OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City man is facing a felony charge after police said he allegedly sexually assaulted a child, which was caught on camera.
Shadoe Michael Blessing, 29, was booked Tuesday into the Oklahoma County Jail on a charge of indecent or lewd acts with a child under 16. Blessing is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl believed in a northwest Oklahoma City apartment in the 1300 block of W. Hefner Road.
“A woman had a camera set up inside of her residence for when they have somebody to come over and house sit or for some reason be in their home,” said MSgt. Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department. “The woman captured one of her grandchildren being sexually assaulted. This was by a person who is an acquaintance of the family. They had permission to be in the home, but he simply did not know there was a camera there recording him.”
According to Knight, the woman immediately notified police. Investigators interviewed Blessing before he was booked into jail, where he remains as of Wednesday on a $120,000 bond.
Shelby Lynch, education manager for the Care Center in Oklahoma City, said 90 percent of child victims are abused by adults they know and trust.
“I think a lot of people, when we hear about child abuse, assume that it might be someone that they don’t know, this ‘stranger danger’ person that might be abusing their child – but that’s only 10 percent. More often than not, it is someone who knows the child very well,” Lynch said.
While the center cannot comment on specifics with the case, Lynch said child abuse is far more than common than most people might think. In Oklahoma County alone – 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be abused before the age of 18.
“At the Care Center, we believe it’s never too young to start teaching your child about body safety,” she said. “We just think the younger the better. They need to know that, hey, my privates are private. Any type of touch I’m uncomfortable with, I have the right to say no to. We believe that is so important.”
In any case, Lynch told News 4 immediate reporting is vital.
“The law states, specifically, if you have any reason to believe that child abuse is happening, that you do need to report to DHS. Call the DHS hotline, and report what you believe might be happening,” she said.
According to DHS, Oklahomans should report any suspected abuse to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-522-3511 or call local law enforcement 911. DHS encourages people to call 911 if they believe a child is being harmed or needs immediate intervention or protection from the abuse.