Less than a week after Oneida County officials gathered to shed light on their battle with child abuse in our community, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of a Utica man for inappropriate contact with a young girl.

Director of the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center and Oneida County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Derrick O'Meara announced Monday the arrest resulting from an investigation that began in March of this year. O'Meara says his organization was notified that a 13-year-old girl had been subject to "inappropriate contact" by an 18-year-old male.

Read More: Oneida County Continues Battle Against Child Abuse

An investigation into the accusations began and Sheriff's Investigator Mark Chrysler was assigned to the case. After a thorough investigation it was revealed that Damerious Thomas of Utica had allegedly engaged in sexual contact with the 13-year-old several times while in the City of Utica.

Photo Courtesy of Oneida County Sheriff's Office
Photo Courtesy of Oneida County Sheriff's Office

As a result of this investigation, Thomas was arrested and brought in by Investigator Chrysler and Utica Police Investigator Ryan Kelly. He was brought to the Utica Police Department and processed. He is facing charges of Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, both Misdemeanors. He was then transported to Oneida County Jail and remanded with $2,500 bail.

Of course, as is always the case the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center offered counseling to the young victim. An order of protection was ordered on behalf of the child as well. April is almost over, but it is still Child Abuse Awareness Month and we repeatedly thank members of law enforcement, especially those who investigate and prosecute crimes against children.

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