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Victim of child sexual assault and mother speak about life moving forward

Posted at 5:34 PM, Mar 12, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Another family is sharing their story of fear and recovery after a man was charged with sexually assaulting young girls at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay.

  • Mauricio Powless, 18, has been charged with sexually assaulting three young girls between the ages of 10 and 13.
  • We told you the exclusive story of one family's trauma, now another mother and daughter have come forward.
  • A counselor weighed in on how families can work to heal and the long-term effects this can have

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

We’ve been following the case of 18-year-old Mauricio Powless, who’s charged with sexually assaulting three young girls here at the Tundra Lodge. But today, this isn’t his story. I’m reporter Olivia Acree in Green Bay and I sat down with one of his accusers and their mother to hear about their life now.

“I heard her screaming and she was pounding on the door and was crying mom someone just touched me,” said Emily, one of the victim’s moms.

Emily [we chose not to share her last name] is still in disbelief about what happened to her daughter.

“We were having a weekend away and that was all we were doing. Just trying to relax,” said Emily.

But Emily says there was no relaxation that weekend in January this year.

Maurico Powless now faces multiple count of child sexual assault. Brown County prosecutors accuse him of inappropriately touching three underage girls at the lodge over six days. Emily says the traumatic event haunts her entire family. Her 11-year-old son, she says, was a witness.

“Mom, what if he like grabbed her? I couldn't have done anything about it. He wants to be that little boy that is protective,” said Emily.

Emily says they're seeking professional help. Area clinical psychotherapist Jax Anderson says that's important for the whole family.

“Seek professional help not only just for the person that was targeted but for the siblings, for the parents,” said Jax Anderson, clinical psychotherapist.

She also says the sooner the better.

“By talking about it, acknowledging that it happened, that they have feelings, and that it wasn’t their fault, they will avoid serious disorders,” said Anderson.

Emily says her daughter is currently on a three-month waiting list for a counselor.

With her mother by her side the young girl agreed to speak with me about life since the assault.

We chose to conceal her identity.

“Been watching out for older men, like creepy looking guys and backing away,” said the girl.

"Just not something you ever had to do before?," I asked.

“No,” said the girl.

Heartbreaking words for any mother.

“She’s so young. I want my daughter to feel like she’s safe I want my daughter to feel like she’s worth something in this world more than men looking at her,” said Emily.

Emily’s daughter says those are things she's working toward.

“I kind of feel safe going to places but I just have to be aware of my surroundings and the people around me,” said the girl.

Powless will appear in court again on April 2nd for his arraignment. If convicted, Emily tells me she plans to share her emotions when she addresses the judge at Powless's sentencing.