DECATUR -- A former Macon County pastor's actions are coming to light. He’s is facing charges for sexually assaulting a young girl.
58 year old Jose Luis Aboytes was arrested yesterday in Decatur for seven counts of sexual abuse and assault of a young girl from his church. Those seven counts are for predatory and criminal sexual assault as well as aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police say all of this happened to a young girl under the age of 13.
Aboytes use to be the pastor at the Palabra Miel hispanic church in Decatur. During his leadership, a 12 year old who attended the church reported that he sexually abused her multiple times over several months. Now he is being held behind bars.
Amanda Sheppard is a clinical counselor. She says, “In a lot of these cases, the perpetrator is someone the child knows and trusts. And unfortunately that's why it goes on longer than you would hope."
Sheppard sees cases like this often. In this case, the girl knew her pastor well. Aboytes was a family friend. Sheppard believes that one of the most helpful ways to help kids who go through this to recover is to have strong support from their parents.
Sheppard says, “It’s important for parents to especially know that this isn't something that will definitely beak your child or hinder them from having a healthy life. As long as they're able to understand and develop tools they need to move forward."
She also says that the support of parents is essential in helping their child through the trauma of sexual abuse. “They have some of the highest abilities of resilience i've ever worked with. Kids can be pretty amazing moving forward after something like this."
Aboytes is no longer a pastor at the church. He's now being held at macon county jail on a 250 thousand dollar bond. If convicted, he could face 6 to 60 years in prison. He'll be in court next week.
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