According to a recent report by Fox Charlotte, an increase in the number of high profile sex crimes investigations nationally has led to a rise in reports of child abuse cases here in North Carolina. Experts say incidents such as the Penn State debacle along with the Boy Scouts have had an impact that can be felt right here in Charlotte.
The Council for Children’s Rights says there were just over 13,300 reported child sex abuse cases in Mecklenburg County last year. That’s a big number and it’s on the rise, in fact, it’s up nearly eight percent from the 12,300 cases that were reported in 2010.
Experts believe that because people are watching other victims come forward and tell their stories it has given victims here in North Carolina the courage to come forward and confront their abusers.
Given the anger felt by many after hearing tales of the abuse inflicted at the hands of some, families of some victims are trying to increase the power of Jessica’s Law. The 2008 law increased penalties for adult offenders who commit certain sex crimes against children. The law required that offenders convicted of certain sex crimes against children or of sexual violence must remain on a state registry for 30 years, up from the previous requirement of 10 years. It also shortened the time period that offenders had to register with their local sheriff’s office and extended zones around schools and churches where offenders were not allowed to live.
While sexual abuse is a tragedy that no one should have to suffer, it’s important to realize that innocent people are accused of such crimes every day. The stain to a person’s reputation is enormous, even if that person is later found innocent of the charges. Victims must surely be protected, but we must make sure to allow the criminal justice system to function and not leap to judgment against those accused of possible abuse.
The North Carolina criminal defense lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC will provide you with the best possible defense against any charges brought against you. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828.
Source: “Surge In Sex Crimes Investigations Leads To Rise In Reports Of Child Abuse,” by Kirk Hawkins, published at FoxCharlotte.com.
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