(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity
(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

DA talks luck, honor and crime – Chadds Ford Live | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan told members of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce that she’s lucky having a rewarding career. But warned the members that she would also come across as a bit of a “Debbie Downer.”

Ryan was the keynote speaker for the chamber’s annual Inspirational Breakfast held at the Mendenhall Inn on Friday, June 8.

“I’m extremely lucky to do what I do. I have the ability to work day in and day out with a sense of purpose. I get to help prevent crime, solve crime and prosecute crime,” she said. “And, more importantly, I get to work with my real-life heroes every single day, the men and women in law enforcement.”

And she added that she’s proud of the brave victims of crime who come forward to tell their harrowing stories.

Ryan, the first woman and first Democrat to serve as Chester County’s district attorney, told chamber members that she’s proud not only of the dedicated men and women who work with her in law enforcement but also of her family history, citing how her grandparents survived concentration camps in Europe during the Holocaust. Her grandmother was in three different camps and was the sole survivor of a family of 65 people. Her grandfather also survived and the two of them met in a hospital after they were liberated in 1945.

“They came to this country in 1951 and had nothing. “They had no money. They didn’t have any family and they didn’t even speak English.”

Her grandfather worked in a pickle factory and her grandmother was a seamstress. “And with the help of total strangers, they were able to rebuild their lives,” she said.

It’s that family history that had the biggest impact on her and why she dedicated her life to public service, she said.

“As a young person, I knew it was my responsibility to advocate for those who had been victimized…That’s why I became a prosecutor. I wanted to use my voice to advocate for justice.”

An honor guard from the Navy Sea Cadets brings in the colors before the start of the breakfast meeting.

But as proud and as lucky as she feels, Ryan changed her tone to become, what she referred to as “Debbie Downer,” in talking about the negative things she deals with on a regular basis. One of those things is child abuse.

“While I was in the Child Abuse Unit, I saw some of the most gut-wrenching and heartbreaking things that you could imagine. People are altered indelibly and irreparably as a result of child abuse,” Ryan said.

She explained that one in 10 kids are victims of child sexual abuse by the age of 18 and, in most cases, those children know the perpetrator. The perp may be a beloved family member or a well-respected member of the community.

“Growing up, I was instructed on ‘stranger danger’ as many of you were. But the truth is that over 90 percent of people who perpetrate this abuse are known to the children or the families. They are trusted. They are even beloved members of their family. That’s hard to stomach,” she said.

Ryan told a story of a 9-year-old girl who was a victim of abuse by her grandfather. But she was brave enough to come forward and confront her grandfather on the phone — with law enforcement listening to the conversation.

The grandfather admitted to everything and apologized to the girl during the conversation. He asked to meet with her to talk to her in person, but he was arrested instead. He eventually confessed to also molesting the girl’s sister and several others.

“Interestingly, we had just interviewed the older sister who adamantly denied that anything had ever happened. Had he not confessed, we would never have known,” the district attorney said.

After sending out a press release, more people came forward to say he had molested many others. But he could only be charged with abusing five kids because of the statute of limitations, she explained. But even in court, his wife shouted out that all the girls — even her granddaughters — were lying.

Another case she mentioned involved a “beloved” member of a community in Chester County, a correctional officer who volunteered at his church and youth organizations.

“People really respected and admired him. [But], he had been abusing dozens and dozens of children.”

Ryan went on to add that parents should talk with their 8-year-olds about sex, boundaries, and body parts so they understand good touch and bad touch, and who they can talk to when something like that happens.

But the problem persists.

“When I started in 2012 in the Child Abuse Unit, we had 212 child abuse allegations. Last year, we had 1,984. This is in Chester County. This is happening in your backyard,” she said, adding that part of the increase may be due to improved reporting and changes in mandatory reporting laws.

Those changes, she said, arose from high-profile cases such as those concerning Jerry Sandusky, Woody Allen, R. Kelly, and Catholic priests. Because of those cases, people started paying more attention to what was going on because of that exposure, and judges started issuing stricter sentences.

Problems are growing in other areas, too. She said online predator cases have increased by 50 percent during the last few years, and gun violence continues to be a problem even among young children.

Ryan was elected district attorney in 2019 and is now running for Common Pleas Court judge in Chester County.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security