ZACHARY, LA — A 48-year-old man from Zachary was arrested for inappropriately touching his 7-year-old step-daughter. In addition, the child’s mother was arrested for failing to report the crime to police.
Child Protective Services were contacted by an individual who claimed that the child told her about the incidents. Deputies with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office investigated the allegations and found enough probable cause to arrest the duo on Thursday, Oct. 17.
Investigators learned that the child had told her mother that her step-father was going into her bedroom at night and touching her. The individual also witnessed the child’s mother accuse the child of lying and struck her.
The man also denied the allegations when questioned by investigators.
The man was arrested and charged with Aggravated Incest (4 counts) and two unrelated charges. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. His bond was set at $200,000.
The child’s mother eventually admitted that she had been told about the incidents, but did not contact police. She told investigators that she did not report it because she believed the child to be lying.
The woman was arrested and charged with Accessory After the Fact. She was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. Her bond was set at $50,000.
NOTE: The names of the suspects and their mug shots have not been included to protect the identity of the victim.
We recommend these five tips to protect your child, brought to you by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
1. Talk: Talk often with your child and set a tone of openness. Talking openly and directly will let your child know that it’s okay to talk to you when they have questions. If your child comes to you with concerns or questions, make time to listen and talk to them.
2. Teach: Teach your child key safety principles. For instance, teach children the names of their body parts so that they have the language to ask questions and express concerns about those body parts. If your child is uncomfortable or if someone is touching them, s/he should tell a trusted adult immediately. Let your children know that if someone is touching them or talking to them in ways that make them uncomfortable that it shouldn’t stay a secret.
3. Empower: Your child should know that s/he has the right to speak up if they are uncomfortable, or if someone is touching them. It’s okay to say “no” even to adults they know and family members.
4. Implement: Implement Internet safety protocols, and parental controls through platforms such as the Google Family Safety Center. Work with older children to set guidelines for who they can talk to online, and what information can be shared. For instance, be cautious when leaving status or away messages online and when using the “check-in” feature on Facebook or Foursquare.
5. Educate: Educate yourself about the warning signs of childhood sexual abuse. Know what to look for, and the best way to respond.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse, help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org).