6 men charged in 6 weeks in unrelated sex attacks on girls
2 of 6 charged with attacking girls under age 12
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Six men were charged in six weeks with sexual attacks on underage girls in Gainesville, including two on girls younger than 12 years old.
Police said the reports are not connected, but that doesn't make the trend any less disturbing for Gainesville residents.
“I’m in shock. I’m surprised because this neighborhood is pretty quiet,” said Margarita Gomez, who lived across the street from one of the men arrested. “I didn’t even know -- and I have lived here for three years -- that across the road from my apartment there’s a guy doing that living here in this area, and I didn’t know that. That’s alarming.”
Six men -- ranging from 19 to 57 years old -- were arrested in Gainesville in less than six weeks on charges of sexual battery or lewd and lascivious behavior after police said they molested young girls, some not even teenagers yet.
- James Comer, 35, is accused of raping a girl between the ages of 12 and 18. He was booked into the Alachua County Jail on Oct. 9.
- McKinley Keith, 55, was arrested on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation on a girl under the age of 12. He was booked into the Alachua County Jail on Sept. 11
- Allen Alexander Smith, 57, was charged with two counts of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 12. He was booked into the Alachua County Jail on Oct. 19.
- Kahary Campbell, 22, was charged with promoting sexual activity with a person under 16. He was booked into the Alachua County Jail on unrelated charges Aug. 20 and the sex charge was added in October.
- Deondre Scott, 19, was charged with sexual assault on a victim older than 12 but younger than 18. He was booked into the Alachua County Jail on Sept. 27.
- Vincent Albritton, 49, is accused of sexual assault against a victim older than 12 but younger than 18 and of aggravated battery when the offender was aware the victim was pregnant. He was booked into the Alachua County Jail on Oct. 8.
Police said the cases were unrelated and were not part of a sting.
Gainesville police said many sexual abuse cases involving juveniles go under-reported.
“Unfortunately these crimes are more frequent than the public knows because they are dealing with juveniles to protect their identity,” Gainesville Police Department acting Chief Inspector Jorge Campos said.
GPD provided statistics showing that of 155 sexual battery or lewd and lascivious conduct cases in 2017, 32 involved suspects over 18 years old and victims under 18 years old. So far in 2018, there have been 130 such cases and 38 have involved adult suspects and child victims.
Gainesville police said child sex cases most often involve individuals who know the child.
“A lot of these cases are not reported to law enforcement until well after the event has occurred,” Campos said.
Lt. Brett Rhodenizer, with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, said coverage of sexual attack arrests might help victims know that they will be believed by law enforcement officials, even if they have been reluctant to come forward before.
The National Center for Victims of Crime said studies have shown that 63 percent of women who suffered sexual abuse by a family member also reported a rape or attempted rape after the age of 14.
“As part of our duties, we are to protect everyone in our community, especially those who were the most vulnerable and our children are the most vulnerable in our community,” Campos said. “Unfortunately young victims are preyed upon because of their age.”
A GPD detective division works exclusively on crimes against children.
“We will use every means necessary to try to prove the case and bring it to a conclusion,” Campos said. “We have a lot of partnerships within the community to provide services to our juveniles that are victims or potentially could become victims. They are high on our priority list to protect as best as we can.”
It’s not always easy to spot sexual abuse, but here are some warning signs to watch for:
- Doesn't want to be left alone with certain people
- Tries to avoid removing clothing to change or bathe
- Resumes behaviors they had outgrown
The Gainesville Police Department said if you notice any red flags from your child, get help immediately by contacting police.
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