KIMT News 3 – A central Iowa sex abuse case is bringing attention to the fact that people should not ignore these crimes, but actually report them.
One woman is facing child endangerment charges after ignoring claims that her daughter was sexually abused by an older man.
24-year-old Newton native, Jacob Ray White is in custody with charges of third-degree sexual abuse for abusing a minor.
Later, a doctor’s appointment revealed that the 12-year-old victim was pregnant.
Investigators are also charging the victim’s parent with child endangerment claiming the mother knew what was going on, but ignored her daughter’s claims.
Law enforcement we spoke to say, it’s not uncommon for families to ignore claims by young people because of their age.
In some cases, care-takers may avoid the issue as a way to maintain relationships with the accused.
According to police, it’s the best interest of the victims that should always take precedence.
“If someone somehow facilitate or knowingly allow certain criminal behavior to go on, they may be charged as a party to that crime. The longer they ignore something, or don’t ask questions, the more likely they may be charged,” said Captain Mike McKelvey with the Mason City Police Department.
Captain McKelvey notes that there are ways to give anonymous tips to law enforcement.
He says the sooner authorities are involved, the more that can be done to help victims deal with the trauma.
“The longer that behavior goes on, it might actually make a child victim become an adult perpetrator, or they might start to believe that that type of behavior is okay or acceptable,” said McKelvey.