CENTRAL TEXAS - Last week, Jeffery Ackors, 43, was put behind bars for the rest of his life. But one of his victims wouldn't have been able to testify without the help of her service dog.
The little girl's mom spoke to NewsChannel25 in an exclusive interview, and said the dog named Kendra, deserves some credit for justice being served.
Service dog expert Camie Crisp was in the courtroom during the trial. Ackors acted as his own attorney in an attempt to scare the victims from testifying.
"[Kendra] played a very large part in helping this little girl get courage to be able to go to the trial, be able to literally face him and put him behind bars," Crisp said.
Without Kendra, the little girl who was abused for nearly two years, may not have been able to face her attacker. The girl's mother, whose identity will remain anonymous to protect the child, said her daughter lost all confidence and independence after the abuse.
"My happy-go-lucky child that wasn't afraid, all of a sudden became afraid and was acting out," she said. "Wouldn't sleep in her own room at night, wouldn't sleep through the night. It was hard to watch as a mother."
She said her daughter was afraid of Ackors, because he had prior convictions, including one for murder.
She said having the service dog may have helped her daughter more than the therapist could.
"Her ABA therapist went to training one day with us, and was so surprised," the mom said.
"I believe in my heart, I don't think she would've been able to be a witness," Crisp said, adding, "She was very much introverted. She would not speak to anyone, even a psychologist for almost a year."
With help from Kendra, the little girl will never have to see her abuser again.
"The look on her face, was just like, finally," her mom said. "The relief. I don't think she could have done it without her, without Kendra."
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:04 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:04:15 GMT
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