« January 23, 2005 | Main | January 25, 2005 »

January 24, 2005

Sheriff: Worst Case of Child Abuse Ever

January 24, 2005

Knox County, TN - Yet another child abuse case in Knox County, as Sheriff Tim Hutchison put it, it's one of the worst cases of alleged child abuse he's seen.

Four children are in protective custody, with two of them hospitalized, the mother and boyfriend are in jail.

As Volunteer TV’s Ron Sprowl reports, the children, ages five, four, three and one all suffered abuse. The three year old girl and the one year old boy remain hospitalized.

23-year-old Stephanie Jo Allen and her live-in boyfriend 20-year-old Phillip Cory Reep were taken into custody Sunday night at their Ripon Circle residence.

Authorities went to their home to look for Reep after the children's grandmother called deputies concerning the welfare of her grandchildren.

Authorities say Allen first told them he was not there, that's when police say they saw the conditions of the children.

"The three-year-old girl was severely burned parts of the lower parts of her body. She had bruises and knots all over the head. The one-year-old, as well, knots and bruising over the body and head," said Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison. "The five-year-old, the four-year-old, three-year-old all told us that it was momma's boyfriend Cory that did those things to them."

Deputies did find Reep inside the house hiding in a bathroom near the bedroom.

Sheriff Hutchison also says the mother told detectives she knew nothing about the abuse, didn't know it was happening and really wasn't that concerned.

She's jailed on a $700,700 bond; boyfriend Reep's bond is $1.2 million

Posted by Nancy at 09:51 PM | Comments (0)

Help to prevent child abuse

It's time to find that special costume and get ready for a Mardi Gras.

Prevent Child Abuse Porter County will hold its sixth annual costume ball "Mardi Gras Style" form 8 to midnight March 5 at the Strongbow Banquet Center. Hosted by Steve Zana of Indiana 105, music will be provided by The Relics. Light cajun style refreshments will be served.

During the event a silent auction will again be held with many articles available for purchase to the highest bidder. Tickets for the event are $40 for singles and $75 for couples. All proceeds will go to child abuse education and prevention programs.

During the annual event Prevent Child Abuse Porter County will recognize an individual who has demonstrated concern and care for children and youth of Porter County. The Third Annual Hero for Children Award will be presented to the winning nominee at the Prevent Child Abuse Porter County Mardi Gras fund-raiser. Nominations will be accepted from any organization or individual in Porter County.

Please consider the following criteria when submitting a nominee: This individual has devoted selfless time to improving the lives of children beyond family or workplace responsibilities. This individual demonstrates creativity and a willingness to respond to the needs of children. This individual may serve in areas that are less attractive to others but are invaluable to a child's learning or support system. This individual is an inspiration and role model to children. All entries should be submitted in writing and be no more than 500 words. Entries can be sent either by mail, email or fax to Prevent Child Abuse Porter County c/o Sandra Mannakee, 1705 Snead Ave., Chesterton, IN 46304 or call (219) 921-1746. Nominations must be received by Feb. 1. The award committee will make the final decision. The person or agency submitting the winning entry will be notified and invited to the fund-raiser. For information, call Mannakee at (219) 921-1630 or LuAnn Shirley at 531-9012

Posted by Nancy at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

Fixing child abuse takes all

Letter January 2005

The staff, board of directors and volunteers at Child Advocates Inc. have firsthand knowledge of the burden that the Child Protective Services caseworkers are facing.

Many of our program staff members served as CPS caseworkers prior to joining our organization, and our volunteers work with CPS caseworkers daily.

We all know that the majority of these individuals care about the well-being of the children and work tirelessly to ensure that the right decisions are made in every case.

We also recognize the barriers and limitations they face — including the financial cuts that have been made to parts of Texas' child welfare system that have exacerbated an already struggling system.

While we agree that the Legislature has the responsibility of fixing the struggling agency, we also believe it is the entire community's responsibility to take care of the more than 4,200 abused and neglected children who are in foster care right now in the Houston area. Behind every one of the statistics is an innocent child in need of help.

