An Indiana man is in police custody after allegedly impregnating a 10-year-old girl.
Police from Marion, Indiana, announced on May 17 that they had arrested the suspect, 34-year-old Nicholas Deon Thrash, who was wanted on 10 counts of child molestation, according to Indy Star.
Thrash is also accused of molesting a 10-year-old, who then became pregnant. According to the Daily Mail, that child is the daughter of his 32-year-old girlfriend, who was also arrested and charged with two counts of felony neglect of a dependent. She is being held at a local jail on a cash bond of more than $100,000.
The woman reportedly also has a son, and she has been dating Thrash for at least two years. Neither her nor her daughter's identity is being publicly released due to the victim's age and the nature of the crime.
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Thrash, who is originally from New York, reportedly fled the area and was hiding out before police found him.
If convicted of just one of the Class A felonies, Thrash could face up to 30 years in prison and be fined up to $10,000, according to Age of Consent.
It is unknown whether the girlfriend knew that Thrash had sexually assaulted her daughter, though this case highlights the importance of parents keeping an eye out for warning signs of abuse.
Predators frequently try to have alone time with other people's children and will even ask permission to do so, according to a report from CNN. They also likely allow children to have snacks or other things that break the parents' rules, in order to create a secret relationship.
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Children who are being abused tend to become withdrawn and depressed or otherwise exhibit mood swings or a change in temperament and activities, and they might also start dressing shabbily to avoid the attention of their abuser.
"They're trying to escape the abuse, the tragedy and harm they feel, and they don't know how to do it, so they try to change the circumstances of their lives," R. Daryl Steiner, the director of Child Protection and Child Abuse Prevention at Akron Children's Hospital in Ohio, told CNN.
Experts recommend that parents build trust and keep an open relationship with their children and pay attention to their activities.
"If you listen, you'll often find out," said child abuse prevention expert Sharon Doty. "Listen to them talk to other kids, listen to their car talk while you're driving. Notice if the child has become wary of talking to you. Observe situational and behavioral changes."