Twice in as many days, news reports surfaced of a neighbor tipping off authorities regarding the physical abuse or sexual abuse of children. In the latest case, a 51-year-old man in Pennsylvania was arrested after police discovered 12 girls living in his home. They ranged in age from six months to 18 years.
Charges included statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and aggravated indecent assault. The arrest affidavit says the father of 18-year-old girl gave his daughter to the man after providing financial support. Police charged teh father with conspiracy of statutory sexual assault and child endangerment. The mother also was arrested.
Police raided the home after receiving an anonymous tip. That follows an arrest early of a Florida man who had beaten two children in his home. Again, police received a tip from a neighbor that the children were being abused, and the mother was doing nothing to stop the abuse.
As we’ve written before, authorities and child abuse lawyers and foster care attorneys encourage citizens who witness crimes to “See something? Say something” by reporting their suspicions to police.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office and investigators from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) reportedly reported that the children, aged 2 and 4, suffered bruises and black eyes. One child had hair pulled out, the police reported. It was characterized as “extreme physical injury,” according to news reports.
Police arrested the husband, Curtis Roston Beachum, on charges of felony aggravated child abuse and felony child abuse without great bodily harm. Mother Annastasia Williams was charged with felony failure to report child abuse within the same home and two felony counts of child abuse with great bodily harm.
Again, child abuse happens everywhere. But authorities cannot be everywhere to witness or stop it. So it falls to family members, neighbors, school teachers, or other citizens to report what they suspect might be happening.