Connect with:Follow @LDDavisSACA
- All Posts
- Ariana & Tyler Payne
- Baby Grace – Riley A. Sawyers
- Caylee M. Anthony
- Child Abuse Awareness/Nixzmary Brown Rally – April 2009
- Child Death
- Child Neglect
- Government Agencies
- Missing Children
- Nixzmary Brown/Child Abuse Awareness Campaign, April 3, 2011, Bowling Green Park, NY
- Nixzmary Brown/Child Abuse Awareness Rally, April 25, 2010, Battery Park, NY
- Physical Abuse
- Reporting Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- STATE BY STATE CHILD ABUSE HOT LINE NUMBER
Who's Online5 visitors online now
- May 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
TagsCALIFORNIA CHANUKAH CHICAGO child abuse Child Abuse Awareness Child Abuse Awareness Rally CHILD ABUSE HEADLINES CHILDREN CHRISTMAS CNN DISABLED CHILDREN DONATION DOVESBLOOD DOVESBLOOD INK FLORIDA GIFTS HANDICAPPED CHILDREN HEADLINES HOLIDAY MILITARY NEW YORK Nixmary Brown Soldiers nixzmary's law Nixzmary Brown Soldiers NIXZMARY BROWN SOLDIERS NIXZMARY BROWN SOLDIERS AGAINST CHILD ABUSE nixzmarys soldiers PTSD Security Soldiers Against Child Abuse Stop Child Abuse TOYS Welcome Soldiers WOUNDED WARRIORS
Tallassee police said Stephen Norman Conrad Jr., 31, has confessed to the sexual abuse of at least eight children, and police said many of them were abused repeatedly.
Charges against Conrad include about 86 counts so far of sexual abuse of a child under 12, first- and second-degree rape and first-degree sodomy. Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rodgers said he expects there to be additional charges.
Police said they believe that all the victims are younger than 12 and that the abuse has happened over the past 11 years.
Police have notified parents of the victims and are working with the Elmore County Department of Human Resources for further investigation and treatment, and Child Protect in Montgomery is helping with interviews and evaluations as well, Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rodgers said.
Rodgers said investigators have reason to believe that there are more victims based on some of the comments Conrad made.
He said that it is “the most awful case this area has seen,” and the release calls it “one of the most horrific abuse crimes in the history of Elmore County.”
The department is asking that anyone with information, including any additional victims or witnesses, contact them at 283-6588 and ask for Assistant Chief Chris Miles, the lead investigator in the case. Any victims will be directed to agencies to help them begin healing, the release states.
Tallassee police also arrested Conrad’s wife, Brandy Jean Conrad, 26; Helen Hazel Gantt, 56; and Jeffrey Mark Ray, 41. All are Tallassee residents.
They are charged with failing to report the sexual abuse of a child, and investigators said they had knowledge of the abuse of at least one child and made no attempt to report the abuse.
Rodgers said the three observed at least one of the instances of abuse.
Police do not believe any other adults were aware of the abuse, and Rodgers said the abuse probably was able to go on as long as it did because the victims were so young.
“I think it was just the age of the children involved and their unwillingness to speak about it,” Rodgers said.
Some of the victims were children of women Conrad developed dating or friendship relationships with and apparently felt comfortable enough to allow him to be alone with the children.
If Conrad is convicted, he could face a sentence of life in prison without parole.
House Passes Bill to Eliminate Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Crimes
By: KARK 4 News
Updated: February 18, 2013
LITTLE ROCK, AR — On Monday, the House of Representatives unanimously voted to end the statute of limitations for child sex crimes.
As it stands now, a victim must come forward by age 28 or the abuser will never face criminal charges.
The bill stemmed from a Texarkana little league baseball coach who admitted to abusing children for over a decade.
The house voted 83-0 to remove that limitation, and the bill will now head to Governor Beebe for signature.
Schlitter sentenced to 50 years for death of 17-month-old daughter
Kamryn died of severe head injuries caused by shaking or slamming in 2010
Zyriah Schlitter (right) wipes his eyes during his sentencing for the involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death at the Linn County District Court on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. Defense attorney Thomas Gaul is at left. Schlitter will serve 50 years with parole for the 2010 death of his daughter Kamryn. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)
CEDAR RAPIDS – Zyriah Schlitter was sentenced to 50 years in prison Wednesday in the death of his 17-month-old daughter Kamryn, who died of severe head injuries caused by a shaking or slamming in 2010.
Zyriah Schlitter, 25, of Cedar Rapids, was found guilty by a jury of voluntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death following a two week trial in December. The child endangerment resulting in death is a mandatory 50-year sentence with possibility for parole, so the five year manslaughter sentence merges with the greater offense.
“I’m sorry everything had to happen this way,” Schlitter said before the judge sentenced him. “I miss my daughter.”
Schlitter also said he knew “it’s not over” and he was grateful to his family and friends for their support.
