Failing to Report Child Abuse Could Land You Behind Bars

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A Tallassee man is charged with more than 80 counts of child sex abuse, rape and sodomy. But there are three additional people who are being charged with failing to report it.

"These kids have to have a voice and adults have to be that voice for the kids," says Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rodgers.

Steve Conrad is behind bars after being arrested and charged with sodomy, sexual abuse and rape of several children. His wife, Brandy Conrad and his two friends Helen Ganntt and Jeffery Ray are also being held without bond for allegedly knowing about the abuse but failing to report it. Rodgers says the adults who knew about the abuse could face the same punishment as Conrad.

"It is a felony crime as well," he says. "Failure to report sexual acts to children - they can be held responsible for the same crimes as the person who committed the crimes."

Now, a worried mother is coming forward. She's contacted Tallassee police because she'd previously dated Conrad and is now concerned with the welfare of her two children. However, Elmore County Chief Deputy District Attorney C.J. Robinson says not everyone comes forward.

"I think sometimes you have people who don't know how the system works," says Robinson. "I think people are afraid that they're getting involved and that this is something that they don't want to deal with and I think that sometimes people just don't want to believe it happens."

Thought it does happen. And reporting abuse doesn't just save lives, it's the law.

"We have had people call since the story aired last week with just bits and pieces of information that we're following up on as well," says Rodgers. "So any bit of information, no matter how big or small you think it is, we need to be aware of it."

"We live in a society that you can contact law enforcement," says Robinson. "Contact DHR, let them know because at the end of the day, the most important thing is that child."

The two children of the woman who previously dated Conrad will undergo evaluation this week. Chief Rodgers tells Alabama News Network they do not show signs of sexual abuse.

Many organizations are reaching out to help the abused children including Child Protect in Montgomery, the Elmore County Department of Human Resources and a minister alliance in Tallassee.

 

So what happens to those who know about child abuse and keep quiet?





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