Why Victims Remain Silent and Recant

A former high school teacher and track coach at an Oklahoma school turned himself in to police on an arrest warrant charging him with second-degree rape and sexual battery, according to court records.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the teacher and a minor female student allegedly began a month-long sexual relationship in December 2019 after they saw each other at a gym. The student told police that in December 2019, the accused allegedly touched her sexually while adjusting her body while she was lying on a table, according to the affidavit. Then, the student told police, later that month, she went to the teacher’s home where they had sex while his wife and daughter were away.

On January 07, 2020, the student and her mother reported the abuse to the police. The student told them that she and the perpetrator allegedly kept in touch over Snapchat. However, the following day, when police questioned the student at school, she denied having a sexual relationship with the former teacher. When authorities asked to take a look at her phone, she refused.

The alleged abuser also denied having a sexual relationship with the student but allowed police access to his phone after speaking to them. The accused resigned on that day, according to the school.

Shortly thereafter, police obtained a warrant for the student’s phone after seeing a security video of her going to the perpetrator’s class right after talking to police and speaking to him in the hallway, according to the affidavit.

The case stalled in April 2020 when the student refused to cooperate. In May 2021, the teen went back to police and alleged she and the former teacher did have a sexual relationship that lasted from December 2019 to January 07, 2020.

The student also allegedly told police that she had “burned everything” on her Snapchat account, and was coming forth now because she was afraid of the former teacher, according to court documents. KC Baker

“Okla. Teacher Allegedly Raped Teen at His Home While Wife and Daughter Were Out of Town” (Aug. 30, 2022).

Commentary and Checklist

This victim, like others, at first denied any abuse occurred and then recanted.

Often victims who are uncomfortable reporting will deny anything happened in an effort to protect themselves, their families, or the accused.

According to the d2l.com website, only approximately 38 percent of child victims disclose they have been sexually abused. Of these, 40 percent tell a close friend, rather than an adult or authority figure. Unfortunately, friend-to-friend disclosures do not always result in reports being made to child protection agencies or to police.

Safe adults who find out that a child has been sexually abused should make the effort to reassure the victim that they did the right thing when they reported the abuse.

What else do sex offenders do to keep victims quiet about the abuse?

  • They threaten the victim
  • They threaten the victim’s loved ones
  • They threaten to blame the victim
  • They threaten to accuse the victim of wrongdoing
  • They provide alcohol
  • They share pornography with the victim
  • The make pornography with the victim and/or
  • They extort the victim

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Why Victims Remain Silent and Recant