Friday, July 31, 2009

David Smith Arrested for Possession of Child Porn

An employee at a state facility for people with developmental disabilities in Madison has been placed on leave after his arrest Friday for possession of child pornography, police and state officials said.

David E. Smith, 53, of Waunakee is being held in Dane County Jail.

Smith is employed as a therapy assistant at Central Wisconsin Center, where he worked with adults, said Stephanie Smiley, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Smiley said it did not appear that Smith was involved in illegal activity at work, but an investigation is ongoing. Smith is continuing to receive his $38,600 annual salary while on leave, Smiley said.

Waunakee Police Chief Kevin Plendl said “hundreds” of images depicting child pornography were found in Smith’s possession during a search of his home at about 2:30 a.m. Friday.

A computer and camera taken from Smith’s home are being analyzed, Plendl said. Plendl said police obtained a search warrant after receiving information Thursday night that Smith had child pornography at his residence.

Michael Christopher Arrested for Child Porn

Cumberland County sheriff's detectives found child pornography on the computer of a Fort Bragg soldier. They arrested Michael Christopher Skeen, 21, of H-6262 Kendenburg St., Friday.

Skeen's home computer contained photos and videos of children engaging in sexual acts with adults, detectives said. They said Skeen is suspected of downloading the images Nov. 12, 2008, and July 15, 2009.

Skeen is charged with five counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and five counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center under $125,000 bond.

Jason Hagg Sentenced to Probation for Sexual Assault

The 36-year-old former director of a Mountainside church youth group was sentenced yesterday to two years probation for his relationship with a 16-year-old girl he supervised.

Jason Hagg, the son of the church's spiritual leader and a married father of four young children, appeared before Superior Court Judge Joseph Donohue in a tie and navy blazer. About 10 relatives, along with Hagg's wife, lined the court's gallery in a silent show of support.

The judge said probation was appropriate because Hagg would benefit more from rehabilitation than from jail time. While the legal age of consent in New Jersey is 16, Hagg was charged because he held a supervisory position over the girl.

"He completely understands and has taken responsibility for this act, and understands the impact on his family," the judge said. "Mr. Hagg comes from a family of high moral qualities, and he has those same qualities. ... He is clearly very involved in his children's lives."

Hagg was arrested last year and charged with sexual assault. But as part of a negotiated deal, he pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact. Besides two years of probation, he was ordered to pay fines and have no contact with the victim. Under Megan's Law, Hagg will also be required to register with police.

His attorney, Remi Spencer, described her client as a "devoutly religious man" who loves his wife and children. She said he has no prior criminal history, and community and church members submitted about 35 letters to the judge attesting to his good character.

"This case has taken a terrible toll, not just on Jason, but on his wife and his parents," Spencer told the judge. "The fact that the allegations are even out there is something that cannot be taken back ... the gossip mill can be far more painful for the person than the actual sentence."

Quoting biblical verses, the 16-year-old girl and her father each provided statements in court. Standing before the judge, the teenager said she was saddened to see "a church family broken up," but that her faith in Hagg was betrayed.

"He was my friend who I looked up to and trusted very much," she said. "It was a blur to me, a whole confusing mess."

In a letter read by the assistant prosecutor, the girl's father said after Hagg's arrest their family saw "relationships, friendships, trust, our church home for the past 32 years, suddenly cut off."

Hagg admitted in court that he groped the girl while he headed her church youth group, according to Assistant Prosecutor Scott Peterson.

The sexual contact with the teenager took place on multiple occasions in April and May of 2008, at the Mountainside Gospel Chapel and at his home in Piscataway, Peterson said.

Detectives learned of the incidents after a friend of the victim informed a school official at the Berkeley Heights high school the teens attended. The official at Governor Livingston High School then contacted police.

Police arrested Hagg while he was at work as a deliveryman with United Rental in Piscataway. He was released from jail after making $100,000 bail last year.

John Robert Starcevich Sentenced to Probation for Child Porn

A Butte man was sentenced to probation and home confinement for possessing images of child pornography found on his computer.

John Robert Starcevich, 52, appeared before U.S. Judge Donald Malloy in federal court in Missoula Thursday.

At an earlier date, Starcevich pleaded guilty to receipt and possession of sexually explicit images of older children. The images were found by a person asked to repair Starcevich's computer.

Malloy sentenced him to serve five years on probation with six months of home confinement. He was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment fee.

Counselor Alexander Combs Charged with Possession of Child Porn

A youth counselor at a summer camp in Mukwonago has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography, the state Department of Justice announced Friday.

Alexander R. Combs, 22, of Madison admitted to downloading sexually explicit images of young girls on his computer and engaging in online conversations with people who identified themselves as minor females, according to a criminal complaint.

According to the complaint, a search of Combs' computer revealed three images of girls between the ages of 9 and 13.

Combs also said he is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota and that he worked summers at a volunteer at a residential co-ed youth camp in Mukwonago, according to the complaint.

According to a statement from the Department of Justice, Combs was interviewed as part of an ongoing child exploitation investigation by law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Man Could Face Homicide Charge After 2-year-old Dies

A 26-year-old East Bremerton man who was arrested Monday after a child in his care suffered a head injury so severe he was left brain dead could now be facing a homicide charge.

Life support to the two-year-old boy was discontinued at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma Tuesday night and the child was pronounced dead just after 10 p.m., according to Kitsap County Sheriff's Office spokesman Scott Wilson.

According to deputies, the man called 911 from the family's apartment in the 2500 block of Northeast McWilliams Road on Monday to report that his fiancé's son had fallen against a night table and was unconscious.

Wilson said physicians told deputies the child's injuries were inconsistent with the man's story.

According to Wilson, one doctor said, "Had the child been riding unrestrained in the back seat of a vehicle that was involved in a head-on collision, causing the child to fly through the front windshield headfirst, he would have sustained a less serious injury than he had received."

The state's Child Protective Services (CPS) received a referral on the family June 24 after the boy was taken to the emergency room with a cut on his leg. The boy's mother said the injury occurred while the boy was playing in the backyard, according to Sherry Hill with the state office of Children's Administration.

CPS determined that the referral was low risk, but there appeared to be a lack of supervision for the child and the family was referred for family therapy services, Hill said.

Deputies also determined that the child had fallen from a second-story window about 10 days before his death, according to Wilson. The child was treated for that injury at the emergency room where the mother claimed the boy's injuries had resulted from another playground accident. Evidence of other, older injuries were also discovered on the child's body, according to Wilson.

According to Wilson, the man had three children of his own and his fiancé, a 25-year-old woman, had two, including the toddler who died.

On Monday, deputies and case workers from CPS took the four remaining children into protective custody.

The children have been placed into temporary foster homes, Wilson said.

Deputies are still investigating whether the mother had any involvement in the child's death.

"If we find out that she was implicated in it, or knew about it and did nothing, then charges against her are certainly possible," Wilson said.

The man is being held on $500,000 bail in Kitsap County Jail on investigation of first-degree child assault, but Kitsap County prosecutor Chris Casad said the man could face a charge of homicide.

Charges are expected to be filed Thursday.

Teacher Robert Barth Arrested for Child Porn

An Orange County man was an Army veteran, foster parent, second grade teacher and accused child porn junkie. Robert Barth was quietly arrested on Monday, but the allegations against him came to light Thursday in a federal hearing where his lawyer was trying to get him out of jail.

Barth posted bond around 2:00pm Thursday. Neighbors and parents are stunned by his arrest and subsequent release.

Barth, 57, has taught fourth and second graders at Cheney Elementary School since 2004. The community around that school is in shock and frustrated; they had no idea why he suddenly left the school.

Federal investigators arrested Barth early this week on child pornography charges. Court documents reveal the 27-year Army vet started downloading child porn in 2005.

No one answered at his home Thursday and, later, a car pulled in and the garage closed.

Eyewitness News found a handprint of a small child outside the home and the Department of Children and Families says Barth and his wife have had 19 foster children since 2002, but DCF has had no allegations of abuse.

The school district pulled Barth out of the classroom and put him on paid leave in December when it learned he was under investigation by the FBI.

"It's kind of scary," parent Angel Gonzalez told Eyewitness News.

Gonzalez has two children and lives across the street in from Barth in his east Orange County neighborhood. He describes Barth as quiet, but friendly.

News of his arrest has people in the area wondering how a family man and teacher could get involved in such a disturbing crime involving children.

"I don't like it, kind of dangerous, especially working at school," Gonzalez said.

Barth is out on bond and will be on home confinement. Court documents show he has surrendered his passport.

The school district is working with law enforcement to determine if he'll be fired

Daniel Schillinger Sentenced to 20 Years for Sexual Assault

A 48-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man was sentenced this morning in Wood County Circuit Court to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting children.

