MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A man was arrested Tuesday, June 10, for sex crimes officials say he committed some 20 years ago.
Officials said 62-year-old Dennis Duran of Mobile, allegedly committed a number of sex crimes against children throughout the period of several years back in the early 90s.
The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office said a victim is coming forward against him to see justice served after all these years.
He’s charged with rape in the second degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, and sodomy in the second degree, all Class B felonies that have a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Nicki Patterson, Mobile County Assistant District Attorney, told FOX10 that Duran’s victim has dealt with the pain of the abuse for 20 years, and is ready to take action against him.
She said there are no statutes of limitations in crimes like these.
“The law says, we’re going to allow these people to sort of get a handle on their lives, to maybe get some counseling, to reach a point where they feel stable enough, to make an informed decision,” explained Patterson.
Patterson said it is often very difficult for a child to completely comprehend the abuse they are suffering when it’s happening, so some sex abuse cases might not come to light until the child has grown up.
She said another factor that keeps children from wanting to come forward is the severe stigma attached to sex abuse.
But, Patterson said as a society, that stigma is slowly starting to disappear.
“Every time there’s a school program, on good touch/bad touch, we get calls from schools, saying someone saw this, and they didn’t know how to put it in to words before, you know, the child is saying, I didn’t know this was wrong,” she said.
The Child Advocacy Center in Mobile also provides free counseling for children up to the age of 18 who have been victims of sexual abuse.
You can visit their website, http://www.cacmobile.org, or visit their office in person at 1351 Springhill Avenue in Mobile.
You can also give them a call at (251) 432-1101.