APD: Child sex-abuse suspect may have had other victims
A 31-year-old man has been charged with multiple counts of sexually abusing minors, according to Anchorage Police, who are asking any other potential victims to come forward.
An initial report of child sexual abuse involving James Moen was first reported to police last week, APD spokesman MJ Thim wrote in a statement.
“Through the course of the investigation, detectives discovered the abuse occurred in several locations between Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough for two years,” Thim wrote. “At the time of the abuse, the adult male suspect was in his early 20s and the underage female victim was under the age of 10.”
Moen was taken into custody on Tuesday, Thim wrote. He also “confessed to sexually abusing other girls.”
Thim said "multiple cases" had been opened stemming from Moen's confession. He didn't have immediate word from investigators on how many other victims Moen had mentioned, but said Moen had not been in a position which would give him authority over children.
"All we have is that he confessed to abusing other girls," Thim said. "Because of that and the area that the abuse happened with this underage girl, and the fact that he works in Anchorage and he lives in the Valley, we believe his confession is true and that's why we are asking the public's help."
A criminal complaint against Moen, written by APD Detective Brett Sarber, said that the case originated as a report to the state Office of Children’s Services, which was forwarded to police for investigation.
The victim told Sarber that the abuse took place when she was 5 to 9 years old, in Big Lake and Eagle River.
“[The victim] told me that Moen always told her not to tell anyone what was happening, so she didn’t tell anyone until she told [her friend] in the fourth grade,” Sarber wrote. “[The friend] told her mom, and her mom called [the victim’s parents].”
The victim’s father told police that he had told Moen never to touch her again, but that the abuse went unreported to law enforcement because her family wasn’t aware of its full extent.
Sarber said police then requested and received a warrant to record a Tuesday phone conversation between the victim and Moen, who allegedly expressed “deep remorse” for the acts of which he is accused.
“Moen said that he may have done it all because he had been abused as a child, something he never told anyone about prior to this phone call,” Sarber wrote.
Thim said the case fell into patterns similar to other instances of child sexual abuse.
"It's a classic situation of the suspect telling the victim not to tell," Thim said. "The victim told a friend, and the friend did the right thing by telling someone."
Court records show Moen currently charged with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor. He was arraigned Wednesday, and initially held on $100,000 bail with a court-approved third-party custodian required for his release.
Police believe Moen may have had other victims in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough. Anyone who was victimized by him or has children who have spent time with him is asked to contact either police at 907-786-8900, or Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or through its website.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story inaccurately said the victim's mother, not her parents, had been notified of the abuse by her friend's mother. Also, the victim's age range at the time of the alleged abuse was previously described as "a four-year period;" police and the victim's family say the abuse occurred over a two-year period.