(WKBN) – A Poland man has been charged with exposing himself to a woman and is now facing public indecency charges. A jury convicted him on the same charge for an incident that happened 11 years ago. We spoke to the victim in that case who was just 14 when it happened.
Police say Kevin Downs exposed himself to a woman at a massage parlor in Poland about two weeks ago. Emily Moon contacted us to share her similar experience with Downs and how she is coping as an adult.
“We have to say something and say hey, this happened before and now it’s happening again. Something needs to change here and there needs to be accountability on some sort of level,” Moon said.
Moon says Downs was her music instructor for several years. She was at his home during a school break organizing music catalogs for extra money. After about an hour of work, she said she turned around and Downs exposed himself to her.
“It was very complicated and from that point, I had to switch schools because it was very public. Then I changed back to Poland for my senior year so I could graduate with everyone I knew and it wrapped up in court when I was 18 or so,” Moon said.
Downs was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and three years probation.
Moon says she does not feel the court results led to accountability. She said when court was over, she did not feel like there was any justice for her.
We reached out to Jacqueline Hughley, a victims service manager with COMPASS Rape Crisis and Counseling Center, wanting to know what they do to help people who have been violated.
Hughley: “Helping people, and I love empowering, turning victims into survivors.”
WKBN Reporter Ashley Bell: “How do you turn a victim into a survivor?”
Hughley: “Just being supportive, listening and believing them most of all.”
There are services to help victims through the court process.
“So throughout legal advocacy, we’re there to help them through the court proceedings, any police interviews that they may have and just go along with them that anything that has to do with the legal part of their case,” Hughley said.
COMPASS Counseling also offers a 24-hour crisis line (330-782-3936) and a 24-hour web chat (COMPASSFamily.org/Chat).
We asked Moon what steps she has taken toward healing.
“When I was in high school, I would go to therapy before school. They would open the office for me so I could go to therapy at 6:45 a.m., do 45 minutes before school, get to school on time. I’ve done trauma reprocessing therapy,” Moon said.
Moon says healing is a process and the incident changed her life.
Downs is due back in court on the current charges on October 2.
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, there is help available. Just visit RapeCrisisAnswers.org or visit the 24-hour lines above.