MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach Police are still actively searching for a man accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl in October 2011 and have already arrested three women in connection to the case.
According to a police report, Myrtle Beach Police spoke with a social worker with the Department of Social Services on Jan. 4 who said she was investigating a report of a sexual assault against a 9-year-old girl.
The DSS worker said the incident happened in October of 2011 and was reported to school officials in November of 2011.
The report further stated the child told school officials as well as a family member that a relative's boyfriend entered her room and sexually assaulted her as she pretended to sleep. The little girl said it only happened one time, but she was afraid to stay in the home, the report said.
On Jan. 4, officers took the child into emergency protective custody and launched an investigation. On Feb. 6, Andrea Lynn Cansino-Antemate was taken into custody and charged with unlawful neglect of a child. She was released from jail on a $20,000 personal recognizance bond, according to the clerk of court.
According to the arrest warrant obtained by WMBF News, Cansino-Antemate was told about the incident by the child. In November, she went to Myrtle Beach Intermediate School to speak with a guidance counselor and was allegedly told she needed to get the suspect out of the house.
Police said she failed to do so, resulting in the child being placed at unreasonable risk to further harm.
Wednesday morning, officers arrested Julie Kristen Farmer Janis, 38, and Carole Eileen McMahon, 38, and charged them both with failure to report child abuse or neglect in connection to the case. Janis has also been charged with obstruction of justice.
Arrest warrants allege Janis told Cansino-Antemate law enforcement would not be called about the incident if Cansino-Antemate had the suspect removed from the house by Jan. 4. They also said Janis was concerned for the family's immigration status.
McMahon acted as a translator for the mother and Janis and neither reported the incident to police or DSS, according to the warrant.
Teal Britton, spokeswoman for Horry County Schools, told WMBF News Janis is a guidance counselor at Myrtle Beach Intermediate who has been with Horry County Schools since August of 2001. McMahon is an ESOL teacher at Myrtle Beach Intermediate who has been with Horry County Schools since August of 1999.
They are both on leave with pay pending an investigation, according to Britton.
The clerk of court told WMBF News they have been released from jail on a $5,000 PR bond.
Additionally, officers with the Myrtle Beach Police Department are searching for the suspect, 35-year-old Abel Candia-Lascano. Capt. David Knipes said Candia-Lascano is wanted for lewd act on a minor.
Anyone with information as to Candia-Lascano's whereabouts is asked to contact Myrtle Beach Police as soon as possible at 843-918-1382.
Prosecutors tell WMBF News people in certain professions are required by law to notify police if they suspect abuse. Candice Lively, a prosecutor with the Horry County Solicitor's Office said those particular professions are chosen because of their close proximity to kids.
Lively stated, "In the children's code here in South Carolina, it specifically states a list of people mandated reporters - medical, school teachers, assistant principals, counselors all listed as mandated reporters."
Lively added that some professions are held to a higher standard because of their access to children and their responsibility to make sure they feel protected.
Lively said the detrimental effects of not taking care of the problem are far-reaching. Lively said, "Whenever a child looks to someone in a school, someone outside of the home who can help them with what is going on in home, they need the security and feeling like there is another adult they can trust and open up to."
Additionally, prosecutors said there are serious consequences to pay for not reporting abuse. Lively said there could be a six month sentence and/or fine.
Parents whose children attend Myrtle Beach Intermediate School are speaking out. Nicole Goings said, "I think if a child comes to any adult saying they are abused or anything going on. I think a grown up should look into it."
Goings said whenever abuse is reported to an adult she believes it is better to be safe than sorry. Goings added, "If my child went to an adult and told them this is happening in the home, I would like an adult to come to me and ask what is going on."