Trying to Curb Sex Abuse in Clinton - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Trying to Curb Sex Abuse in Clinton

Updated: Sep 16, 2013 05:47 PM
Boutwell / Piantieri - Courtesy of Clinton County Sheriff's Office Boutwell / Piantieri - Courtesy of Clinton County Sheriff's Office
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Two Clinton adults are now facing child sex abuse charges.

A spokesman with the county attorneys office say that Jason Boutwell is accused of abusing a child under the age of 12.

He is also facing 60 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Trish Piantieri is accused of aiding abetting that abuse.

Police found out all of this because of a school resource officer investigation.

"A lot of times, kids think that police officer are unapproachable and we try and bridge that gap."

Those are the words of Corporal Pat Cullen with the Clinton Police Department.

He has also been a School Resource Officer there for the last 19 years.

Through the years, he has seen students come through his school that have been through all types of abuse.

"Our teachers and our staff are the first line of defense," explains Cullen. "They are in the classroom everyday and maybe see a kid that's withdrawn or out of sorts and they'll give us a call and say there might be something going on."

Whether it's a trained staff member or a tip from the community, it;s turned over to the resource officers, who will run the investigation.

"We'll call students down and ask is everything OK? Is there something going on? Just by that little contact, it may produce something else," says Cullen.

If it does produce something else, the officer will then start asking questions.

Working with the department of Human Services, the officer will interview the child, parents, and anyone else who knows anything about the case.

All to find who is responsible.

"It's a lot different than being out in the streets," says Cullen. "Sometime a normal police officer, they do the report and hand it to an investigator. We get to being the report and take it to the end."

And for Cullen, that's about as rewarding as it gets.

"The most important job we have is to keep kids safe. And with all the craziness that's going on in the world today, I feel pretty good about being where I'm at."