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APD: Sex Assault Victim Trusted Suspect

Updated: Thursday, June 5 2014, 06:33 PM CDT

It's a place where people come to exercise and unwind. But it was on the same hike-and-bike trail that Austin police say Michael Bergeron (pictured) sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy.

"Unfortunately our young victim trusted this young male which led to the sexual assault," said Detective Eric Guevara.

Child advocates say trust plays a part in many crimes against children.

Police documents show that may be true in this case. According to an arrest affidavit, the victim said Bergeron appeared to be "nice" and "he felt like he could trust him."

"It's common for any type of offender to try and develop a relationship with a child," said Amanda VanHoozer.

VanHoozer is the director of program services at the Center for Child Protection in Austin. Last year her organization investigated more than 800 new cases of sexual and physical abuse. VanHoozer claims every child handles the abuse differently.

"You have to work with that child in a therapeutic setting to help them recover from that," added VanHoozer.

Austin police tell KEYE TV they believe this is an isolated incident.  Detectives would not comment on Bergeron's criminal history.

By Alex Boyer

APD: Sex Assault Victim Trusted Suspect


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National Crime Prevention Council
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University of Texas
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