Note: we are republishing this story amid recent reports that child sexual abuse has surged in America during the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics indicate 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault from an adult. More on this here: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/children-and-teens
A New York teenager is accused of sexually abusing two 5-year-old girls.
Nicholas J. Gibson, 17, was babysitting two 5-year-old girls at the family's home on Aug. 15, the Democrat & Chronicle reported. Police said he engaged in oral and anal sex with the two children.
Gibson is now facing felony charges, including two counts of first-degree criminal sex act and two counts of first-degree sex abuse, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office said. He is also facing misdemeanor charges -- two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
The teenager was released to a family member, law enforcement officials said. He is expected to return to court soon.
Protection orders have been issued for the two victims. Further details have not been made available at this time.
Child sex abuse has been an issue all across the world. In China, half of the suspects in child sex abuse cases handled by a non-government entity in the past year were younger than 18, the South China Morning Post reported. Some suspects were reportedly younger than 9 years of age.
The End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation has since called for better sex education at home and in schools to help combat the ongoing issue.
The foundation said that in the cases of child sex abuse, about 53 percent of the suspects were under 18 years of age. They added that 55 percent were between 7 and 9 years old, according to their statistics. The stats also indicated that 54 percent of victims were between ages 4 and 9.
Other statistics showed that 76 percent of suspected child abuse cases involved physical contact, while more than 60 percent involved suspects touching their victim's genitals.
Michelle Tam Chi-yun, executive director of the End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation, explained that children might not have a clear understanding of what constitutes as inappropriate.
“Children might not know their behavior was offensive," Chi-yun said. "They might not be aware they have crossed the line."
"For example, parents or domestic helpers could verbally teach young children to clean their private parts by themselves," Chi-yun added.
Clinical psychologist Annie Ho Nim-chee, who is a board member of the foundation, was particularly concerned that 40 percent of suspected child abuse cases that reportedly occurred in private places were in schools.