Child Abuse Cases in Ector County on the Rise

Child Abuse Cases in Ector County on the Rise

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY - It's becoming all too common in the Basin: abused children. They're suffering with everything from beatings to rape.

It's not often talked about but it's happening in Ector County.

"We're averaging 40-50 kids a month and these are kids that come in not just for sexual assault but come in for any various reason when CPS is involved," Richard Acosta, Community Resource Director for Harmony Home, said.

Harmony Home said the latest reported case is one that happens all too often.

On Thursday, Odessa Police arrested 24-year-old Jose Luis Galindo-Jasso for indecency with a child.

Police said Galindo allegedly fondled the genitals of a five-year-old girl.

"The research that we have shows there's a 90-95% chance that the victim knows the perpetrator," Acosta said.

Also this week, a 27-year-old mother was arrested after her baby tested positive for cocaine.

Whether the abuse is sexual, physical or neglect, the numbers for crimes against children in West Texas are unsettling.

Harmony Home said the child victim rate for abuse in Ector County is nearly double the state average. Recently, officials said the lack of affordable housing could be a factor in those numbers.

"There's also situations where there's two different families living under the same roof where they don't know each other and we're seeing victims come out of those situations as well," Acosta said.

Harmony Home said their child abuse cases usually drop off in the summer because there may not be as much adult interaction, but this year it was different.

"This past summer it actually continued to increase, it stayed on an incline," Acosta said. "It could be more abuse, it could be more reports of abuse, it could be a strengthening of relationship with law enforcement."

There's no one answer as to why the numbers could be spiking but officials said they're working everyday to reverse that trend.