Daniel A. Schillinger was given 15 years of extended supervision to follow his prison sentence and was ordered to pay $840.20 plus $270.35 restitution, undergo any counseling deemed necessary and have no contact with his victims or children younger than 18 for two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of repeated sexual assault of a child.

Wood County Circuit Court Judge Edward Zappen Jr. said Schillinger’s lack of understanding about the seriousness of the crime and failure to take responsibility for his actions were factors in the sentence.

According to one criminal complaint, Schillinger repeatedly inappropriately touched and had sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl on several occasions in late 2006 and early 2007.

In the second case, the criminal complaint said Schillinger inappropriately touched two girls and had them touch him.

Teacher Danial Rothbard Arrested for Sexual Assault on 15-year-old

An elementary school math teacher and longtime camp counselor was arrested on July 21 and charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, police said.

Daniel Rothbard, 28, of Merrick, was found in a car with the girl in the parking lot of Westbrook Elementary School in West Islip at 8:25 p.m. last Tuesday, and was arrested. Aside from being a camp counselor in East Rockaway, Rothbard teaches at Willow Road School in Franklin Square.

Detective Lt. Matt Sullivan of Suffolk County’s 3rd Precinct said Rothbard was “in a partial state of undress” at the time of the arrest. Sullivan did not say whether the girl was unclothed as well, but he did say the two were not having sex when they were discovered by a patrol officer.

Investigators learned that Rothbard, who graduated from Lawrence High School in 1999, met the girl through MySpace, and that in online conversations in which he used the name “DJ” or “D to the J,” he told her he was 17. Sullivan said that investigators are trying to determine whether he used the Internet to meet other underage girls.

Rothbard was charged with two felonies, third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act; and two misdemeanors, third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip on July 22, according to his attorney, Todd Greenberg, and was released after $5,000 bail was posted in cash later that day.

Rothbard, who is married, has been a teacher in Valley Stream District 13 for the past four years. He has worked as a math specialist at the James A. Dever School in Valley Stream and, most recently, at Willow Road School in Franklin Square. He earned tenure in the district in 2008.

In a written statement, District 13 Superintendent Elizabeth Lison said, “The district is currently consulting with its legal counsel regarding this teacher’s employment status.” Lison also noted that Rothbard had undergone a background check before he was hired, and had no criminal record. She described the arrest as “an incident unrelated to his employment with the district.”

Rothbard was also employed for 16 years at Rolling River Day Camp in East Rockaway as a counselor, and then as an assistant supervisor. In a letter to parents, camp directors Rhonda and Mark Goodman wrote that his “employment has been terminated,” adding, “We have no reason to believe he engaged in similar behavior with anyone at camp.” But the letter urged parents to ask children about any inappropriate activity they may have experienced.

Mark Goodman said that Rothbard’s younger brother, Eric, works at Rolling River, as he has for “a lot of years.” Goodman could not confirm whether Rothbard’s wife, who is also a camp employee, would be returning to Rolling River, but said, “She’s taking a few days.”

“We know him as a very decent young man,” Greenberg said, “and we look forward to resolving this case.”

If convicted, Rothbard faces 16 months to four years in prison and the loss of his teaching license. Section 10.55 of New York State Education Law empowers the commissioner of education to revoke the certificate of a teacher convicted of a sex crime.

Rothbard is due back in court on Sept. 22.

Maynor Quintanilla Leon Arrested for Sexual Assault on 6-year-old

A Chillum man caught on videotape sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy was arrested in Houston on Tuesday after police identified and located his victim, who confirmed that he had been attacked, authorities said.

Maynor O. Quintanilla Leon, 24, of the 5900 block of Eastern Avenue was charged with second-degree sexual offense and child abuse in connection with the attack on the boy, whom police identified as a family friend of Quintanilla Leon's.

Police in Prince George's learned that Quintanilla Leon might be in Texas and contacted U.S. marshals for help in finding him, authorities said. He is being held in Houston and is awaiting extradition to Prince George's, authorities said.

Investigators were tipped off about the attack July 8, when someone delivered a videotape depicting the attack to the department's District 1 station. The person apparently received the tape from someone else and was unable to tell investigators who was on it, said Cpl. Mike Rodriguez, a Prince George's police spokesman. Later, the tape's finder the tape called to identify the man in it as Quintanilla Leon, Rodriguez said. Investigators questioned him, but lacking a victim, could not charge him, Rodriguez said.

An officer showing Quintanilla Leon's picture in District 1 found an address for him, according to a source familiar with the case, who was not authorized to speak about it. The 6-year-old lived at that address and told investigators what had happened, the source said.

Trooper Jay Gruwell Charged with Sexual Abuse on 5-year-old

A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper faces a felony charge of child sexual abuse based on a 5-year-old girl's allegation that he made her touch his genitals.

Trooper Jay Gruwell, a 23-year veteran of the force stationed in Lusk, waived a preliminary hearing Wednesday and was bound over to Campbell County District Court. District Judge Dan R. Price II has not yet set a date for his arraignment.

An affidavit by a Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agent states Gruwell, 54, was off-duty and visiting a home in Gillette at the time of the alleged incident in May.

The agent states in the affidavit that the girl told someone in the home that Gruwell exposed himself. She later told an investigator that Gruwell made her touch him.

According to the affidavit, Gruwell told agents that he exposed himself in the girl's presence. He said she fled when he asked her if she wanted to touch him.

Court records show that Cheyenne lawyer Gay Woodhouse represents Gruwell. An attempt to reach her for comment on Thursday was unsuccessful.

Col. Sam Powell, administrator of the Highway Patrol, said Gruwell has been on administrative leave since May 20.

Powell said Gruwell has an unblemished record with the patrol.

"I would remind everyone, whether you are a police officer or not, that you are innocent until proven guilty," Powell said.

Emily Kay Thurber Charged with 11 Sex Crimes Against Children

A 26-year-old Rupert woman charged with 11 sex crimes against children has been scheduled for a preliminary hearing on some of the charges Friday.

Emily Kay Thurber is charged with one count of lewd conduct with a child, one count of sexual battery of a minor child, two counts of sexual abuse of a child, three counts of statutory rape and four counts of criminal conspiracy. Prosecutors say the charges stem from incidents between 2005 and 2008 with two victims. They are split among three separate court cases.

Thurber’s fiance, 30-year-old Joseph David Lentz of Idaho Falls, was accused of taking part in the alleged abuse. He was sentenced in May to four to 16 years in prison for statutory rape and sexual abuse of a child

Lucas Ruric Coe Has Long History with Child Protective Services

The boyfriend of the Spring woman whose 4-year-old daughter died after being beaten and sexually assaulted has a lengthy history with Texas Child Protective Services as well as criminal records for assault with a deadly weapon, criminal mischief and injury to a child, records obtained by the Houston Chronicle show.

Before Emma Thompson's June 27 death, CPS officials had investigated him not once but three times in unrelated cases involving another girlfriend's child.

But child abuse workers said they never knew Lucas Ruric Coe, 27, had been in the same house as Abigail Young and her three children.

It would take Emma's death before CPS learned the truth from Young: that she had been dating Coe since last December. The revelation came this week during a custody hearing in which Young's other two daughters were placed with her estranged husband and his parents.

When CPS was notified June 8 that Emma had blisters on her hands, inside her mouth and in her genital area, investigators were sent to interview Young and examine Emma and her two sisters, ages 11 and 6.

When tests confirmed the young girl had herpes, Young, a registered nurse, said she lived alone with her children, and that no one other than her estranged husband and day care workers had access to Emma, CPS spokeswoman Estella Olguin said.

“Throughout the investigation, Ms. Young denied that anyone other than her and her husband and the day care (center) had access to her children,” Olguin said. “She denied seeing anybody else or having a boyfriend.”

Where investigation stands
So far no one has been charged in the month-old death. Harris County investigators are waiting for the preliminary results of Emma's autopsy, performed 34 days ago in Conroe, before making any arrests.

The girl, who had suffered a skull fracture, a severed pancreas, and vaginal tearing, evidence of sexual assault, was dead by the time she reached a hospital.

“The Harris County Sheriff's Office-Homicide Division is patiently awaiting autopsy results from the Southeast Texas Forensic Center in Conroe before approaching the District Attorney's Office with charges in this case,” said Lt. John Legg, spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

“The investigation is ongoing. No one at this time has been officially named nor ruled out as a possible suspect.”

Young has denied having anything to do with her daughter's death. A woman who answered the door at Coe's mother's home in Waller on Thursday said Coe would have no comment.

