Members of the Children’s Alliance of South Texas board of directors meet Jan. 25 for a meeting in the Lauro G. De Leon III Floresville Event Center. Board members include (from left) Vice President Rudy Jaramillo, Chief Eddie Salas of the Karnes City Police Department, Secretary Julie Braun, President Rene Peña, Louisa Franklin of the Cotulla Independent School District, Treasurer Julie Rowell, Kelly Dalton of Child Protective Services, Don Brangan of Camino Real Community Services, and Assistant District Attorney Audrey Louis of the 81st Judicial District. Floresville businessman Ray Lamberth and La Salle County Judge Joel Rodriguez, who are not pictured, also are board members.
Wilson County News February 13, 2013 3,731 views 1 comment
FLORESVILLE -- Law-enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community members are rallying behind the goal of creating a child advocacy center for the 81st Judicial District. The Children’s Alliance of South Texas board of directors held its first meeting Jan. 25 in the Lauro G. De Leon III Floresville Event Center here.
Advocacy centers provide juvenile victims of sexual abuse with a safe, discreet, child-friendly environment where their abuse can be reported without fear of shame or reprisal. These victims also can receive counseling and other services to aid in their recovery.
However, the 81st Judicial District -- which includes La Salle, Atascosa, Frio, Wilson, and Karnes counties -- currently does not have its own child advocacy center.
“These children have been victimized,” said Rene Peña, district attorney for the 81st Judicial District. “It’s up to us to protect them, and to defend those who can’t protect themselves. It’s time for us to step up.”
A board has been formed, fund-raising activities continue, and the center soon will obtain status as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The search also is on to find a building where such a center could be housed. Assistant District Attorney Audrey Louis of the 81st Judicial District said that in order to create a neutral, private environment, a child advocacy center cannot be located adjacent to a supporting agency such as a police station, a jail, or a child-welfare agency.
For more information about the Children’s Alliance of South Texas, call the 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office at 830-393-2200.