Child Advocates mobilizes community volunteers to provide a voice for the voiceless — those abused and neglected children who are in protective custody. We recruit, train and supervise court appointed special advocates (also known as guardians ad litem), to help guide children through the system.

Our volunteers provide a safety net below the CPS system to make sure that all of the children's needs are met and that a safe, permanent outcome is reached.

Since our volunteers carry only one or two cases at a time, they have the time necessary to fill in the gaps in the system.

Our volunteers remain on a child's case from the time that it is opened in the family court until the child's final placement is resolved.

The volunteer provides continuity on the child's case by pulling together the case history from each caseworker that has ever been involved, interviewing all parties involved in the child's life, and attending all court hearings so that an informed recommendation to the court can be made regarding the best permanent placement for the child.

Since we have a legal responsibility to the court to make unbiased recommendations, we may not always agree with CPS. However, we are confident that we are all working with the child's best interest in mind.

Despite all of our best intentions, children do slip through the bureaucratic cracks and, as we have seen, the results are tragic when they do.

As a community we have witnessed too many of these tragedies over the past 2 1/2 years, and we each need to do our part to help these children.

Their needs are great, but every Houstonian can do something to help. At a time when the system seems hopelessly flawed and tragic stories of abuse surface in the news every few days, Child Advocates challenges more individuals to get involved. Look into the possibility of donating time or money to Child Advocates or to one of the many other groups in Houston who work to help abused children.

Please do not watch from the sidelines or wait for others to get involved. Our children need all of us to take our part.

chief executive officer, Child Advocates Inc., Houston

Posted by Nancy at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

Money is Available for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

January 24, 2005 [Montana News Association]

The board of directors of the Montana Children's Trust Fund is soliciting abstracts for grants aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect.

The deadline for submissions is February 13.

This year's grants are intended to promote services that foster positive family relationships and prevent abuse and neglect in at-risk families, according to Sara Lipscomb, executive officer for the Montana Council for Families.

Examples would include innovative community-based projects with a specific focus (such as parent education, parent support groups, or parenting skills for young parents) and family resource centers. The trust fund board is especially interested in plans that:

  • target traditionally underserved or disenfranchised populations and
    geographic areas of the state;
  • involve programs designed to meet the needs of people who may have difficulty
    accessing existing services;
  • involve programs that demonstrate both cultural sensitivity and cultural
    competence in program content and design;
  • involve programs that demonstrate interagency collaboration and commitment;

  • involve programs that use volunteers.

    Programs that propose to serve low-income communities, young or first-time parents, or parents with young children will be given priority, Lipscomb said.

    The trust fund board also hopes to fund the creation of as many as three family resource centers in communities that currently are not served by one.

    Grant applicants must be nonprofit, private or public, community-based or statewide educational and service organizations, groups, or agencies. The trust fund board will review the abstracts in late February and request full applications from those it deems most worthy.

    More information about preparing and submitting abstracts is available on the Children's Trust Fund Web site at www.dphhs.mt.gov. Click on About Us and then Boards and Councils.

    The Children's Trust Fund was created by the Legislature in 1985 to take the lead in reducing and ultimately eliminating maltreatment of Montana children. The fund provides financial support to local efforts across the state.

    Posted by Nancy at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

    Care House gets grant

    January 24, 2005 [Macomb Daily]

    The SBC Foundation has awarded $5,850 in computer technology to Mount Clemens-based Care House, which assists child victims of physical and sexual abuse.

    The money will allow needy families served by the organization to have access to the Internet, math and reading programs, job skills programs, and receive computer training. Care House staffers also will gain improved technology, such as e-mail, to raise money, recruit volunteers and get training.

    The SBC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of SBC Communications Inc. Last year, the foundation awarded more than $8 million in the technology grants.

