When I checked my emails on Friday morning, I was emotionally frozen as I read a story about alleged child rape. My son Jeff had seen the television story on News Channel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee. As I read the copy, I was shocked by what allegedly took place.

According to the television news segment, four Rutherford County Boys, ages 10 to 11, have been charged with the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl.

Because the suspects are minors, local law enforcement officials have refused to make any comments about the case.

I asked myself: why did this happen?

As a parent and grandfather, I write this post in disbelief! I feel so much for the 11-year-old child who has been emotionally scarred for life!

I also feel for the four boys! Their lives will be forever changed regardless of what happens in court.

Apparently, if you can believe this, the television story reports three of the boys were accused of holding the girl down while the fourth boy allegedly raped her.

If that’s not enough, the mother of one of the suspects was arrested and accused of assaulting the mother of the alleged victim! She is now out of jail and the juvenile suspects have been released.

The television segment reported three of the boys are back in school and the fourth one hasn’t returned yet.

While working at WSM Radio as News Director I produced a number of on air documentaries and segments on child sexual abuse and rape. I even interviewed rape victims who were as young as 15-years-old. I couldn’t imagine talking with an 11-year-old about this vicious crime.

Let’s hope the victim is able to get help! As for the perpetrators: they also should receive therapy. And depending on the outcome of the legal system, the boys might enter the penal system!

There is no perfect answer to what we can do to prevent another incident like this! We shouldn’t ignore it. Instead, we as a society need to spread the message: rape (regardless of age) will not be tolerated!

Unfortunately, the facts speak for themselves:

One in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys are sexually abused by the time they reach 18.

That is the reality of rape and sexual assaults. It’s time to say as a society we will not tolerate this crime! Through education and counseling, let’s work to prevent this from happening to anyone, including our children and grandchildren!