Date: July 8, 2013
Date: July 8, 2013
A brutal Brooklyn baby-sitter savagely beat a helpless 3-year-old girl to death Saturday after she accidentally went to the bathroom in her pants, police sources said.
Cops found the dying girl after a 911 caller reported bloodcurdling screams echoing from the apartment in a city homeless shelter at 38 Cooper St. shortly before 4 p.m., cops said.
Defenseless little Jeida Torres, 3, died at Wyckoff Hospital after her mother’s enraged boyfriend “punched and choked” the tiny child — who suffered injuries to her head and body, sources said.
“She either pooped her pants or peed on herself, and he got agitated,” a source said.
Suspect Kelsey Smith, who fled the scene and left the mortally injured child behind with her battered big brother, has a rap sheet with with 14 prior arrests dating to 2008, cop sources said.
Jeida’s 5-year-old brother, Andrew, was also beaten black and blue by Smith, 20, although a police source said the boy’s injuries were possibly inflicted before Saturday.
Kelsey Smith, 20, who was in custody Saturday night. Kelsey Smith, 20, who was in custody Saturday night.
Neighbor Marilyn Cruz said the afternoon killing capped two solid weeks of fighting and violence inside the apartment.
The dead girl’s mother, Kimberly Torres, and grandfather wept inconsolably outside the building after hearing the heartbreaking news about the beloved child.
Smith was busted just across the Queens border after the NYPD received a tip on the fugitive’s whereabouts. Cop sources said he tried to slash himself in a failed suicide try.
Smith, who also went by the first name “Shawn,” had multiple collars for robbery and grand larceny, along with a gang assault charge and a bust this year for criminal mischief.
No charges had been filed early Sunday in the fatal beating.
The pedophile former Catholic bishop Jozef Wesolowski has been placed under house arrest at the Vatican.
He is only the second person to be arrested in this way in recent history. The first was Pope Benedict’s former butler, Paulo Gabriele, subsequently sentenced to 18 months in prison for leaking private documents. It is the first Vatican arrest of a high-ranking prelate involved in child sex abuse.
Polish-born Wesolowski, former Nuncio in the Dominican Republic, was recalled to the Vatican a year ago and investigated for sex abuse allegations.
In June, the first stage of his canonical trial ended with him being found guilty of child sex abuse and laicisation, or defrocking, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He appealed against the decision. This week the Vatican began criminal proceedings against him, placing him under house arrest during the trial rather than in custody because of concerns about his health.
Wesolowski, aged 66, was arrested at the Vatican with the permission of Pope Francis, who had received a personal appeal from the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva to intervene.
Vatican spokesman Fr Frederico Lombardi said: “This arrest is due to the express will of the Pope.” He said the case was “serious and delicate” and must be addressed without delay and “with the right and necessary rigor, with full assumption of responsibility on the part of the institutions that are part of the Holy See.”SOURCE-CHRISTIAN TODAY
A Georgia judge had tough words for a woman who pleaded guilty to helping her boyfriend rape and molest her two young daughters.
“I don’t know that I have ever said a curse word from this bench, but you may be the vilest bitch that I have ever met,” Bibb County Superior Court Judge Howard Simms told Amanda Arellano on Thursday, The Macon Telegraph reported.
Simms then sentenced Arellano to 30 years in prison and lifetime probation.
The 29-year-old Fort Valley woman was arrested along with her boyfriend, 29-year-old Daniel Kelly Copeland, in January 2012, after Copeland’s father reported them to police.
Copeland’s father told authorities his son had admitted to sexually abusing Arellano’s two daughters, then ages 6 and 8, according to The Albany Herald.
The sex acts, authorities said, took place between Sept. 1, 2011, and Jan. 18, 2012.
According to Bibb County Prosecutor Nancy Scott Malcor, Copeland told police he and his girlfriend started doing drugs in September 2011, which made them “especially sexual.”
