TAKING A STAND: Safety becomes hot topic in light of recent attacks

COLUMBIA CITY — It doesn’t seem plausible that a small, rural community such as Larwill, would be rocked with news of a horrific crime to a teenage girl.However, the recent guilty plea made by Dean Pressler for child molesting, child seduction and sexual misconduct have some residents reconsidering the safety of their families.According to law enforcement case reports, the victim, who was 12 years old at the time she met Pressler, was made a “prisoner” in her own home.Police reports say that as the victim started getting older, Pressler began confining her in his home, not allowing her to leave or have contact with friends.The details of abuse are lengthy and graphic. Pressler’s victim gave birth to two children while in his custody and a DNA report shows he is the father of both girls.“You cannot blame the victim,” said Natalie Lewis, president of the Whitley County Domestic Violence Task Force (WCDVTF). Lewis has a first-hand perspective on the reality of domestic violence in the county. Although it appears that violence is increasing, Lewis said abuse has been prevalent all along.To read the rest of this story, see the July 15 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.