Family friend arrested for Molestation in Miami

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, a man named Shelly Thomas, 61, was arrested on a sexual battery charge following an incident that occurred in May 2022. The victim in this case was a young boy who, at the time of the incident, was just 4 years old. The child, who is now 6 years old, reported the alleged molestation to his mother in September of the same year. He referred to Thomas as a “lifelong friend” of the family who had tried to engage him in something he described as “nasty.”

Upon hearing her son’s disturbing account, the mother questioned him further to understand the nature of the incident. The child explained that Shelly Thomas had attempted to perform a sexual act on him. This revelation prompted the mother to report the incident to the authorities.

According to the information provided by the Miami-Dade police, the incident took place when the young boy was visiting his father in South Florida. During this visit, he was taken to Thomas’ residence on Northwest 143rd Street, where the alleged incident occurred.

A critical part of the investigation involved a forensic interview conducted by the University of Florida’s Child Protection Team. During this interview, the child recounted the events that transpired on that day. He mentioned that he had been in a bedroom, watching television when Shelly Thomas entered the room and asked him to approach. Subsequently, Thomas exposed himself and attempted to engage in a sexual act with the young child.

In light of the evidence and the child’s statements, a judge determined that there was probable cause to charge Shelly Thomas with sexual battery on a minor. As a result, Thomas was ordered to be held without bond in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

It is important to note that cases like these are not isolated incidents, as statistics from organizations such as the YWCA indicate that a significant percentage of sexual abuse victims already know the perpetrator, with approximately 93% falling into this category. This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and taking allegations of child abuse seriously, as well as the need for thorough investigations to protect the well-being of young victims.

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