We expect people in positions of power not to abuse that power, but unfortunately sometimes these individuals commit sexual crimes against the most vulnerable people in society: children. A brief scan of national headlines shows that doctors, priests, teachers, employers and police officers are not immune to criminal prosecution for illegal sexual conduct, nor are these individuals beyond being held accountable in civil court.
Philadelphia residents may remember a case that started last year involving a city police officer. The 37-year-old former cop was accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Bensalem. He pleaded guilty recently in criminal court, and he could be sent to prison for 36 months. He could also be subject to a civil lawsuit if the girl's family chooses to pursue one.
The offender in this case picked up a 21-year-old woman and her 14-year-old cousin and drove them to a motel room. Court records indicate that he offered to pay $100 apiece for sex with the females.
At some point, the 14-year-old said she did not want to take part in any sexual act, but her cousin told her to get in the offender's car. En route to the motel, the girl texted her family to say that someone was holding her against her will, and police were dispatched to the motel.
Unfortunately, though, before police arrived, the former cop had already had sex with the 21-year-old in front of the 14-year-old. He had also fondled the girl, according to police.
This kind of abuse can have untold psychological ramifications on a victim, and abuse victims deserve access to the treatment and counseling that are available to improve victims' lives.
If Pennsylvania residents would like to learn more about the available legal options in the wake of a sexual assault or other sex crime, our Philadelphia sexual abuse site is there to help.
Source: philly.com, "Former Phila. police officer guilty of sex assault," Chris Palmer, June 19, 2013