SAN ANTONIO - After being charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, crimes that were allegedly committed in 1999, Robert F. Acosta, 36, proclaimed his innocence Wednesday as he was led away in handcuffs.
After watching the news reports, Carmen Vasquez, clinical director at the Rape Crisis Center, said she thought of Acosta’s alleged victims, only 14 and 15 years old at the time.
Vasquez said they must have been frustrated by how long it took to make an arrest.
“For some survivors, I think it can represent closure,” Vasquez said. “It’s a way to regain control of their lives.”
Vasquez said for those girls, now in their 30s, Acosta’s arrest is proof that their allegations were taken seriously.
Sgt. Jesse Salame, San Antonio Police Department spokesperson, said Acosta is a suspect in at least one other sexual assault in 2010, but there could be others.
“We anticipate more charges,” Salame said.
“Anybody that recognizes him, anybody that may have come in contact with him, or knows what he was up to, please call the Special Victims Unit and report it,” Salame said.
Vasquez said many times survivors are hesitant to report what happened to them, perhaps because they fear no one will believe them.
She said other reasons could be, “Not knowing what’s going to happen. ‘Who am I going to talk to? Who is going to find out? Am I going to be on the news?’”
Vasquez said she urges anyone with those or other questions to call the Rape Crisis Center hotline at 210-349-7273.
“An advocate can immediately just get on the phone and guide them through what the process will look like,” she said.
“I know that it’s difficult. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. We’re here to help, and we need to get people like this off the street,” Salame said.
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