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ECSO: 2 separate sex crimes, 2 arrests

Published: 5/31/2012

From Fox 10 News

PENSACOLA, Fla (WALA) - Two men in Escambia County have been arrested in separate incidents, both accused of forcing a girl under 13 years-old to have sex.

 

Michael Lee King, 26, was arrested on Tuesday after a 14-year-old girl alleged that he had been having sex with her since 2010.

 

An arrest report states that the girl was also impregnated.

 

Jeffery Birdwell was arrested on Wednesday after a 13-year-old girl alleged he came into her room and forced her to have sex with him in 2011.

 

Stacey Kostevicki, Executive Director with the Gulf Coast Kid's House, said the numbers of children suspected of being victims of physical or sexual abuse in Escambia County has been increasing.

 

"In 2010, we saw just over 1,200 cases - for the number to jump to 2,000 in 2011, it was definitely a shock to the system," said Kostevicki.

 

The Gulf Coast Kid's House is an organization that provides help to victims; such as contacting authorities, testing for abuse and providing advocates to help both mental and emotional issues.

 

"There's something different everyday. We deal with victims of physical abuse and sexual abuse all the way to age 12," Kostevicki said.

 

She said the increase in abuse may stem from the economy.

 

"More families are co-living. Families are opening their homes to other friends or family members and that gives them 24-hour access to your children. That's nationally what they're attributing the increase to," said Kostevicki.

 

It's been difficult on the organization, which is facing a decrease in money.

 

"As community members, we need to keep our eyes open and make sure our children are protected," Kostevicki said.

 

King was released from Escambia County Jail under a $25,000 bond.

 

Birdwell is being held in Escambia County Jail under no bond.

 

If you'd like to donate towards helping the Gulf Coast Kid's House

 

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