Arellano, the prosecutor said, would help the 8-year-old girl perform sex acts with Copeland, including sodomy and oral sex. She would also hold the girl down while Copeland had sex with her.
The 6-year-old was subjected to similar abuses, including oral sex and attempted rape, authorities said.
In April, Copeland pleaded guilty to rape and four counts of aggravated child molestation.
As a condition of a plea agreement, Copeland was sentenced to 25 years in prison followed by lifetime probation. Copeland also agreed to testify in Arellano’s case.
Arellano, who was scheduled to go to trial later this month, opted to plead guilty on Thursday, to a number of offenses, including rape and aggravated child molestation.
During Thursday’s hearing, prosecutors said Arellano confessed to participating in sex acts with Copeland and her daughters, and also admitted taking photographs of the sex acts.
“I’m so sorry and I will punish myself more than you can probably ever punish me, sir,” Arellano said in court Thursday, according to The Digital Journal.
Simms was unmoved by Arellano’s words and told her there is a “special place in hell” for people who do what she and Copeland did.
Per the conditions of their plea bargains, neither Arellano or Copeland will be eligible for parole. Once they serve their entire sentences and are released on probation, they will be classified as sex offenders.
In just five minutes, a child will learn how to protect and empower him/herself – No Secrets Between Us Short Video!
A vicious Queens couple savagely beat, kicked, tortured and starved their 12-year-old daughter — until the gutsy little girl finally dimed out the depraved duo, officials said.
Helpless Maya Ranot — her weight down to a skeletal 58 pounds as the relentless violence escalated — survived to spill the gory details of the house of horrors where she was tormented for nearly three years.
Dad Rajesh Ranot, 46, and stepmom Sheetal Ranot, 31, of Ozone Park, were behind bars Tuesday after their arraignments last week on multiple charges of assault and child endangerment.
“Thank God,” said one of Rajesh Ranot’s former in-laws. “It’s about time they locked him up. Everyone is afraid of him . . . . How could he do this to his own daughter?”
Heroic Maya was beaten with everything from a rolling pin to a baseball bat to a broken metal broom handle — but never said a word because she feared her four step-siblings would be sent to foster care, officials said.
“Fortunately, she found the courage to speak up,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “It is not too hard to imagine that this case would have ended in the child’s death.”
Neighbors described Rajesh Ranot, who lived in the area for the last 10 years, as a volatile cab driver with a foul temper and a mean streak.
“He was the kind of guy who would be your friend and smack you at the same time,” said a 51-year-old neighbor who gave his name as Trinny. “You could not trust him.”
Local residents recounted seeing skinny little seventh-grader Maya playing near the family’s residence, with no signs of her family or any friends.
“I feel terrible for her,” said neighbor Annette Persaud, the mother of two boys.
The investigation began after EMTs called to the family home above a garage in Ozone Park found Maya lying in a pool of blood from a gash deep enough to reveal the bone on her left wrist.
Authorities say stepmom Sheetal opened the deep laceration by slashing the girl with the jagged end of a broken metal broom handle on May 6. The bleeding child, dressed in filthy clothes, was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital for wrist surgery and stitches to her knee after the attack.
Read more at http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/queens-parents-jailed-unspeakable-child-abuse-da-article-1.1892446?cid=radiumOne#xLK0zyBLjJd6b12w.99
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/queens-parents-jailed-unspeakable-child-abuse-da-article-1.1892446#ixzz39jDhSqvp
Can you keep a secret?
Many children can, and that can be problematic. “No Secrets Between Us” teaches Kindergarteners through 3rd graders to empower themselves by sharing their secrets. ‘No Secrets Between Us” is a picture book that uses fiction to address a real-life situation. It takes a gentle, practical approach to teaching child abuse awareness backed by theoretical support. Our protagonist Sammie learns that telling a trusted adult is the right thing to do when she needs help. At the beginning of the book, she is on a fun play date, which eventually leads to trouble. At the end of the book, she comes to understand that there should never be secrets between a child and her parents. Sammie knows she made the right choice in telling her parents the secret and is praised for her courage.
