Three cases of serious sexual assault on minors were reported to have taken place in Sidon last week, police sources revealed yesterday. Police said the attacks were kept secret because the parents involved refused to disclose information for fear of a “scandal”.
The first victim was an eight-year-old schoolgirl who was assaulted by a candy salesman standing outside the gate of the victim’s school. She was reported to have been sodomised, the sources said.
The two other cases involved victims from the same school, a girls public school in the city.
A 14-year-old and a 13-year-old were sexually abused by another street vendor who also lingered outside the school gate. The three girls were taken to a Sidon hospital, where physicians confirmed that they had been sodomised.
However, the girls’ parents refused to allow their children to stay in the hospital and even refused to file charges against the attackers because they feared their identities would become known.
The two suspects were reported to have disappeared, the sources said.
Medical sources in Sidon expressed their concern about the rise in sexual abuse against minors and said the victims could face serious psychological problems if they were not treated immediately.
The same sources called on south Lebanon governor Faysal Sayegh and local associations to exercise strict supervision of students at schools and provide waiting places for students inside campuses.
At the same same they urged parents to disregard social taboos and file charges against the attackers to prevent similar crimes from being committed in the future.