In what appears to be an alarming and disturbing trend, another incident has been reported involving sexual misconduct between a caregiver and a child with autism. This time, a case has emerged from the Los Angeles area, where an in-home caregiver has been arrested and charged with 11 felony counts of committing a lewd act upon a child and three felony counts of oral copulation of a person under 14.
Twenty-nine year old Jeremy Stockton, a caregiver to special needs children, was taken into custody last week and is currently in jail on a $1.4 million bond. Stockton is accused of committing the alleged crimes on a young boy with autism from March 1, 2008 to March 26, 2011. He was arrested when the youngster came forward with allegations of molestation.
This case is sickening and mirrors an incident we reported on several months ago involving a special needs caregiver in South Carolina. Much like the current story, police suspect additional victims in that case as well.
There needs to be greater accountability in these types of incidents and
authorities need to identify how this type of behavior (if proven true) was able
to go on for such a long period of time and what type of background and
screening process was implemented by Wellspring, the local agency that employed
This is also a perfect example of the need for parents to be extra-vigilant about who comes in contact with their children on a regular basis. Children with autism, especially those who are non-verbal, are ideal targets for sexual predators because of their inability to properly communicate or report incidents of abuse. As such, parents need to be extremely sensitive to who they are entrusting their children to.
Jeremy Stockton has pleaded not guilty and is due back on court on May 3 to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial. We will provide updates on this case, as they emerge.