Posted: 4:56 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Alex Chery’s mother accuses suspect of sexually abusing her daughter

ORLANDO, Fla. —

New allegations of sexual abuse have surfaced against the main suspect in the death of 16-year-old Alex Chery nearly a year before her body was found in early August on the Polk-Osceola County line.

Chery’s mother, Rosalie Joseph, filed a petition for an injunction against Sanel Saint Simon just after his arrest for trying to destroy evidence in the case.

In the petition, she wrote, "I know that he has also previously sexually abused her."

"Of course, if she knew that something was going on, she should have said something," said Chery’s uncle Ray Joseph.

Joseph says he's not sure if her mom knew about the abuse allegations last year or if she found out after Chery disappeared.

Anyone living in the home who knows or reasonably suspects abuse and doesn't report it could be charged with a third-degree felony, according to WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

But in this case, Sheaffer doesn't believe prosecutors would go after Chery’s mom, even if she did know.

"The likelihood is because of the tragedy of the circumstance, they're not going to bring charges against her," Sheaffer said.

Joseph said he hasn't spoken to Chery’s mother about the abuse allegations, but says losing her daughter has been hard enough for her to deal with.

"For her to know something like that, it probably would hurt her a lot," Joseph said.

So far, Saint Simon has not been charged with murder, but remains jailed on charges of tampering with evidence and lying to investigators.

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