    Posted by Nancy at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

    Jury selection to begin in multiple murder and sexual abuse case

    January 24, 2005 [Associated Press] By Juliana Barbassa

    FRESNO, Calif. - Attorneys will begin screening jurors Tuesday morning in the multiple murder trial of Marcus Wesson, a domineering patriarch who allegedly controlled his family with religious teachings, incest and threats of mass suicide.

    Wesson, 57, was the only one to emerge alive from the back bedroom of the modest one-story house at the end of a tense, hours-long standoff. Police discovered nine bodies in a bloody tangle and ten white coffins stacked against the living room walls.

    Each victim had been shot once in the eye - the youngest a 1-year-old toddler, the oldest a 25-year-old woman whose child was among the dead.

    The killings shocked even veteran officers in this Central Valley town, where police had been called by relatives desperate to get their children out of the house. Officers cried openly as they pulled body after body out of the bedroom, the youngest at the bottom of the pile.

    Wesson faces nine murder charges, and more than a dozen counts of sexual abuse against his own daughters and nieces. But no gunpowder residue was found on his hands. Prosecutors won't discuss their trial strategy, but their witnesses include several experts on mind control, indicating they may try to show Wesson ordered one of his children to commit the murders. Wesson could be put to death if convicted.

    Showing how Wesson controlled his household through ideology, surveillance and fear will be at the crux of the case, said Richard Ofshe, a sociologist and cult expert with the University of California, Berkeley.

    "If you want to take this seriously, you really have to learn how he ran this group," said Ofshe. The prosecution will have to show how he could get "nine people who didn't feel like dying to sit still."

    Earlier this month, 2,200 potential jurors were summoned to appear in Fresno County Superior Court. Hundreds are expected to answer the request on Tuesday, and after about a month of questioning, 12 will be chosen to hear the case.

    "I'll be looking for jurors who will refuse to lower the burden of proof in the face of enormous publicity and community sentiment," Wesson's public defender, Pete Jones, said on Friday.

    The preliminary hearing last April offered a glimpse of what the jurors will hear in the coming months.

    According to investigators' testimony, Wesson had strict control over his large household, which included several children bred through incest.

    One of Wesson's surviving daughters said he would inflict "weeklong spankings" if the children broke his rules, which for girls included dressing modestly and not talking to males outside the family.

    The 20-year-old said Wesson forced the family to hear him preach twice a day from his King James Bible, and that he began molesting her and her sisters when they were as young as five, Fresno homicide detective Carlos Leal testified.

    One of Wesson's nieces - a young woman he raised, then had a child with - told investigators the family patriarch had announced his plan to commit mass suicide if there was a threat against the clan, such as interventions by police or Child Protective Services.

    The niece also spoke of a more gruesome plan involving the girls, whom Wesson called "his soldiers." She said that when it came time to commit suicide, Wesson had intended for them to "go out and kill the rest of the family members that were no longer in his house," according to Richard Byrd, another Fresno detective.

    On March 12, the day of the killings, several family members had tried to retrieve their children from the Wesson household. The conflict escalated, and they called the police for help, crying hysterically and saying that Wesson was dangerous.

    Wesson's attorney has argued that the oldest victim - Wesson's daughter Sebhrenah - pulled the trigger, killing her siblings and her child before committing suicide. "Sebhrenah fell on the gun after shooting herself," Jones said during the preliminary hearing.

    Prosecutor Lisa Gamoian has not spoken to the press about the case, and was not available for comment before trial. But she said in court that the facts speak for themselves, that that Wesson is clearly culpable.

    "It was only Mr. Wesson who exited the bedroom," Gamoian said.

    Officer Byrd said that according to the niece, Wesson was obsessed with David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidian cult that got into a deadly 1993 confrontation with federal agents outside Waco, Texas. He apparently wanted to create a similar following within his own family, gathering relatives around the television to watch reports on the cult leader, Byrd said.

    Potential prosecution witnesses include family members and mental health specialists known for their work on other notorious murder cases, such as Park Dietz.

    Dietz testified in the trial of Jeffrey Dahmer, and concluded that David Berkowitz was sane in the "Son of Sam" case. But his work for Andrea Yates' prosecutors has recently been discredited, and the prosecution is reconsidering calling the specialist.

