When a judge admits that a case of suspected child sexual abuse is “by far one of the worst allegations I have ever seen in my career and it greatly disturbs this court,” it should raise alarms among child advocates, South Florida child abuse lawyers, and Fort Lauderdale foster child supporters.
That was Broward Judge Michael Davis’ comment following the revelation of a child who said that the child and two siblings had been sexually abused. The defendant, Amber Williams, 29, has been charged with molesting a child under age 12 and child neglect.
Broward County Child Protective Investigative Services launched the case starting in January after one of the children provided details about abuse. Reportedly, the abuse started previously in another state and continued in Florida.
In a case of “see something, say something,” the foster parent and later investigators learned of the alleged abuse from a journal one of the children kept. The child had written, “This is a list of things that happened to me.” In another instance, a child discussed the alleged abuse with a therapist. After reporting the abuse allegation to the state’s child abuse hotline, a medical examination discovered “physical findings consistent with indicators of sexual abuse,” the report said.
Too often these cases go un-reported or undiscovered because adults don’t follow the clues the victims may be providing. In this situation, adults trained to spot the signs or listen to the children reported their discoveries – and an alleged child abuse has been apprehended.