Awaiting trial
CPS investigated Coe as a possible perpetrator three times — in 2005, 2006 and 2007 — all involving the son of another girlfriend. He has been indicted on charges of injuring that child; the case has yet to come to trial in Montgomery County. The indictment accuses Coe of striking the boy on the head and body with his hand in July 2007, according to prosecutor Frank Barnett.

In January 2005, CPS first investigated injuries to a Magnolia boy, then 5, which included two black eyes, bruising on one cheek, a bruise on his back and a light bruise on one of his buttocks, said CPS spokeswoman Gwen Carter. Coe was living with the boy and his mother.

When CPS discovered the boy's injuries, he was removed from the home.

“What we found was his injuries were not consistent with the explanation given” for how they occurred, Carter said. The case was closed in August 2005 when the mother reported her relationship with Coe had ended.

Same boy, three times
Coe came to CPS' attention again in 2006 when more injuries on the same boy were reported.

This time, the child had bruises to his face, ears, shoulders and chest, as well as a busted lip. He told caseworkers another child at school hurt him and he had fallen, but he also said Coe had twisted his ears. Coe and the child's mother denied bruising the boy, Carter said.

CPS concluded no abuse occurred and closed the case.

“Looking at it, I think there's some follow-up that should have been done,” Carter said of the case. “Just reading this, I think there's some things the caseworker should have gone more in depth with, knowing the history.”

Coe appears for the third time in March 2007 when the agency investigated a complaint of physical and emotional abuse to the same boy, then 7. Again, more bruises.

CPS discovered the boy living with Coe, along with a 2-year-old girl that Coe had fathered with the boy's mother. The agency took custody of both children, who later went to live with grandparents.

Criminal history
Coe's extensive CPS history is matched by a long criminal history.

In addition to the indictment on charges of injuring the boy, Coe has previously been arrested on other charges in Montgomery, Harris and Galveston counties, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two driving while intoxicated cases and criminal mischief, records show.

He served six years of probation that ended in March for a December 2002 aggravated assault case in Harris County. Tomball police Detective Ron McGullion said Coe was arrested after intentionally crashing his vehicle into a car occupied by several people, badly breaking one man's leg, during a fight over a woman in an Academy store's parking lot.

5-year-old Killed Because Argument Over Breakfast

The father of a 5-year-old boy is in jail in Osceola County. Detectives say he beat his son to death because of an argument over breakfast. The boy wouldn't eat his breakfast at his dad's Poinciana house on Friday and, deputies say, his father beat him to death.

The father's girlfriend is also in jail. Detectives think she may have been the first to hit the little boy with her belt and, when the boy hit back, they say his father went over the edge.

Former Deputy Michael Boulware Charged with Having Sex with Minor

A former Sumter County deputy has now been charged with having sex with an underage girl.

Michael Boulware, 26, has been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Arrests warrants claim Boulware had sex with a 14-year-old girl near the Wedgefield Community sometime between June 1 and June 30 of this year.

Boulware was arrested earlier this month on three counts of contributing to the deliquency of a minor and three counts of transferring alcohol to a minor.

Deputies say Boulware gave alcohol to three people who were all under the age of seventeen. The claims were first reported on July 16, and Boulware was fired the next day after he was charged.

Boulware was a deputy assigned to the patrol division.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Teacher James Victor Healy Hangs Himself After Arrested for Child Porn

A longtime Fresno Unified School District teacher hanged himself Tuesday in the Fresno County Jail, not long after he was arrested at school on suspicion of child pornography, officials said.

James Victor Healy, 65, of Fresno was arrested at J.E. Young High School, a year-round independent-study campus, about 11 a.m. Tuesday and arrived at the Fresno County Jail about 11:17 a.m., according to a jail document.

Fresno County Sheriff's Office spokesman Chris Curtice would only say that Healy was being held on suspicion of child pornography. A federal spokeswoman wouldn't elaborate on why agents arrested Healy.

Curtice said Healy was placed in a booking cell, but because he had not yet been booked, he still had on his belt and shoes.

Healy was found hanging from his belt "a short time later," Curtice said, and was taken to Community Regional Medical Center. Healy was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, the Fresno County Coroner's office said.

Healy had been a Fresno Unified teacher for 35 years, district spokeswoman Susan Bedi said. He was a technology teacher and had taught at Duncan Polytechnical High School and worked for the district's technology services department, Bedi said.

"On behalf of Fresno Unified, we would like to extend our condolences to the family during this difficult time," Bedi said in a statement issued Wednesday.

A woman who answered the telephone at Healy's residence declined to comment.

Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed that agents took Healy into custody Tuesday but declined to give details about what led to his arrest. "There is no criminal complaint at this point," she said.

Gerarlo Jimenez Sentenced to 35 Years for Sexual Assault

A 42-year-old Glendale Heights man was sentenced to 35 years in prison on today for repeatedly sexually assaulting a 12-year old girl in 2007.

Gerarlo Jimenez, formerly of the 0 block of West Schubert Avenue, was convicted in October 2008 by DuPage Judge Perry Thompson of three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual assault, said Assistant DuPage State's Atty. Michael Pawl.

Jimenez was charged in 2007 with molesting the child several times in early 2007 after the victim's mother reported her concerns to police.

Pawl said he was pleased with the sentence but added "no period of time is appropriate or adequate for this crime."

"Mr. Jimenez sexually assaulted this young victim to satisfy his sick needs," said DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett. "And now he will have the next 35 years behind bars to think about the pain that he has caused his victim."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Otty Sanchez Dismembered 3 1/2 Week-old Baby

The warning signs were there. Otty Sanchez, a schizophrenic with a history of hospitalizations, wasn't taking medication and was depressed after her son's birth, the boy's father said. A simple request seemed to set her off, alarming him and his family.

Yet, the 33-year-old woman was staying in a house where she had access to samurai swords. Child welfare officials were never called.

Instead, Sanchez's troubles became apparent to authorities when they found her before dawn Sunday screaming that she had killed her baby. Her 3 1/2-week-old son was dismembered in a scene so gruesome that police were left shaken.

"Maybe we missed" warning signs, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said. "I don't know."

Sanchez remained hospitalized Tuesday recovering from self-inflicted cuts to her torso and an attempt to slice her own throat. The former home health care worker is charged with capital murder and is being held on $1 million bond. Calls to relatives Tuesday were not immediately returned and it was not clear whether Sanchez had an attorney.

Authorities said Sanchez tried killing herself after butchering her newborn son, Scott Wesley Buchholz-Sanchez, with a steak knife and two swords while her sister and two nieces, ages 5 and 7, slept in another room.

Sanchez told police — who described a scene so horrifying that investigators could barely speak to one another — that the devil made her kill, mutilate and eat parts of her only child.

Scott W. Buchholz, the infant's father who met Sanchez six years ago while they were studying to be pharmacists assistants, said he isn't buying it. He said although his girlfriend had postpartum depression and told him a week before the killing that she was schizophrenic, she didn't appear unstable.

He wants prosecutors to pursue the death penalty.

"She killed my son. She should burn in hell," Buchholz, 33, told The Associated Press.

Otty Sanchez's medical history is muddled. A family member said Sanchez had been undergoing psychiatric treatment and that a hospital called looking for her several months ago. Gloria Sanchez, Otty's aunt, said her niece had been "in and out of a psychiatric ward."

In May 2008, Otty Sanchez's mother, Manuela Sanchez, called police after her daughter didn't return from a trip to Austin, saying she was concerned about her daughter's safety. Manuela Sanchez told police she suspected Otty was into drugs and specifically told police she wasn't suffering from any mental issues.

Buchholz, who is himself schizophrenic and takes six anti-psychotic and anti-convulsive medications, said Otty had postpartum depression and had been going to regular counseling sessions after the birth, but refused to take prescription medication for her depression. Still, he said she seemed fine.

"She seemed like a a very caring, loving mother. She held him, she breast fed him. She did everything for him that was nice," he said.

On July 20, Sanchez was taken to the hospital for depression and released less than a day later, Buchholz said. Sanchez told him that she was schizophrenic and was going to live with her parents and sister. Sanchez was arrested at her mother's house, where police found her and the dead infant.

Five days later, on Saturday, Sanchez brought "Baby Scotty" for a visit but stormed out after he asked for a copy of the birth certificate and other documents, Buchholz said. Buchholz called 911 to report that Sanchez stormed out and drove away with the infant without properly restraining him in the car, and deputies investigated it as a disturbance.

The deputy took a report but could do little else, said Bexar County Sheriff Chief Deputy Dale Bennett.

"If this guy had given us an indication that she had postpartum depression, or mental defects she was suffering from, we may have addressed it differently," he said.

Buchholz said he may have told the deputy Sanchez was depressed, but that he wasn't sure.

