JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Department of Children and Families said it learned in November that a convicted sex offender accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl was staying with the girl's family. He and a second man were arrested earlier this month on charges of molesting the child.
The agency said someone reported that 51-year-old Robert Young was molesting the girl, but after thorough interviews, DCF said it didn't have any evidence to go on.
"The parents said it was a friend of the family, and because, when talking to people who knew this family, the family checked out, and the children said there was nothing unusual going on," DCF spokesman John Harrell said. "It had been 20 years since (Young's) conviction."
According to DCF investigators, the girl's parents, Christopher and Mary Perry, knew of the abuse and didn't protect their daughter. They said the girl's grandmother, Patricia Woloszynowski, also knew of the abuse.
"They knew what was going on and didn't report it," Harrell said. "This is very deeply disturbing."
DCF said it told the family that Young shouldn't be in the house with their children. DCF also had the parents and Young sign a "safety plan" agreeing Young wouldn't have unsupervised contact with the children.
In the months to follow, new reports surfaced.
When a DCF investigator interviewed the girl, she told them she was sexually abused "on many occasions over the past several years," according to DCF.
When asked if the "safety plan" was enough to protect the girl and if more could have been done, Harrell said, "This is an ongoing investigation, and we will be reviewing this case to see if the appropriate measures were taken, if there is anything else that could have been done to ensure the children's safety."
Cynthia Isaac, Young's 23-year-old daughter, said her father stayed at her house when he was kicked out of the Perrys' home.
"He acted like a sex offender, if you want to know the truth," Isaac said. "Actually, he told us about it. He was like, 'I'm going to go to jail,' and I was like, 'For what?' And he said, 'Messing with this little 9-year-old little girl.'"
Isaac said she found a picture of the girl under her dad's mattress.
"They shouldn't have let him stay there if they knew something was going to go on," Isaac said of the girl's parents. "Obviously, they knew something was going to go on, because apparently they let him sleep in the bed with him and he told me he was sleeping in the bed with her."
On March 4, Young was arrested and charged with three counts of capital sexual battery, one count of lewd and lascivious molestation and distribution of obscene materials to a minor.
Young isn't the only person suspected of abusing the victim. According to Jacksonville police, the boyfriend of the victim's grandmother, 39-year-old Michael Halveland, is also accused of molesting the girl. He was arrested Feb. 17 and charged with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation.
As DCF investigates whether it took harsh enough measures, the victim's mother, father, grandmother, grandmother's boyfriend and the family friend all face charges in connection with not protecting the girl.
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