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Official: More cases of child sex abuse reported in Berks Co.

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 09 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 10 2012 08:03:22 AM CDT

Official: More cases of child sex abuse reported in Berks Co

READING, Pa. -

County officials say they are battling a growing problem with child sex abuse.

They say thanks to the Jerry Sandusky case, more victims are coming out of shadows for help.

Erin Ray is a forensic interviewer with the Children's Alliance Center in Reading. The non-profit helps abused children.

Ray says she has been busier than usual, and with a increased case load, is interviewing 15 new child abuse victims a week.

"I know that we've had an increase," said Ray. "We're way beyond what we were last year this time."

Ray was also paying close attention to the Sandusky sentence, Tuesday, and indicates it is a step in the right direction.

"It's a victory in the sense that this issue has come to light," said Ray. "When you think of the victims though, it will never be much of a victory."

But the fight is not over, and it seems the problem is getting worse in Berks County.

Berks County District Attorney John Adams says his office has been inundated with reports of child sex abuse.

"We are seeing a humongous increase in the number of child sex abuse cases that are being reported," said Adams.

In fact, since 2010, Adams says his office has received 300 new cases.

"The fact remains that the Sandusky case really brought attention to the serious problem of child abuse, child sexual abuse," said Adams.

So, while many are hailing Sandusky's sentence a victory, some say now is not exactly the time to celebrate.

"I'm thrilled to see that he got 30 to 60 years," said Ray. "It is, essentially, a life sentence, and as we think of it for victims of child sexual abuse, their abuse is a life sentence."

Officials add now is not the time to let down your guard. If you see or have information that a child has been abused, report it immediately.