It is a common event for youngsters and teens – an invitation from a friend to sleepover. But according to Greeley police, a man brought his 16-year-old son to the police department at 10 a.m. last Friday to report that his son was sexually assaulted by his friend’s father at a sleepover. The father is facing two felonies after his son’s friend accused him of sexual assault.
Police say the suspect tried to pay the victim “hush money” and the victim refused, according to a news release. The suspect has been booked at the Weld County Jail on suspicion of sexual assault on a child and sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. Both charges are punishable by two to six years in prison. He posted a $50,000 bond to get out of Weld County Jail on Sunday. Formal charges are due Sept. 27.
This sad incident highlights how critical it is to know the families of your child’s friends. Always introduce yourself to the host family if you are providing the ride to the sleepover. If not, ask for the home phone number to speak to the parents to assure yourself proper supervision will be provided.
Of course, with teens, the challenge is knowing the particulars of the arrangements – frequently they don’t even know. Before a teen leaves for a sleepover, parents should spend some time discussing the possible problem issues. If alcohol and other illegal substances are introduced at the party or if the dynamics of the party alters at any point and makes it uncomfortable, teens should telephone their parents and arrange a ride home. When appropriate, a teen should stand outside the house while waiting for the ride home. Teens should understand that if any illegal activity occurs and the police are contacted, then they could be charged with a crime.