Penn State sex abuse case typical, child advocate says

Nov 10, 2011

Penn State University fired both its legendary football coach and its president because they allegedly had known that an assistant coach was molesting boys, but did nothing about it. The assistant coach is accused of sexually abusing eight boys.

Lynn Huylar, who heads a children’s advocacy center in Cheyenne, says this case might be high profile, but it’s not atypical. Abusers are usually people that children trust – like coaches, family members, and child care providers -- "because those are people who also have daily and frequent contact with children, and use that trusting relationship to gain access to kids."

Huylar says child molestation is rarely a one-time offense; perpetrators keep going unless they're caught.

Here in Wyoming, children’s advocacy groups have seen a 61-percent increase in abuse cases in the past five years. But Huyler says that’s probably because more people are reporting the problems.

Wyoming law requires anyone who suspects or witnesses child abuse to report it.