Thirty nine year-old Dwight Farmer was 14 year-old Charyce’s stepfather for over 8 years. In spite of the domestic violence, Mrs. Farmer stayed with Dwight because she thought that he was a “good father” to the children.
In October 2007, Charyce was interviewed at BCAC for an allegation of sexual child abuse but disclosed no abuse and the case was closed. In August 2008, Charyce’s mother saw that Charyce had a black eye; Charyce said she was hit by another child at school. Charyce later confided in a family friend that Dwight had punched her in the eye and that he been touching her vagina.
CPS arranged for Charyce to be interviewed at BCAC. With the multi disciplinary team (made up of CPS, BPD, and the Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to the case) watching through closed circuit video, Charyce told a BCAC interviewer that while she was asleep Dwight came into her room and touched her breasts and vagina with his hands. She awoke and told him to stop; he then hit her in the eye.
She further said that Dwight had been touching her since she was 11. He would come into her room naked multiple times, as well as touching her breasts and vagina. When asked why she didn’t state anything when interviewed in 2007, Charyce said “he told me he’d kill me and my mom if I told.”
BCAC’s team made recommendations that Charyce participate in individual and family therapy, as well as making a referral for Charyce’s mother to receive counseling. Baltimore Police and the State’s Attorney’s Office determined there was enough to continue their investigation and charge Mr. Farmer who was later arrested and charged with committing felonies of sexual child abuse and several sex offenses.
For the past few months, 7- year-old Michael has been acting out. At home he has been verbally and physically abusive, tried to set a fire in his bedroom, and destroyed his younger sister’s favorite dolls. At school, he has become increasingly aggressive towards other students. Most recently, his teacher observed him sexually acting out towards a classmate.
Michael was referred to BCAC for a forensic interview. At BCAC, Michael’s mother expressed her concern and frustration regarding Michael’s behavior, saying that he has been “out of control” for the past few months and that she was “at wit’s end” trying to deal with his behavior.
When it was time for Michael’s interview, he was reluctant to speak to the forensic interviewer. Gradually, rapport was established. Michael explained that at school, he was “practicing being a man”. He explained that it was a game he often played with his 16-year-old cousin when he spent the night at his uncle’s house. After Michael’s disclosure of abuse, two other young children in the family were interviewed and they too disclosed they had been sexually abused by the young man. Further investigation determined that the 16-year-old cousin had been similarly sexually abused as a younger child.
Michael was referred for follow up treatment. Today, BCAC’s treatment team continues to work with Michael and his family. His mother reports that his behavior has improved at home and he is doing much better in school, both behaviorally and academically.