ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) - Ashley Schattner has a smile that would warm the Arctic Ocean, but behind that smile is pain.
"I used to stay at my mom's house on weekends," she recalled of her childhood, "and he would come in and molest me while she was sleeping."
The Anderson woman, now 22, said Garrett Cornell - then her mother's boyfriend - started sexually abusing her when she was a preschooler. The last incident she remembers happened behind the walls of a home on Ohio Street in Anderson. She was 9.
Cornell, 42, is a Noblesville bus driver who was charged in connection with the molestation of another 9-year-old girl . His son, whom 24-Hour News 8 is not identifying, turned his father in after finding a video tape of his dad having sex with the girl he knew well.
Schattner said in her case, the abuse started when she was 4.
"I was afraid to tell, but I ended up saying something," the 22-year-old said.
Her mother, June, said no one listened when she tried to tell Anderson Police about Cornell years ago . She also reported the abuse to Child Protective Services.
Tuesday, June Schattner shared a copy of the report she said CPS turned over to Anderson Police in 1999. According to the document, CPS substantiated the child molestation claims against Cornell and turned its case over to Anderson Police for further investigation.
But there were no criminal charges filed. Anderson Police now admit it's possible the case was lost in the shuffle.
"During that time we were transitioning from an index card system to a new system using computers," Detective Joel Sandefur said. "It could have been lost in cyberspace, and that is why we couldn't pull it up. Or there is a possibility it was not reported to us."
Sandefur said Ashley Schattner can still file a report and open up a new investigation. She has until she is 35.
She said Wednesday she plans to do just that.
Anderson Police does have on record many reports June Schattner made from May 2000 to October 2011. She filed incident reports of child abuse against Cornell both with the Anderson Police Department and to the state.
In those reports, she alleged that Cornell physically abused their 2-year-old son while he was in his care. She told police and CPS that after she would pick her son up on visitation, she would often find bruises on his body.
Both Anderson Police and CPS conducted their own investigations, coming to the same conclusion. The alleged injuries were photographed and documented in reports by the Anderson Police Department. The investigative analysis revealed that the bruises could have been caused by other activities and not necessarily from abuse.
No allegations of sexual abuse were reported by Schattner at that time. During this period, she was in a custody dispute with Cornell. The investigation was eventually closed by both agencies.
Now that Cornell has been charged, Schattner has custody of their son.
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