Child Protection Agency urges children not to form friendships with people they meet online
A security guard who allegedly raped a minor in 2021 was arrested and charged at the weekend.
He is thirty-five-year-old Bryan Walsh, a security guard of Saltrum in Gayle, St. Mary.
Walsh was charged with rape, grievous sexual assault, sexual grooming of a child and possession of child pornography.
The incident was reported to the police after it came to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) National Children’s registry in December last year.
The victim was 15 years old at the time of the incident.
The CPFSA said following the report, an investigator reached out to the victim and her mother to offer counselling and other psychosocial support.
The agency said the child was also referred to CPFSA’s child and family support unit for psychological and psychosocial support, as well as to the ministry of justice’s victim services’ division for counselling.
While noting that the minor reportedly met the security guard online, Acting Chief Executive Officer for the CPFSA Laurette Adams-Thomas urged children not to form friendships online, as it may put them at risk.
She also urged children not to send nude photos to persons online.
Mrs. Adams-Thomas further called on parents to be more vigilant when monitoring the digital space their children use.
She urged parents to try to know the persons that their children are communicating with online, to monitor their social media pages and be on the lookout for potential predators.
She said if parents are not technologically savvy, they should seek guidance from other parents and their children’s teachers, on ways that they can keep them safe online.