While schizophrenia generally develops in men in their late teens and early 20s, women tend to develop the illness, marked by abnormal impressions of reality, later in life.

Most new mothers suffer from postpartum blues as hormones shift after a pregnancy and they're fatigued handling a new baby. But as many as one-fifth suffer from the more serious postpartum depression, which includes symptoms like despair and failing to eat or sleep.

Postpartum psychosis is far rarer, affecting only about one woman in 1,000. Women with postpartum psychosis have delusions, frequently involving religious symbols and a desire to harm their newborn, said Richard Pesikoff, a psychiatry professor at the Baylor College of Medicine.

He testified in the second trial of Andrea Yates, the high-profile case of a Houston-area mother found not guilty by reason of insanity after drowning her five children. Similar to Sanchez's claim that the devil told her to kill her son, Yates told authorities Satan was inside of her and she was trying to save her children.

"The most common part of postpartum psychosis is the delusional thinking," said Pesikoff. "Often but not always, it encompasses some type of religious thought. God is telling you to do something. The devil is telling you to do something."

Women with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are at particularly high risk for developing postpartum psychosis.

For women with schizophrenia who are not taking medication, the risk of developing psychosis is 50 percent or higher, said Lucy Puryear, another psychiatrist who was involved in the Yates case.

If a mother is diagnosed with psychosis, she should immediately be hospitalized and separated from the child, Puryear said.

Some psychiatrists will tell women with schizophrenia not to have children because of the high risks, but she said with medication and treatment, "it's possible to have a child and have a good outcome."

While Sanchez could face trial, other similar cases — including that of Yates and Dena Schlosser, a Plano woman who said she sliced off her baby's arms because she wanted to give the baby to God — have ended with juries finding the women not guilty by reason of insanity.

Emperatriz Meza-Reyna Arrested for Child Abuse

A 7-year-old girl is in a coma with critical head injuries just months after state foster care workers returned her to her mother, who was convicted last year of child abuse.

Now the 21-year-old mother is once again in jail on suspicion of beating the child, who may not survive.

Emperatriz Meza-Reyna took her daughter to Pioneer Valley Hospital on July 22 with a head injury, bruises on her body and a bite mark, West Valley City police Capt. Tom McLachlan said.

During the examination, the girl went into cardiac arrest and was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center. There, she underwent brain surgery and remains in a coma in critical condition.

Meza-Reyna told police her daughter fell down stairs, but doctors say her injuries are not consistent with a fall.

McLachlan said the girl's injuries appear to be caused by being hit with a hard object or slammed into a floor, wall or another hard surface.

Meza-Reyna has two other children who don't appear to have been abused, police said. But the mother was arrested in January 2008 on suspicion of child abuse involving the same child. She pleaded guilty to two charges of third-degree felony child abuse.

According to those charges, Meza-Reyna admitted to strangling the child and covering her mouth and nose multiple times, beating her with a belt and a cable cord and writing on the child with a black marker, injuring the child's face. A doctor in that case said the child had bruises and marks all over her body. The doctor also said there was evidence of a head injury, including soft-tissue swelling and bleeding on the brain.

Meza-Reyna was sentenced in January; all prison time was suspended. She served 17 days in jail and was given 36 months of probation.

McLachlan said the Division of Child and Family Services had custody of the girl for a period of time before she was returned to her mother several months ago.

Meza-Reyna has an immigration detainer against her, which means she will be deported once the case ends and she is released to federal authorities.

DCFS spokeswoman Liz Sollis would not comment on the case. She said DCFS in general usually works with other health, school and law enforcement professionals to determine the best interest of the child involved in an abusive situation. The parent, if they have been convicted of child abuse, is usually required to complete court imposed programs and classes before a judge determines when the child may return home.

McLachlan said Meza-Reyna and her children recently lived with another adult, but their relationship is unknown. He said the man is not a suspect in the new case.

Meza-Reyna was booked into the Salt Lake County jail Thursday on suspicion of child abuse. She is being held on $50,000 bail.

Joseph Lee Arrested for Dunking 7-year-old in Sink Full of Water

Huntsville police arrested a man Friday accused of picking up a 7-year-old boy by the ankles and dunking him, upside down, in a sink full of water.

Joseph A. Lee, a 61-year-old professor at Alabama A&M University, was arrested and charged with one count of torture and willful abuse of a child under the age of 18, said police spokesman Sgt. Mark Roberts.

Roberts said officers were called to 223 Salem Drive in Huntsville at 1:40 p.m. Friday. A 14-year-old witness told officers that Lee picked the boy up by the ankles, dunked his head in the sink and dropped him on the ground, Roberts said.

The police incident report did not detail the events leading to the alleged abuse.

Lee, a graduate of Tuskegee University, teaches community planning and urban studies at Alabama A&M, according to university spokesman Jerome Saintjones. Lee also is president of A&M's Community Development Corp., an agency that works to revitalize neighborhoods near the campus. The address listed on the police report - Salem Drive - is in the Edmonton Heights neighborhood and a block away from the southern edge of the campus.

Saintjones and President Andrew Hugine declined to comment on Lee's arrest. It's unclear if the university has taken any administrative action against Lee.

Torture and willful abuse of a child is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Reports of Child Abuse on the Rise in Arkansas

In recent weeks, several alarming reports about child sexual abuse have been made. In one case, a Sebastian County man was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a young relative. Police said the abuse had been happening for years.

Every week, local Crimes Against Children investigators receive dozens of reports of sexual abuse involving children.

“I cover seven counties, and we average 50-70 reports a month,” said Teri Ward, a supervisor with the Crimes Against Children Division of the Arkansas State Police.

Ward said that investigators see busier months than others and reports tend to go down during the summer because school is not in session. There are mandated reporters of child abuse, including teachers, counselorrs, therapists and police. When school is not in session, children may not have a chance to report abuse to a school employee.

“When the economy hits a low, that can increase child abuse,” said Abra Lang, a Child Advocate with the Children’s Safety Center in Springdale. The Children’s Safety Center is a place where recovery starts for children of abuse. Unfortunately, advocates there also stay very busy year round. Since January more than 300 children have received help at the center.

Lang said she can't attribute the increase in reported abuse to the economy or to other factors, but does believe people are reporting abuse more often.

“I think there’s more awareness about sexual abuse and there’s been a lot of education,” said Lang.

Experts also said that the number of reported cases is alarming, but they believe that there are countless other cases that are never reported.
Related Stories:
July 28, 2009: Man Accused Of Assaulting Young Relative
July 22, 2009: Man Accused Of Sexually Abusing Relative For Years
July 15, 2009: Man Pleads Not Guilty To Raping Child
July 14, 2009: Man Arrested On Sexual Assault Charges
July 10, 2009: Sebastian Co. Man Accused Of Raping 1-Year-Old
July 2, 2009: Springdale Man Arrested In Child Porn Case
June 24, 2009: Study: Missing Kids Posters Rarely Work

Jennifer Gonzalez Arrested for Child Abuse

A Vero Beach woman hit a 4-year-old child in the face with a belt because the child was being bad, the Indian River County Sheriff's Office said.

Jennifer Gonzalez, 26, was arrested Monday on one count of child abuse.

According to an arrest affidavit, the child told deputies, "I got whooped." When asked why, the child said because he or she was being bad and stomping his or her feet.

Gonzalez is also accused of hitting the child across the shoulder and thighs. Deputies said they noticed bruising on the child in all three locations.

An adult who was home during the incident told deputies he saw Gonzalez grab a belt from the bedroom and heard the child getting spanked, but he did not see it happen. He told deputies Gonzalez asked him to say the child slipped on the kitchen floor and fell on a mop.

According to the affidavit, Gonzalez initially told deputies the child slipped on the kitchen floor and got bruised, but when confronted, she admitted to hitting the child with the belt.

David Prongay Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault

An Edison man admitted today that he sexually assaulted a member of the lacrosse team he coached and endangered the welfare of another girl he coached in softball in 2002.

David Prongay, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in October.

Prongay told Superior Court Judge Frederick De Vesa in New Brunswick that he sexually assaulted a child between the ages of 13 and 16 between April 1, 2008, and Feb. 1, 2009.

Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christi Bevacqua said Prongay assaulted the victim "multiple times."

Prongay admitted he "kissed" the second victim, who was 15 in 2002 when the incident occurred. Under questioning from the judge, Prongay admitted the kiss was for his own sexual gratification.

For five seasons, Prongay, a general contractor, was a volunteer coach for the Edison Lightning, a lacrosse team for seventh- and eighth-graders. He also had coached the Edison Angels, a recreational softball team, in 2002.

