Cortland woman accused in child porn case

Cortland Standard
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By SHENANDOAH BRIERE
Staff Reporter

A Cortland woman will appear in court today on charges alleging she sexually abused a child under the age of 5 to create child pornography.

Brittany E. Berry, 23, of 44 Rickard St., Apt. 4, was arrested at noon Monday by Cortland police. She was charged with these felonies:
* First-degree sexual abuse.
* First-degree criminal sex act.
* Promoting a sexual performance by a child.
* Possessing a sexual performance by a child.
* Predatory sexual assault against a child.
* Second-degree conspiracy.
* Another first-degree sex crime.

Berry was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

Berry had sexual contact with a boy under the age of 5 several times since August while at a residence on Rickard Street and recorded the acts and sent to videos to another individual, Lt. Rick Troyer said. The child was turned over to a relative.

Lt. Rick Troyer said a person not involved with the making of the recording found out about the abuse and reported it to police.
Berry was sent to Cortland County Jail with no bail and is scheduled to appear this afternoon in Cortland City Court.

Susanne Babbel, a marriage and family therapist, reported in an article for Psychology Today that sexual abuse among children can influence them for the rest of their lives.

“With childhood sexual abuse, victims are often too young to know how to express what is happening and seek out help. When not properly treated, this can result in a lifetime of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), depression and anxiety,” she said.

PTSD is among the most common results of sexual abuse, she said. “Symptoms can extend far into adulthood and can include withdrawn behavior, reenactment of the traumatic event, avoidance of circumstances that remind one of the event, and physiological hyper-reactivity.”

Babbel also said victims face an increased likelihood for substance abuse, hyper-sexualization or becoming sexually reactive and can have issues with promiscuity or poor self-esteem.

However, Babbel said studies show that if the child is surrounded, supported and cared for by an adult who is consistently in their life, then they can recover more quickly.

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