Rose Morrisroe: one of the top educational instructors for the state of New Jersey and founder for one of the leading non profits on child abuse prevention – Soldiers Against Child Abuse. She encompasses vision, awareness, passion and accomplishment to the world she touches…. She saves the world around her and embraces the hurt with healing, guidance and compassion. ~Michael Reagan
“The Governor is grateful for your interest in offering your book, No Secrets Between Us, and curriculum for use in schools throughout the State and has shared the information you sent with the appropriate staff in the Department of Education. The Governor is grateful for your support and joins me in offering you best wishes.” ~Governor Christie’s Office via Staffer
“Rose Morrisroe is a revered educator and survivor of child sexual abuse. She advocates for empowering children and families. Her wonderful book, No Secrets Between Us, is an important tool to the prevention of child abuse. No Secrets Between Us teaches children to empower themselves when they feel unsafe. CSA is an uncomfortable topic which needs to be discussed and this book is an effective means to do that.” ~Kathleen Shelley, LSW – School Social Worker
“As a Licensed Certified Social Worker I plan on using the book, No Secrets Between Us, at home as well as with my clients at work. You have provided me with an educational tool that will be heard by many children and recommended to every parent I know.” ~Jacqueline Russak, LCSW- School Social Worker
“This is a must book for all parents, guardians and educators. Rose Morrisroe not only demonstrates the need for children to be proactive but she prepares parents in how to empower the family. I wish this book was available when my kids were younger. This book is empowering for all children.” ~Michael John Sullivan — Award winning author and creator of The SockKids Children’s series
“No Secrets Between Us is a great introduction for parents and children to begin a dialogue about safe and unsafe touches. It is child friendly and well written which encourages honest and open dialogue. I recommend Mrs. Morrisroe’s book for all children.”~Wanda Merchant, LPC – Licensed Professional Counselor School Counselor, Anti-Bullying Specialist
“No Secrets Between Us by Rose Morrisroe is a great tool for parents and educators in assisting with this challenging topic. Mrs. Morrisroe is clearly dedicated to her cause and through her book has created a child friendly way to deliver a powerful message. This book is designed to empower children and families.” ~Nicole C. Syperski, M.A. School Counselor, Intervention & Referral Services
ATLANTA, Ga. – A father has been charged with murder in the death of his 2-year-old child after he allegedly left the toddler in a hot car for eight hours.
Police said Justin Ross Harris, 34, was supposed to drop the child off at daycare, but forgot.
He then drove to work around 9 a.m. Wednesday and left the toddler in the car. It wasn’t until Harris left work and started driving home that he looked in the backseat and saw the child still strapped in the car seat and unresponsive.
A witness saw Harris pull into the Akers Mill Square shopping center, stop his car straddling two lanes of traffic, jump out and begin CPR on the toddler.
“He was constantly saying, ‘What have I done, what have I done.’”
Harris is charged with murder and cruelty to children, both felonies and is currently being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.
Anyone with information about this case which may assist detectives is asked to call 770-499-3945.
Temperatures in Atlanta topped 90 degrees Wednesday afternoon. Temperatures inside a hot car could go as high as 130 to 140 degrees in a few hours.
Sarasota, Florida — A 2-year-old girl died after she was left inside a hot car, and now her father is facing manslaughter charges.
Sarasota Police detectives say 23-year-old Uriel Hernandez forgot about Alejandra Hernandez in a car for several hours Sunday morning when the temperature outside was between 85 to 95 degrees.
On Instagram, her mother, Valeria Hernandez, says she’s “mi mundo” my world. On Facebook, Uriel Hernandez is seen adoring Alejandra. The two shared custody of the little girl.
“She was always so pretty and very bright,” says neighbor Juanita Sifuentes. “He seemed like an excellent father.”
But Sifuentes says Hernandez’s apparent negligence is inexcusable. “That was very irresponsible of him.”