"We think it was a fair resolution that was struck to spare the victims from any more court proceedings," Bevacqua said after the plea hearing. "The victims are very pleased that this was done. This was a huge betrayal of trust for both victims and this (proceeding) is closure."

Several members of the victims' families were in court for the hearing and became emotional as Prongay spoke.

Prongay was arrested Feb. 18 and charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the lacrosse team victim. He was free on $250,000 bail on Feb. 24 when he was arrested and charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the member of the softball team.

He had faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Prongay pleaded guilty to an accusation. His case had not yet been presented to a grand jury.

In return for his guilty plea, the state agreed to dismiss the more serious aggravated sexual assault charge, along with all but one of the child endangerment charges.

The agreement calls for the state to recommend Prongay receive up to 10 years in prison for the sexual assault and four years for the child endangerment, with the two sentences to run at the same time.

De Vesa said Prongay could be ordered to serve up to one third of his sentence before he becomes eligible for parole.

The judge scheduled sentencing for Oct. 13, but that will depend on when the court receives the report from the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel on whether Prongay is a repetitive or compulsive sex offender.

James Pat Wheat Arrested for Sexual Assault on 4-year-old

A 60-year-old Gatesville man is charged with the sexual assault of a child after police say the 4-year-old alleged victim made an outcry to her mom.

Gatesville Police tell News Channel 25 the alleged crime happened last week at a residence in Gatesville where the child had been taken for daycare.

The girl made an outcry to her mother who took the child to a medical facility where medical staff determined that a sexual assault had occurred.

After an investigation, Gatesville Police arrested James Pat Wheat. He remains in the Coryell County jail in lieu of $35,000 bond.

Barry Eugene Burrous Arrested for Sexual Assault

Barry Eugene Burrous, 33, was arrested Monday by members of the Fremont County combined investigative response team.

Burrous has been charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, victim less than 15 years of age, a class-3 felony.

Burrous has been charged with having unlawful sexual contact with two juveniles whose ages are currently 16 and 13.

His arrest is the culmination of a series of allegations dating back to December of 2004.

Burrous is currently being held at the Fremont County Detention Center on a $60,000 cash only bond.

Information provided the Canon City Police Department.

University Student Arrested for Sexual Assault on 13-year-old

A 20-year-old Central Washington University student has been arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl he met when she was attending a music camp where he was an instructor, Ellensburg police said Tuesday.

The suspect was arrested Monday in his hometown of Bothell, Wash., and was transported to Ellensburg. He was booked into the Kittitas County jail on two counts each of second-degree child rape, second-degree child molestation and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, according to a news release from Ellensburg police Capt. Mike Coppin.

The victim was staying with her aunt in Ellensburg while attending the music camp, which was July 3-12 at Central, Coppin said. The alleged sexual abuse occurred last week, he said.

Ellensburg police are investigating whether there may be other victims. Anyone with concerns or information should contact the police department at 509-962-7280.

Eduardo Torres-Franco Wanted for Molesting 3-year-old

Eduardo Torres-Franco faced six to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty earlier this month to molesting a 3-year-old girl.

But instead of appearing in a Rolling Meadows courtroom for sentencing Tuesday, the 39-year-old Palatine man skipped the hearing and likely the country.

"I can only assume he's in Mexico," Torres-Franco's private attorney, Steven Goldman, said afterward.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Fecarotta issued a no-bail warrant for Torres-Franco's arrest and set a judgment date for Sept. 1, at which time bond he could be indicted on a bail jumping charge. Torres-Franco, of the 1700 block of Rose Street in Palatine, wasn't in custody because he previously posted 10 percent of his $100,000 bond.

On July 14, Torres-Franco pleaded guilty of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse for crimes that took place between 1999 and 2001. Prospect Heights police said he admitted to molesting the 3-year-old daughter of a woman he dated at the time. The abuse occurred when Torres-Franco baby-sat the child, prosecutors said.

The victim came forward in February with claims of the abuse.

Goldman said he last spoke with Torres-Franco, who he said was in the U.S. illegally, during the guilty plea. He said he wasn't surprised his client fled.

"I didn't expect him here," Goldman said.

Wayne Bucklein Arrested for Sexual Assault

After an investigation, A Chubbuck man, already in the Bannock County Jail, will have more charges added to his wrap sheet.

45-year-old Wayne Bucklein was arrested over the weekend for allegedly touching a child inappropriately in the grand stands of the Bannock County Fairgrounds during the POW*MIA rally. The Bannock County Sheriff's office says after an investigation they found Bucklein also allegedly had sexual contact with a vulnerable female at the same place during the 4th of July celebration. Bucklein is in the bannock county jail being held without bond.

Brad Rocklin Montgomery Sentenced to Life for Sexual Assault

A Fallon man accused of sexual assault and unlawful use of a minor to produce pornography and lewdness with children will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Brad Rocklin Montgomery, 54, showed little emotion on Tuesday as Judge Will Rogers imposed the sentences that will run consecutively.

Montgomery had pleaded guilty to 10 charges of lewdness with a child under the age of 14, five counts of unlawful use of a minor less than 14 years of age in producing pornography or as a subject of sex portrayal in performance and one charge of sexual assault on a child under the age of 14.

Of the 10 charges of lewdness with a child under the age of 14, Montgomery was sentenced four to 10 years in prison on six of them and life in prison with a possibility of parole after 10 years on the other four charges.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Lane Mills mentioned the different sentence ranges were the result of when the crimes were committed. The Nevada Legislature changed the sentence ranges in 1996-97 for this crime.

On the charges of producing pornography or as a subject of sex portrayal in performance, Montgomery received life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years on each count, and on the sexual assault on a child under the age of 14, he was sent to prison for life with the possibility of parole after 35 years.

Montgomery's sister, Connie Barrier said her brother came from “good stock” with high Christian principles.

She told the court Montgomery has potential and asked for leniency.

“He has never been in trouble with the law before,” she said. “He is a good person.”

Mills attacked Barrier's claim that her brother came from good stock, and he asked if she was aware Montgomery said he was molested as a child from their father.

After she said she was not aware of it, Mills asked her if she believed her brother was a “liar.” She said she did not think so.

Mills said the case arose after a child had the courage to report what allegedly had been happening to him. When Montgomery was arrested in New Mexico, Mills said he had a hard drive computer drive with “vile, reprehensible material.”

“You only have to look at this for a second,” Mills said of the material seized from the defendant.

In 1996 and 1997 Montgomery was accused of video taping children as they exited school buses. Also recovered was a photo of a simulated sexual act with a stuffed pig and videos, including one titled “Toy.”

“When you look at this, this man deserves every consecutive (life) sentence allowed by law,” Mills said. “This is a signal to send to the world at large. He was one click away from sending this material to other perverts in the world.

He also said a photo was recovered of a boy wearing a baseball uniform which was the same team Montgomery coached in the Fallon Youth Baseball league years ago.

“This is a man with absolutely no remorse and blames the child,” Mills added. “He is evil. The message is pedophiles and perverts like Montgomery cannot do this to children. Throw the book at Mr. Montgomery.”

Public Defender Chet Kafchinski said he does not know if his client ever had a chance to succeed in life.

“He's never had been given the opportunity to grow as an adult,” he said.

Montgomery said he has looked back and researched his life to determine why he had these problems and committed certain acts.

Rogers said the court finds this to be one of the most serious cases because perpetrators like Montgomery are dooming children.

“I don't believe that as a society we can look away from that,” he said. “At this juncture sir, your life or whatever is left of it, will be spent in the department of corrections. I don't care about you. I do care about the people in the community.”

Bus Driver Anthony James Leffler Accused of Molesting Boy on Bus

A Port Authority bus driver accused of molesting a boy on his empty bus July 3 on Freeport Road will stand trial.

Anthony James Leffler, 52, of the Morningside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, faces misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and corruption of minors.

On Monday, prosecutors without comment dropped an unlawful restraint charge, a felony, against Leffler.

Leffler's attorney, Anthony Foglia, insisted yesterday that the remaining charges are a mistake because he says nothing improper happened.

In an affidavit, investigators said a Port Authority surveillance camera captured the incident.

Leffler's attorney said a judge and jury will treat the case differently when they see the tape.

"There is no illegal sexual conduct at all. There was no crime," Foglia said outside the courtroom.

Leffler "doesn't know what he did wrong," Foglia said.

An assistant district attorney declined comment yesterday.

The Valley News Dispatch does not identify people purported to be the victim of sexual assault.

The charges were held for court by District Judge David Sosovicka of Harmar.

Leffler is scheduled to be formally charged Oct. 1 in Allegheny County Court in Pittsburgh.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lawrence Schultz Sentenced to 10 years for Sexual Assault

A 60-year-old Fond du Lac man will spend 10 years in prison and serve 15 years on extended supervision for sexual assault.