    The list also includes J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist, and Kris Mohandie, who has worked for the Los Angeles Police Departments.

    Attorneys said jury selection is expected to take one month. No cameras will be allowed in the courtroom.

    Posted by Nancy at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

    Public urged to report child abuse

    Be the eyes and ears of the Government, and report child abuse.
    January 25 2005 [News Straits Times] Malysia By June Ramli

    This is the plea from Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, in view of the rising incidence of child abuse and incest.

    "Please report if you suspect there are child abuse or incest cases," she told reporters after attending a dengue prevention and control campaign at the Tengku Budriah Children's Home in Cheras today.

    "We are doing our best, by having awareness programmes, changing the laws and bringing the perpetrators to court.

    "But most times, the horrible incidents have already taken place and an innocent victim is scarred for life."

    Shahrizat was commenting on news reports of 290 cases of child rape in the first three months of last year in which the perpetrators were relatives.

    In the whole of 2003 there were 768 such cases.

    She said in 2003, the ministry had received 430 reports of sexual abuse of those under 18 years of age involved in incest and sodomy.

    "It should be a personal crusade of every Malaysian to report such cases as we need the help of everyone. It has to be a concerted effort, not just one done by the ministry," she added.

    She said the young victims were under the close watch of the ministry.

    "Most times they are placed in homes because they are not safe living with their families anymore. We can only do so much. What we want to do now is to prevent such cases from happening. But we need the public's help. We cannot do it alone."

    Earlier, Shahrizat launched a campaign against Aedes mosquitoes and directed that all 123 old folk's homes and orphanages under her ministry be fogged and cleared of stagnant water through regular gotong-royong activities.

    "This will be a continuous effort, at least once a week."

    Posted by Nancy at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

    Officer battles abuse in talks about touches

    In the classroom: PLAINFIELD - School sessions help kids learn what's OK, bad
    January 24, 2005 [Indianapolis Star] By Michael Dabney

    Terry Hall, a 28-year veteran of the Indianapolis Police Department, knows about child abuse, and he spends a lot of time trying to eliminate it.

    That's why Hall, an IPD dive commander, created a Good Touch/Bad Touch program in 1983.

    The police officer conducted lessons at Plainfield's Central and Brentwood elementary schools recently.

    Hall said he developed his program after seeing light sentences often handed down to people convicted of child molestation. "The judicial system wasn't working well," he said. "I had to do something."

    In addition to working in the department's dive unit, Hall is a trained child abuse investigator and trains other law enforcement officials in how to spot and pursue child abuse cases.

    But he gets a special joy in teaching children what is a good touch and what is a bad touch.

    "More than anything, it empowers kids to know what is good and what is bad, and that they have the right to say no," said Diana White, a counselor at Central.

    "We do this just to keep the kids safe," said Mike Underwood, Central's principal, regarding the 18 years Plainfield schools have received Hall's presentation.

    Hall uses dolls -- he calls them tools -- to show students where it is appropriate and where it is inappropriate to be touched. He said it is not always inappropriate for someone to touch "private parts," such as during a medical examination.

    "Private parts are not nasty," he told a gathering of attentive first- and second-graders. "What some people try to do with them is nasty."

    The students were amazingly familiar with the proper terms for certain parts of the human anatomy, although mentioning them could result in small giggles.

    Holding up a girl doll, Hall asked the children whether it is appropriate for someone to touch the breasts "for no good reason."

    "No," roared the children.

    "Is it ever your fault," he asked.

    "No," the children responded again.

    "Is it OK for someone to touch you for no good reason," asked Hall.

    Again, the children said, "No."

    "Most people who touch you for no good reason are generally people who you know. It's generally not a stranger," said Hall, who said he was the victim of abuse as a child.

    "Tell your mom and dad; tell your uncle or aunt; tell your teacher or principal or counselor," he said. "Keep telling someone until someone listens."

