Letter: Exercise caution when weighing accusations of molestation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dear editor,

According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, one in five girls in the United States is a victim of child sexual abuse, and 28 percent of U.S. youth between the ages of 14 and 17 have been sexually victimized at some point in their lives. More often than not, the perpetrators are trusted adults in positions of authority.

Supporters of local martial arts teacher Robert “Toby” Young, who was recently arrested for allegedly molesting a female victim under the age of 16, have cautioned the public against convicting Young before his trial — before the evidence has been presented and considered. As a therapist who works with both victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse, I encourage Young’s supporters to exercise caution, too. By making public statements such as “I know 100 percent he did not do this” — as reported by the Daily News — before all facts have been presented, Young’s supporters could potentially be re-traumatizing a victim of sexual abuse.

It takes great courage for a victim to come forward and report sexual abuse. Let’s not make the process any more difficult than it already is.


Scott Smith