On May 26, Lawrence M. Schultz pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child, which was amended from repeated sexual assault of the same child.

Two counts of causing a child younger than 13 years of age to view/listen to a sexual act and first-degree sexual assault of a child were dismissed and read into the court record.

The sexual assaults were reported to have occurred in 2008, according to the criminal complaint.

Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Richard Nuss warned Schultz that violating extended supervision would lead to another appearance in court in which Schultz could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Fond du Lac County District Attorney Dan Kaminsky recommended a sentence of 22 years in prison with 10 years extended supervision. He said that despite Schultz's lack of a criminal history, Schultz could sexually assault other children if not in custody.

Kaminsky added that the only reason he did not request the maximum of 25 years in prison is because there were no allegations of sexual intercourse.

Defense attorney William Mayer said the pre-sentence investigation recommendation of probation would be sufficient. Mayer noted that Schultz accepted responsibility and basically turned himself in when he confessed to a counselor.

Mya Lee Dies From Blunt Force Trauma

The death Friday of a 21-month-old Hammond girl has been ruled a homicide.

Mya Lee, of 2208 Woodhollow Lane, died of a blunt force trauma, swelling of the brain and child abuse, a spokesman for Cook County medical examiner said.

The ruling was the result of an autopsy on Sunday, the spokesman said.

The girl was pronounced dead at 7:25 a.m. Friday at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, the spokesman said.

The death is under investigation by Hammond police, department spokesman Lt. Richard Hoyda said.

The girl had been driven to a local hospital on Thursday by the boyfriend of the mother before being transferred to Comer Children's Hospital, Hoyda said.

Several people have been questioned as part of the investigation, but no one has been charged yet, Hoyda said.

Teacher Anthony Ruiz Arrested for Getting 16-year-old Pregnant

A teacher is accused of sexual assault after investigators say he got a 16-year-old student pregnant.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office has arrested 34-year-old Anthony Ruiz, a former social studies teacher at Eagle Rock School.

Administrators at the school told the sheriff's office a former student told them she had been sexually assaulted by Ruiz in May 2009.

Robert Burkhardt, head of Eagle Rock School, said the former student called a member of the staff on Wednesday, July 22 and told that member about the incident.

Burkhardt says the school immediately contacted Child Protective Services and the Larimer County Sheriff's Department.

The teen, who is currently with her family in California, told investigators the assault happened one time and she became pregnant.

Investigators say the alleged assault happened at Ruiz's home, which is on the school campus.

No other assaults have been reported by this student or any other students at the school, but deputies are talking with other students to get more information.

Last Friday, investigators contacted Ruiz and arrested him on one count of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

"There is an ethical, moral as well as a legal issue as to a person in a position of trust, [such as] a teacher having sex with a student, regardless of their age, but particularly a juvenile student," Larimer County Sheriff James Alderden said.

Burkhardt tells 9NEWS he put Ruiz on administrative leave Friday and fired him Saturday.

"This place operates in the world of trust," Burkhardt said. "This trust was violated."

Burkhardt says the 16-year-old was first enrolled at the school in January 2008. She left in early to mid July.

Ruiz posted a $5,000 bond at the Larimer County Detention Center on Monday night. The sheriff's department says if Ruiz is convicted, he could get up to 12 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

He was hired by Eagle Rock School in July 2008. Investigators say Ruiz also taught in South Korea and Japan. They say his wife was out of town at the time of the alleged incident.

Eagle Rock School is a private, year-round alternative high school. Students from around the U.S., ages 15 through 19, are enrolled there.

Burkhardt released a full statement on Monday afternoon:

"The faculty and staff of Eagle Rock School are both shocked and saddened at reports of inappropriate and inexcusable conduct between a member of the faculty, and a student. Eagle Rock School is founded on trust, and this reported incident clearly violates that trust.

This is a matter of utmost seriousness. As soon as these allegations were reported, school officials contacted local law enforcement and social services. The school has been fully cooperating with these agencies to investigate this matter. School officials have also reached out to the former student, who is no longer on campus, and to her mother, to offer assistance.

In addition, parents and sponsors of students have been informed of these circumstances and assured that the safety of Eagle Rock students is our primary concern. Special counseling for all students, male and female, is underway.

Eagle Rock School maintains a strict Standard of Conduct for students, faculty and staff. In light of this matter, these Standards have again been communicated and reinforced to the entire Eagle Rock community. In addition, the school is conducting an immediate and intensive internal review of these policies to strengthen and enhance them.

The Instructional Specialist in question, Mr. Anthony Ruiz, was an employee of Eagle Rock School from July 7, 2008, until July 25, 2009, when he was immediately terminated for conduct in direct violation of the Standards of Conduct at Eagle Rock School.

Eagle Rock School, in Estes Park, Colorado, is a year-round private residential high school for students 15-19 who have not experienced success in traditional academic programs, who did not expect to graduate from high school, and who are committed to changing their lives for the better. The school, which has a capacity of 96 students, was established in 1993.

Out of respect for the privacy of our students, and due to the fact that this is an ongoing legal matter, Eagle Rock School will be unable to say anything further at this time."


James Laird Seegars Jr Wanted for Sexual Abuse

Niceville Police, along with the U.S. Marshals, are on a manhunt. They're looking for a high school basketball coach accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old.

The coach, 28-year-old James Laird Seegars, Jr., was supposed to surrender Monday morning at 10:00, but never showed up.

However, the school's superintendent, Robert Grete, and former superintendent, Donald Larson, were arrested. Police say the men failed to report child abuse to the proper authorities.

Investigators report the student's father told school officials about an online chat between the coach and his daughter. Larson and Grete apparently told the father they would do an internal investigation before authorities were called.

They are both free on bond.
More Information:

Tara Hodges Sentenced to 10 years for Having Sex with Minor

A former Central Texas middle school teacher who claimed she was raped by a 14-year-old student was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a plea deal Monday.

Investigators learned that Tara Hodges actually had a two month long sexual relationship with that student during Spring of 2008.

She pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexually assaulting a student.

According to the arrest affidavit, Hodges, a former teacher at Brazos Middle School in Waco, drove the 14-year-old boy to her apartment on Lake Shore Drive, smoked marijuana and had sex with the minor on at least 10 different occasions.

Calvin Nail Arrested for Sexual Assault on 3-year-old

A Falls County man has been arrested for sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl.

Calvin Nail, of Chilton, was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. He remains in the Falls County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bond.

According to a press release from Sheriff Ben Kirk, the sheriff's office was alerted of an injury to the 3-year-old girl Monday evening. The girl was examined by medical officials in Waco and it was determined that she had been sexually assaulted, the press release said.

The investigation is ongoing.

William Aguirre-Fajardo Charged with Killing 8-month-old

UPDATE: On July 27, 2009 at approximately 3:30 AM Baby Doe succumbed to his injuries. As a result of the death, William Aguirre Fajardo, 24 years old, will be charged with homicide and assault resulting in the death of a child under 8 years of age.


Monterey Police arrested a man Friday suspected of abusing an 8 month old child.

William Aguirre-Fajardo, 24, of Monterey, is in jail facing child abuse and sex charges with a minor. According to police, officers and paramedics responded to the Casa Verde Inn after 6 p.m. following a report of a child that had fallen and was unconscious. The child was taken to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and then flown to Stanford Medical Center for treatment.

Investigators determined the child's injuries to be consistent with "shaken-baby syndrome"; they add his 17-year old girlfriend was away at the time of the incident.

Bernard Squires Accused of Distributing Child Porn

A local chaplain is facing child pornography charges.

He is one of two men arrested after an investigation by the F.B.I. Cyber Crime Task Force.

Both men were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Fort Wayne.

Bernard Squires, 64, is accused of distributing child pornography. According to court documents, the charge stems from about a week long period at the beginning of June.

Since no criminal complaint was filed, few details are available about his arrest.

Court records do indicate that police seized a number of computers, tapes and movies from Squires' rural Columbia city home.

Squires served as chaplain for the Whitley County Sheriff's Department. It's not clear how long he was in that position, but officers tell NewsChannel 15 he has been let go.

Squires is also the pastor of a Grace Baptist Church in Columbia City. Neighbors living near the small church tell NewsChannel 15 they can hardly believe the news.

"I have a three-year-old girl, and yeah, that's quite a shock," said neighbor Melissa Carlson. "And, it's pretty sad to hear that."

Another neighbor, Mickey English says, "It's devastating. It's devastating to the Christian community and I'm very shocked. I had no idea there was any problem over there."

The other man involved in the FBI child porn probe is Brian Schinbeckler, 50, from Fort Wayne.