Alejandra would visit her father on Sundays at the mobile home park off North Orange Avenue, but this Sunday would be her last.
Investigators say Uriel Hernandez came home around 6 a.m. Sunday, went inside for a moment to get a phone charger, but fell asleep leaving his daughter in a hot car for five hours.
Police say when Uriel Hernandez woke up he found his daughter lifeless. Police say it’s not clear if he called 911 before he called the child’s mother, but by the time both of them were called — it was too late.
SOURCE: 10News, Tampa Bay Sarasota
In a sting that was New York’s biggest to-date, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 71 individuals involved in child sexual exploitation, all of whom stand accused of possessing, distributing and/or producing child abuse imagery. In addition to the 71 arrests, investigators lawfully seized nearly 600 computing devices during the execution of 87 search warrants, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and thumb drives containing more than 175 terabytes of data that includes tens of thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children.
“People children are supposed to trust”
The sting, codenamed “Operation Caireen,” shed light on the type of individuals sexually exploiting children. Many of those arrested held positions of public trust, including a police officer, a paramedic, a registered nurse and an individual who served as both a den master with the Boy Scouts of America and as a little league baseball coach. Speaking on behalf of the joint operation, special agent in charge of HSI’s New York office, James T. Hayes Jr., said, “The sheer volume of confirmed and suspected instances of individuals engaging in the sexual exploitation of children identified through Operation Caireen is shocking and the professional backgrounds of many of the defendants is troubling. We can no longer assume that the only people who would stoop to prey on children are unemployed drifters.”
Using Technology to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation
The sting, which involved U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as New York law enforcement, began as part of an undercover operation into peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. As the agencies surreptitiously infiltrated P2P networks, they were able to identify users in the New York City metropolitan area who sought to acquire or distribute known or suspected images and videos of children engaging in sexually explicit activities. Throughout the course of the operation, investigators identified nearly 150 unique IP addresses registered to users in the NYC metropolitan area, actively sharing explicit images of children. Techniques used by law enforcement agencies in this operation are on the cutting edge of technology in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children in the Deep Web. At Thorn, we have been working with tech companies to implement the use of a shared hash system, which allows companies to share digital fingerprints of abuse images via a cloud-based tool in order to more quickly clear their system of content and report it. We also collaborate with more than twenty technology companies through our Technology Task Force, bringing them together to help put an end to child sexual exploitation.
If You See Something, Say Something
In the wake of “Operation Caireen,” Otis E. Harris Jr., special agent in charge of the Coast Guard Investigative Service, New York Field Office, offered a call to action for all individuals. “The Department of Homeland Security is asking for the public to be watchful, to help identify those individuals responsible for child pornography, and we’re counting on those with information to come forward. No bit of information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is too small. Each piece moves us forward toward justice and disrupting the crime of child pornography. It is extremely important to contact authorities with any information regarding child pornography.” We applaud HSI for their efforts in disrupting this network of child exploitation. We also urge you to learn more about our work, to educate yourself on the issue and read the facts about child abuse imagery. A better-educated community is the first step in raising awareness about this issue.
- See more at: http://www.wearethorn.org/hsi-arrests-71-in-new-york-for-child-sexual-exploitation/#sthash.nMKLcJPM.dpuf
NEW YORK CITY –
A slice of the New York City area mainstream – a police officer, a fire department paramedic, a rabbi, a nurse, a Boy Scout leader – used the Internet to anonymously collect and trade child pornography, federal officials said Wednesday.
The six were among at least 70 men and one woman charged in a five-week operation by the Homeland Security Investigations arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Federal officials, who planned to announce the arrests a news conference later Wednesday, call it one of the largest local roundups ever of people who collect images of children having sex – and a stark reminder that they come from all segments of society.
Consuming child porn “is not something that is just done by unemployed drifters who live in their parent’s basement,” said James Hayes of ICE’s New York office. “If this operation does anything, it puts the lie to the belief that the people who do this are not productive members of society.”
