Parents Concerned about Children's Safety

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

Being a kid isn't always fun and games. There's also a darker side to childhood that can really make a parent's head spin.

"If a stranger came up to them they would not say no, especially if they had candy or if they had a toy," Carla Minney, a parent, said.

Minney is the administrator of Pioneer Pete Day Care and also has two daughters of her own. And like many parents, she worries about the possibility of child abuse.

Many parents commented on a recent story posted on our Web channel about Paul Christopher who was accused of raping an 11-year-old girl.

The rape charges were dropped and in six months Christopher will be out of jail.

It's these types of incidents that have mothers like Minney concerned

"I'm just making sure I'm teaching them what they need to be taught about strangers," Minney said.

But strangers aren't always the problem.

"The reality is children are much more likely to be abused by someone they know, a family member, a close friend," Dr. Mary Barnas, a developmental psychologist, said.

So to prevent this from happening, there are a few things parents can keep in mind.

"Make sure you know their whereabouts. Make sure you know who they're spending time with. Make sure you anyone you are allowing them to be watched by or spend time with is someone that you absolutely trust," Barnas said.

"I try to get them to talk to me openly, and hopefully they'll keep an open relationship, so if anything ever happens, they won't be afraid to say anything," Minney said.

Taking early steps today in hopes of a safe tomorrow.

Paul Christopher's lawyer, Rolph Baumgartel, said that children are safe around his client.

Baumgartel said that just because someone is accused of a crime, doesn't mean they're guilty.

"False accusations occur every day. I mean does anyone really think that everyone accused of a crime is guilty? Are we really at that point?" he said.

Baumgartel said Christopher has denied from the beginning any type of sexual contact with the minor.

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  • by Rhonda on Jan 16, 2009 at 02:14 PM
    Denise, yes you are right if a man IS guilty of raping a child they should do their time. He however was not found guilty of that. He was chared with contributing to the unruliness of a child. Why would the prosecution offer such a deal? I would imagine it would only be if they had no case. Taking the Plea could have saved his and the childs family a long trial which could end up in a hung jury. Bottom line. If he wanted this to go away he'd take the six months. Rather than risk this continuing for years.
  • by Roger Location: Marietta on Jan 15, 2009 at 11:25 AM
    Why would an innocent man plead guilty to a reduced charge..If I am not guilty, I am not going to plead guilty to an reduced charge
  • by tonya t Location: belpre,oho on Jan 15, 2009 at 09:20 AM
    absolutly just because someone is accused of a crime such as this does it mean hat the person is guitly.i myself know paul and he has been around my children and never in a million years would i think he could do this..he is a great person you couldn't ask for a better friend than him ..paul my prayers are there for you and your family..God bless
  • by paul newbanks Location: belpre on Jan 15, 2009 at 09:18 AM
    i know paul christopher personally and i know this accusation was fabricated as a vengeful act
  • by Denise Location: Parkersburg on Jan 15, 2009 at 03:42 AM
    This is so upsetting!! I am outraged that the charges were dropped. If the man is guilty of raping a CHILD he needs to be brought up on those charges and go to prison.
  • by Barbara Location: Rockport WV on Jan 15, 2009 at 01:27 AM
    Just because someone is accused of something doesn't always mean they are guilty. Anyone can accuse anyone of anything. Put yourself in his shoes and not be guilty. The courts sometimes are not in your favor even if you are not guilty. It is your word against their's, and no way to prove it. I can't imagine Paul doing anything like this. Pray for him and his family.
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