The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

March 16, 2013

Expert: Valley child rape case all too similar

SUNBURY — While shocking, a Valley case in which a 37-year-old Northumberland man was charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in his care is not unusual, an area physician says.

Adam Vigo, 37, Duke Street, Northumberland, is charged with seven felonies, including rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and corruption of minors, according to court documents.

Court documents allege Vigo assaulted the Sunbury child for four years while acting as her caretaker.

Unfortunately, that scenario is all too common, according to Dr. Pat Bruno, with the Children’s Advocacy Center in Northumberland.

Sexual abusers of children are most often “someone the child knows and loves,” Bruno said.

More than 90 percent of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way, according to the National Child Abuse Hotline.

Sexual perpetrators of children are also cunning and will often groom the child and the family to avoid detection, Bruno said.

“They’re rather calculating,” he said.

However, if a parent knowingly places a child in the care of a sex offender, he can be held liable for placing the child in “imminent risk,” said Donna Morgan, with the state Department of Public Welfare.

But such cases are hard to prosecute, said Bucks County District Attorney Dave Heckler, once chairman of the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection.

“It’s pretty tough to prove (someone) knew something,” he said.

Sexual abuse of a child can go on for years before being discovered, if the abuse is uncovered at all, because of a number of factors, he said. With sexual abuse, the abuser often takes pains to hide the physical symptoms of the abuse, he said.

“(The perpetrator) doesn’t want to physically harm the child, because then the child’s going to scream and cry and he’s not going to be able to continue with what he’s doing,” Bruno said. “If there’s physical damage, the child’s going to complain ... Physical symptoms are rare. Very rarely do we see kids having those types of symptoms.”

Another complicating factor is that some of the behavioral indicators of sexual abuse are often vague and can be attributed to a number of things, Bruno said.

“There might be some acting out,” he said. “If they’re a teenager, they might be acting out in school ... but those types of signs and symptoms are things that can be very non-specific.”

One important thing for parents and adults to remember is that children rarely make up reports of abuse, Bruno said. Only 4 to 8 percent of reports are fabricated and most are made by adults involved in custody disputes, according to Darkness to Light, an advocacy organization.

“Listen to what the children are saying,” Bruno said. “They lie to get out of trouble, they don’t lie to get into trouble. That might be the one and only time a child discloses that to an adult.”

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Fatal24 Danville woman dies as logging truck crushes car in Valley Township

    DANVILLE — An 84-year-old Danville woman was killed when her car and a logging truck collided Wednesday afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rabbi Conflict in Israel grounds Sunbury rabbi

    TEL AVIV, Israel — While the Israelis and Hamas traded rocket and missile strikes for a 16th day, Rabbi Nina Mandel is struggling to find her way back to Sunbury after the FAA on Wednesday announced that it would extend its ban on travel at Ben-Gurion International Airport for another 24 hours.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Docs: Fractures helped save rock victim's life

    DANVILLE — Sharon Budd’s condition is progressing nearly a week after a 13 1/2-hour procedure in which a team of surgeons rebuilt her facial bones and removed a damaged part of her brain, said two Geisinger Health System physicians who are part of that team

    July 24, 2014

  • Magistrate judge sides with Warrior Run

    WILLIAMSPORT — A federal magistrate judge says he agrees with a hearing officer that a Warrior Run student does not need special-education services,

    July 23, 2014

  • Inaugural Lewisburg BrewBQue Musical Festival is Saturday

    LEWISBURG — Not a beer fan? Not a problem. This Saturday’s inaugural Lewisburg BrewBQue Musical Festival, taking place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Market Street from Sixth Street to the Susquehanna River, welcomes brew lovers, barbecue fans, dancers in the street and little tykes alike with an array of events and offerings, organizers said.

    July 23, 2014

  • Decision coming on police shooting of city man

    SUNBURY — Brad Hare, the city’s former acting police chief, will learn by Friday whether he was justified in shooting a city man earlier this month, Northumberland County District Attorney Ann Targonski said Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Union County bridge replacement project begins Aug. 4

    HARTLETON — A PennDOT maintenance crew in Union County will begin a bridge replacement project Aug. 4 on Pleasant Grove Road, Route 3005, in Lewis Township, between Moll Road and Wirth Road, north of Pleasant Grove.

    July 23, 2014

  • DanCrash23.jpg BREAKING NEWS: Woman killed today in Danville area collision

    [UPDATED -- 12:18 a.m., 07/24/14]

    VALLEY TWP. — An 84-year-old Danville woman was killed when her car and a logging truck crashed Wednesday afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.