Sex abuse crimes against minors rising

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Guam – The year is not even half way through, yet over the last 5 months it seems like every week a new criminal sexual conduct case pops up. PNC takes a closer look at the number of sexual assault cases this year.

Last year Cynthia Cabot, the Executive Director of the Guam Coalition asserted that the island of Guam is number two in the nation for highest reported rate of criminal sexual conduct.

Another unfortunate statistic from Dr. Juan Rapadas, a guest speaker at the Coalition’s 2017 conference noted that teens ages 16 to 19 were three and a half times more likely to experience sexual assault, rape, or attempted rape than the general population.

The 2016 Attorney Generals’ Office Citizen Centric Report indicates that 59 criminal sexual conduct cases were pursued in court, that equates to 27-percent of crimes against persons. The years before that 91 cases were prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office. We should point out that these numbers only reflect cases prosecuted not the total amount of complaints received.

According to the a report from the Guam Police Department, as of October 2017 there were 72 forcible rape complaints received as compared to 104 forcible rape cases received in 2016. These numbers do not reflect all sex offenses.

Meanwhile, data gathered from the Guam Behavior Health and Wellness Center or GBHWC, shows that for 2017, out of 105 total clients served 75 were minors.

This is further broken down by gender which shows that in 2017, 95 victims of sexual assault were female and 10 were male.

A rise from 2016 numbers which indicated 83 as female and 4 as male.

Further data collected by GBHWC indicates instances of sexual assault by age further showing a rise in offenses against children of certain ages as compared to 2016.

The report identifies four common perpetrators as family members, acquaintances or neighbors to include internet companions, boyfriends/girlfriends, and strangers.

While it may be easy to think that a stranger would be more inclined to commit such an offense the report indicates otherwise citing that 57-percent of these clients reported that the perpetrator was a family member.

32- percent reported being violated by an acquaintance or friend while criminal sexual conduct crimes committed by a stranger pales in comparison at 7-percent.

In an attempt to get a clearer picture of sex related offenses committed this year, PNC did a little research, reviewing Magistrate complaints filed from January to June 6th, 42 cases of criminal sexual conduct were filed.

Of those cases 20 involve 1st degree criminal sexual conduct, 14 include 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct, 6 involve 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct and 11 include 4th degree criminal sexual conduct charges.

Out of the 42 cases 2 alleged offenders have multiple cases against them.

If those numbers aren’t alarming enough in 28 of the 42 cases the victims are minors majority of which are between the ages of 4 and 17.

As you can see sex crimes against children is undeniably high, and parents should exercise caution when it comes to entrusting the care of children to others.

Here are some things you can do to protect your child from sexual assault.

Talk to your child about body parts early and teach them that some body parts are private.

Teach them that they have body boundaries “good touch bad touch” and that no one should ask them to keep secrets about touching or taking pictures of their body parts.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.