Woman shares story of childhood sexual abuse to empower other survivors

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- For 30 years, it’s been hard for Christy Childers to talk about the abuse and suffering she endured as a young girl.

The man she says she should have been able to trust as her stepfather became a monster.

“I was 7 or 8 years old. I was in elementary school and he was molesting me then, off and on. He would sneak in my bedroom at night. We tried to make excuses to stay with my grandmother a lot,” Childers remembers.

She was silent about the abuse and pain for years. But when Childers was a teenager, she finally told a friend what was happening.

Sherman Forester Thompson was convicted for incest and a crime against nature in 1988 after she spoke up about the abuse.

“As a teenager you think, 'That was something bad that happened, so he’ll be in prison the rest of his life, he won’t get out.'”

Thompson did serve prison time until 1994. Less than a year later, he was convicted of rape and sexual offense for hurting someone else and was back in prison from 1995 to 2002.

His record shows he was incarcerated again from 2005 to 2008 for a felony charge of failing to register as a sex offender. Since then, Thompson has had multiple DWI convictions.

Another known name for him is Sherman Foster Thompson, according to the NC PS Offender Public Database.

“I know the judicial system can only do what the law says or what evidence they have at the time. However, it’s just that inner struggle of wanting to have him behind bars for the rest of his life because he’s a sick individual,” Childers pointed out.

She was heartbroken to hear Thompson was accused, yet again, of indecent liberties with a child earlier this month.

He’s now 65 years old.

Thompson is facing two charges in Alamance County after a parent reported the incidents to the sheriff’s office. The victim was a girl under the age of 15 years old.

“How many children out there are living in a mental prison because they can’t tell this, they can’t come out and say this happened to them?” Childers wonders.

She knows more than anyone what the other victims are going through and how such abuse will change their lives forever.

“I feel in my heart there may be more women or children out there that he has been exposed to, that he has molested or raped and that are afraid to come forward,” she said. “I want to do whatever I can do to empower other people to get help or report what happened to them.”

She hopes her story will help other survivors of sexual abuse understand they are not alone.

If Thompson is convicted in this latest case, Childers hopes he is never released again.

“When this happens, it’s a lifetime thing that never goes away [for the victims]. You don’t want to see it repeated,” she said.

The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office encourages any other victims or people with information to contact them.

Thompson is being held on a $250,000 secured bond and has a court appearance next week in Graham.