A Jamestown man has been taken to the Chautauqua County Jail after a grand jury handed up an indictment charging him with eight counts of crimes against children.
Jason R. Alexander, 30, of Jamestown was charged Monday with two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, two counts of first-degree sexual misconduct against a child, second-degree sexual conduct against a child, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Alexander was arraigned in Chautauqua County Court. Bail was set at $200,000 cash or $400,000 property.
According to police, Alexander was indicted by a grand jury for offenses that happened over a 10-month period. An investigation into the alleged acts was initiated in August by the Jamestown Police Department's Juvenile Victim's Unit with assistance by the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office, county Social Services Department and the Child Advocacy Program.
According to Jana McDermott, director of the Child Advocacy Program of Chautauqua County, the CAP is a place where a child can have their forensic interview at a safe, neutral place, but it's also much more than that.
"After a person does the initial report, instead of being interviewed on-scene where there are a lot of interruptions that could happen, we bring them here," McDermott said. "We have a trained forensic interviewer interview the child. It gives the child the best opportunity to tell us what happened to them. It's a very child-friendly protocol. It also gives parents a chance to talk to our advocate here to help them understand the system, the role of CPS, the role of law enforcement and the role of the district attorney's office. We can also provide opportunities for counseling and we offer all children a medical exam. That can be very therapeutic for a child, for them to know that they're fine."
McDermott says that the main priority of the Child Advocacy Program is to support the family and move them toward health and healing.
"The beauty of working with law enforcement and child protective services is that we get to share information so the family isn't asked the same questions over and over," McDermott said. "All of the agencies work together, we're highly communicative and we can make things happen very quickly."
The Child Advocacy Program emphasizes engaging the children as much as possible, even offering options for counseling through the program.
"What we need to do is have more people feel confident in reporting this type of abuse," said McDermott. "They can rest assured that the system is in place to not only hold perpetrators accountable, but to help the family, too."
For more information on the Child Advocacy Program of Chautauqua County, visit capjustice.org or call 338-9844.