Authorities say an alarming number of the defendants had access to young children, though there were no reports of abuse. The Boy Scout leader also coached a youth baseball team. The rabbi home-schooled his children and others. Another person had hidden cameras used to secretly film his children’s friends.
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on sexual abuse policy will develop “clear and effective protocols” to protect children from pedophile priests, including procedures to hold church authorities accountable if they neglect to act on cases of abuse, Vatican officials said Saturday.
The commission will advise the pope on adopting policies developed from the existing “best practices” for the protection of minors, which can be used worldwide. Recommendations to the pope will also include ways of better educating the clergy about the issue of child abuse and its devastating consequences.
“The protocols will address everyone,” regardless of their status in the church, “and will provide clear ways of dealing with those who perpetrate the abuse, and those who were negligent in protecting children,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston and one of the eight members of the commission, told reporters at a news briefing on Saturday.
Existing canon laws had not adequately or sufficiently addressed this issue, he acknowledged. “Our concern is to make sure that there are clear and effective protocols to deal with situations where people of the church did not fulfill their obligation to protect children,” he said.
Advocacy groups have long harshly castigated the Vatican for refusing to systematically discipline clerics who covered up pedophilia crimes. Over the years, the church has adopted a series of measures to address the abuse of children by priests, but critics say that the Vatican has protected its reputation over the interests of the victims by refusing to sanction church officials.
Pope Francis announced the creation of the commission last December. Its members include lay people, among them psychiatrists, a canon lawyer for the Vatican congregation that handles sex abuse cases, a moral theologian and a woman who was a victim of sex abuse by a priest as a child, who has become an advocate for accountability in the church. Four of the eight members are women.
The pope “was anxious that the group be independent,” Cardinal O’Malley said.
He said that the commission would not deal with specific cases of child abuse, nor would the protocols necessarily relate to existing child abuse laws in specific countries. “Accountability should not be dependent on the legal obligations of a country, but upon moral considerations,” he said.
The commission will make proposals to the pope, but Cardinal O’Malley said that a specific time frame had not been decided upon. “The one thing that this meeting showed is how many issues there are to deal with and how complex they are,” he said. Though the commission was established to advise the pope, it could also be “of service” to national bishops conferences. “Everyone is anxious to have positive results,” he said.
The commission met for the first time last week at the Vatican to discuss its purpose, functions and goals, and to propose additional members, to be chosen on the basis of their expertise as well as their geographical provenance.
“The commission wants to make sure that in the future, the issue of child abuse will be addressed worldwide, not patchily, and adhering to the highest standards,” said Marie Collins, the commission member from Ireland who was abused by a priest when she was 13.
Cardinal O’Malley said vigilance would be required. “The church needs to always be reviewing what we have done, trying to improve what we have done, monitoring what we have done because it’s possible to have beautiful policies but if they are not implemented it’s only window dressing,” he said.
“I know many survivors are hoping, that they have high expectations for what the commission will do,” Ms. Collins said. “I can’t make any concrete promises, but I am hopeful.”
NEW YORK (WABC) — Prosecutors have confirmed they now plan to seek a murder indictment against a woman already charged with abusing a 4-year-old New York City boy.
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg told a judge Wednesday she plans to seek the new charge against Kryzie King.
Defense lawyer Bryan Konoski declined to comment.
Story: Myls Dobson’s dad back in New Jersey jail after furlough
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The boy, Myls Dobson, died Jan. 8. He was in King’s care while his father was jailed.
Medical examiners ruled his death a homicide this month. They determined he died of child abuse, including dehydration.
Before the finding, King was charged with assault and pleaded not guilty.
According to prosecutors’ court documents, King told police she beat the boy with a belt and wires, bound him with shoelaces and locked him on a freezing terrace because he misbehaved.
(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
Police arrested Megan Huntsman, 39, of Pleasant Grove, on Saturday following a gruesome discovery at a residence formerly occupied by the woman who they say moved out in 2011.