His mother and other family members told him they loved him and that “we know the truth,” as Schlitter was taken out of the courtroom after sentencing.
Nicole King, Kamryn’s mother, who now lives in Arkansas, didn’t attend the sentencing, but some of her family members were at the hearing.
6th Judicial District Marsha Beckelman said she wasn’t making a recommendation of how long Schlitter should have to serve before being eligible for parole, which is her discretion with the child endangerment sentence. She will leave that up to the parole board.
First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks asked the judge to recommend 30 years based on the repeated abuse of Kamryn, the extent of her injuries, and his “callousness” towards Kamryn’s injuries and her death.
Tom Gaul, Schlitter’s attorney, said Schlitter has no previous criminal history and asked the court to leave it up to the parole board.
Schlitter also was ordered to pay $150,000 in victim restitution to King for Kamryn’s estate.
Gaul, before sentencing, argued for a new trial and arrest of judgment but the judge denied both motions.
Maybanks said after sentencing that this day belongs to Kamryn and the verdict “brings justice to her story and her life.”
According to trial testimony, Schlitter maintained his innocence, saying he didn’t inflict Kamryn’s fatal injuries, and he never admitted to knowing that ex-girlfriend Amy Parmer, 29, of Hiawatha, hurt his daughter. Parmer is also charged in this case with first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death. Her trial is set Aug. 19.
Kamryn Schlitter, 18 months, died March 28, 2010. (Photo courtesy of Jeri King)
In the first week of testimony, King testified that she initially thought Parmer was to blame for the abuse Kamryn suffered, but after seeing scratch-like marks on her daughter in the hospital she thought Schlitter may have been responsible for those.
The state claimed Schlitter and Parmer, either individually or jointly, inflicted the fatal injuries to Kamryn, knowingly permitted the other co-defendant to abuse her and/or failed to protect the child from the other co-defendant.
Medical experts testified Kamryn would have never recovered from the blunt force head injuries, which likely occurred within hours or days of the 911 call made by Parmer, who was taking care of Kamryn that night.
New Jersey ‘Teacher Of The Year’ Arrested For Sexual Assault; Erica DePalo ‘Eccentric,’ Student Says
Posted: 09/05/2012 12:47 pm Updated: 09/05/2012 3:37 pm
Police in New Jersey arrested Erica DePalo last week for an alleged sexual relationship with her 15-year-old student.
A former Teacher of the Year accused of sexual abuse was a loving role model and prone to inappropriate, sometimes “flirtatious” behavior, according to her former students.
Police in New Jersey arrested West Orange High School’s Erica DePalo, 33, last week on charges surrounding an alleged relationship with a 15-year-old boy in her English class, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday.
The incident has prompted mixed reactions from her past pupils — some who recall sharing rumors of DePalo’s supposed promiscuity.
“People joked about it forever,” Matt Zimmer, now a 20-year-old student at Northeastern University, told The Huffington Post. “But now that wasn’t actually a joke, that wasn’t a stupid 10th-grader joking around.”
Zimmer took DePalo’s sophomore English class. While several students seem unsurprised by the allegations, others remember the county’s 2011 Teacher of the Year as caring and compassionate.
Andrea Diano, 20, was a member of the junior varsity tennis team coached by DePalo when her father died. She still keeps an encouraging letter from DePalo that helped her through that hard time. “Whenever I read it, I cry,” she said.
Diano, now at Fordham University, said DePalo is “definitely an eccentric person,” but also “really nice.”
“I was shocked and surprised at first, I didn’t know what to do,” Diano said. “I started to feel really bad because I had such fond memories of her.”
Still, rumors that DePalo would romantically court students after they graduated and other distressing anecdotes are not uncommon.
Several individuals who took DePalo’s class recalled a particularly troubling extra credit question: The teacher called each student up individually and said, “What would you say if I asked you to hang out with the chief?” — a reference to smoking marijuana.
Sean Davis, who also competed on the tennis team, remembers DePalo as “excitable” and “self involved.” “She was flirtatious with students,” said Davis, 22, a graduate of Rutgers University. “If you said one thing wrong about her — even if it was a joke — she would be very defensive.”
Prosecutors said that DePalo — suspended indefinitely from the school district — began a relationship with the victim June 15 and continued it through Aug. 28.
DePalo is charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Bail was set at $100,000.
NOTE: Steven Hoffer’s brother was a student at West Orange High School.
Zahra Baker’s skull identified
Credit: James Nix / AP
Zahra Clare Baker, 10, gets a hearing aid at an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. in May.
by WCNC.com Staff
Posted on February 21, 2013 at 10:56 AM
HICKORY, N.C. — A skull found in Caldwell County last April has been identified as that of Zahra Baker.
The skull was found in the woods on Winkler Way off N.C. 268 on April 17 by a hunter.
Zahra, a two-time cancer survivor, was 10 years old when she was killed and dismembered in September 2010. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Zahra’s death in September 2011, but her skull had never been found before now.
