A Homer man convicted of attempting to sexually abuse a girl under age 13 faces new charges related to the same victim. Corey Rosano, 36, pleaded guilty in February on an amended charge of attempted second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and received a sentence of eight years in prison with six suspended.
Last week, Homer Police filed new charges alleging that Rosano sexually abused the same victim two years earlier than the incident he admitted doing. Rosano has been charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a minor under age 13, three counts; second-degree sexual abuse of a minor under age 13, three counts; unlawful exploitation of a minor; and possession of child pornography, five counts. All are felonies and domestic violence related. Rosano had worked with the girl’s family as a nanny.
In the 2012 charges, Rosano pleaded guilty to attempting to have sex with the girl in January 2012. Police said that this April the girl told her mother that there had been earlier incidents going back to January 2010 — “More times than you can count,” the mother told Sgt. Lary Kuhns, who investigated the case.
In a criminal complaint, Kuhns wrote that Child Advocacy Center interviewer Jessica Lawmaster, also executive director of South Peninsula Haven House, talked to the girl. The girl alleged that from 2010 to 2012 Rosano had sexually abused her. The girl said she felt Rosano had power over her, Kuhns wrote.
The girl also alleged that while being abused Rosano had taken photographs of her. When police arrested Rosano in 2012, they seized his computer. Police got a warrant to analyze the computer. Kuhns wrote that on the computer he found 200 images of child pornography, many of which showed the girl and the girl’s younger sister and a young female relative. Kuhns also found other child porn. The girl also alleged Rosano took videos of her, but Kuhns could not access one hard drive on Rosano’s computer because it was encrypted.
While not speaking of this case in particular, in general, Lawmaster said it’s not uncommon for victims to later reveal information about their perpetrators.
“Their disclosure doesn’t happen as a single event. It happens as a process,” Lawmaster said.
That’s a key point she often finds herself explaining to judges and juries, she said. The dynamics of how and when a victim speaks of abuse have to do with emotional and intellectual development, the child’s resilience and his or her relationship to the perpetrator. Often, the child speaks out once she feels safe. Some victims don’t speak out until adulthood. Threats a perpetrator might have made begin to feel empty and the child might start to realize it’s safe to speak out, she said.
“That’s exactly why it’s critical how we respond to these things, not just somebody like me, but how law enforcement responds, how the community responds, how the media responds,” Lawmaster said.
One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused in their lifetime, Lawmaster said. Our culture has changed toward encouraging children that it’s important to tell someone safe when something happened, she said.
“Hold it together, listen to them, thank them for telling you and do the right thing and report it,” Lawmaster said of what adults should do if they hear of abuse.
Victims seeking help can call Haven House’s confidential crisis line at 235-8943.
Corey is still serving his original sentence at Wildwood Pretrial Facility. He has not been indicted on the new charges and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4 at the Homer Courthouse.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.