Kevin Lentz, 49, has been charged with seven counts of using a minor under 16 in a sexual performance, 10 counts of distribution of obscene matter to a minor, and six counts of tampering with physical evidence.
Lexington police said Lentz persuaded a nine-year-old boy to text him pictures of his private parts and, in return, sent the boy more than ten photos of adult pornography.
Jennifer Johnson-Koch, program director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, said cases like this happen more often than people would imagine.
“So it’s much more common for abusers to be known to the victim,” Koch said. “It’s often an adult in a position of care, custody, or control. You know, a coach, a pastor, a family friend.
Koch said one in nine girls and one in twenty boys are sexually abused before they’re 18.
She said one of the reasons is that it’s easier for perpetrators to use a grooming pattern to build trust with the child.
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“They may do special favors for them; they might favor them among their peers,” Koch said. Then, only after they have sort of drawn that child in, will they start to sort of push boundaries, ask them to do more and more inappropriate things.
Lexington Police also said Lentz asked the 9-year-old boy to delete all the conversations afterward so his parents wouldn’t find out.
Koch said that it’s common for perpetrators to want to make their victims keep a secret, but parents can offset those intentions by fostering a culture in their family that does not support secrecy.
Koch also encouraged families to talk with kids about what’s appropriate and not appropriate for adults to do.
“To let your kiddo know, ‘Hey, like, if you ever feel uncomfortable, if there is ever a grown-up that is asking you to do things that make you feel kind of weird or gross, you can always, always, always come and talk to us about it,” Koch said.
Koch said there are also signs that your child might be affected by predatory behavior.
“Let’s say you have a kiddo that’s normally very outgoing and they’ve become a little bit withdrawn. You have a child who all of a sudden has questions, curiosity, or behaviors about sex that are not age-appropriate or they’re really atypical for them. You know, major changes in things like toileting. If you have a kid who has previously been potty trained and all of a sudden has a regression. So all of those can be the kinds of things that we would want parents to we want you to pay attention to,” Koch said.
The statewide child abuse reporting hotline is 877-KYSAFE1 (877-597-2331).