‘Happening to my own child, and I had no idea': Mother of sexual battery victim speaks out

Man in custody served warrant for sexual battery on a child

Michael Denis King, 39, is facing new charges of sexual battery on a person less than 12 years old, and lewd and lascivious molestation, out of Flagler County.

King was arrested in Duval County in March and charged with three counts of sexual battery on a victim older than 12 but less than 18.

Flagler County deputies say the incidents involved the same suspect and same victim. 
Tonight, the victim's mother is speaking out. We're not identifying her to protect the identity of the accuser.

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“I was always the mom that said I can’t believe that mom didn’t know this was happening,” she said. “Why didn’t the mom protect their child? And here I am. Happening to my own child, and I had no idea.”

The mother was in a relationship with the suspect during the course of the alleged abuse.  Investigators say the abuse spanned more than a decade in counties around the state of Florida.

It started when the victim was just 5 years old.

The victim's mom tells Action News Jax reporter, Ryan Nelson, her daughter had previously denied the alleged abuse, but later sent her a text message saying she wasn’t coming home as long as King was in the house.

“I was in my room watching TV and she just texted me and told me,” she said. “So she just basically said, ‘Mom, do you remember what my brother said to you a couple, you know, two years ago?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ ‘And I denied it?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And she said, ‘It’s absolutely true.’”

The victim's mother said she worked long hours and wasn’t aware of what allegedly happened, but took immediate action when she heard it from her daughter.

“I kicked him out of the house within 30 minutes and called the police after I got my other children out of the house,” she said.

She tells us she’s praying for the strength of her family to carry on and wants those suffering in similar circumstances to know they’re not alone.

Flagler County deputies says King was in the country illegally.