In the town of Smithfield, North Carolina a total of six victims spoke up about their terrifying experiences of being sexually abused by a former science teacher. Paul Clifton Canally, only 29 years old, faced over three dozen charges of sexual abuse. This included six counts of statutory rape, two of sexual intercourse with a student, indecent exposure to children for seven counts, and then eight counts of sexual battery. These offenses date back for over four years and they all pertain to boys under the age of 16.
Back in March, Canally was arrested for multiple sexual assaults on a teenage boy, and then because of one boy’s bravery multiple children came forward as a result. Canally was targeting children at the local middle school where he previously worked. It is reported that even though Canally resigned from his teaching position in 2009, he made contact with old students through the internet and would invite them to come over to his home. At his house is where the abuse and child pornography took place. His neighbors reported that they never witnessed any women or men visiting his home, only children; this wasn’t considered to be normal by the onlookers.
Police commented on this case saying that by one boy coming forward to accuse his abuser, it gave the other victims strength to stand up as well. Being a victim of sexual abuse is one of the scariest things that a person can have happen to them. Often times the abuser will manipulate the victim into thinking it is normal and even ok; these lies can have long-term scars on the victim. It is important for those who have been victims in cases like this to know that they are not alone, and while it may be difficult to admit that it has happened, it is worth it in the long run. If you or someone you know is an object of this heinous crime, come forward and seek the legal counsel you deserve.
While we can’t erase what happened, we can fight to have the abuser pay for his crimes; and see that you receive compensation for what you went through. It may be that by you coming forward, that you inspire others to speak up as well. Let us help you through this process.