from ever seeing them again.
"He took away any good memories because a good father wouldn't have done that. Everything is a betrayal. This is never going to go away."