By BRADEN LAMMERS
Concerns over why parents weren’t notified of two sexual assaults until a week after the second attack were brought to the Jeffersonville City Council meeting Monday night.
One local parent, Victoria George, asked city officials why information about the attacks wasn’t released sooner.
“I was floored,” she said, reading from a prepared statement. “Why didn’t they tell us this sooner?” Why did they wait until a second attack, but more disturbing, why did they wait until a week after the second attack [to notify us]?” she asked.
The attacks George was referencing were two sexual assaults by an unknown assailant against two teenage boys. Jeffersonville Police Department officials said during a press conference earlier this month that they believe the attacker lured the boys, who were walking alone, into nearby wooded areas and sexually assaulted them.
The first incident occurred Oct. 5 in the 2000 block of 10th Street and nearly four weeks later, on Oct. 31, the same man is believed to have found another boy walking along the 2400 block of Middle Road, according to police. Both incidents occurred between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
But it was that police didn’t notify parents of the attacks and the public first found out after Greater Clark County Schools sent a letter to parents notifying them of the assaults that had George upset.
“Both attacks occurred within several blocks of where my family lives,” she said.
George said her teenage son was walking to his grandparents and his friend’s house in the time between the second attack and the press conference, which took place the same day Greater Clark sent out the letter, Nov. 8.
“Had I known about this, I would not have let him walk,” she said.
George said she contacted her city council representative, Connie Sellers, and spoke to her about the assaults, which Sellers was unaware of until the day of the press conference.
“I was very disappointed to find the lack of communication between the council and mayor’s office,” George said.
She then directed questions to the mayor about why there was a delay, why parents weren’t notified sooner and why the council did not know about the attacks.
“I found out the day of the press conference myself,” Moore said. “I’m a father of three young children myself and I have the same concerns that every other parent of Jeff has.”
But he added that he did not feel like the police had made an error in waiting to release the information, because it is under the department’s discretion how to handle police matters.
“I’m not a micromanager,” Moore said. “I have a great deal of confidence in our police department, and I think they know what they’re doing. The police know how to police.
“There are problems that come up every single day, and they cannot hold press conferences every time that there’s an issue. I believe in letting my departments do their job. This had nothing to do with differences between the city council and the mayors office, absolutely nothing.”
Multiple calls made to JPD officials seeking comment were not returned as of press time.
The suspect is described as a light-skinned black male in his mid 20s to 30 years old, with a trim to medium build and was reported in both cases to have been wearing slacks and dress shoes.
Anyone with information about the reported assaults can call 812-218-TIPS.