The NC SBI Crime Lab, the state medical examiner and Marshall University in West Virginia worked to compare a DNA profile used in the case against Elisa Baker to match the skull with Zahra Baker.
Officials say cellphone records place Elisa Baker at the skull site.
“This information gives the members of ‘Team Zahra’ mixed emotions,” said Chief of Police Tom Adkins. “It brings up the tragedy of Zahra’s death and the life she lived before she was killed but it also gives us and the community a sense of finally bringing her home.”
The examination, however, was not able to provide more information on how Zahra was killed.
“For me, it was hard to wrap my head around how anybody could do that,” said neighbor Will Baker, who walks daily at the park bearing Zahra’s name in Hickory.
Family members have been notified and the remains will be returned to the appropriate people with the assistance of the Australian Consulate.
“We know she’s at peace where she’s at, but to know all of her remains are together, I think it’s important,” said neighbor Amanda Maddox. Maddox was pregnant when Elisa Baker murdered Zahra.
“You lose faith in humanity,” she said.
Elisa Baker is scheduled to be sentenced March 4 in a federal drug conspiracy case in Statesville.
“Our county and all the folks who worked on this case are reminded of the days spent trying to find Zahra. She will be in our memories for the rest of our lives,” said Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones.
Siblings discover dad’s Scout abuse at N.J. camp, remember own
On opposite sides of the world, the brother and sister sat transfixed before their computers, reading a stranger’s account of long-ago secrets and deeply buried sins.
The memo was just four pages long, about an incident in 1963 at a Boy Scout camp in Stanhope, N.J. A Scout executive had gotten drunk during an overnight outing, then was discovered gambling with a group of boys. But there was more.
The brother and sister read on — about how this man “was observed molesting an Explorer Scout sitting at his side.” About how he was admitted, voluntarily, to a mental hospital. They read about an investigation that determined he had tried to molest another Scout. It found that this man’s “problem,” as the document called it, had apparently existed for decades.
They read, too, about a call from this local Boy Scouts council for “suppression of spread of incident beyond group with knowledge of it.” ”We know enough to advise that Brandon P. Gray should never again be registered in any capacity with the Boy Scouts of America,” the memo stated.
In Alabama, her face lit by the glow of her computer monitor, Carol Gray sat back. While shocking in its way, none of what she read had really surprised her. The drinking, the abuse. They were sins she knew well, for they were the sins of her father. And she had been a victim.
Eight thousand miles away, in a village in Africa, Jim Gray shared his sister’s sense of numbness. The memo reaffirmed, in stark black and white, what he had also experienced firsthand. “I’m not crazy,” he thought, feeling some semblance of vindication.
Adults now, these siblings say they suffered years of abuse at the hands of their father. For Carol, the nightmare began long before the Boy Scouts learned of Gray’s proclivities and fired him. But for Jim, the end of his father’s scouting career was the beginning of his own torment.
The story of Brandon Gray is the story of the inaction of the Boy Scouts of America.
For his children, it is the story of what happens when secrecy reigns and what might have been if not for the Boy Scouts’ silence.
Broadwater man sought in rape of 12-year-old
February 15, 2013 3:56 pm • By SANJAY TALWANI Independent Record
Authorities are on the lookout for a man prosecutors believe has left Broadwater County to avoid warrants related to the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl.
Aaron Bruce Smith, 39, faces a charge of sexual intercourse without consent.
According to an affidavit filed in District Court in Townsend by the Broadwater County attorney, the girl told authorities Smith entered her bedroom. Analysis showed evidence of DNA of a male at the scene, according to the affidavit.
Authorities obtained numerous warrants to obtain Smith’s DNA, but each expired before they could observed. Authorities believe Smith left his employment in Broadwater County to avoid the warrants.
He formerly lived in Radersburg but has not been seen there in months and is thought to be staying in the Helena or East Helena areas, according to Broadwater County Attorney Karla Bosse.
An arrest warrant signed Jan. 29 carried a bond of $100,000.
Anyone with information on Smith should contact Capt. Nick Korthals or Undersheriff Wynn Meehan at the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office at 266-3441.
19-year-old charged in girl’s kidnapping from West Phila. school
WEST PHILADELPHIA – February 15, 2013 (WPVI) — Police have charged a 19-year-old woman in connection with the abduction and rape of a 5-year-old girl from a West Philadelphia school in January.
Christina Regusters, of the 6200 block of Walton Avenue, is charged with 14 crimes in all including rape, kidnapping and assault. In a court hearing on Friday, she was ordered to be held on $4 million bail.
Investigators believe Regusters seemed obsessed with the 5-year-old girl that she allegedly abducted and assaulted.
The 19-year-old met the little girl and her younger brother at the Heaven’s Little Angels daycare center where she worked.
