Aug 4, 2011 2:23 PM by David Ortiviz

Warning signs a child has been sexually abused

The headlines are shocking even to those who work with abused children on a daily basis. A Pueblo man, among 72 people charged on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an international child pornography network. Federal prosecutors says the suspects used a website called Dreamboard which was "dedicated to the relentless victimization and exploitation of children 12 and younger."

"I have to admit that even working here we're involved in investigations of child abuse all the time and we hear some horrible things--I was horrified by that report," said Ellen Cooney, Executive Director of the Pueblo Child Advocacy Center.

Pueblo police say it's possible local children were hurt or photographed. So we went to the Pueblo Child Advocacy Center to learn about the warning signs a child have been abused. Last year the center treated close to 200 sexually abused children.

"The kinds of signs we would look for--mainly it's sudden changes in the child. A child who's been getting A's all of a sudden is failing, doesn't want to go to school. Or a very young child, maybe they've been potty trained and all of a sudden they're not potty trained. Or they're having nightmares at night, their behavior changes," said Cooney.

Scott Lewandoski of Pueblo, was among the 72 people charged in the bust. He lives in the Regency neighborhood according to county records. Sources tell News First 5 he also was the head of security at the Target store in Pueblo.


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