WATCH: 7 Babies Found Dead in Utah Home; Woman Arrested
Officers responding to a phone call from a family member who is currently living at the Pleasant Grove residence arrived at the home to find the first baby which “appeared to be a full term,” according to a police statement.
“A family member was cleaning out the garage and came across a box that looked suspicious. Upon opening the box they found the infant inside,” Capt. Michael Roberts of the Pleasant Grove Police Department told ABC News.
Authorities obtained a search warrant to inspect the home, where they found six more infant bodies inside, packaged in separate containers, the police statement said.
Roberts said that through their investigations, they had reason to believe that Huntsman had given birth to the six other babies in the period between 1996 and 2006 and murdered them.
Authorities arrested Huntsman and booked her at the Utah County Jail on six murder counts, but did not comment on why she was not charged with seven counts.
The adult residents of the home claimed to have no knowledge of the dead babies, police said. Roberts could not confirm whether Huntsman had any other children or if she was married.
“It’s still an ongoing case so we’re still working on some information we’ve received,” Roberts said.
SOURCE- ABC News
“Michael Reagan here…” Those were the first words of a short email I receive about a year ago from a person identifying himself as Michael Reagan, and who informed me that it was time for Christians to finally begin acknowledging the existence of child abuse. At first, I had no idea who this man was and why he was writing me. A short Google investigation later led me to discover that this email was from the son of my childhood hero, Ronald Reagan! That correspondence was the beginning of a dear friendship with a man that has deeply moved and inspired me in so many amazing ways. As a child of two famous actors, Michael Reagan was not immune from the dark and destructive offense of child sexual abuse. As a young boy, Mike was sexually abused for over a year by a perpetrator who owned an exclusive after school care program and whose actions and threats shamed a little boy into silence for decades. As all sexual abuse survivors, my friend Mike has spent a lifetime processing this horrific offense as he walks along this long and difficult journey of healing. He has graciously taught me so much about an issue that I thought I knew so much about. Last week, I had the privilege of introducing Mike to students at Liberty University School of Law and then sat down and listened to him spend the next hour opening up his heart in such a raw and transparent way about this incredibly difficult and personal issue. Though what I heard cannot be adequately described in written words, I want to share just a snapshot of what this brave man taught me during that hour. My friend Mike taught me that child sexual abuse shames survivors into silence. A shame fueled by one’s own confusion and pain. A shame fueled by a fear of what those around will think and say. A child who is taken to an isolated place and told to take off his clothes as the perpetrator takes pictures, and then later shown those pictures as the perpetrator says, “Wouldn’t you mother like a copy of this?”, will be shamed into silence. A boy who is being victimized by a male perpetrator and sits in church listening to a pastor preach that homosexuals are going to hell, will be shamed into silence. A teenage survivor of sexual abuse who is sent away to boarding school and finds himself wetting his bed each night due to the abuse trauma will be shamed into silently getting up early each morning to discreetly change his sheets before anyone else notices. An abuse survivor who finally gains enough courage to tell his stepmother only to have her initial response be concern about her own reputation, will be shamed into silence. The list could go on and on. Michael Reagan has helped me understand the destructive power of shame and that its source comes from perpetrators, loved ones, friends, and even inside our churches. Show caption Boz Tchividjian and Michael Reagan My friend Mike taught me that child sexual abuse picks apart the self-esteem of its victims and slowly destroys them along with causing immeasurable harm to those who love them most. A teenage boy sexually victimized as a child steals money from his father’s wallet and buys prostitutes in a desperate attempt to try and clear up any confusion about his sexual identity. An abuse victim convinced that he is worthless and unlovable spends decades sabotaging the relationship with his parents by acting out in anger and hatred towards them. A father abused as a child tears down his child in a desperate attempt to build up his own self-esteem. A grown man who was sexually abused as a child finds himself taken back to being a helpless child whenever faced with challenges where he feels helpless or exploited. This list could go on and on. Michael Reagan has helped me grasp that putting the pieces of self-esteem back together is a difficult and painstaking part of the abuse survivor’s lifelong journey. Perhaps most importantly, my friend Mike taught me that there is