Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Assistant Prosecutor Anderson shares experiences prosecuting sexual assault to empower survivors
Muskingum County Assistant Prosecutor Gerald Anderson shared his experiences working with and fighting for survivors of sexual assault during Tuesday’s awareness event at Zane State College.
Anderson brings nearly a decade of experience prosecuting sexual assault cases and a passion for finding justice for victims to the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office.
His message to the students and professionals begins with believing the survivor so they find the confidence to disclose their experience to law enforcement and find justice.
In 2022, Muskingum County prosecuted 25 cases of sexual assault and saw a 82 percent conviction rate, which is far above the national average of 58 percent.
Prosecutor Ron Welch has made prosecuting sexual assaults a priority in his career and continues to do so by developing prosecutors who are well-trained and unafraid of taking these challenging cases to trial.
Of the cases that led to prosecution, none would have reached justice if it wasn’t for the bravery of the victims to share their story and a trusted individual who believed them.
Anderson’s advice to victims of sexual assault is to find someone who can assist in processing and healing from the experience.
“As a prosecutor, I would encourage you to report it to law enforcement,” Anderson said. “Reporting it to law enforcement is what will allow us to be able to seek justice and hold the abuser responsible for the crime. It’s always good. Even if it seems like nothing comes of it, it matters.”
For the person a survivor chooses to confide in, it’s important that they listen with an open mind and assure the victim that their feelings are valid and their story is believed.
“Disclosure is a process. It’s not an event. It’s important to just listen and not try to make them tell you all the details or push further than they’re ready to talk about,” Anderson said. “Let them speak at the pace that they’re comfortable with and the amount of detail that they’re comfortable with.”
If you have been sexually assaulted, do not wait to disclose. Contact your local law enforcement to report the assault and begin the journey to justice. Remember, it is never your fault.
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