FLORISSANT, Mo. — Florissant Police want victims of an alleged child molester to gain the courage to come forward.
Tylan Tunstall, a photographer, is behind bars and charged with fourth-degree child molestation, a felony. It’s unclear if this victim was a client but he’s admitted to touching an underage girl’s breast both above clothes and skin-to-skin, according to police.
Lindsey Hopkins is a therapist with the Child Advocacy Center in Wentzville. She said this type of abuse happens daily. She also realizes it’s a lot to ask of children to muster up the strength to come forward.
“I've seen kids use some of the most amazing things in speaking up and getting that justice for themselves,” Hopkins said. “It can be hard but it can be done but it's needed for healing. It's really damaging for kids to trust in the future as well."
Hopkins reminds victims that their situations aren’t their fault. Don’t worry about getting an adult in “trouble”, your well-being is more important. Have a relationship with a trusted adult who can help support victims.
"(Patients) say the anxiety that builds up,” Hopkins said. “That's a big hurdle to go and tell on an adult. Their world shatters for a bit, all these things happen. But seeing them overcome the mountain of doing something and speaking up for themselves, I see the power they get when they tell."
Hopkins said victims who don’t get help and speak up face increased risks of being re-victimized and/or becoming an abuser themselves.
Florissant Police said they are still getting calls indicating more victims are out there. They urge you to call the Florissant Police Department's Bureau of Investigations at 314-830-6037 or 314-830-6038.