Pennsylvanians may have heard that a young girl was set to testify in her own sexual abuse case against her alleged abuser one week ago today. The trial regarding this young girl's allegations of sexual abuse involving her religious counselor began last week and both parties were scheduled to speak. Sexual abuse cases involving young children are never easy to hear or try, and this one involves not only a child and an adult, but a child and the adult she was sent to for guidance and help.
The young girl reportedly explained her experience of being abused to another counselor last year, after she had begun schooling elsewhere. She is said to have been sent to see this man for counsel when he allegedly began to inappropriately interact with her from when she was 12 years old until over 15. The abuse is said to have included molestation as well as coercing her to commit sexual acts. It is noted that this man may not have a license to practice the mental health counseling professionally, for which the young girl was reportedly sent to him.
The religious man who has been accused of the abuse has some 88 counts of sexual abuse of a minor brought against him. As the trial continues, Pennsylvania residents may wish to watch what happens. Working closely with the people who care for our children is one way to keep an eye out for any misconduct, and making sure that children have a safe forum to talk about anything that made them feel uncomfortable or afraid can be a good way to promote healthy talks about what's okay and what's not okay.
For Pennsylvania parents whose children have gone through something as traumatic as being the victim a sexual abuse, there are some steps that can be taken. Working with several different professionals, legal and psychological, could help to begin some of the healing. Understanding the ways in which you can move forward from such an experience may be able to help the process begin, and working with an attorney could help you take the first few steps.
Source: The New York Times, "Sexual abuse trial of Brooklyn man begins," Sharon Otterman, Nov. 26, 2012
· Our law firm handles sexual abuse cases and works to care for victims of such abuse in many ways. To learn more, please visit our Sexual Abuse page on our Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy website.