Parents waiting to see if their children are victims in sex abuse case
By Laura Hand
March 22, 2016
SYRACUSE, N.Y. --- Parents are anxiously waiting to hear if their children were targeted as victims, by a now-fired aide at All Saints School on Tipperary Hill. This, as the principal tells us she's concerned about the future of the school, in light of the criminal case.
A school aide, 23 year old Emily Oberst, from Syracuse was arrested last week for trading pictures on the Kik phone app with 40 year old Jason Kopp, from Liverpool. The criminal complaint filed in Federal Court says Kopp also shared pictures with an officer of the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which began the investigation. Both Oberst and Kopp are being held at Syracuse's Justice Center with no bail.
The school's board sent a notice to parents, that Oberst has been terminated, and also advised that the FBI is investigating whether there are additional victims, including students at All Saints.
An outreach worker from McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy spent time at the school on Tuesday. Maureen Foran-Mocete tells us the agency has lots of resources, including information, counseling and reading lists, both on-line and in person, to help in abuse cases. She says 90% of such cases involve people the victim knows, and will sometimes try to protect. She also offers strategies for parents, to talk to their children about what is going on.
Investigators say suspect Jason Kopp told them he had access to the baby from when she was 6 days old. Some of the pictures reportedly show him in sexual contact with the baby, who is now 16 months old. They say Emily Oberst also admits to taking sexually explicit photos of the infant, which she sent to Kopp via the Kik app, as recently as last week.
The US Attorney's office is continuing its investigation, but is not commenting further on the case, and says it's against Dept. of Justice policy to release mugshots of the suspects.
On Tuesday, there were clearly lots of concerns at All Saints, an independent Catholic school. Principal Rosalie Pollman told us her heart aches for all involved, including the parents of the fired aide. She says her only hope, is that they can continue educating the students at the school.