According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, people with disabilities are four to 10 times more likely to become a victim of violence, abuse, or neglect compared to people who do not have disabilities. Among children, those with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be physically or sexually abused compared to children without disabilities.
Those statistics may have been added to according to the testimony of several young female students at a deaf school. Young underage students at the school have accused a 37-year-old teacher’s aide of inappropriate touching. The 37-year-old is facing sexual misconduct charges and potentially other crimes as well.
According to students and former students at the Maryland School for the Deaf, the man allegedly kissed some of the girls and touched then inappropriately. The alleged misconduct took place beginning in 2008 and ending in 2010. The girls, older now, were between the ages of 10 and 12 at the time.
Some of the touching included hugs, which certainly could have been innocent shows of affection. It was not stated why the girls waited so long before coming forward, and why they came forward at the same time.
The legal standard for a crime is very specific, and the 37-year-old has been charged with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor.
The CDC defines sexual violence as “the use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, whether or not the act is completed; an attempted or completed sex act involving a person who is unable to understand the nature or condition of the act, to decline participation, or to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act; and abusive sexual contact.”
The 37-year-old has been suspended from his job at the school, pending an outcome from these charges.
Source: NBC News, “Deaf School Aide Accused of Touching Girls,” Dec. 6, 2012
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