A Houston teen was arrested by the Baton Rouge Police Department for the alleged rape of a 3-year-old girl. According to the Times‑Picayune, 17-year-old Byron Overton of Houston, Texas, was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Wednesday, September 9 after he was reportedly caught raping the little girl.
The police department has released information from the affidavit of probable cause, which details the series of events that led to Overton’s arrest. It has been reported that Overton’s 12-year-old sister walked in while the incident was taking place. When Overton was caught, he reportedly attempted to justify his actions by saying, “she [the victim] won’t remember it,” according to the police report.
The document also reveals a number of graphic details about one of the police officer’s interactions with the victim. She reportedly explained to the officer that Overton “put ‘it’ in her mouth,” according to WAFB News. The affidavit also reveals details about Overton’s taped confession, where he “admitted to sexually assaulting the victim.” As a result of the preliminary investigation, Overton was arrested and charged with first-degree rape. His bond is currently set at $500,000. As of Thursday, September 10, records indicated that he is still incarcerated, reports the Advocate.
In the state of Louisiana, first-degree rape was previously referred to as aggravated rape. The charge consists of sexual acts, including anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse that occurs without the victim’s consent under a number of circumstances, reports the Times‑Picayune.
Although Overton argues that the toddler wouldn’t remember the incident, there have been a number of studies conducted that definitely suggest otherwise. While there have been mixed opinions regarding the evolution of the adolescent mind, a number of reports suggest that children do have the ability to remember traumatic events that occurred at a very early age. According to Elements of Behavioral Health, even babies as young as 5-months-old can remember traumatic events that may have occurred as early as three weeks prior.
“Basic research shows that young babies even five months old can remember that a stranger came into room and scared them three weeks before. Even though the babies were pre-verbal, they can later remember traumatic events that occurred to them,” said Professor Alicia Lieberman of the psychiatry department at the University of California at San Francisco.
If a 5-month-old has the ability to remember an experience that occurred, a 3-year-old with a progressively developed mind will also remember a traumatic experience. Although the child may not display a tactful coping mechanism, the child does remember.
[Image via East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office]