A McKean Township man is charged with sexually assaulting two minors.
Those who work with survivors of abuse have some valuable guidance and help to offer.
The charges against Jason Goodwill include a variety of sex crimes against kids for 14 years.
We wanted to offer some help and assurance to those in an abusive situation that there is someplace to go and something that you can do.
51-year-old Jason Goodwill is accused of having sex with two girls who were in his care from 2006 to earlier this year.
Goodwills preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 28th.
The crime victim center is available to provide support for victims inside and outside of the court room.
“We can help. We can navigate the situation if they’re going through the judicial system. We can make sure that goes properly and that we give them their support that they need,” said Paul Lukach, Executive Director of the Crime Victim Center.
A survivor of of sexual assault shared how the crime victim center helped her through a court proceeding.
“They helped me in a court proceeding where I had to give a victim statement and I had someone that went with me and was very supportive,” said an anonymous victim.
The survivor added that the Crime Victim Center counselor made her feel more confident in the court room.
“The counselor knew the system and I didn’t know anything. I felt very naive and she gave me the security of knowing you know guiding me through the process introducing me to the system and how it works,” said the anonymous victim.
For this victim as well as the minors who Goodwill abused, the perpetrator is often someone close to the victim.
“It’s often a known person to that child this is doing it. It’s somebody in the household, it’s a relative, it’s a neighbor, it’s a trusted individual,” said Lukach.
The Crime Victim Center in Erie is still providing a variety of services to victims of sexual assault during the pandemic.
If you or someone you know is being harmed, you can call their 24/7 hotline number at 455-9414.