Odessa teen arrested, charged with raping underage relative

Odessa teen arrested, charged with raping underage relative

ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - An Odessa teen was arrested Thursday and charged with raping a 12-year-old female relative, authorities said.

Josmasy Josel Cespedes, 17, was charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.

The alleged offense occurred in August 2015 at the victim's home, according to officials, and was reported to local investigators in May.

Cespedes admitted to raping the relative during a law enforcement interview, records revealed.

The Ector County Sheriff's Office declined to discuss details of the case due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

"We do want parents to be aware that they should always listen and take action if a child speaks up [about possible abuse]," said Sgt. Gary Duesler. "It must be reported to law enforcement."

Leaders at Harmony Home Children's Advocacy Center in Odessa also urged older siblings, other relatives, teachers and coaches to immediately alert authorities if suspicions arise.

"The majority of alleged perpetrators we see at our agency are close family members," said Harmony Home Executive Director Marisol Espinoza. "When there's a hesitation to report [suspected sexual assault], it's often to protect someone in the family."

Failure to immediately report assault can "sometimes be more hurtful than the actual incident," she added.

Find more information about child abuse in Texas and the impact of children's advocacy centers here.

Follow Harmony Home on Facebook here.

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