DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Former law enforcement officer Hector Jimenez was arrested in Dinwiddie County Wednesday for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 2015. Prosecutors say he used his position to intimidate the victim and they fear other victims may exist.
“I hope there are no others,” Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Baskervill said. “Certainly hope and pray that, but if there are others in this or any other case I really hope that they will find trust in the system.”
Nationally, figures like Bill Cosby and Bill O’Reilly have also been accused of using the power of their positions to sexually assault and intimidate victims. It’s a form of abuse experts say happens all too often.
“Somebody can utilize the power that they have over somebody else in their relationship to force them to do things that they might not otherwise do,” said Ryan Morris, director of advocacy and outreach for the YWCA of Richmond.
Morris says every survivor of sexual assault has to decide whether coming forward is best for them, but added that it can be empowering and encouraging when more and more victims decide to come forward.
“A big barrier to survivors seeking services and seeking support is feeling like they’re alone. There is power in survivors sharing their stories with other people,” Morris said.
Meanwhile, Dinwiddie’s Commonwealth’s attorney had this message:
“If anyone else is victimized and fears that authorities or the system are inclined to sweep something under the rug or have a good ‘ol boy system, no, no, that’s not how it works right here, right now,” said Baskervill.
According to the YWCA, of Richmond 93 percent of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are known to the victim.
If you’re looking for resources to help you can call the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline at 804-612-6126.