Demandahan: Child abuse and sexual assault
In this episode of Demandahan, fifth grade students claim they were sexually abused and prostituted by a first grade teacher. How do you preserve and protect your child's innocence? How do these kinds of traumatic incidents affect children in the short and long run?
Children are loved and give love in return, and they also trust others very easily. They are innocent. But what happens when their innocence is taken away, and their trust betrayed by someone who was supposed to ensure their welfare?
“Edward” and “Dingdong” were fifth grade students who were allegedly sexually abused and prostituted by a first grade teacher who asked for their help in carrying his belongings home.
It was only after months of keeping their silence due to shame and fear that the children, together with their parents, finally became ready to press charges against their teacher.
Anthony Taberna accompanied Edward and Dingdong’s parents to a lawyer to explain the details of their sons' case and seek legal advice even when the suspect already went into hiding.
Acts of lasciviousness vs sexual assault
In the case of “Edward” and “Dingdong”, the teacher will be charged with child abuse through lascivious conduct under the Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination.
Under Article III, Section V of the Act, “children, whether male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.”
The case is different from rape or sexual assault, like that in a Supreme Court case decided in 1999.
In the case, “Aaron” was molested by his teacher twelve times in a span of four months. He was a fourth grade student at the time of the incident.
The teacher threatened “Aaron” so the child kept mum about the sexual molestation until months after.
Because of the enactment of the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 (RA 8353), the crime of rape has been expanded, including “rape by sexual assault”.
Under the Act’s provisions, rape is committed “through force, threat, or intimidation; when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority.”
It is important to note that rape is also committed even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present “when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented”.
Moreover, the said Act states that any person commits the act of sexual assault “by inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person.”
The teacher denied and appealed the case against him but the child’s detailed testimony prevailed.
Aired on: February 7, 2013