From the AP:
PHARR, Texas (AP) -- Police in south Texas say a 9-year-old girl's letter to Santa may have finally stopped a nightmare of sexual abuse for her and her 10-year-old sister.
Police allege that for as long as four years, Andres Enrique Cantu sexually abused the girls in their bedrooms while they slept or did their homework. Cantu is a computer lab aide at an alternative high school but has not been accused of crimes against students there.
The white-haired Cantu, 55, shuffled into court in leg irons and handcuffs for the second time in less than a week Tuesday to face a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a young child. He did not have an attorney present.
The 9-year-old's plea to Santa, written as a school assignment, launched the investigation and led to the first charge of continuous sexual abuse last week. On Tuesday, Cantu was accused of abusing the girl's older sister, who was also mentioned in the letter.
I want to thank the teacher who didn't dismiss this letter as the fantasy of a child. And I want to thank the school counselor who responded to learning about this letter by calling police.
I wish every time a child made a plea of any sort that tells or hints of abuse that those who become aware of that plea would contact the police, but the habit many people have of stereotyping sex offenders as complete monsters can cause them to dismiss certain allegations as impossible.
To ensure that children aren't led into false testimony these children should be interviewed by investigators who have been specially trained to do these types on interviewed. Unfortunately, in this bad economy training budgets may be the first thing to go.