Man charged with raping young family member

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Raleigh Egypt man was charged with sexually abusing a young relative.

Adriael Tornes-Chegue was charged with rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery and sexual battery by an authority figure.

WREG spoke with experts about warning signs to look for to tell if a child is being abused and what you needed to do if you suspect it.

Their biggest piece of advice was to always come forward and report it, even if you're not sure.

You never know when those suspicions could help save a child's life.

People in the Raleigh Egypt neighborhood off Bridgers Drive where Chegue lived were horrified to hear he may have raped a young family member for more than six months.

"I'd give him life if I was the judge," one man said.

Chegue was given a $100,000 bond after police said he told a young family member he would hurt her mother if she said anything about the abuse.

Beryl White with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center said abusers will often use threats to try to control victims, but children should not let anyone bully them into silence.

"It's real important that they tell somebody," she stressed. "If that person doesn't do anything or doesn't believe them, then they need to tell somebody else."

White said 1 out of 10 children in the U.S. have been sexually abused.

In Shelby County that number was slightly higher.

White said there are signs to look for.

"They might be uncomfortable around specific adults. They might have a behavior change," she said. "They might show a drastic change in their schoolwork, things like that."

White also said under the law people are required to report any suspected child abuse.

Coming forward could help stop the abuse, but more importantly save a child from a lifetime of suffering.

"With kids, the long term effects of child sexual abuse can be very severe," she said. "It can range from depression, suicidal idealization, suicide attempts, addictions."

If you suspect a child in your life may be suffering from abuse, call the Department of Children's hotline at 1-877-237-0004 or the Call for Kids hotline at (901) 274-7477.

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