    Hall later said he tackles the problem because it is so massive.

    Nationally, one in four girls and one in eight boys under age 18 report some form of abuse, he said.

    "But it is also one of the most unreported crimes," Hall said.

    All children are vulnerable, said Underwood.

    Although she declined to be specific, White said children have approached school officials over the years to privately report cases of abuse.

    "He is tremendously effective," Underwood said.

    Posted by Nancy at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

    Pebble Project teaches children safety

    January 23, 2005 [News 8]
    By Jennifer Bordelon

    Children are often taught not to talk to strangers, but what about when it's someone they know that's harming them?

    The Pebble Project is a program that helps prevent child abuse and neglect by empowering children to contribute to their own safety.

    Second graders at Reilly Elementary School learned about their rights, "to be safe, strong and free in various situations such as bullies, strangers and unwanted touches," Pebble Project volunteer Ana-Cristina Gonzales said.

    Through role play, volunteers teach these students how to recognize abusive or dangerous situations.

    "I think it's important especially now days with everything that's going on here lately in the news here in the Austin elementary schools about strangers coming in and trying to take kids way. I think it's important for them to be aware of what's going on," Gonzales said.

    The life lesson includes how to resist abuse, and the importance of telling a trusted adult if the child has been bullied, approached by a stranger or hurt by someone they know.

    "A lot of kids feel like they shouldn't tell on other kids because it's tattletaling and we want the kids to know that they do have rights and therefore it's really reporting something that's happening than just getting someone in trouble," Pebble Project volunteer Michael Hurewitz said.

    The program also encourages parents and teachers to talk to their children about safety and what is and is not appropriate in different situations.

    "The most valuable one is that they are able to identify people at school and at home who they feel safe with and who they can talk to," Gonzales said.

    For more information about volunteering with the Pebble Project or to schedule a presentation for your school, you can call them at (512) 464-9727. Read Pebble Project safety tips online.

    Posted by Nancy at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

    Storm Delays Trial for Former Priest

    January 24, 2005 [Associated Press]

    BOSTON - The winter storm that pounded the Northeast prompted Gov. Mitt Romney to keep some nonessential state workers home Monday, including employees at the courthouse where a high-profile clergy sex abuse cases was to begin.

    Romney's announcement meant that opening statements in the trial of defrocked priest Paul Shanley, one of the highest-profile figures to go to trial in the Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal, would not begin in Middlesex Superior Court until Tuesday. A jury was seated last week.

    Shanley, 73, is accused of child rape and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. Allegations against him were among the hundreds of clergy sex abuse lawsuits settled by the Archdiocese of Boston.

    The alleged victim, now 27, says Shanley raped him repeatedly at St. Jean's parish in Newton between 1983 and 1989, beginning when he was six years old. Charges related to three of the alleged victims have been dropped by prosecutors.

    Shanley, once a long-haired priest in blue jeans who reached out to Boston's troubled youth, was defrocked by the Vatican last year after being charged with sexually abusing boys.

    Posted by Nancy at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

    Man charged with sex abuse

    January 24, 2005 [Associated Press]

    Medford, OR — Numerous sex charges have been filed against a Southern Oregon man accused of abusing boys he met at motorcycle and motocross events, the authorities said.

    Daniel Zeman, 65, of Central Point has been charged with sodomy, sex abuse and encouraging child sexual abuse.

    Zeman was being held this weekend in the Jackson County Jail on more than $4 million bail.

    A dozen people have come forward to claim they were sexually abused by Zeman when they were between the ages of 9 and 16, Medford police Lt. Tim George said.

    Zeman, who has no previous felony record in Oregon, has been held in jail since Jan. 10, when he was arrested following a monthlong investigation.

    More charges were added Friday.

    Posted by Nancy at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

    Caseworker not guilty of neglect

    Jury says she did obstruct death probe
    January 24, 2005 [Associated Press]

    INDIANAPOLIS – A jury Saturday found a former child welfare caseworker not guilty of neglect, but said she did obstruct an investigation into an abuse-related death of a 4-year-old boy she helped place with adoptive parents.

