A serial pedophile is finally brought to justice. It not only required the courage of his victims, but a combination of law enforcement agencies that sorted through volumes of digital evidence.
"My uncle Rich decided to take us on a camping trip. My sister went first, I went second, and he ended up sexually assaulting both of us," said one of the unidentified victims.
These girls were in the 8th grade at the time. Scared and confused, neither one discussed the incidents with the other, but there were signs something was wrong.
"We just came home kept living our lives, started going to school and I started feeling kind of depressed; A little anxious all the time. I started cutting and was suicidal," the victim said.
Eventually, the girls confided in each other and friends about what happened. Their friends encouraged them to report the crime.
"I said that isn't going to happen. This is my mother's brother, it will tear the whole family apart, I don't want to say anything," the victim said.
"I had thought more, if I pretended it didn't happen it would go away - and of course, which is never true," said a second victim.
After ten years of trying to hide what happened, the truth came out.
"I had opened up to one of my best friends. Well, because his father is a deacon he is a mandated
reporter, so he called it in," said the second victim.
The girls also told their mother.
"My Mom went to counseling a lot because she felt guilty. It wasn't her fault - it wasn't my fault - it was his fault. He is the one who made the wrong decision he is the one who did everything wrong," said the first victim.
"The accusations were horrific and they had been dealing with this particular crime for nearly 10 years - terrorized throughout," said Bernie Feeney, a U.S. Postal Inspector.
Postal inspectors got involved after local police asked for some specialized help.
"They had a vast amount of digital evidence they needed assistance with," said Feeney.
Analysis of the suspect's computer revealed more victims, inspectors sent the images to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for help in identifying victims.
Both girls now say they are moving forward.
"Once the ball started rolling I realized I think I'm going to get justice for this and I'm going to be able to put this behind me," said the first victim.
The girls' uncle pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Both victims are now in college, and say they want to help others who have been assaulted.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited children is available by phone or website, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.