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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – A Montgomery County man has been arrested and charged with committing dozens of sex crimes against multiple young children aged 4 to 12 years old.
According to investigators, 32-year-old Anthony Todd Wilson would sexually abuse his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter while she was in his care. He is also accused of abusing a 12-year-old girl and forcing her and three boys — ages 6, 8, and 9 — to perform sex acts on each other.
Wilson was arrested on May 1 after his girlfriend found bruises and blood on her 4-year-old daughter. The mother took the 4-year-old to the hospital where they discovered the young girl had sustained “significant vaginal trauma.”
Wilson is also accused of assaulting and strangling his girlfriend.
Prosecutors called it one of the most disturbing child abuse cases they have seen in years.
“Today, in court, we heard the disclosure of testimony from a very young, vulnerable 12-year-old girl who disclosed that the defendant violated her,” says Brianna Ringwood, a prosecutor in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s family protection unit.
Children Advocacy Centers say 10 to 20 percent of all children under 18 will be victim of sexual abuse and 90 percent of the time it’s by people they know and trust.
Mission Kids in Montgomery County, which is helping police and the young victims in this case, says parents need to talk to children about body safety rules.
“We tell parents to do like a fire drill for body safety: who can and cannot look at their private parts and when they can and cannot, and who they would tell if someone breaks that rule,” said Mission Kids executive director Leslie Slingsby.
Abuse by a parent or caregiver can be more challenging to prevent, so we all need to look out for signs and symptoms of abuse.
There could be general changes like anger and depression, or more specific behaviors.
“The behaviors could be either acting out sexually on themselves or other people or talking about things sexualized that they wouldn’t typically know for that age,” says Slingsby.
Wilson has been charged with rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated assault, strangulation, incest of a minor, and other related charges.
His bail has been set at $1 million.