    Marion Superior Court jurors deliberated for more than eight hours before finding Denise C. Moore, 43, guilty of obstruction of justice, but not guilty of two counts of neglect. Her sentencing was scheduled for February 23

    The case had given people a behind-the-scenes look at the high number of cases and high turnover inside the state’s system for protecting abused and neglected children. Several caseworkers testified that they feel pressured to place children in adoptive homes and that they deal with too many cases.

    Defense attorney Jack Crawford said he was pleased that Moore had been acquitted of the most serious charges.

    Prosecutors claimed Moore lied about doing a background check on L.B. and Latricia Bars, the couple who adopted twins Anthony and Latoya Bars in 1999

    They argued that a proper check would have found three substantiated cases of abuse in the Barses’ home and shown that L.B. Bars was convicted in 1987 of felony battery for whipping his daughter with an extension cord.

    Beaten and starved, Anthony, 4, died in January 2002

    Latoya is mentally handicapped from the abuse. The Barses were convicted of child neglect with Latricia Bars sentenced to 13 years in prison, and L.B. Bars sentenced to eight years.

    “By the jury’s verdict, they found her not guilty of hurting those kids, which is what we claimed all along,” Crawford said.

    Crawford argued during this week’s trial that Moore had a caseload of more than 100 children in the Marion County Office of Family and Children, well above the limit of 35 ordered by a federal court. Crawford said during the trial that the responsibility of placing the children with the couple was not just Moore’s.

    If the proper background check were done, the information on L.B. Bars would have been enough to block the adoption, prosecutors said.

    Moore’s supervisor Mary Kettery testified Thursday that Moore’s work had deteriorated during the time the state placed the twins with the couple with an abusive past.

    Kettery said Moore carried an average caseload of about 39 children.

    When questioned by the defense, Kettery said that number could have climbed to more than 100 at times.

    Kettery testified that although she approved the twins adoption, it was Moore’s job to give her the appropriate background information.

    Posted by Nancy at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

    Man and woman arrested for abusing her son

    January 24, 2004 [Associated Press]

    Council Bluffs, IA- Charges have been filed against a man and woman accused of abusing her three-year-old son.

    The woman, 24-year-old Courtny Anderson, was arrested last week on child endangerment, willful injury and neglect or abuse of a dependent person.

    Her boyfriend, 32-year-old Scott Davis, has been charged with willful injury and child endangerment.

    Police says Davis allegedly hog tied the boy with electrical tape and placed a rag in his mouth to quiet his crying. Anderson shut the lights in the boy's room, closed the door and left him there for at least 20 minutes.

    Police say doctors discovered the boy had been whipped on his legs and back, his left eye was swollen shut and he had burns on the left side of his face.

    The child has been placed in protective custody.

    Posted by Nancy at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

    Child Advocacy Center receives $4,000 gift

    January 24, 2005 [The Buffalo News]

    NIAGARA FALLS - The Martha H. Beeman Foundation has designated a $4,000 gift to the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to support the new Martha H. Beeman Child Advocacy Training Institute.

    The institute will promote state-of-the-art training for the investigation and intervention of cases of child abuse by hosting an ongoing series of educational events for professionals who respond to such cases.

    "We are pleased to be able to help one of the few facilities of its kind in all of New York State," Don Smith, president of the Beeman Foundation's board of directors, said in a prepared statement.

    The institute's first training session will be held Tuesday, when Dr. Eileen Treacy, a New York City psychologist, presents "Forensic Interviewing Practices for Children."

    The Child Advocacy Center responds to reports of physical and sexual child abuse through the combined efforts of law enforcement, medical, behavioral health and social services professionals.

    The Martha H. Beeman Foundation and Beeman clinics were established in 1930 through Martha and Marcus Beeman, who donated $500,000 to the City of Niagara Falls "for whatever purpose best served the needs of those Niagara County residents too young to have made their own mistakes."

