St. Luke’s Episcopal School Coach Charged with Sexual Assault of a Child
Details of the Alleged Sexual Assault
An offense report states that the child was sent to Dow to get an over-the-counter medication to alleviate a headache. According to the report, Dow and another coach are responsible for dispensing over-the-counter medications provided by parents for their children.
When the student returned to her classroom, her teacher noticed that she was visibly upset. When the girl refused to verbally state what happened, the teacher asked if she could write it down. The girl wrote that Dow had fondled and sexually assaulted her.
The teacher reported the alleged assault to the principle, who contacted the school’s headmaster, who then called the police.
Dow was arrested on campus Thursday. The offense report notes that Dow “immediately began apologizing” to the principal of the school as he was taken into custody.
Facts About Sexual Child Abuse
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), “child sexual abuse is not only a physical violation; it is a violation of trust and/or authority.”
Just like other forms of child abuse, child sexual abuse does not always involve physical contact. Child sexual abuse includes any kind of sexual activity with a minor. This is because child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period. When a perpetrator has sexual contact, engages sexually explicit conversation, or exposes a child to sexually graphic material they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim.
According to RAINN, as many as 93 percent of sexual abuse victims under the age of 18 know their abuser. Common perpetrators of sexual child abuse include:
- Family friends
- Childcare providers
- Music teachers
- Boy Scout leaders
- Youth group leaders
- Church officials
What Should I Do if I Suspect a Child Is Being Sexually Abused?
Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. If you suspect a child is being sexually abused, you have the power to make an enormous, positive difference in that child’s life. Here are steps to take if you think a child is a victim of sexual abuse:
- Recognize the signs, both physical and behavioral. This may include:
- Depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Bleeding, bruising, or swelling in the genital area
- Frequent urinary or yeast infections
- Pain, itching, or burning in genital area
- Changes in hygiene (bathing too little, or too often)
- Changes in sleep habits, including nightmares or bedwetting
- Self-harming or expression of suicidal thoughts
- Trouble in school, including absences or drops in grades
- Shies away or feels threatened by physical contact
- Overly protective of siblings (assumes a caretaker role)
- Talk to the child.
- Choose a safe space away from the person you may suspect of causing the abuse.
- Speak to the child in a casual, non-threatening tone to keep the child at ease.
- Talk to the child directly, using words that the child will understand.
- Avoid judgmental statements and questions and avoid blaming the child.
- Be reassuring to the child and let them know that you are concerned for them.
- Report it to authorities.
- Before reporting, tell the child you are going to talk to someone else who can help.
- Make sure the child is in a safe place, and if you are concerned about the child’s safety, be sure to let the authorities know.
- If you are not concerned that the parents are the ones causing harm, consult with them prior to reporting to authorities.
Contact an Experienced Child Abuse Attorney
If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for sexually abused children across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.