Expert gives tips on preventing child sexual abuse

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INDIANAPOLIS — A now-former Hamilton Southeastern School teacher has been arrested on child molesting charges.

Ian Gray, 38, faces charges of child molestation, child seduction, and sexual misconduct with a minor.

Sandy Runkle, the Director of Programs at Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, said the situation in which this alleged sexual abuse occurred is all too common for these interactions.

”80% of child sexual abuse does occur in isolated, one-on-one situations,” Runkle said.

That is exactly what court documents allege happened between Gray and a Hamilton Southeastern student several years ago. Runkle said there needs to be rules against these kinds of situations.

“It would really help if parents and caregivers ask about these kinds of policies with schools, with sports, at places of worship, any place that serves youth,” she said.

In this case, the student did eventually tell their mother about the abuse. Runkle said it’s important for parents to make sure their children know they are always there to talk.

“Children continually need to know the adults around them care about them and care about what’s going on.”

Runkle said if a child doesn’t feel comfortable talking to their parent, then a counselor or therapist is also a good choice.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools released this statement about the arrest.

“We are aware that a former school employee has been charged with alleged misconduct with a minor student. We have cooperated fully with the Fishers Police Department since its investigation began and will continue to do so in coordination with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. When the investigation commenced, we placed the school employee on administrative leave, per district policy. The employee has since resigned

We believe strongly in protecting the safety and well-being of our students and that includes working with authorities to investigate allegations of wrongdoing that arise involving any student. 

To preserve the integrity of the investigation and protect the privacy of the victim, it is our district’s practice to refrain from publicly discussing this matter. We will continue to support law enforcement and anyone who has been affected by these alleged events.”

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