authentic hope for the many who have suffered from the ravages of this horrific offense. A hope illuminated by the amazing people who walk alongside the suffering and never leave. A hope illuminated by years of professional counseling. A hope illuminated each time light is borough to the dark places of the heart. A hope ultimately illuminated by a pursuing God who so clearly demonstrates that we are anything but worthless. My friend Mike is the first person to tell you that he has a long way to go on his journey and that there are undoubtedly many difficult days ahead. However, he will also tell you that he’s made some progress and that he continues to press forward comforted by the realization that the God of hope will never let him go. In his book, The Hammer of God, Bo Giertz writes, “The heart is a rusty old can on a junk heap. A fine birthday gift indeed! But a wonderful Lord passes by, and has mercy on the wretched tin can, sticks his walking cane through it and rescues it from the junk pile and takes it home with Him. That is how it is.” After years of walking in shame and battling against self-esteem, God is carrying my friend Mike to a place where he is finally realizing that he is no rusty tin can, but a rescued and beautiful child of God. Though Ronald Reagan was a childhood hero, I can say with great joy that Michael Regan is one of my life heroes. At great cost, he is taking a deeply painful life and is allowing it to be transformed into something beautiful as he provides a voice to the voiceless and courage to the scores of survivors who are drowning in shame and fear. Michael Reagan is not alone. There are untold numbers of Michael Reagans out there who are serving, loving and walking alongside hurting souls without attention or fanfare, but simply because they care. They look a lot like Jesus. “Mike Reagan here…” I am so grateful that you are. – See more at: http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/03/08/michael-reagan-hero-amidst-pain-child-sexual-abuse/#sthash.E4FwD2AA.dpuf
Source: RNS-Religious News Service
Dylan Farrow’s allegations of sexual abuse by her adoptive father, Woody Allen, merit calm consideration, because the charges give us all a close look at what is wrong with our flawed legal and cultural handling of child sex abuse. As has been widely reported, the prosecutor who investigated the claims in 1993 says that he had insufficient evidence then, though he did not doubt her story. But those criminal claims are barred now by the statute of limitations. One can fairly ask: How is that so? Under the law in 1993, Farrow had until age 20 to file criminal charges against Allen. That legal limit covers her criminal claims — and so, now that she is 28, she is barred. Connecticut extended the statute to age 48 in 2002, but that extension did not apply to criminal acts that occurred before that year. Many are wondering, I am sure, how, if her allegations are true, it was possible that the prosecutor did not have adequate evidence when this young woman first came forward? Sadly, it happens all the time. Two factors are at play: actual evidence and the disinclination of prosecutors to go after celebrities except in slam-dunk cases. When victims come forward as children, there is often inadequate evidence for prosecutors to prove an assault beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no physical evidence unless they come forward far more quickly than most children can. Victims are instinctively ashamed and confused, but also don’t understand what happened, and often don’t even know that it was wrong. You need a certain level of maturity to comprehend what sex is, and what is appropriate. This is especially true when the perpetrator is a trusted adult. These crimes are even harder to prove because adults invariably assault children in private. If there are other victims who could corroborate the charges, the child has little chance of knowing it, let alone proving it. In the 1990s, also, many still assumed that sexual abuse was not a very common crime. The incorrect assumption was that we should all be more concerned with Stranger Danger than with fathers, boyfriends or other relatives. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/law-child-sex-abuse-victims-article-1.1602057#ixzz2tBNgdTsW
SOURCE-NY Daily News
Just shy of her second birthday, Serenity Brown was possibly beaten to death by her father, Edward, who then sliced her up and fed her to a dog, according to law enforcement sources and documents. City social workers discovered the child was missing in 2011, leading her mother, Paula Johnson, to give the grisly account of her daughter’s disappearance.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/exclusive-brooklyn-dad-killed-baby-fed-dog-2006-police-sources-article-1.1607896#ixzz2tBKp6akT
SOURCE- NY Daily News
Qquendo’s mother was notified early Tuesday afternoon, officials said. The cause and manner of death are pending
Attorney David Perecman says he will file the legal claim on behalf of the family of Avonte Oquendo, whose remains were found at the edge of the East River last week. Perecman says Avonte’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, is inconsolable.