Last year on Dec. 6th, she posted an unusual picture on her Facebook page. The photo had the caption ‘My hand in the middle and the other two belongs to two special babies that I call my son and daughter..I feel like the happiest mother in the world when I see those smiles every day I go to work.’
In the photo both of the children’s hands have crooked pinkies.
In an exclusive interview, Attorney Tom Kline, who represents the victim and her family, says the children’s real mother made a chilling revelation. She says that both of her children have crooked pinkies and the hands in the photo appear to be theirs.
“It is frightening that here we had these children’s hand prints on the Facebook of this young woman who is now in custody. It is highly unusual and highly extraordinary that an individual who is taking care of children would have a Facebook post of this nature,” said Kline.
Sources are also providing disturbing new details about the kidnapping and sexual assault.
Allegedly after Regusters donned Muslim attire and kidnapped the girl from Bryant Elementary School, she placed her in a duffel bag before taking her into the Walton Street home.
Once inside authorities say the child was stripped naked, blindfolded and placed under a bed.
Regusters allegedly told her, “The man is going to come and you better be quiet because he doesn’t like it when you’re not quiet.”
Further sources say the woman also told the 5-year-old that an exotic pet, a macau, would peck her eyes out if she didn’t do as she was told.
After being brutally sexually assaulted, authorities say an unknown teen girl took the child and abandoned her in an Upper Darby playground wearing only a t-shirt.
Before leaving her, the teenager reportedly told the child, “You have to go rescue thte other kids.”
Meanwhile Regusters’ lawyer says his client is innocent but may have mental problems.
“As I understand there may be, I’m still investigating that,” said Fred Harrison, attorney.
Sources say Regusters’ DNA was a match to what was found on the victim’s shirt however they are doing extensive DNA testing of other individuals to rule out whether or not the suspect acted alone.
On Thursday, police took three others, including the suspect’s aunt and live-in boyfriend, into custody for questioning.
All three were released overnight but police say this investigation is far from closed.
“The investigation continues. The task force will stay together until we’re confident that we have the entire thing wrapped up,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
(Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
Paedophiles and those found guilty of incest in Poland will soon be getting obligatory medical treatment, including chemical castration, after a new law was passed in parliament with only one vote against and two abstentions.
The Liberal government of Donald Tusk says anyone raping someone less than 15, or a close member of family could receive psychological and pharmacological therapies to stem their sexual urges after release from prison. “We are in the forefront in Europe among those who are not going to tolerate paedophile behaviour and these kinds of crime against our children” says one MP. The bill, the first of its kind in Europe, still needs approval in parliament’s upper house, and from the president. Calls for a crackdown grew after a case this summer of a minor who was held against her will for six years shocked the nation.More about: Pedophilia, Poland
Copyright © 2013 euronews
Guilty plea in baby’s death by drain cleaner
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
PHILADELPHIA – January 9, 2013 (WPVI) — A Philadelphia man has entered a guilty plea in the death of a baby who was severely burned with drain cleaner.
Aaron Pace, 36, of North Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in court on Wednesday morning and was sentenced to 17 1/2 to 35 years in prison.
The incident happened on February 2, 2010.
Police say Pace, a neighbor, was babysitting the 20-month-old baby boy, Suliaman Kirkland, who was crying while in the bathtub.
“He was so full of life, even at 20 months. He fought hard until he couldn’t fight no more. I’m so proud of my son,” said his mother, Quintesha Kirkland, after court on Wednesday.
When the child wouldn’t stop crying, investigators said Pace rubbed the baby’s skin with a rag soaked in Drano, causing severe burns.
Prosecutors said Pace waited to take the baby to the hospital and was never forthcoming about what happened.
The baby died in the hospital five days later.
“He rubbed Drano all over this little boy who was 20 months old when he was fussing in the bathtub because he got mad at him. The little boy suffered horrible injuries all over his face, his neck, his body and he stayed alive for five days with these horrible burns,” Assistant District Attorney Christine Wechsler said.
Prosecutors said Pace confessed after he was arrested by homicide detectives.
Pace said he understood what he was doing by pleading guilty, though defense attorney Fred Goodman said his client’s IQ was between 57 and 68.
Members of Pace’s family were ejected from the courtroom for swearing and threatening the Kirkland family.
For their part, members of the Kirkland family said they were not happy with the outcome, saying the sentence was too lenient.
“My son’s in Mt. Moriah Cemetery,” said Kirkland. “That’s not enough.”
The prosecutor, however, said she was happy with the outcome, saying this spares the family a lengthy trial.
(Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
Missing toddler found dead, stuffed in box
Posted: 01.10.2013 at 6:31 PM
Body of missing 2-year-old Leah Marie Aguirre was found on Thursday.
The body of missing 2-year-old Leah Marie Aguirre was found on Thursday in the basement of a home in Crosbyton.FBI and Crosbyton Police confirmed with KCBD Lubbock that the body was found in a box wrapped in plastic.
