Letters to the Editor

Abuse: Child sexual assault is not a 'tryst'

Re: “Man accused of online tryst,” (TNT, 6/9).

I am extremely disappointed in the language used in the headline. While the article may be factually correct, the headline was inappropriate.

A “tryst” is typically thought of a secret or illicit affair between lovers. The story – the case actually – is about a 35-year-old man sexually manipulating a 13-year-old girl. They were not lovers and they were not involved in an affair or a tryst. He was sexually abusing and exploiting her.

As a police detective working child abuse cases, I recognize that one of the biggest hurdles we face is getting a jury to understand and appreciate the nature of child sexual abuse and the various factors and children’s fears that go into reporting the crime and agreeing to participate in a very unfriendly judicial process. Such headlines trivialize child sexual abuse. I fear it lends a credibility to the attitude that “she was asking for it.”