GENEVA, Ill. (AP) — Northern Illinois officials are reporting what they call an “alarming” trend, the increase of both the number of children under six who are victims of sexual abuse and the number of sexual offenders who are juveniles.

Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said Tuesday the cases involving juvenile perpetrators go beyond natural curiosity and playing “doctor” to sex acts.

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Authorities say in 2015, 111 children younger than 6 were victims of sex abuse or assault in Kane County. It was 125 in 2016 and 185 last year. Offenders in such cases who are younger than 18 also are on the rise, from 45 juvenile offenders in 2015 to 76 last year.

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Kane County Child Advocacy Center executive director Deb Bree says the agency’s partners are seeing the same “alarming” trend.

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