By Joni J. Franklin, Attorney & David Wolf, Attorney Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
The number of victims of child sexual abuse and molestation grows each year. According to the U.S. Justice Department, roughly 32% of girls and 14% of boys are molested before the age of 18. In addition, nearly 2/3 of all sexual assaults reported involved minors and roughly 1/3 involved children under the age of 12. In most cases, child molestation goes unreported. Estimates are that only 35% of sexual abuse is reported. The reason may be because kids are frightened or embarrassed to say anything.
Recently, Richard Gonzalez, 69, from Kansas was sentenced to prison for molesting a four- year-old girl at a rural Lawrence day care center in 2009. Prosecutors said he had molested the girl during nap times over several weeks at a day care center operated by his daughter. In January, Gonzalez was convicted of aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Douglas County District Judge Sally Pokorny sentenced him to serve 25 years to life on each count. The judge described the sentence as a “harsh punishment for a terrible crime.”
Perpetrators of child sexual abuse and molestation come from all different age groups, race, gender and socio economic backgrounds. One common factor in all cases is that children often know and trust their abusers. For more information on this topic, see Kansas man, 69, sentenced for molesting 4-year-old girl at Lawrence day care center.