BOONE COUNTY, Ind. — It took only two days for a jury to find a Lebanon man guilty of sexual acts he committed on a child.

On Tuesday, 43-year-old Douglas Bray was found guilty of child molestation. The charges stem from 2019 through March 2020. The victim was able to come forward, getting justice for what happened to them.

“As with most cases of this nature, Bray violated the trust of a young person that he happened to know,” said Special Victim’s Prosecutor Heidi Jennings. “I want to commend and express my sincere gratitude to the young person who showed tremendous strength and courage in sharing what happened – there aren’t many adults who could have done what this young person did.”

Even with the conviction, the prosecutor’s office said their job is not over. They will continue to advocate for a maximum penalty at the sentencing hearing, which is set for February 21.

Boone County Prosecutor Kent Eastwood encouraged parents and caregivers to promote a climate of open communication where a child will not be afraid of or embarrassed about.

“Too often we see that the perpetrator is a person of trust – it is important that children understand that NO ONE should try to break boundary rules and if it happens children should continually share that information until someone listens,” said Eastwood.

Stop It Now!, an organization that provides support, information and resources to keep children safe, says there are several signs to be on the lookout for.

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent

  • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
  • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
  • Has a sudden change in eating habits
    • Refuses to eat
    • Loses or drastically increases appetite
    • Has trouble swallowing.
  • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
  • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual
  • Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
  • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
  • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
  • Talks about a new older friend
  • Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
  • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge

Signs more typical of younger children

  • An older child behaving like a younger child (such as bed-wetting or
    thumb sucking)
  • Has new words for private body parts
  • Resists removing clothes when appropriate times (bath, bed, toileting,
  • Asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games
  • Mimics adult-like sexual behaviors with toys or stuffed animal
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

Signs more typical in adolescents

  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

There are also some physical signs of sexual abuse you can be on the lookout for. The organization said while these signs are rare if you see them, bring the victim to a doctor. The doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.

These signs include:

  • Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
  • Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

The organization encourages people to have a safety plan in place to have ready in case you notice signs of child sexual abuse. Keep track of behaviors that concern you and speak up if you have a concern. The organization has a guidebook that people can use for tips on speaking up.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, you can call the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 800-5556.