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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After her disabled son was reportedly sexually abused, the boy’s mother says she was not informed for nearly a year. Now she wants justice.

Linda Lee says she never thought it could happen. A few months ago, a detective from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office told her that her nine-year-old autistic son had reportedly been sexually abused.

She says if her son Dante were normal, things would have been handled much differently.

“From my understanding, I was told she was playing with his private parts,” Lee said.

In June 2010 an incident report was filed with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office claiming Dante was sexually abused by the 12-year-old daughter of a community support worker. However, Lee was not informed of the report until March of this year.

“I feel a parent should have known what was going on,” Lee said.

She says Det. Savitts, who was handling the case, said because Dante could not communicate effectively there was no reason to tell Lee and that it would not have made a difference in the investigation.

After the abuse reportedly happened, Lee says she noticed Dante having difficulty controlling his bladder and bowel movements. A therapist later told he those were tell-tale signs of sexual abuse.

“If Dante was normal and could speak, I would’ve heard about it,” Lee said.

After writing a letter of complaint to the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Ed McMahon wrote back, “After examining the actions of Det. Savitts, it is clear that she followed all laws, protocols, and procedure related to investigating these types of cases.”

Lee says Det. Savitts has since closed the investigation, but Lee does not think the Sheriff’s Office handled it properly.

“I do not believe that that report was complete,” Lee said. “I did not believe that she did everything she was supposed to do, because had she did, she would’ve contacted me.”

Lee says the state agency that employed the support worker has yet to file an incident report with the state. We tried reaching out to someone from the agency, but they have not gotten back to us.

Comment on this Story

  • autumn3way

    Office of civil rights for the disibilities have been nonitified as of today. All documents have been forward. I hope they will take this matter serious. My response was the same if told this child is non-verbal the first respone should have been notifying the parents.
    It appears that his non-verbal status make his well being and case totally unworthy and a waste of tax payers time.

  • Faith

    I hope they get justice! And if the detective knew the boy was non verbal that should have been more reason for her to act quickly and find out if the child was ok. Does him being non verbal make him less important or does it make his case unworthy of investigation? Even if no investigation was done the detective should have at least contacted the parents. This seems like a civil rights issue as well.

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