By FELICIA KRIEG
---- — PLATTSBURGH — A Plattsburgh man is charged with sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl.
The incident involved two girls who were both 9 years old at the time of the crime, said Plattsburgh City Police Detective Jarrod Trombley.
One of the girls told her mother of the abuse about two weeks ago, Trombley said, and the alleged crime was reported to Plattsburgh City Police on Feb. 12.
That child told police that Christopher Simpson, 47, who was in a relationship with a relative, would stay up with the two girls and watch television with them after the other adults went to sleep in the late fall or early winter of 2009, Trombley said.
The child told Trombley that Simpson began massaging the other girl’s feet, progressing up her leg and eventually touching her breasts and vagina, he said.
The child who initially told her mother about the alleged abuse told police she suffered less abuse, Trombley said.
“As this rubbing escalated, she would get up and move. She just didn’t allow it to happen.”
In an interview with Trombley on Monday, Simpson admitted to sexually abusing one of the girls about two years ago, the detective said.
He has no prior felony record, Trombley said.
Simpson was charged Monday evening with first-degree sexual abuse of a victim younger than 11 years old, a felony, and forcible touching, a misdemeanor, for abusing one girl, Trombley said, and with two counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child, one for each of the girls.
He was due to appear in Plattsburgh City Court at 8:30 a.m. today.
Simpson was sent to Clinton County Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 bail bond, Trombley said.
‘LISTEN TO YOUR KIDS’
For their investigation, police took advantage of the Clinton County Child Advocacy Center, which is run by the District Attorney’s Office, Trombley said.
At the center, forensic interviews are conducted with potential child victims who are younger than 18, Trombley said.
It’s in a neutral location that’s less intimidating for children than a police barracks might be, he said.
Trombley said that in his experience, children who have been abused may not tell their parents or another adult.
“It harbors bad feelings (for them). They know it’s not right. They’re ashamed, though they’re not at fault. They’re a victim,” Trombley said.
“One of the girls said that she was afraid to tell somebody because she was afraid she’d get laughed at.”
Children “have a hard time talking about the intimate parts of their body, let alone what somebody has done to them.”
Trombley offered a piece of advice to all parents.
“Really talk and listen to your kids.”
Email Felicia Krieg: firstname.lastname@example.org