A mother saw Storms taking pictures of her children. She called the police.
"Don't ignore that sense that you have in your gut. Anything could have happened. If we hadn't been paying attention and noticed that things were off, who knows what could have happened.”
Video of news broadcast from April, 2012 May Be Triggering
While the high profile Sandusky trial was taking place in Bellefonte, PA, another pedophile in the same city was arrested and charged with over 300 counts of child sexual abuse.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by 6News, a teenager went to state police [in] December 2012, to report repeated abuse that happened at a mobile home park in Huston Township when she was 6-year-old.Charges include felony possession of child pornography, aggravated indecent assault, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, attempted rape and dissemination of sexual materials to minors. Misdemeanor charges include indecent assault, terroristic threats, corruption of minors and simple assault.
Following several interviews, troopers at the Philipsburg barracks seized a computer and several drives from [then] 41-year-old Jeffrey Storms’ home in Bellefonte, and found dozens of pornographic videos and images, as well as altered images that Storms took of several neighborhood children.
At a preliminary hearing in May, 2012, a young victim who was abused from 6 to 8 years old testified that "[Jeffery] Storms told her that if she ever disclosed her abuse to anyone, he would "put her in the ground.""
Another victim, "a 17-year-old girl reported in December that Storms sexually abused her on numerous occasions from the time she was 5 years old until she was 11. The girl said Storms touched her inappropriately and forced her to touch him. He also made her watch pornography."
Today, that man plead guilty to all charges
The trial was set to begin today with Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler presiding. (I met him while I was at the Sandusky trial.) However, Storms plead out before trial started.
42-year old Jeffrey Storms plead guilty Monday morning for charges including Attempted Rape, Sexual Abuse of Children and Possession of Child Pornography.
Storms is accused of victimizing several young children over a 10 year period from 2001 to 2011.
Pennsylvania State Police investigated the case. During the investigation, they found a total of 133 pictures and 42 videos of child pornography on Storms' personal computer.
The District Attorney’s Office said Storms could serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 65 years for 13 counts of attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse alone.Follow me below the jump for information on what to do if you suspect someone may be a child abuser
He faces up to 20 years for a charge of attempted rape and up to 10 years for a charge of aggravated indecent assault on a person less than 13 years old.
Sentencing is scheduled for June.
What to Do
Report any suspicion of child abuse. If the abuse is within the family, report it to the local Child Protection Agency. If the abuse is outside of the family, report it to the police or district attorney’s office. Individuals reporting in good faith are immune from prosecution. The agency receiving the report will conduct an evaluation and will take action to protect the child.
Parents should consult with their pediatrician or family physician, who may refer them to a physician who specializes in evaluating and treating sexual abuse. The examining doctor will evaluate the child’s condition and treat any physical problem related to the abuse, gather evidence to help protect the child, and reassure the child that he or she is all right.
Children who have been sexually abused should have an evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other qualified mental health professional to find out how the sexual abuse has affected them, and to determine whether ongoing professional help is necessary for the child to deal with the trauma of the abuse. The child and adolescent psychiatrist can also provide support to other family members who may be upset by the abuse.
While most allegations of sexual abuse made by children are true, some false accusations may arise in custody disputes and in other situations. Occasionally, the court will ask a child and adolescent psychiatrist to help determine whether the child is telling the truth, or whether it will hurt the child to speak in court about the abuse.
When a child is asked to testify, special considerations–such as videotaping, frequent breaks, exclusion of spectators, and the option not to look at the accused–make the experience much less stressful.
Adults, because of their maturity and knowledge, are always the ones to blame when they abuse children. The abused children should never be blamed.
When a child tells someone about sexual abuse, a supportive, caring response is the first step in getting help for the child and reestablishing their trust in adults.
Making a Report
Reporting Child Abuse can be difficult. The abuser may be someone you know-a friend, a neighbor, or even a member of your own family. Many people who know or suspect that someone close to them is sexually abusing a child may have a hard time believing it- the person may not seem capable of such a horrible act.
It is important to remember that most child abusers seem perfectly normal. They come from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Most sexual abusers are married and have children of their own. In fact, the majority of sexual abuse actually takes place within the family.
You may also be afraid of making an allegation against someone that turns out to be false. It is important to know that false allegations of sexual abuse are very easily disproven. While there was a wave of very high-profile false allegations in the 1980′s, investigative techniques have improved considerably over the past few decades, and the rate of wrongful convictions for sexual abuse is among the lowest of any crime. If you are afraid of getting into trouble for filing a false report, rest assured that as long as you make a report in good faith, you will not face any kind of legal trouble.
Bottom line-you should always err on the side of protecting the child.
Legal Requirements for Reporting
To find out the requirements for reporting for your state, please check www.childwelfare.gov or call ChildHelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. While there are laws in every state that require certain professionals who work with children (i.e. teachers, nurses, daycare providers) some states mandate that ANY adult who suspects a child is being abuse report their suspicions to the proper agency.
TREE Climbers believes that all adults should consider themselves mandatory reporters, and have a moral obligation to protect vulnerable children.
Agencies That Handle Reports of Child Abuse
Two agencies handle most reports of child abuse:
Child Protective Services (in some states this agency has a different name)-This agency investigates child abuse that occurs within the home
Law Enforcement- Most law enforcement agencies have specialized units that deal with child abuse, and sexual abuse in particular. Law enforcement should be contacted if you suspect abuse outside of a child’s home.
To find out where to make a report in your state, go to the Child Welfare Information Gateway website ,or call the ChildHelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-422-4453. Depending on what state you live in, you may contact either child protective services or the police.
Remember that the most important thing is to call! When in doubt, call your local police station, and they will be able to direct you to the right agency.
If the legal system does not provide adequate protection for a child, contact Justice for Children at (713) 225-4357 or www.jfcadvocacy.org.