2 Pinoys charged with lewd acts on minors in Nevada

By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at May 02 2014 10:56 AM | Updated as of May 03 2014 08:41 PM

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Two Filipinos in Nevada are facing charges of committing lewd acts on minors.

Elio Reyes, 64, voluntarily surrendered to the Northwest Metropolitan Command and confessed that he inappropriately touched his 9-year-old stepdaughter at least two times on different occasions.

In a police report, Reyes said his wife told him not to report the incident to authorities for fear that he would lose his job and pension.

But Reyes said he spoke up so he could get help for his behavior.

Reyes was charged with committing lewd acts on a child under 14-years-old.

Meantime, another Filipino, 30-year-old Jose Santos, was charged with the same offense for allegedly sexually assaulted a family member in 2010 and 2011.

A bail has been set for Santos at $100,000.

Reyes is now on house arrest while Santos will remain incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center.

They are both due to appear in court this month.

Meantime, family court Judge Frank Sullivan of the Nevada Family Court said that if parents notice something different and suspicious when it comes to their children, and feel that their children have been abused, they should alert authorities right away and get help.

"The young children many times when they think it's their fault they done something wrong. They're embarrassed. So it is very hard for them to come forward. We do encourage them to tell a trusted adult, someone they trust. Unfortunately, most children will tell their friends. They will tell their peers and we tell those peers to try to educate that if someone tells you that it is important for you to talk to your friend and get an responsible adult so we can get involved and try to help that child," said Judge Sullivan.

Sullivan said the government provides counseling to children who go through abuse, as well as their parents, and even their abuser.

"Any time the child is under 16, the child cannot consent under 16. So anytime someone touches a child inappropriately, the criminal case if they know about it can prosecute. What happens with criminal case many times its tough for them to prosecute. Many times the victim won't confess about it. They won’t talk about it when they investigate. It’s always criminal for any adult to perpetrate a minor under 16," he explained.

In Nevada, those found guilty of committing lewd acts on a minor will be required to register a sex offender for life, aside from possible jail time of up to six years.