Child advocates speak out after NC coach faces child sex crimes

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Child advocates are speaking out Wednesday night as police continue to investigate multiple sexual assault allegations against a former basketball coach.

Rodney Scott, 50, was charged this past Monday after police say he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy.

Police say it could take weeks or even months to speak with all the families that have made allegations against Scott.

Police say after launching a hotline yesterday, they’ve received dozens of calls regarding Scott’s past.

Faith Boehmer of the Child Advocacy Center said “90 percent of the children that are victims to child sexual abuse know their abuser.”

The Child Advocacy Center provides various resources to rape victims and their families. They serviced 660 kids in Cumberland County last year.

Boehmer says child predators engage in what’s called the grooming process where the predator builds a relationship with the child. Boehmer said “they’re getting to know what they like, what their interests are maybe even learning their families.”

Scott coached hundreds of kids in basketball in the last two decades. He brought many of them to the barbershop to get a haircut.

Scott’s barber John Richardson said “he seemed to be a great protector of children and he was totally concerned about children and their well-being, that’s why it’s such a shock to me.”

Richardson says Scott wasn’t just a customer. He calls him friend.  Richardson says in 20 years, he’s never heard any complaints about Scott from players or others that know the coach well.

Scott said “I feel so sorry for the children, if that be the case because children are the people we need and hope to protect.”

Police say the sexual allegations span some 20 years. Child advocates say victims and parents don’t always know how to speak up.

Boehmer said “there’s fear for the victim, it could be fear that they’re embarrassed, it could be shame, it could be guilt they may feel at fault.”

Boehmer also says parents must become more educated about the warning signs of sex abuse and victims themselves should find a trusted adult to confide in.

More information about the Child Advocacy Center can be found here.

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