Child molestation cases continue to grow in Muscogee County - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Child molestation cases continue to grow in Muscogee County

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Child molestation cases in Muscogee County continue to grow.

Columbus Police Lieutenant Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick has worked in the Special Victims Unit for more than 15 years, a division covering Youth Services and Sex Crimes and discusses how cases of child molestation are handled. 

“What we mostly deal with is touching or some sort of penetration, so that's on a high end," says Dent-Fitzpatrick.

Youth Services deals with sex on sex with juveniles and  the Sex Crimes Unit deals with adult and juveniles, advises Dent-Fitzpatrick.”

Dent-Fitzpatrick says when child victims cases are filed, juvenile victims are taken to the Child Advocacy Center.

“There, forensic interviewers interview the child to get an understanding of what exactly happened,"  she says.

Dent-Fitzpatrick says depending on the investigation a physical examination is also performed.  She also says the physical inappropriate touching of a child isn't the only form of the crime.

“For child molestation, that's the lude, sexual act performed in front of the child," says Dent-Fitzpatrick. “If you let them look at pornographic material that is a lude or immoral act in front of a child.”

She says in Muscogee County, child molestation cases involving siblings or family members are more common.

“Most of the time its somebody you know," says Dent-Fitzpatrick.

Mental health professionals say these cases can be especially damaging to a person's mental health and development.

“It can affect their school work, their relationships with others, or their inability to have relationships with others," says Developmental Psychologist Dr. Angela Sims.

With the rise of social media, Dent-Fitzpatrick says online sharing has become an integral part of many investigations.

“We're seeing younger children do inappropriate things," she added.

Dent-Fitzpatrick says  Muscogee County has a multidisciplinary team which meets once a month through the Child Advocacy Center to discuss where they are with cases each month to make sure each case gets the attention it needs. 

Police say never share any type of online content which you believe could involve children and pornographic material or assault. You could face criminal charges as a result of doing so.

Dent-Fitzpatrick says to report the content to authorities immediately.

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved. | For more news, download the WTVM app here

  • LocalMore>>

  • LaGrange police warning about scam involving Callaway High School cheerleaders

    LaGrange police warning about scam involving Callaway High School cheerleaders

    Monday, July 16 2018 8:06 AM EDT2018-07-16 12:06:38 GMT
    The reported scam has people appearing to be taking up money for the Callaway High School cheerleaders, but real fundraisers can be identified by cheerleaders being in uniform. (Source: LaGrange Police Department)The reported scam has people appearing to be taking up money for the Callaway High School cheerleaders, but real fundraisers can be identified by cheerleaders being in uniform. (Source: LaGrange Police Department)
    The reported scam has people appearing to be taking up money for the Callaway High School cheerleaders, but real fundraisers can be identified by cheerleaders being in uniform. (Source: LaGrange Police Department)The reported scam has people appearing to be taking up money for the Callaway High School cheerleaders, but real fundraisers can be identified by cheerleaders being in uniform. (Source: LaGrange Police Department)

    The LaGrange Police Department is warning people about a possible scam involving a high school cheerleading team.

    More >>

    The LaGrange Police Department is warning people about a possible scam involving a high school cheerleading team.

    More >>
  • Stolen car located in isolated wooded area of Eufaula

    Stolen car located in isolated wooded area of Eufaula

    Monday, July 16 2018 7:41 AM EDT2018-07-16 11:41:08 GMT
    A car reported stolen last week was located in an isolated wooded area in Eufaula. (Source: Eufaula Police Department)A car reported stolen last week was located in an isolated wooded area in Eufaula. (Source: Eufaula Police Department)
    A car reported stolen last week was located in an isolated wooded area in Eufaula. (Source: Eufaula Police Department)A car reported stolen last week was located in an isolated wooded area in Eufaula. (Source: Eufaula Police Department)

    A stolen car has been found in the middle of the woods in Eufaula and police want to know how it got there. 

    More >>

    A stolen car has been found in the middle of the woods in Eufaula and police want to know how it got there. 

    More >>
  • Columbus police join state law enforcement to crack down on speeders

    Columbus police join state law enforcement to crack down on speeders

    Monday, July 16 2018 7:19 AM EDT2018-07-16 11:19:49 GMT
    Operation Southern Shield is targeting speeding drivers across five southern states for the next seven days. (Source: WTVM)Operation Southern Shield is targeting speeding drivers across five southern states for the next seven days. (Source: WTVM)
    Operation Southern Shield is targeting speeding drivers across five southern states for the next seven days. (Source: WTVM)Operation Southern Shield is targeting speeding drivers across five southern states for the next seven days. (Source: WTVM)

    When you hit the road today, you need to be aware that law enforcement is cracking down on drivers using their heavy foot.

    More >>

    When you hit the road today, you need to be aware that law enforcement is cracking down on drivers using their heavy foot.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly