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Police seek additional victims in child sex abuse case

Edward Thompson was charged Tuesday with five counts each of first-degree rape, sodomy, and sex abuse.

Posted: Dec 18, 2019 6:11 PM
Updated: Dec 30, 2019 12:23 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene Police Department is asking for the public's help identifying other people who may be victims of former Eugene music ministry leader Edward Thompson.

Thompson was charged Tuesday with five counts each of first-degree rape, sodomy and sex abuse after prosecutors said he sexually abused a minor for six years. Eugene police believe there could be other victims.

RELATED: FORMER CHURCH LEADER FACING NEW SEX ABUSE CHARGES

However, detective Jennifer Curry said she understands why it's hard for victims to come forward.

"These crimes may be very uncomfortable for victims to report for a variety of reasons. It could be fear, it could be guilt, it could be shame, a whole list of things," Curry said. "So I think it's important to make sure that any victim who wants to come forward knows that they can."

She also said that it's important for victims to come forward because investigators rely heavily upon witness testimony.

Sarah Stewart, executive director at Kids First, said it can be hard for victims to come forward because the perpetrator grooms the child and family to trust them.

"They have a relationship with that person. They don't want them to get into trouble. They just want the abuse to stop, so those things can keep kids from coming forward," Stewart said.

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