A Copperas Cove resident was arrested and arraigned on a charge of sexual assault of a child this week. The victim, a child 7 years old, was 6 when the abuse began. What a horrific experience for a child to endure.

Added to the actual abuse, the perpetrator stands accused of threatening the victim with a deadly weapon if she told anyone of the sexual abuse.

Imagine if you can, the fear this child must have endured on top of the degradation and pain of the actual physical abuse by being threatened with harm as well.

Keep in mind that under the provisions of our national constitution, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. We cannot rush to judgment and presume the accused is guilty. No.

We must wait until a judge and jury hear the evidence in this case and reach a verdict. If convicted, the perpetrator will surely face an appropriate remedy. In my view, the sentence cannot be too severe.

Although absolutely no good can come of a crime such as this, perhaps the remedy will be sufficiently severe to deter someone else from committing such a devastating crime. Hopefully, the victim of this crime will recover and the wounds, both physical and emotional, will heal.

A second sexual assault and assault with bodily injury, family violence, also was reported to police this week. Three separate and distinctive crimes allegedly were committed in one criminal episode.

Both sexual assaults and physical assaults occurred in abundance in Cove in recent weeks. The upward trend in this category of crime is unacceptable in any society, particularly in this family-oriented city. Behavioral modification is a difficult task and usually requires the skills of a trained professional.

Incidents of identity theft loom large nationally and have become a frequent statistic in Copperas Cove as well.

Two more incidents of identity theft were reported to police this week. More than enough of these crimes occurred here of late to consider this a trend. Identity theft can be devastating to a person’s credit rating and finances and can consume huge amounts of time and effort to recover from being victimized.

Only preventive measures and personal vigilance can help a person avoid becoming victimized. Never provide personal information to anyone unknown to you and be discretionary about releasing personal information to people you know. As little information as your name, address and date of birth is sufficient for a thief to open fraudulent accounts.

One burglary of a vehicle was reported this week. This statistic is a welcome downward trend from past weeks when we experienced vehicle burglaries in high numbers.

Keep in mind that summer is upon us, a season during which vehicle and residential burglaries usually rise. Burglaries are, in my opinion, normally crimes of opportunity. Unattended and unlocked vehicle and residence doors provide the opportunity, and valuables left unattended and in plain view provide the temptation.

Remove these enablers and you dodge being victimized.

Thefts of jewelry have shown an upward trend in Cove lately. Two more reports were submitted this week. One of the thefts included jewelry valued at $2,600, a substantial loss, and the second was the loss of a ring. These items are as negotiable as currency in some less-than-honorable circles.

Age-worn advice: When not wearing them, lock them away.

This week, Copperas Cove police made more than 20 arrests for crimes ranging from traffic offenses to assaults to possession of controlled substances. Kudos, cops.

If you have any information regarding these or other crimes, you are encouraged to contact the appropriate authorities.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement with over a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

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