By Chelsea Robinson
OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — An Omaha man accused of sexually abusing boys for years, waived his right to a preliminary hearing during a brief court appearance Friday. A judge set his bond at $10 million.
Steven Danon, 65, has been charged with 12 counts of sexual assault of a child. His case will move straight to trial.
The investigation began when Omaha police were contacted by an alleged victim in September 2019. The individual stated that he had been assaulted by Danon from the age of 11. He stated that the abuse continued through adulthood and that Danon gave him money and drugs. He said that he was currently in a treatment facility for drug addiction, which he believed was the result of years of sexual abuse. Omaha police learned that this individual later died from a drug overdose.
Being given gifts and money by an abuser is something Project Harmony said is unfortunately too common.
“Offering them gifts, and it slowly moves into a more intense or more aggressive type of abuse,” said Project Harmony Executive Director Gene Klein.
Omaha police were referred to another alleged victim. The second victim stated that he too had been abused by Danon, beginning when he was 11. He stated that the abuse began when he awoke one night to Danon unzipping his pants and assaulting him. The second victim stated that the abuse continued for years and that Danon would pay him with cash, Xanax and marijuana. He said that Danon had given him $2,000 as recently as July 2020 in exchange for not disclosing the abuse.
Klein said some victims often don’t report abuse at all.
“Unfortunately there is a tremendous amount of shame connected to this, I could have stopped this, I could have ran away, why did I accept this gift what have you, so that often times prohibits them from coming forward and is someone going to believe me,” Klein said.
In May 2021, a third alleged victim contacted Omaha police. He stated that he was calling because it had been a year since the first victim died, and he felt it was the right thing to do. The third victim told police he had also been abused by Danon, but didn’t tell anyone because he felt embarrassed and emasculated. He told police that Danon “was a dangerous predator and would continue to groom and manipulate victims.”
“We think it is this stranger coming out of the bushes and grabbing children and that’s how this happens. Many times, most of the time it’s a trusted relationship and it’s a gradual grooming process,” Klein said.
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