Court documents indicate police found more than 200 video files containing child porn on his computer.

Both men are being held at the Allen County Jail. They face at least five years behind bars if convicted and possibly large fines.

At this point, both cases appear to be unrelated.

Tips to Healing From Child Sexual Abuse

"Had I not gone through it myself, I would have never believed such a thing could happen to a child" - Yushima Cherry.

One may find that during recovery, they are met with denial and minimization from the abusive adult or non-abusive adult. It is necessary for recovery to acknowledge true feelings and accept them. It is also pertinent to understand that others may not be in a place to accept what happened, if confrontation is a chosen healing method it must be understood that, the perpetrators own their feelings and the survivors own their own feelings. There is little worse than reaching out to someone for something they have done to cause pain and being rejected. To avoid this recycling of abuse, expectations should be from yourself for your own personal recovery. With a made up mind, have a plan of action for the reaction from the person at fault. Be sure to have a support system ready to intervene on your behalf and/or to ensure that much needed comfort that comes during the healing process.

Tips to healing from child sexual abuse

1. "Take your time. Don't rush to forgive the perpetrators before identifying your feelings about the abuse and the abuser. Allow yourself permission to feel the hurt, fear, and humiliation. As you begin to recognize unfairness of your childhood-in the course of regaining your power- you will probably need to express your outrage at what happened and at the individuals who were responsible," Mike Lew. Once your feelings have been identified, whether or not one chooses to confront the abuser, forgiveness is key for complete recovery. It releases the control that the abuser has on the survivor of child sexual abuse.

2. Protect yourself. Beware of getting trapped by pity. Be careful not to yield to the inclination to protect or take care of the perpetrator. Even though you may care deeply for him, he is not in need of your protection-you are! Forgiveness does not condone continued abuse. Your recovery is in everyone's best interest.

3. Explore your real feelings. When you think of forgiveness, what feelings arise when you do? Pay attention to those feelings. From the Christian perspective, forgiveness is necessary to move on in the healing process. From the counseling perspective, forgiveness releases the control the abuser has over the survivor. Whatever your belief, consider forgiveness. For a video of encouragement, please click here.

4. You can change your mind. Recovery is a dynamic process. Things change. What is appropriate at one point in recovery may be irrelevant at another. Right now you may feel that you will never get to the point of forgiving the perpetrator, and later find that those feelings are quite different. Continue to work through your issues and focus on your strengths. If you pray, pray for the ability to forgive and ask that you receive what you need for this very moment. If you don't pray, ask someone to pray for you. If you have already tried everything else, why not prayer?

5. Forgiveness takes on different forms. If you choose to forgive the perpetrator, there are a number of ways to do so. you can say so directly. This will allow you to get an immediate response. As with confrontation, be aware that the response you receive may be quite different than you anticipated. There will be no Hollywood-style reconciliation scene with music and flowers. Declaring forgiveness may be a beginning step in building a viable relationship. Or your forgiveness may be rejected or misinterpreted.

Remember to prepare yourself for the possibility of disappointment. Forgiveness is for you and your recovery, keep that in mind.

If direct contact is not what you want, you can declare forgiveness on the telephone or by letter. The latter, of course, allows you to state what you wish without interruption. You can also forgive someone without telling him directly, manifesting it through your behavior. Finally, you can forgive someone in your heart without doing anything directly. It is your decision.

6. It isn't "all or nothing." Forgiveness doesn't have to be all at once for every single thing that the abuser did. New memories and situations may arise and the forgiving process may have to begin all over again. You may find yourself in the midst of anger and disappointment during these times, but be encouraged this is all part of the healing process.

7. Think about what you mean by forgiveness. It is important that in the process of forgiving a person, we do not condone the abuse. What happened to you was wrong. Child abuse is always bad. If you forgive the perpetrator, it must be with the understanding that you decided to bear no malice toward the person(s) that have committed a grievous offense against you. It is an act of pardon, not of exoneration.

For more information, or for questions and comments, please email
There is hope in your future.

James Thomas Arrested for the Death of his 4-month-old Son

Update: The man arrested in connection with the death of his four-month-old son is now formally charged.

James Thomas made his first appearance Friday afternoon in Sedgwick County Court. A judge charged him with First Degree Felony Murder. That means that the death happened during the commission of a felony. The felony the DA accuses him of committing is child abuse.

His preliminary hearing is set for August Sixth.

Wichita police identify the four-month-old boy who died at Wesley Medical Center Tuesday evening as Zereon L. Thomas. The boy's father is now in custody, booked on charges of child abuse and felony murder.

Police tell Eyewitness News the father dropped the baby, then intentionally waited to bring him to the hospital. When the boy arrived at the hospital, he had several bruises and contusions.

"There's injuries to the head and to the torso of the child that are different ages," said Wichita Police Lieutenant Ken Landwehr. "We do not know at this time if there are any broken bones."

The boy was staying with his 31-year-old father in an apartment building in the 1000 block of N. Madison. Officers have been at that scene collecting evidence. Police say the father has five other children, many of them in other states. The father has never been charged with child abuse, but Lt. Landwehr says there are indications that injuries were inflicted upon children in his care.

The man's 12-year-old son was at the home at the time of the incident. That boy is now in the custody of family members.

"Any child injury, of course, is very difficult for everyone because they are our most precious commodity," Lt. Landwehr said, "Our children are what we do everything for as parents, and of course, as law enforcement officers."

An autopsy will be performed determine the exact cause of death.

The boy's mother was in police custody on unrelated charges when the boy died.

This is the 19th homicide for Wichita in 2009, the first involving a child.

Gene Labrie Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Porn

A Rochester man pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography in U.S. District Court Monday.

Gene Labrie, 49, pleaded guilty following his arrest in connection to an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The FBI obtained information that Labrie had purchased the pornography from overseas; when his computer was searched, hundreds of images were found.

Labrie faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 19, and also faces the possibility of probation for life.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide effort to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse, which was launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice. More information is available at

Christopher Ramirez Charged with Child Porn

A local man is facing child exploitation charges after admitting to having child porn on his neighbor's lap-top computer.

The Hamilton County Metropolitan Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force used a file sharing program that helped link Christopher Ramirez to the downloaded images.

Police arrested the 33-year-old Thursday, after federal investigators found the child porn on the computer.

The United States Attorney’s Office announced the return of indictments against Brian L. Schinbeckler, 50, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bernard L. Squires, 64, of Columbia City, Indiana, and the filing of a criminal complaint against Christopher Ramirez, 33, of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

These charges were the result of an extensive cooperative law enforcement effort by member agencies of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. This operation involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Hamilton County Metro ICAC Task Force, and the Indiana State Police. This is an ongoing investigative effort, led by the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force, to combat Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing of child pornography in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.

Throughout the week of July 20, 2009, law enforcement executed federal search warrants in Fort Wayne and one in Columbia City. Based on information developed during the operation, a criminal complaint was filed against Schinbeckler on the evening of Monday, July 20, 2009, and he was arrested soon thereafter at his home in Fort Wayne.

Squires was arrested at his home in Columbia City on Tuesday, July 21, 2009. Both individuals were indicted by the Federal Grand Jury on Wednesday, July 22, 2009, for violations of Title 18 U.S.C. 2252 relating to their distribution of material containing sexually explicit depictions of minors.

Ramirez was arrested on July 23, 2009, and a criminal complaint was filed on July 24, 2009. Ramirez is charged with production of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2251.

The investigation continues and charges against additional suspects are anticipated.

More Individuals to Be Charged with Child Porn

An FBI investigation is cracking down on child pornography in the Fort Wayne area. It's not clear how long the special investigation has been going on, but it's been pretty successful so far.

Last week, police executed 14 federal search warrants and arrested three local men.

Monday afternoon, members of the FBI Cyber Crime task force, along with the U.S. Attorney's office announced details of the FBI probe.

It involves a federal grant that funds a program called Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC).

The ICAC task force brings together state, local and federal agencies to attack the problem and investigate the peer-to-peer file sharing programs that enable and spread child porn.

"We're specifically looking for individuals to target so that we can marshall all our resources into this area and have an impact," said Supervisory Special Agent Steve Kelly with the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force.

"We will be announcing more individuals charged in the greater Fort Wayne area in the next several months and we're just going to continue to keep putting our resources toward this problem,"added U.S Attorney David Capp, of the Northern District of Indiana.

The most recent arrest from the FBI probe is 33-year-old Christopher Ramirez of Fort Wayne. Ramirez was arrested Thursday. He's charged with the production of child pornography. Police found numerous images of child porn on his lap-top computer and digital camera.

Also last week, NewsChannel 15 reported that two other men were arrested for child porn-related charges.

