Prosecutors announce several child sex abuse convictions in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Prosecutors in Prince George’s County announced multiple convictions in various cases involving child sex abuse this month. In some cases, victims have waited more than a decade for justice to be served.
In some cases, “It takes time for them to feel comfortable, to feel safe enough to come forward,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. “What I want the public to know is that there is no statute of limitations when it comes to child sexual abuse.
“So whenever someone who has been abused feels comfortable coming forward, we want them to come forward,” she added.
One of the victims who testified against 60-year-old Jose Palacio is 21 years old now but was only 9 and 10 when she was abused.
“There were two victims,” Braveboy said. But the firsts victim “did not come forward until she found out he was abusing a younger relative. So even though it was more than 10 years later, we were still able to get justice for her and for the younger relative.”
Palacio was convicted on Dec. 9, the same day two other men were convicted of crimes against children.
In one of the men, 45-year-old Donald Jackson, was found guilty of abusing a teenage girl who he met through a program for at-risk teens, which he was involved in. Braveboy hinted that more charges were going to come out related to that case and the organization Jackson was involved with.
The second man, 55-year-old Orlando Blanco, pleaded guilty to charges he sexually abused his girlfriend’s three children, two of whom were as young as 4 and 5 years old at the time the abuse started.
On Dec. 16, 43-year-old Marles Hernandez was found guilty of several charges related to the repeated sexual abuse of a child between 4 and 5 years old.
While all four of these cases are unrelated, Braveboy said they share many of the same qualities that many other child sex abuse cases do.
“When it comes to child sex abuse victims, they are typically victimized by someone they know, someone who has access to them, someone who is in a position of trust,” Braveboy said. “That’s why sometimes it’s really difficult for those young people to come forward because this is someone who is supposed to be caring for them.”