Leah’s caregiver, Matilda Almaraz, is the owner of the home where the toddler’s body was found.
Almaraz was arrested and is being charged with capital murder in connection with the death of Leah.
Tina Aguirre, the child’s mother, was being investigated by CPS prior to her daughter’s disappearance.
The Crosby County Sheriff’s Office was also investigating reports that Tina was trying to sell her daughter Leah for $2000 to someone in Mexico. Tina denied these allegations.
Police said there may be more suspects involved in the case.
RILEY CHOATE SENTENCED TO 80 YEARS FOR INHUMANE CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT AND MURDER OF HIS 13 YEAR YOUNG SON
Father sentenced 80 years in death of son who was kept in cage
By Kari Huus, Staff Writer, NBC News
A judge in Indiana sentenced former Gary resident Riley Choate to 80 years in prison on Friday for neglect in the death of his son, a 13-year-old who had been regularly beaten, confined to a dog cage for two years, and fed a starvation diet.
The boy, Christian Choate, weighed less than 50 pounds when he died on April 4, 2009, of blunt force trauma to the head, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“The pain and the suffering, the degradation this baby went through for two years of his life is incomprehensible,” Lake County Superior Court Judge Diane Boswell said, according to the report.
A sister of the victim — one of as many as 10 children who lived with Choate and his wife in a trailer in Gary, Ind. — said that on the day of his death Christian had refused to eat, enraging his father, who punched the boy several times with “full force” before throwing him back in the cage, said the Tribune, citing court records.
Choate and his wife, Kimberly Kubina, the boy’s stepmother, were accused of burying the boy on their property and moving the family to Kentucky shortly thereafter, telling others that Christian had run away.
Deputy Prosecutor Michael Woods described Choate’s abuse of Christian as persistent, cruel and depraved, according to a report in the Northwest Indiana Times.
“Christian Choate sat in that cage, losing his mind, losing his strength and probably his humanity,” Woods said, while his father sat at the desk next to the cage playing games on his computer, according to the report.
“There were many other children in this house. They all saw Christian suffer. Those images haunt their sleep and drive them back into counseling,” the prosecutor said.
The boy’s body, buried under concrete with a Bible and a cross in the Gary, Ind. mobile home park, was found in May 2011.
“We feel very strongly that the system failed this child, this young man, Christian Choate,” Lake County Indiana Sheriff John Buncich said at a press conference Friday. “The system failed him and a lot of information slipped through the crack and we feel his life could have been saved if things had been dealt with in a different manner.”
In December, Choate pleaded guilty to a Class A felony for neglect of a dependent causing death, and felonies for moving the boy’s body and depriving his daughter, Christina, of an education. He also admitted to being a habitual offender for previous felony theft convictions, the Times said. In doing so, he avoided a jury trial on charges of murder, battery, criminal confinement and obstruction of justice. In the plea deal, he was sentenced to 80 years instead of a possible 120 if convicted of the original charges.
Before the sentencing on Friday, Choate apologized for his actions, the Chicago Tribune reported: “All my actions will haunt me forever. I loved my son.”
Kubina, who was also charged with child abuse, divorced Choate in 2011 and cooperated in his prosecution. As a result, she is due to be released from jail in February, the Tribune said.
Jimmy Savile Police Report: He Abused Hundreds Of People Over Six Decades; Youngest Victim Was 8
Reuters | Posted: 01/11/2013 5:20 am EST | Updated: 01/11/2013 1:47 pm EST
* Savile given knighthood by Queen Elizabeth and Pope
* Abuse started in 1955 and continued until 2009
* Police looking into “informal network” of abusers (Recasts, adds details, quotes throughout)
By Michael Holden
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The late British TV presenter Jimmy Savile, honoured by both the queen and the pope, sexually assaulted hundreds of people, mainly children, at BBC premises and hospitals over six decades of unparalleled abuse, a police-led report said on Friday.
Savile, one of Britain’s biggest TV stars in the 1970s and 1980s, abused youngsters at 13 hospitals where he did voluntary work as a porter and fundraiser, and even at a hospice treating terminally ill patients.
The youngest victim was an 8-year-old boy, and the last of the 214 offences of which he is suspected took place just two years before his death in 2011 at the age of 84.
“He groomed a nation,” said Commander Peter Spindler, who led the police investigation and said the scale of his crimes were without precedence.
A one-time professional wrestler, Savile became famous as a pioneering DJ in the 1960s before becoming a regular fixture on TV hosting prime-time pop and children’s shows until the 1990s.
He also ran about 200 marathons for charity, raising tens of millions of pounds (dollars) for hospitals, leading some to give him keys to rooms where victims now allege they were abused.
While many colleagues and viewers thought the cigar-chomping Savile was weird, with his long blonde hair, penchant for garish outfits and flashy jewellery, he was considered a “national treasure”, honoured not just by the queen but also by the late Pope John Paul II who made him a papal knight in 1990.
