Cops link mom to son’s alleged sexual assaults

Debra Pankey

A boy convicted earlier this year in a child sex-assault case is accused of sexually assaulting yet another child, despite a court order barring unsupervised contact with kids under 18, according to an arrest affidavit.

The boy’s mother allowed her son in contact with a young girl, despite the order, the affidavit alleges.

Alex Pankey, 12, of Grand Junction, was arrested Tuesday and is being held at Grand Mesa Youth Detention Facility for suspicion of sexual assault on a child, sexual assault on a child as a pattern of abuse and misdemeanor violation of a protection order, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Pankey’s mother, Debra Pankey, 52, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She posted a $7,500 bond within hours of her arrest.

Authorities allege she knew her son was banned from being around children under 18 without adults, stemming from Alex Pankey’s guilty plea in January to sex-assault charges involving another child, according to the affidavit.

She was served with a protection order in the case in September 2009, which expired Sept. 24. The affidavit alleges Debra Pankey drove her son to the home of the boy’s latest victim, a young girl, and provided no warning to the girl’s parents.

“Debra asked him (father) not to report it and said it would cause problems, possibly DHS would take Alex from her custody and that nothing like this has ever happened before,” the affidavit said.

Alex Pankey allegedly sexually assaulted the girl twice, once in her backyard and again in her bedroom, between July 28 and August 29, the affidavit said.

The boy had been the focus of sex-assault investigations in four cases between 2009 and this year, the affidavit said. He was charged, had pleaded guilty and was awaiting sentencing in one of the cases, the affidavit said.

He appeared in court on that case as recently as July 29, the day after authorities allege the new incidents began.

According to the affidavit, Alex Pankey’s friend, a young boy, is the brother of the alleged victim from the most recent incidents.

Debra Pankey would drop her son off to play with the boy, at the boy’s home, where the assaults happened.

During the first alleged assault, Alex Pankey tied his friend’s arm to a chair with a piece of string, while telling the boy to “stay there,” the affidavit said.

The boy alleged Alex Pankey then escorted his sister into a bedroom and shut the door, when authorities believe she was assaulted for the first time.


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