Students learn about sexual abuse consequences

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Coos County is seeing more sex abuse cases involving younger children.

Marshfield High School is trying to change that with a presentation on the consequences on Monday and Tuesday.

The school says the problem is that kids have no idea how serious the consequences are.

So Marshfield administrators invited therapists and members of our local law enforcement to talk about the laws of sexual abuse.

"Unfortunately in our society, younger and younger kids make bad choices in this area and so we need to get to them early and get them educated on the aspects of it so they can make good choices," said Bryan Trendell, the assistant principal of Marshfield High School.

Rama Eshelbrenner, a therapist at the Coastal Center, says kids are becoming more sexual at a younger age.

"You hear about something almost on a weekly bases. And not all cases are even probably reported or prosecuted, so the ones that we're hearing about on the news may even just be the tip of the iceberg," Eshelbrenner said.

The most important facts to remember are that children under 15 cannot legally consent to sex, and adults cannot legally have sex with anyone under 18.

Teens also need to know that Measure 11 makes it possible for juveniles to be charged as adults for serious sexual crimes.

In addition, the panel talked about sexting and the social consequences of being charged with sexual assault.