Chippewa Co. Sheriff Asks for Victims to Come Forward in Child Pornography Case
The Chippewa County Sheriff says Duane Forrest appeared in court for his arraignment Thursday morning.
“We have been going through these court documents this afternoon and the details are disturbing. It’s hard for everybody, the community, the investigators,” said Chippewa County Sheriff Michael Bitnar.
Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office detectives received a tip that lead them to search a home on Tweed Street in Sault Ste Marie.
“A bunch of stuff was seized with the search warrant, computers, cell phones all that digital evidence. Right away there was images and videos,” said Sheriff Bitnar.
They arrested Duane Forrest on multiple child sex crimes charges, making child porn, and accosting a child.
There are 14 charges total.
“Our office has investigated a lot of child pornography, but quite often it’s stuff that’s shared on the internet between people. To have someone producing that in our own community is really hard, it’s very disturbing,” said Sheriff Bitnar.
The sheriff says he believes there are more victims out there and they should come forward.
“Not only would it help this investigation, but to get them and their families the help and counseling that they no doubt will need,” said Sheriff Bitnar.
That’s where the Diane Peppler Resource Center comes in.
“We help survivors understand the process for themselves, we help them understand what the paths are for the different decisions they have to make,” said Executive Director of the Diane Peppler Resource Center, Betsy Huggett.
They keep things confidential, for those they work with.
“We don’t require anyone to report their crimes to law enforcement or anything so you have the ability to sit down with an advocate. Everything is kept anonymous, everything is kept confidential so there is no pressure,” said Huggett.
And if there are survivors reading…
“It’s not your fault that this happened to you, you didn’t do anything to deserve this and you’re not alone,” said Huggett.
The State of Michigan has a confidential, anonymous sexual abuse hotline.
That number is 855-voices4.
You can also visit their website here.