FAMILY MEMBER ACCUSES MAN OF SEX CRIMES IN GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP. Police chief says the young girl’s bravery could encourage others to come forward
May 18, 2021
GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - Grand Blanc Township police say one brave young girl who came forward with allegations of sexual assault against a family member may be speaking up for more than just herself.
The Grand Blanc Township Police Department is investigating a local man for sexual assault, but no formal charges had been filed by Tuesday evening. ABC12 is not identifying the suspect because that also would identify the victims.
Police Chief Ron Wiles said the case shows how sexual assault victims often know their abusers and the community can help stop the behavior.
“When people have been victimized, they feel alone, they’re scared, they’re embarrassed and they don’t feel comfortable coming forward with that information,” Wiles said. “I would urge all those people to come forward.”
Of the cases Voices for Children handles every year, 97% involve children who know the person abusing them. The advocacy center says it’s easier to groom and manipulate young children into thinking what they’re enduring is normal.
“For a young kid, they’re not able to understand the difference between something that is right and wrong,” said Voices for Children Executive Director Nyse Holloman.
She said oftentimes kids are told if they speak up they’ll destroy their family, send someone to jail or worst of all they won’t be believed. That is why she’s asking anyone with young kids in their circle to remind them you’re a safe person they can tell anything to.
“Also if you start recognizing that a very outgoing kid is becoming more recluse, more withdrawn, they’re having issues in school or they’re wetting the bed, there are behavior changes, emotional changes,” Holloman said.
If something doesn’t seem right, she said people should trust the police to take over.
Wiles works closely with Voices for Children and Genesee County’s Sexual Assault Response Team to make sure the victim is taken care of. He said their bravery often opens the door for others victimized by the same person to speak up too.
“The ultimate goal is, one, is to get the victim to help they need to recover from this, but two, hold the person accountable who’s responsible for this,” Wiles said.
Voices for Children has been educating kids virtually in Genesee and Shiawassee counties school districts to help kids understand what’s right and wrong.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.