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Alleged abuse victim finally sees grand jury

Hobart_A little girl, whose grandmother says has been sexually assaulted for years, will finally have her day in court and the full attention of a grand jury.  The grandmother says her granddaughter was sexually abused for years and she noticed that there was something wrong quite early.  Allene Hebensperger took her granddaughter, then aged three, to authorities with her claims of abuse, but was turned away by everyone with the authority to help.  According to Hebensperger, investigators and judges all turned the case down.  District Attorney John Wampler tells 7News that he did not take the case, at the time, because there was not enough evidence.

Hebensperger is the mother of the child's father and accuses members of the mother's family of abuse.  State, county and city investigators, along with at least six judges wouldn't hear the case.  But now, more than five years after the first allegation, a judge from Lawton has agreed to take the case before a grand jury.  Hebensperger says there has been more abuse since the first claim and she even has medical reports to prove her assertions.

"There's no words to describe the feeling after five and a half years of road blocks," says Hebensperger.  For nearly six years, she has been fighting to re-open the investigation into the alleged abuse.  Her granddaughter, now eight, has turned from a happy and articulate child to one loaded with emotional problems.  The girl wet the bed and had nightmares, "I went from a paralyzed fear to accepting and praying God will keep her safe," said Hebensperger.

After witnessing what the child was going through, she didn't want to stop pursuing legal action, even after rejection.  So, she started a petition and was told that if she got 500 registered voters to sign, the grand jury would be called to look into it.  She had only four weeks and got over 800 signatures.  The child's mother, Samantha Martinez, refused to comment.

Allene and her husband John are holding their breath hoping the grand jury will bring justice.  They say it's their duty as grandparents to protect her, even though they can't see her anymore.  She lives just down the street the child's mother who has a restraining order against them. 

The court date is set for September 10.

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