Two alleged sexual predators who are suspected of abusing more than 50 girls were arrested recently by police in Honduras, according to a news report recently published by the Association for a More Just Society (AJS).
The same incidents were covered by other media in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Assisting in the investigations that led to the arrests was the Rescue Team from the Child Sexual Abuse project, which is strongly supported by AJS, a social advocacy organization, co-founded by Calvin College sociology professor Kurt Ver Beek, that has worked for many years in Honduran society.
AJS is among the organizations recommended for support by the Christian Reformed Church.
More than six months of investigation by police and the AJS-supported Rescue Team preceded the arrest on May 9.
Police were helped by a young woman who already had told them a month ago that she had been assaulted. When she saw the man in her neighborhood, she and her mother began to follow him. The daughter also called her government lawyer and told the lawyer that she and her mother were following the man who had raped her, says the news report.
Police arrived and set up surveillance in the neighborhood. After arresting the man, police entered the home and, they said, they found evidence tying the man to women who were assaulted.
According to a story in the the Honduran newspaper Tiempo.hn el diario seee primero, the man who was arrested “is a person that several victims . . . many of them from 9 to 15 years (describe as using the) same modus operandi . . . ”
“(The man) is considered a serial offender in sexual assault cases. The police assumed that about 40 children were raped between the neighborhoods of Guadalupe, La Olla and other areas surrounding Comayagüela markets.”
The Rescue team's lawyer will work with government lawyers to bring charges in the case, while the team's psychologist will work with the survivors to help them, in the psychologist's words, “Go back to living a normal life.”
In a second arrest, early last week, a dozen Honduran police agents arrested an orphanage director who was suspected of sexually abusing young women in his care over the course of two decades, according to the report by AJS.
Abram Huyser-Honig, operations director of AJS, writes in the AJS report that police knew that the Rescue Team’s mission has been to provide investigative, legal, and psychological services to minors who survive sexual abuse. As a result, police involved the team, as well as asked for its logistical support, in the investigation.
“They (police) did not have the cars and staff to do the kind of intensive investigations necessary to catch the suspect,” writes Huyser-Honig.
“The AJS-supported Rescue (Team) project investigator helped to organize interviews with survivors and possible witnesses.”
Under guidance from co-founder Kurt Ver Beek and others, AJS has become an active, social justice ministry that has launched or remains closely connected to several social justice and advocacy programs doing a range of advocacy work across Honduras and especially with government officials.
Huyser-Honig writes that Rescue Team investigator thanks everyone for their support and asks that people “continue to pray for the survivors and their families, and for the success of the legal process, which may take more than a year to complete.”