Childhood is meant to be a care-free time spent coloring, reading, playing with friends, and enjoying cartoons. It is supposed to be a time of innocence. Unfortunately, not all children experience a childhood free of darkness and despair. Sometimes, the most horrible atrocities are visited upon young children in the form of unimaginable abuse – usually at the hands of a trusted adult.
There is a lot of media and other talk about child sexual abuse. We want to educate the public on child abuse gathered from the American Psychological Association which reflects the following:
Stories we have read from across the nation where teachers and foster parents were the perpetrators of abuse struck fear in our collective hearts. These are the people we instruct children to trust; to run to when they are in need of help. Imagine what these children were feeling as they experienced abuse at the hands of someone everyone else respected.
One story out of Dickson, OK tells of the arrest of a foster parent. Steve Anglin, 60, served in a foster capacity for several children over the past several years. Last week, he was arrested for the sexual molestation of his foster children – both boys and girls – ages 7 – 13. For those children, his home, which was to be a place of refuge, quickly became a place of nightmares. There were two other stories that were just as haunting – both involving school teachers.
The first story is out of Douglas County, CO where an eighth grade student was molested numerous times by her math teacher over several months. In this case, two other students suspected that something was amiss with the teacher-student relationship and reported their suspicions to the principal and assistant principal. These school leaders, instead of investigating, suspended both students and lied to their parents, saying that an investigation was ongoing when, in fact, none had been initiated. Further, the students were made to write a letter of apology to the teacher for reporting his conduct.
Fast forward two years. That same teacher has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. As part of his plea agreement, more than two dozen other charges were dropped – including sexual assault on a child. He is to serve 20 years in prison. The next story shows a level of depravity that needs to be punished.
Mark Berndt served Los Angeles County School District as a teacher for over 30 years. In that time, he touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of students. Last week he pleaded no contest to the charges surrounding the molestation of at least 20 students. One of his charges includes feeding blind-folded third graders chocolate chip cookies laced with his semen. He is set to serve 25 years in prison for his crimes. The school system had been fielding complaints about Berndt since the 1990s and reportedly failed to act on them. Below are some indicators we can all look for to indicate sexual abuse.
5 signs that may indicate sexual abuse
We all have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us. The attorneys at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene take atrocities against children very seriously. We work diligently to represent victims against the organizations that facilitated their abuse realizing that each case is unique and delicate. This is why we do all we can to help our clients to navigate the legal system and access any damages available to them. We want to ensure our clients are not victimized any further. A caring child sex abuse attorney is waiting to speak with you.
Photo Credit: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25975440/parents-sue-douglas-county-schools-over-sex-assault