Deputies in Osceola County arrested a teen camp counselor in August for allegedly sexually abusing a child attending the camp run by Centro Cristiano Dios De Pacto Church in Kissimmee.
The police say that 17-year-old Rafael Delgado sexually battered the victim on more than one occasion. He was initially charged with two counts of sexual battery on a victim less than 12 years of age. After a follow-up interview, police added an additional three counts of the same charge and 10 counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child.
The victim told police that Delgado sexually abused her multiple times and that he would isolate her from other kids to do so.
Police have encouraged anyone with information or who believes that their child may have been a victim to contact the Sheriff's Office at 407-348-2222 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard specializes in helping survivors of sexual assault find justice in civil lawsuits. We've asked him to share some input regarding how the legal system can help families affected by child sexual abuse at summer camps:
In any field that involves working with children, it's crucial to make that no sexual predators are permitted to work or volunteer with the organization or business. Sadly, sexual predators often seek out positions in these fields so that they can commit terrible crimes of sexual violence against children. The individuals in charge of our schools, churches, and youth organizations must do all that they can to protect the children under their watch from the threat of abuse.
When a camp counselor sexually abuses children from the camp, the victims and their families deserve justice. The abuser must be criminally prosecuted and everyone affected by the abuse must get the support they need. Additionally, it's important to determine if the organization running the summer camp was negligent in a way that allowed the abuse to occur. When organizational negligence is involved, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of summer camp sexual abuse, we understand how painful this time is for your family. To learn more about how you can find justice through the legal system, consider getting in touch with one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors attorneys.