Failure To Report Child Sexual Abuse Leads To Criminal Prosecution

Authorities arrested a woman from Lindale, Texas for failing to report the repeated sexual abuse of at least one child, according to authorities.

The 30-year-old woman was booked into a county jail on a charge of abandon or endanger child criminal negligence with a bond amount of $100,000.

According to an arrest affidavit, on June 04, the alleged victim, a teenage girl, told law enforcement that she had been raped three times over the previous weekend. When she was examined at the hospital, the victim told authorities that she had been sexually assaulted since she was seven-years-old.

The defendant was aware of the sexual abuse and even took some steps to prevent it. However, she did not tell police about the abuse because she was afraid the children would be taken away from her and she was afraid of the male abuser. KLTV Digital Media Staff "Lindale woman accused of failing to report repeated child sex abuse" (Aug. 05, 2023).

Commentary and Checklist

If you have a reasonable suspicion that a child in your care is being sexually abused – even if the abuser is a close relative – you should remove the child from the presence of the abuser and report to the local child protection authorities or to law enforcement.

Permitting abuse to continue will lead to prosecution for failure to report as in the article.

Here are steps safe adults should take if they have a reasonable suspicion of child sexual abuse:

  • If a life-threatening emergency exists, dial 911.
  • If not a life-threatening emergency, contact a child protective services agency or local law enforcement immediately.
  • Get a name, title, department, phone number and email address from your law enforcement and/or child protective services contact. Take notes and preserve your communications with law enforcement and/or child protective services.
  • Tell the law enforcement and/or child protective services contact the facts that form the basis of your reasonable suspicion of child sexual abuse. Be prepared to provide dates, times, and names of witnesses. Do not speculate or provide information that you know is false or misleading.
  • Follow the directions of law enforcement and/or child protective services contact on preserving the safety of the child.
  • If applicable, let your employer know that you have made a report to law enforcement or child protective services.
  • Provide emotional support to the child when possible.
  • Do not argue, blame, or interrogate the child.
  • Do not try to convince the child he or she is mistaken.
  • Do not direct any anger or retaliation toward the child.
  • Allow law enforcement and/or child protective services to interact with parents and/or caregivers.
  • Follow-up with law enforcement and/or child protective services on your report.
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