Rally held in support of 4 men who say former Warren County sheriff sexually abused them
Victims and their supporters held a rally to demand justice after they say Warren County failed to protect them from a former sheriff who sexually abused them.
The rally was held on behalf of four men who say that former Warren County Sheriff Edward Bullock sexually abused them and that the county ignored their claims.
“The county needs to acknowledge and recognize what these young men went through. And until that happens, they're not going to get any kind of peace,” says sexual abuse survivor advocate Crystal Montgomery.
The victims say that even decades later they still have nightmares about Bullock.
“I’m glad that the truth is finally starting to get out. I thought I was alone…and then you find out that’s not the case,” says one victim who News 12 is only identifying as W.M. “You find out many knew. You find out that people were joking about it…It’s disgusting.”
Kane In Your Corner first reported about the issue last week. An investigation found that county officials were warned about Bullock’s behavior with young boys, but that apparently no one acted.
RELATED: Lawsuit alleges Warren County was aware of allegations of sexual abuse by former sheriff and failed to act
The secretary at the Warren County Youth Shelter told News 12 that she has spoken to her boss “a couple of times,’ only to be told, “some things are better not known.”
A sheriff’s officer said that Bullock’s behavior was “a running joke. People would see (him) walking down the hall with a boy and snicker and laugh about it.”
The protest was held at the Warren County Courthouse, where victims have been fighting for justice for the last seven years. But for some of the victims, it is also the scene of the crime – the place where they say they were sexually assaulted by Bullock decades ago.
“In this courthouse across the street, I was repeatedly molested. Many victims were targeted and preyed upon in this very building as well,” W.M. says. “This is not a hall of justice but it's a monument to despair and anguish until they're ready to stand for justice.”
Warren County officials say that they cannot comment on the case since it is in litigation. But in a recent statement, the county stated, “Each and every one of these allegations is categorically and unequivocally false. The events that are alleged to have occurred all took place approximately 40 years ago. This was, of course, at least several decades before any of the current County Commissioners were in office."
The survivors say that the county needs to take responsibility for the events that occurred so that everyone can finally move on.
“I hope the truth gets out there. As ugly as it may be, as torrid as it may be, it’s the truth and the truth needs no alibi,” says W.M. “It needs to be shared and expressed and that way the healing can begin.”
Bullock was not tried for sexual assault until 2015. He died before the trial was resolved.
His estate signed an admission of liability and is not contesting the lawsuit. The attorney for the estate tells News 12 Bullock's family has no opinion on whether he was innocent or guilty.