However, Friday’s report said he took advantage of his fame to commit predatory offences across Britain, including 34 rapes or serious sexual assaults. Of his alledged victims, 73 percent were under 18 and 82 percent were female. The oldest was 47.
In all, 450 people have given information about him and detectives said more victims were likely to come forward. However, the report, issued jointly by London police and the NSPCC children’s charity, said some would never feel able to break their silence.
“He hid in plain sight, behind a veil of eccentricity double-bluffing those who challenged him, from vulnerable children right up to and including a prime minister of the time,” said Peter Watt from the NSPCC.
He said Savile had “cunningly” built his life’s work around getting access to children to abuse.
STARTED IN THE 1950S
His offending began in 1955 in the northern English city of Manchester and the last attack was in 2009. He abused 33 people at the BBC from 1965, including a girl in 2006 at the last recording of popular weekly show “Top of the Pops”, one of the programmes which had made him famous.
He targeted people at hospitals over 30 years from 1965, including at the renowned Great Ormond Street children’s hospital in London. Other attacks took place at schools where children had written to him as part of his “Jim’ll Fix It” show.
Although a few allegations had been made when he was alive, these were never pursued and both police and prosecutors said lessons had to be learned to ensure there could be no repeat.
Despite rumours and suspicions, his alleged sex crimes only came to light when broadcaster ITV aired allegations against him in October.
That prompted allegations the BBC had covered up claims of sex abuse after it was revealed it had dropped its own expose shortly after Savile’s death but had run tribute shows.
Those revelations plunged the BBC into weeks of turmoil, rattling staff and audiences, and led to resignation of the publicly funded broadcaster’s director general just 54 days into his job.
A lengthy report last month cleared of the BBC of any cover-up but said it had missed numerous warnings.
While there was no evidence Savile was part of a paedophile ring, detectives are looking at whether he was part of “an informal network” of abusers.
They have questioned 10 men, including Jim Davidson, a comedian who hosted prime-time shows on the BBC in the 1990s, former BBC radio DJ Dave Lee Travis, and Max Clifford, Britain’s most high-profile celebrity publicist. They deny any wrongdoing.
A household name in Britain for much of his life, Savile’s crimes will now ensure notoriety in death.
“I want us to forget Jimmy Savile – he is not worthy of memory,” said Peter Saunders of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood. (Editing by Louise Ireland and Stephen Addison)
A mom and her boyfriend have been charged with murder in the death of her 5-year-old son in North Philadelphia.
It was just after 1:00 a.m. when police found the lifeless body of the child, Dashawn Harris, inside his mother’s home in the West Poplar Apartments in the 600 block of North 13th Street.
Investigators say Dashawn had obvious signs of abuse, including bruises on his body along with cigarette burns on his chest.
He was rushed to Hahnemann University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Lashay Patterson, 23, and her boyfriend, Christian Patrick, 25, have been arrested and formally charged with murder. They were arrested on Saturday after being questioned for several hours.
Sources say Patrick became angry with the boy while trying to teach him to read and write, beating him with a belt and burning him with a hairdryer.
Dashawn’s family on his father’s side stood in disbelief for hours after they learned of his death.
“I can’t believe she did that,” said Grace Fitch, little Dashawn’s paternal grandmother. “Shay was just the sweetest person you could meet and when she got with this guy she just started getting distant.”
Dashawn’s paternal aunt, Tracy Merriweather, lives right next door and said she saw incidents of domestic violence between the mother and boyfriend.
Family members believe Dashawn’s 3-year-old brother, who also lived in the apartment, was being abused as well.
He’s now with his distraught father who said he was not aware of what was happening in the home.
State legislator Curtis Thomas, who represents the district, was so appalled he came to the apartment complex on Saturday night looking for answers.
“We have too many situations where babies are at risk and at risk for things that we can control,” Rep. Thomas said.
Action News contacted the Philadelphia Department of Human Services on Saturday evening, but a spokeswoman couldn’t say if the agency had any cases involving the family.
The dead included 23 babies, four toddlers, one 5-year-old and three teenagers.
They died after suffering broken bones, drug exposure, asphyxia and drowning. One 2-year-old boy died in a Lincoln County home fire. A Lauderdale County newborn was drowned in a toilet. Some deaths remain unexplained.
The Department of Children’s Services continues to withhold details about the children’s lives and deaths and what steps the state’s $650 million child protection agency took — or did not take — to protect them.
DCS’ unwillingness to open the agency’s work to public scrutiny stands in contrast to a growing movement across the nation to increase accountability and transparency in child welfare agencies. It’s a movement that child welfare experts have pushed in recent years to prevent future tragedies.
“The goal should be to get sufficient information to be able to evaluate whether appropriate actions were taken to protect children,” said Noy Davis, a legal consultant for Washington, D.C.-based First Star, which advocates for abused and neglected children.
