Psychologist gives insight into 13-year-old arrested for rape

Psychologist gives insight into 13-year-old arrested and charged with the rape of a child

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Clinical Psychologist Dr. Joshua Williams says for a child to act out sexually, the perpetrator may have been abused in the past or been exposed to sexual acts. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Joshua Williams says for a child to act out sexually, the perpetrator may have been abused in the past or been exposed to sexual acts.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KODAK (WATE) - Experts are giving insight into a shocking case out of Sevier County where a 13-year-old was arrested and charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl.

Investigators say the incident happened Saturday in the Northview-Kodak community. According to the sheriff's department the girl and her four-year-old brother were playing in the yard when the girl went missing and the rape occurred.

Now, experts are weighing in on what could happen in a juvenile's life to cause them to sexually assault a child.

The child ran out of the woods toward her mother. Reports say she had a rope tied around her wrist and she was only partially clothed. The mother of the victim did not want her face on camera.

"I can't believe it, it was unreal to me. And the tone in her voice, she was like ‘Mommy,' just the tone in her voice," said the mother.

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Joshua Williams says for a child to act out sexually, the perpetrator may have been abused in the past or been exposed to sexual acts.

"This probably is not the first sexual encounter the 13-year-old has had. It has probably happened somewhere before in some shape or form," said Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams says genetics and learned behavior contribute to a person's actions and that often there are many problems or signs of behavior issues throughout the perpetrator's life.

"We always react to the punctuation mark at the end of the event, but that event has been building through the lifetime. How is it they fall through so many cracks? How is it they haven't been cared for? How is it they aren't being supervised? How is it they are not getting the medication and psychotherapy they need?" said Dr. Williams.

He says juvenile sex offenses do occur and the community needs to be aware of the possibility and pay attention to signs of behavior problems and help the kids get help.

"Parents need to hold their kids close, because it can happen so fast, like that," said Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams says treatment is often needed for both juvenile sex offenders and the victims, but if the proper treatment is given, often the victim can recover and lead a healthy normal life.

Dr. Williams says there are several good mental health treatment facilities in Knox County, but due to the number of people of all ages in need of mental health care, he says more clinical psychologists and treatment centers are needed.

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