Mother of Massillon sexual assault victim: She is ‘doing well’

MASSILLON, Ohio — The family of the 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped, beaten and sexually assaulted last month has released a message of thanks to the community.

On Sunday, the Massillon Police Department posted the following on behalf of the girl’s mother:

We never expected that a day like this would come. When it did, our community has helped restore our faith in humanity, when such inhumanity and insanity took the innocence of our daughter. We are so proud of her. And, we are thankful that she continues to overcome and survive such a horrible circumstance. Thank you all so much for stepping up to the plate and backing our family during this time in our lives.

Words cannot express the outpouring of love and support we have received from the Massillon community and beyond. We wanted to update everyone on how our daughter is doing and express our sincerest appreciation to everyone that has given so many things to our family in the last two weeks.

Our daughter is doing well. She will continue to have many appointments and counseling in the next few months. Your prayers, caring comments, neighbors and friends being there to listen has helped us all to begin answering this issue. The after affects have caused her to miss school, her friends, and not have as much freedom. But, she continues to heal mentally, emotionally, and physically. She is still one unbelievably strong little girl and we could not be prouder parents.

Thank you all so much for your help in her recovery. She has received so many gifts from so many different people. We cannot list the sheer amount of support and must blanket a thank you rather than thank every individual. The ones we can directly thank is the Massillon Police Department and all the law enforcement agencies involved in capturing this guy and putting him in jail quickly. We also must thank the many people that called in tips to the police. You were a vital part in this guy getting caught. A very special thank you to the Mineral City Warriors for the dog tag from a family that endured what we have. We also must thank the Warriors for the Children, who advocates for children, for being there in so many different aspects for our family. Knowing that we are not alone has been vital in working through this whole ordeal. Thank you all for the gifts, dinners, and financial support for our daughter and our family. There are simply too many people to thank.

We did start a Facebook page to thank everyone along the way, simply because of the amazing amount of assistance we have received. We will continue to post our thanks through a Facebook page “Massillon’s Little Hero”.

Thank you all again.

Dennis L. Menefee, 46, of Port Washington, faces charges of rape, kidnapping, assault and aggravated menacing in the case.  He is currently in the Stark County Jail on a $2-million bond.

The victim was walking home from the library in late September, when she was abducted near St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Massillon.  She was beaten and sexually assaulted before she was able to go home and tell her family, police said.

Continuing coverage of this story here