Meeting held for parents in Northfield in the wake of a custodian charged with sexual assault
NORTHFIELD - A meeting put on by the Merrimack County Advocacy Center (MCAC) Thursday was open to the public, but out of respect for the parents our camera was not rolling so they would feel comfortable asking questions. While the meeting comes just days after a former custodian was in court accused of sexual assault, that specific case was not discussed.
Earlier this week, Robert Magoon, 73, a former custodian at the Pines Community Center was in court, charged with multiple counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Prosecutors say Magoon engaged in a pattern of sexual assault over a nearly two-year period starting in August 2014. There are two alleged victims at this point, both are girls ages 8 and 11. Prosecutors say more victims could come forward.
The MCAC organized the meeting to help parents understand the signs and give them tips on how to talk to their children about body safety.
“How to talk to them, ways to ask open-ended questions and ways of how we are going to do things moving forward should they have concerns and then, those kids would be coming to the Merrimack County Advocacy Center and having a team approach to that so that that way they are supported throughout the whole process,” said Bethany Cottrell, MCAC Executive Director.
Parents learned a lot tonight at the meeting, such as 50 percent of victims are abused by someone outside the family who they know and trust, and the best time to get answers out of your child is while driving in the car together.
Magoon is being held on bail, he's due back in court Tuesday.