“She finally just broke down,” he said of his phone call to her Tuesday morning. He said it was the first time except for brief moments that he’d seen her cry that much.
“Now that the inevitable, unfortunately, has occurred, undoubtedly she’ll go through a metamorphosis of a sort, and I’m sure she’ll get good and angry,” he said. Perecman said the family intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, alleging that school officials failed to monitor the boy or call the police quickly enough when he left the school.
“There were so many things that went wrong, it befuddles the mind,” he said.
The remains found last week along the East River – a left arm and lower torso and legs – were identified through DNA given by his family.
A teenager shooting photos for a school project noticed the arm on the riverbank. Police then found the lower part of a torso and legs on the rocks at low tide, along with black Air Jordan sneakers, white socks and tattered denim jeans. A part of a skull and teeth were recovered a few days later.
14-year-old Avonte was last seen on video walking out of his school in Long Island City on October 4.
For weeks, family, friends and strangers searched for Avonte. His missing poster was plastered in the subways, poles and windshields as part of the all-out effort to find him.
The teen, who did not speak, was fascinated with the subway system and Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials made announcements on trains for weeks asking for help finding him. Police checked every subway station and tunnel.
One investigative theory was that Avonte might have tumbled into the river near the park, though his family has said he was fearful of water.
The body parts were found at least 11 miles from where he was last seen. Though the remains were found upriver, past densely-populated shoreline and the Rikers Island jail, the East River is a tidal strait with strong currents that reverse flow many times a day.
Avonte’s family has filed a notice of claim saying they planned to sue the city, arguing that school officials allowed him to walk out of the building and waited too long to notify police that he was missing. They were waiting until the identification came back to decide whether they would official file suit, according to their lawyer.
Police are combing the East River and Queens shoreline after a human arm, a torso and pair of legs were found just southwest of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, and the family of a missing teenager has been contacted as part of the investigation.
Authorities reached out to the family of missing Queens teenager Avonte Oquendo after some clothing was also found, family lawyer Daniel Perecman said.
Sources said the torso and legs were found in a pair of Old Navy jeans and size 5 1/2 Air Jordan sneakers, which is what Avonte was wearing the day he disappeared more than three months ago.
A pair of underwear found with the remains does not match the brand or size Avonte was wearing, sources said.
The remains have been taken to the medical examiner for DNA testing. Perecman said the parts are so decomposed and damaged by water that it’s impossible to even identify the skin color.
Oquendo’s mother has turned over Avonte’s toothbrush and a copy of his baby footprint so investigators could see whether the DNA matches that of the remains, said Perecman.
The left arm washed ashore near Powell Cove Boulevard and Endeavor Place in College Point and was found by a resident at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Police then found the other body parts in the rocks in the water nearby.
The location is about 9 miles by waterway from Avonte’s school in Long Island City, which is also along the East River and where he was last seen on Oct. 4. (See map below) The flow of the East River, which is actually a tidal strait and not a river, changes direction with the tide.
The disappearance of the autistic and mute teen launched a search that spanned the city and extended even into the suburbs.
Perecman said the child was last seen on surveillance video in a park right along the water. But, he said, the teen is afraid of water and the family doesn’t believe he would have voluntarily crossed a shoreline barrier.
“Which is why we thought early on it would have been highly unlikely for him to go over that fence,” he said.
Avonte’s mother is “not going to be convinced this is her son until there’s enough to convince her,” Perecman said.
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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. —