The topic of sexual abuse is difficult to talk about, but victims of sexual abuse must know that resources are available to them, and that they are not alone. According to the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, nearly 20 percent of girls and about seven percent of boys have been victims of child sexual abuse. Furthermore, about 14 percent of Connecticut residents likely experienced some kind of childhood sexual assault. Presently, an estimated 40 million childhood sexual abuse survivors live in the US.
This recent article in the Hartford Courant highlights an interesting trial going on. The defendant is accused of sexually assaulting a child who he adopted through the Department of Children and Family Services. Rather than try the case before a jury, the defendant has chosen to allow the judge to decide his guilt or innocence. The article is below. HARTFORD -- A trial began Tuesday for one of two men accused of sexually assaulting boys they adopted through the state Department of Children and Families, with his accuser describing physical and sexual abuse he said he endured from both men over several years. The state had sought to try George Harasz, 51, and Douglas Wirth, 46, together, but their defense attorneys objected and convinced Hartford Superior Court Judge Julia D. Dewey to hold separate trials. Both also waived their right to a jury trial and opted to have Dewey hear the evidence against them and render a verdict. Wirth's trial is first. But before testimony began, Wirth's lawyer, Michael Dwyer of Middletown, tried to get the judge to admit medical reports that he contends are evidence of the accuser's propensity to lie and exaggerate. Dwyer argued that the accuser's competency to tell the truth was at issue. Dewey responded that competence related only to whether the accuser could understand the obligation of his oath to tell the truth. The credibility of his testimony would be a matter for her to determine, after hearing his testimony as well as cross-examination, she said.
The Wilton School superintendent still facing tough questions after a paraprofessional accused of inappropriately touching a child was allowed to work after the for more than a year after the allegations. Eric Von Kohorn did not resign for Wilton public schools until June 16th of 2014 after he was arrested for possessing and sharing child pornography. Even though a family came forward with allegations that Von Kohorn touched their child back in January of 2013.
A New York dance instructor who has worked with nationally known artists was arrested Tuesday after police said he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old student. Police said Johnny Sadowski also texted the girl photos of his private parts. Sadowski, 26, of Euclid Avenue, Fairfield, was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and using a computer to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
A Rocky Hill father, former pilot and Boy Scout leader was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with two boys. "You are, in fact, guilty of a heinous crime," Judge Arthur Hadden told Mark Alexander, 36. "You have to pay the price of that." He sentenced Alexander to eight years in prison, followed by eight years of special parole, as Alexander's wife, Francesca, wept. Alexander had previously pleaded no contest to charges of first-degree illegal possession of child pornography and risk of injury to a minor.
Many Connecticut residents will agree that public faith and trust in institutions such as a church are shaken and lost when accusations of child sexual abuse are made against priests. Such incidents are harrowing to read about, and likely scar not only the community where they occur but also individuals and families directly impacted by it. Sadly, cases of child sexual abuse can happen anywhere. But victims of sexual abuse can file a civil action against perpetrators to get justice.
A high school English teacher was arrested Thursday morning and charged with sexual assault for allegedly maintaining an inappropriate relationship with a student, police said. Danielle Watkins, 32, of Norwalk, turned herself in to police Thursday morning, police said. She was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, two counts of sale of marijuana and one count of risk of injury to a minor. According to police, Watkins maintained a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student from September 2013 until June 2014. The victim allegedly told police that the two had numerous sexual encounters in her vehicle during school hours. He said the car was parked off of school grounds. Watkins also allegedly sent pictures of herself, naked, to the student's phone, police said. The victim said that at one point he attempted to break off the relationship, but Watkins assaulted him and accused him of being with someone else, police said.
A man who worked as a certified nursing assistant at Saint Vincent's Medical Center has been charged with fourth-degree sexual assault for allegedly touching a patient inappropriately while he slept, police said. Gonzalo Flores, 53, of Bridgeport, was arrested on Tuesday and released on $25,000 bond, according to court records.
A Ledyard High School journalism teacher was arrested Monday after investigators determined he was having a sexual relationship with a female student, police said. William Friskey, 36, of Pattagansett Court, East Lyme, was arrested on a warrant charging him with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, police said. He posted $75,000 bail and was scheduled to be arraigned at Superior Court in New London July 14.
Attorney Cindy Robinson discusses the rise in sexual abuse and what parents should do to protect their children.