“The public needs to know what prior involvement the agency had with the family and was it handled properly and can anything be fixed so this doesn’t happen again.”
The state has denied multiple requests from The Tennessean to review the files involving child fatalities. The department said it had to weigh competing interests.
“The disclosure process for fatalities and near fatalities requires sensitivity and balance,” DCS General Counsel Douglas Dimond wrote in response to the newspaper’s request. “A child and family’s right to privacy must be balanced against the public’s right to know.”
The Tennessean and its counsel sent a letter to DCS last week calling its disclosures “woefully inadequate” and asking the agency to make records public by Dec. 18.
Dimond, the DCS attorney, cited federal policy and said agencies that receive federal funding to prevent child abuse are not authorized to release records involving children — even if they’re dead.
But a review of other states shows multiple examples of officials routinely granting public access to case files and detailed timelines of case manager calls, visits and investigations relating to child deaths.
In Arkansas, officials cited the same federal policy as the reason it would increase public access to information about child deaths. That state began putting detailed information about child deaths online in a searchable public database.
In Colorado, the public can access routine fatality reviews that discuss whether department policies or state laws were violated by caseworkers.
In Oklahoma, child welfare officials release detailed information about their investigations that include a chronology of each previous report made to the agency about the child and steps the agency took to respond to those reports.
In Kentucky, where child welfare officials were reluctant to make public such information despite four court orders, a state attorney general’s opinion in October noted that “full disclosure is often necessary to prevent such tragedies from occurring,” criticizing the agency for “obfuscation.”
In some states, the availability of records led to reforms in the state’s child welfare system.
To date, DCS has provided limited details. Instead of providing the actual case files, the state has provided brief summaries to the newspaper.
The deaths occurred in 25 counties across the state.
Twenty of the children had been reported to the agency within the past three years.
In at least 13 cases, DCS had been alerted to concerns about children within the last six months of their lives.
In some instances, however, the information provided to the newspaper by DCS changed from month to month.
In September, a DCS summary of deaths listed an Anderson County infant who died Feb. 23 of “positional asphyxia.”
By October, the summary had changed. DCS listed an Anderson County infant who died Feb. 10. There was no mention of the infant who died on Feb. 23.
On Friday, DCS spokesman Brandon Gee said the two notations were actually for one child, a baby he said died from “unsafe sleeping” in Anderson County on Feb. 10.
The department has conceded in the past that it has made a string of errors in releasing data about child deaths.
When DCS first released information on Sept. 18, it reported that 40 children had died in the first six months of 2012. Two days later, the agency revised that number downward to 31.
At the time, agency attorney Dimond admitted that DCS had been violating a disclosure law requiring the agency to inform lawmakers of each fatality and near fatality.
In November, the Tennessean requested a smaller sample of child deaths or near deaths.
DCS again declined to make public any portion of the children’s files or any record of the agency’s interaction with the child. DCS said any of its prior involvement with the children in the sample was “not pertinent.”
Tennessean Executive Editor Maria De Varenne called the response “woefully inadequate.”
“The State has provided no investigative reports, fatality reviews, or task force reports, among other materials which are covered by The Tennessean’s requests,” noted a letter to DCS from the newspaper and Tennessean attorney Robb Harvey last week.
The newspaper’s letter to DCS asked, “Where is the oversight for DCS’ actions, and who is responsible for providing that oversight?”
DCS chief Kate O’Day and Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean editorial board in October that there are multiple layers of independent review of the state agency.
“There’s sometimes a sense where you think they have incredibly important work and they’re out there operating on their own,” Haslam said. “Nothing could be further from the truth if you look at all of the people who are overseeing us in one way or another.”
DCS spokeswoman Molly Sudderth said last week that such oversight includes a Child Protective Investigative Team that operates in each county and investigates allegations of child sex abuse and severe child abuse. The team includes law enforcement, DCS and child welfare officials who evaluate whether a case can be prosecuted.
But Brian Holmgren, a Davidson County assistant district attorney who is on Nashville’s Child Protective Investigative Team, said the group does not function as an independent assessor of the work of DCS.
He said its focus is on determining whether a child was a victim of abuse or neglect and whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the alleged perpetrator.
DCS Commissioner Kate O’Day told The Tennessean editorial board in October that there are multiple layers of independent review of the state agency. / Steven S. Harman / File / The Tennessean
In addition, Holmgren said, the team relies solely on the information DCS presents to it and does not have access to a child’s complete DCS file.
Holmgren said the team’s findings are not public.
Sudderth also said oversight of the agency’s work was provided by Child Fatality Review Teams overseen by the state Department of Health.
The teams of local law enforcement, health and child welfare officials operate in each of Tennessee’s 31 judicial districts to review each child fatality in their region.
But those reviews do not examine complete DCS files or examine reports made to DCS before a child’s death.
That is not their role, said Dr. Michael Warren, director for Family Health and Wellness at the Tennessee Department of Health.