    Posted by Nancy at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

    Teacher jailed over children porn

    A former primary school teacher has been jailed for nine months after child pornography was found on his computer.
    January 24, 2005 [BBC News]

    Daniel Kinge, of Eaton Close, Leamington Spa, admitted nine counts of making indecent images of children and one of having indecent photographs.

    Sentencing the 23-year-old at Warwick Crown Court, the judge told Kinge his offences were so serious he had no option but to send him to prison

    He was specially commended in teacher training awards in 2004.

    'Repulsive material'

    Kinge, who taught religious education, was placed on the sex offenders' register for 10 years and prevented from working with children indefinitely.

    Judge James Pyke told him: "You...must understand that those who provide or stimulate a market for this repulsive type of material, must bear their full share of responsibility for the abuse and degradation suffered by the children who were depicted in these images."

    Warwickshire Police became aware of Kinge as part of their investigations into paedophile activity in Leamington.

    But he was caught when the FBI arrested a man in Wisconsin as part of another investigation.

    Kinge was arrested at Wellesbourne Church of England Primary School, Warwickshire, on 18 November 2004.

    Two computers were found to have more than 110 indecent images on them.

    Neil Bannister QC, prosecuting, said the 'evidence eliminator' on his computer was set at the highest level.

    Award winner

    Education department officials in Warwickshire said that Kinge had been dismissed from his school post.

    They added that both the Department for Education and Skills and the General Teaching Council would be informed.

    The school's head teacher, Graeme Burgess, who nominated Kinge for the outstanding teacher award, said he had "fully deserved" the nomination.

    He added: "The children adored him. He only ever seemed to be interested in education and driving forward standards and caring.

    "To find out something like this could be taking place is awful. I think everybody involved feels extremely let down and abused in their own way."

    An order was also made preventing Kinge from having any access to a computer linked to the internet.

    Posted by Nancy at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

    New court date set in child abuse case

    Jan 23, 2005 [Herald Sun]
    By John Stevenson

    DURHAM -- A new court date has been set for what some officials have described as one of the worst nonfatal child-abuse cases in Durham history.

    The case had been set for Durham County Superior Court last week. But it was postponed until Feb. 21, reportedly so two of three suspects could talk to a prosecution investigator.

    Assistant District Attorney Mitchell Garrell said one or more of the suspects might plead guilty next month. If not, they will be arraigned and trial dates will be set, he said.

    The incident involves a 4-year-old boy who allegedly was tied to a closet doorknob for so long May 6, 2004, that he contracted gangrene. One of his legs had to be amputated.

    Tamekecia Justice, the child's mother, and Randall Lee Hargraves are accused of inflicting serious bodily injury on the boy. Desiree Justice, reportedly the boy's grandmother, faces the same charge.

    Each faces prison time if convicted.

    Hargraves was Tamekecia Justice's boyfriend at the time of the incident, and he has now agreed to speak with an investigator for the prosecution, Garrell said. Desiree Justice has done the same, Garrell said Thursday.

    Garrell previously had said that, despite the suspects' relationships, one of them might turn against the others and cooperate with authorities to avoid a prison term. He declined to elaborate on any possible deals.

    The suspects are free on bail. Court documents list the address for Hargraves and Tamekecia Justice as 2503-B S. Roxboro Road.

    Cases of physical child abuse are not rare in Durham, though they generally appear in court less often than robberies or murders.

    Another serious one was resolved in 2003, when Jeanene L. Scurlock was convicted of dipping her daughter into scalding water, leaving the child with burns to both feet and blisters on the right foot.

    Scurlock was placed on probation for three years and ordered to attend parenting classes and perform 100 hours of unpaid community service work.

    The same year, Tyrone Moore received an active prison sentence of 42 to 60 months after he pleaded guilty to felonious child abuse involving serious injury.

    He was accused of shaking his girlfriend's daughter so hard that it caused bleeding in the child's brain and hemorrhaging in her eyes, among other injuries.

    Posted by Nancy at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)