When Sexual Predators Are Children

June 28, 2005 – Posted at 4:39 p.m. CDT
PARAGOULD, AR -- With so much attention recently on sex offenders, many parents are working hard to make sure their kids are safe. But what happens when the sexual predator is a child?
“Had he not got caught, it would have went to the full extent of rape,” said Carla Duerr.
The Duerr family was at a neighbor's house when a 12-year-old boy allegedly molested their six-year-old daughter. They say her brother discovered the incident.
“At that point, he opened the door and witnessed what the boy was doing to my daughter and her crying,” said Duerr.
Police arrested the boy, but Duerr says her family isn't happy with the investigation.
“After the first couple of days, I've not heard anything. I've tried to find out information, but I keep getting different names and they don't know anything,” said Duerr.
Because this is an ongoing investigation, detectives at the Paragould Police Department could not comment on this case, but they say they do treat child sexual abuse cases with the highest priority.
“It happens a lot more than you would think,” said Detective Sergeant Rhonda Thomas of the Paragould Police Department.
Experts say keep a close eye out for changes in behavior. Children who have been sexually abused will often act out.
“Their behavior will change, if they were good students they may become bad students. It’s a lot of the same signs you would see with drug abuse even. It’s just their way of telling you something is wrong,” said Thomas.
Duerr says she now doesn't let her daughter out of her sight.
“Although she does have nightmares, but I think with therapy and everything she will be able to overcome the situation,” said Duerr.
If you think your child is the victim of sexual abuse, contact the police right away. They can help you find the appropriate counseling.