Sudderth cited a last layer of oversight — an internal review by the DCS Office of Child Safety. That review is not made public either.
DCS has not yet responded to The Tennessean’s Nov. 28 letter.
A spokesman for Haslam said: “The policy has been reviewed, and the governor and the Attorney General’s Office are comfortable with DCS’s position.”
Yoselyn Ortega, who was handcuffed to her hospital bed and wearing a blue hair net, entered the plea through her attorney. She appeared alert but didn’t speak during the 10-minute hearing.
A judge ordered Ortega held without bail while she undergoes psychiatric exam. A court date was set for Jan. 16.
Police say that on the evening of Oct. 25, while the children’s mother was out with a third child, Ortega repeatedly stabbed 6-year-old Lucia Krim and her 2-year-old brother, Leo.
When their mother, Marina Krim, returned with her 3-year-old daughter, she found their bodies in the bathtub, with Ortega lying on the bathroom floor with stab wounds to her neck. A kitchen knife was nearby.
The children’s father, CNBC digital media executive Kevin Krim, had been away on a business trip when the killings occurred.
The couple’s apartment building sits in one of the city’s most idyllic neighborhoods, a block from Central Park, near the Museum of Natural History and blocks from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The neighborhood is home to many affluent families, and seeing children accompanied by nannies is an everyday part of life there.
Some of Ortega’s friends and relatives said she appeared to be struggling emotionally and financially recently, but they still couldn’t believe she could have committed such a heinous act.
Michael Weeks died Sunday of blunt force injury to his body, the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
After his death was ruled a homicide Tuesday, police arrested Mr. Devin Sawyer, 23, for murder and child cruelty, DeKalb County police spokeswoman Ms. Mekka Parish said.
Still it’s unclear if any weapon was used to hurt Michael.
Mr. Sawyer was alone with the boy when police were called around 1 p.m. to the Ivy Park Apartments at 2035 Memorial Drive.
He said when he went to check on Michael who was playing in the living room, he found him laying down, according to a police report.
He told police he removed the child’s book bag and carried him to the bedroom where he and the child lay until Mr. Sawyer fell asleep.
Later when he woke to get something from the kitchen and moved from the bed, the child didn’t move, he said.
He told the officer that usually when he gets up and the child is asleep, the boy moves around and resumes after adjusting himself.
But this time Michael very still. He said he shook the boy to wake him. When the child didn’t respond he ran to neighbor’s apartment above.
The neighbor touched the child, told him the boy was cold and Mr. Sawyer called EMS, according to the report.
But the boy’s mother, who was called to the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, doubted Mr. Sawyer’s claims.
Ms. Danielle Calhoun told police she looked at her son at the hospital and there were bruises to Michael’s face.
She and the child took pictures earlier that day and there were no visible injuries on Michael.
She also told police, the child had been hurt a week before after Mr. Sawyer accidentally closed his head in the door.
We are pleased to share with you the information of a toy drive for our dear friends WOUNDED WARRIORS OF SOUTH FLORIDA. Their annual toy drive benefits disabled & handicapped children, children of wounded warriors and children of deployed soldiers. WWOFSF is a Florida based 501c3 non profit organization, all proceeds will directly benefit children. They accept new and unopened toys, checks and gift cards in any amount. Every donation makes a difference and is greatly appreciated!! Last year they distributed toys to over 4,000 children…
Let’s help them exceed that this year !!
WOUNDED WARRIORS OF SOUTH FLORIDA
PO BOX 32715, WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
Police Chief Jon Simpson said Monday that 28-year-old Zachary Holly is being held in the Benton County Jail for the November 20 death of Jersey Bridgeman, his next-door neighbor. Her body was discovered in an abandoned house two doors from her home in Bentonville. Holly was charged with capital murder, kidnapping and residential burglary.
Simpson said Holly will have a bail and probable cause hearing Wednesday, during which a probable cause affidavit will be released. At that point, “many questions related to this investigation and arrest will be answered,” Simpson said.
Police Captain Justin Thompson said the girl died sometime between midnight and 6:53 a.m. on November 20. Investigators later searched the home where she lived and the house where her body was found, as well as the homes in between.
No further details were released into how Jersey died or what led police to Holly, but Simpson said work by the State Crime Lab helped speed the arrest.
About a year before her death, Jersey’s father and stepmother were charged with abuse after investigators discovered they had chained her to a dresser to stop her wandering around the house at night. Her father, David Bridgeman, told investigators he restrained his daughter to prevent her from getting into medication and other things around the house.
David and Jana Bridgeman, Jersey’s stepmother, pleaded guilty in June to false imprisonment, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor. Jana Bridgeman is serving a 12-year prison sentence, plus three years for a probation revocation. David Bridgeman is serving an 18-year prison sentence.
A funeral for Jersey is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday at Rogers Funeral Home in Rogers.