A 25–year–old Grand Junction man faced a judge Tuesday morning and pleaded not guilty to several counts of sex assault and aggravated incest.
11 News has chosen not to release the man's name to protect the young victim in the case.
The victim's mother says this has been devastating on her daughter and her family and they're trying to deal with it as best as they can.
This sexual assault case is just one of almost 300 cases the Western Slope Center for Children saw in 2008.
Officials there say the numbers have remained consistently high for the last eight years and they want parents to talk to their kids about the issue and be aware of the signs of sexual abuse.
Mesa County counselors say in 95 percent of sex abuse cases involving children, the child knows the perpetrator.
The mother of a sex assault victim says in her case, that perpetrator was her daughter's dad.
"You should not do this to a child. You're supposed to love your child," the woman told 11 News on Tuesday.
According to investigators with the sheriff's office, that dad molested his eight-year-old daughter ten or eleven times in the last year.
The suspect says he didn't do it and now the little girl will have to testify in court.
"I was upset because I didn't want to drag my child through a four day trial against her father but if he's pleading not guilty we want to do what's right," the Mesa County mom said in an exclusive interview with 11 News.
According to the Western Slope Center for Children one in four girls and one in seven boys will be affected by sex abuse.
Executive Director Shari Zen says its important that parents talk to their kids.
"What is safe touching what is unsafe touching and who should a child tell if that happens to them," Zen said Tuesday.
She says most of the time when sex abuse is reported it's a known suspect.
"Somebody doesn't jump out of the bushes and attack a child a person is going to gain that trust and use that against a child," Zen told 11 News on Tuesday.
Zen says the most important thing for parents to have is knowledge and to listen to their children.
And that's how the incest victim's mother said she found out about the suspected abuse and even though it's been emotional, she says she wants justice.
The incest suspect is out on bond. His trial is scheduled for May.
If you'd like more information on sexual abuse from the Western Slope Center for Children click on the link below.
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