Reporting Sexual Abuse

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The alleged incidences at Penn State concerning a mentor and multiple children is not uncommon. Detective Sargent Mark Johnson says it's often times, much like at Penn state, it is someone who has grown close to the child.

"You know somebody could get a pedophile close to them, they groom them, they become their friend, they give them gifts money, help them out maybe help the family out, they become this good guy and it advances to sexual abuse."

Authorities say reporting abuse should be common sense but knowing when to report could be the question. Patrolman Katie Wharton says reporting any suspicious activity could make a big difference and she explains it is their job to protect the all parties involved until it has been fully investigated.

"If you can see any type of abuse or if someone reports it to you, you should obviously tell a police officer or someone who actually make a difference, just talking over the water cooler and telling someone this, it's not going to make any difference," says Wharton

Those authorities explain there are mandated reporters such as teachers and doctors, who are required to report abuse,but if anyone refuses or fails to report abuse no matter if a parents or a friend they could be facing charges as well.

"May possibly be charged with some type of conspiracy charge just for the fact that they knew this abuse was on going," says patrolman Wharton.

"They know that they children's being abused and keep them in that situation, they can be charged with endangering children for not taking care but the people that are mandated reporters they can face criminal charges as well as get their licenses taken away. If they don't report," explain Detective Johnson.

Officials say reporting a suspicion of abuse may be protecting more than one child and many more in the future.

"We do investigate every claim of sexual abuse that comes into the police department," says patrolman Wharton. "We do our best to make sure the victims are, number one are safe from the abuse and number two that it is prosecuted properly."

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