64 year-old Bernard Squires is accused of distributing child pornography. Squires served as Chaplain for the Whitley County Sheriff's Department and is a pastor in Columbia City.

The other man was Brian Schinbeckler, also from Fort Wayne. Court documents show police found more than 200 video files containing child porn on his computer.

FBI agents stress this is just the tip of the iceberg. Agents with the Cyber Crime Task Force expect many more charges and arrests to come in the next few weeks.

Willaim Murphy Madison Arrested for Sending Indecent Images to Minor

A Metro vice-president was arrested and charged with sending indecent images to an underage boy.

William Murphy Madison, who deals with infrastructure for the agency, sent at least 10 pornographic images to a Missouri City kid. Unfortunately for Madison, but fortunately for the kid, the victim's mom discovered the images and contacted police.

Madison is suspended from his $136,000-a-year job, but we were left to wonder -- doesn't Metro screen its computers? Can staffers just watch porn all day long when they should be making the buses run on time?

We asked spokesperson Raequel Roberts. She has complained about our coverage of Metro, so her dealings with us tend to involve terse e-mails.

We asked: "Regarding the VP arrested for sending porn -- Does Metro have any screening on its computer system to see if employees are looking at or sending pornographic materials?"

She replied: "Yes, we have screens." End of answer to our question.

"Thanks," we e-mailed back. "But according to media reports, the case began when the mother saw things on her kid's computer. Why didn't the screens at Metro pick it up?"

Roberts e-mailed back: "Why would you assume he doesn't have his own computer at home?"

Which led us to e-mail back: "I'm not assuming, I'm asking. So you are saying none of the porn was sent from a computer at any Metro office?"

Which got this: "That is what the investigation will determine."

So there it is. Either Metro has a screening system that doesn't work too well (or at all), or the guy (allegedly) did all his porn-for-kids delivery from home. His office computer and a laptop will be searched.

Eddie Lucero Accused of Luring Two Children

A man staying at an Albuquerque Motel 6 is accused of luring two young children into his room and molesting a young girl.

Eddie Lucero, 36, is at the Albuquerque Metropolitan Detention Center on a $1 million cash or surety bond.

He is charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual contact of a minor, attempted criminal sexual penetration of a minor and attempt to commit a felony.

Lucero was staying at the Motel 6 on the Pan American Freeway in Northeast Albuquerque when he spotted a 6-year old girl and her 4-year old brother walking the hallway to get ice on Sunday, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators said Lucero approached the kids, told them to be quiet, and took them to his room.

The children’s mother was worried when the kids didn’t come back, so she asked the motel employees if they had seen them.

One employee saw the kids going into the man’s room.

The mother pounded on the door until her little girl answered, she then took her kids out of the room.

The 6-year old girl told police Lucero made her brother wait in the bathroom, while he touched her.

She told investigators she was scared the whole time.

Albuquerque Police said that reporting crimes against children is crucial.

“The primary thing is to get professional help from your police department, I cannot say that enough,” APD spokesperson John Walsh said. “We have professionals on the department that will deal with it. If it is happening to one child, in almost all cases, it'll be happening to many other children by the same person.”

The manager of the Motel 6 had no comment.

Lucero has a prior criminal record that includes aggravated battery, several DWIs and assault.

If you know a child who’s been a victim of sexual assault, you can contact the Crimes Against Children Unit with APD at (505) 924-6000.

Three Indiana People Arrested for Distributing Child Porn

A child pornography investigation that began in Hamilton County led to federal charges against three people from northeast Indiana.

A grand jury in Fort Wayne returned indictments against Brian L. Schinbeckler, 50, Fort Wayne, and Bernard L. Squires, 64, Columbia City, for distribution of child pornography, according to the U.S. attorney. Charges also were filed by the U.S. attorney against Christopher Ramirez, 33, Fort Wayne, for production of child pornography.

The charges come from an investigation of child pornography distributed through file-sharing programs over the Internet. Affidavits said the investigations were conducted by detectives with the Hamilton County Metropolitan Internet Child Exploitation Task Force, working as part of a larger task force of police departments investigating child pornography in cooperation with the FBI.

Affidavits said detectives checked the Gnutella file-sharing network for a specific network address and looked at the file names to see if there was a possibility that the files contained child pornography. When some of those files were found to be pornographic, police got warrants to trace the locations of the computers where the files originated.

In additional search warrants issued last week, computers containing the allegedly pornographic files were seized, which led to the federal charges against the three people. In one case, a wireless router and a laptop computer were found hidden under a refrigerator, according to an affidavit.

The U.S. attorney said more people could be charged in this case.

William Compson Charged with Possession of Child Porn

Geneva, N.Y.

A federal grand jury in Rochester has charged a 60-year old Geneva man with receiving and possessing child pornography.

Prosecutors say William J. Compson, whose address was not released, allegedly downloaded images and videos of child pornography on his computer. Minors were allegedly engaged in sexual activity in those files, according to a spokeswoman from the U.S. Department of Justice, Peggy McFarland.

Compson faces five counts — three of receipt and two of possession of child pornography. Each of the two possession charges carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It’s part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to fight sexual exploitation of children.

Compson was arraigned today before Judge Marian W. Payson.

Eugene James Schmidt Arrested for Sexual Assault

A 61-year-old Grand Junction man remained in jail Sunday one day after he was arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a child on multiple occasions, authorities said.

Eugene James Schmidt is accused of nine felonies in connection with the alleged incidents. Each of the counts is a class III felony.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the alleged offenses, based on state sentencing guidelines.

Schmidt was arrested about 3:20 p.m. Saturday in the 700 block of Colorado Avenue. Officer Martin Donohue of the Grand Junction Police Department made the arrest.

He was taken to Mesa County Jail and booked on the alleged offenses.

Details about the incident that led to his arrest were not available. Schmidt is being held on $60,000 bond at Mesa County Jail.

Audey Frances Murphy Pleads Guilty to Possesion of Child Porn

Audey Frances Murphy, 45, of Dundalk, Md., pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography, announced U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, as a result of an investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ).

According to his plea agreement, Murphy was sentenced to eight years in prison on Jan. 31, 2001, after being convicted of second degree rape in state court involving the repeated sexual abuse of a minor female over a two year period, beginning when the victim was 11 years old. As a result of the conviction, Murphy was required to register as a sex offender.

Murphy was released from custody in November 2006, but in October 2007, a family member reported to authorities that Murphy had unauthorized contact with minors, specifically, that Murphy had picked up his brother's minor children from school. Murphy was arrested on Oct. 11, 2007, was found to be in violation of his parole and ordered to serve the balance of his original sentence, which translated into a projected release date in January 2009.

An unrelated child pornography investigation led Maryland State Police to the Dundalk home of Murphy's mother on Nov. 15, 2007. Murphy's mother confirmed that Murphy had lived in her upstairs bedroom, and that he had used the computers in both his room and in the den. On March 3, 2008, Maryland State Police executed a search warrant at the residence and seized the computers, including the computer from Murphy's bedroom. Forensic analysis of the computer revealed 71 videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including a video depicting bondage and bestiality with a pre-pubescent female.

Murphy faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, followed by supervised release up to life. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz scheduled sentencing for Sept. 24, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section ( CEOS ), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Details about Maryland's program are available at

Rosenstein praised ICE and the Maryland State Police for their investigation. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Solette A. Magnelli and Judson T. Mihok, who are prosecuting the case.

Richard Clyde McNichols Sentenced to 6 1/2 years for Child Porn

A Merced man was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release for possession of child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown said.

Richard Clyde McNichols, 31, had more than 600 images of child pornography on a computer, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa, who prosecuted the case.

Some of the images were of prepubescent minors and some depicted violence or sadistic or masochistic conduct, Gappa added.

McNichols faced state charges, but they were dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.

McNichols was indicted on Feb. 5 and he pleaded guilty on May 26, at which time he was taken into federal custody.

The case is the result of an investigation by the Merced Police Department.

James Joseph Tolentino Charged with Fracturing Baby's Skull

A man was arrested on child abuse charges after a baby came into a hospital emergency room with a fractured skull.

Monday, Lee County Sheriff's Office Child Abuse Investigation Unit was called notified by staff members at Gulf Coast Hospital about the baby's injuries.

Detectives were also told by hospital staff that the baby was suffering from bleeding on both sides of the brain.

They say an investigation helped them determine that while the infant had been crying, the suspect, 22-year-old James Joseph Tolentino, of 3762 Central Avenue D in Fort Myers, used extreme forced and slammed the baby into a car seat out of frustration. Doctors say that caused the skull fracture.

The infant was flown to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg because of his serious injuries. His condition is unknown at this time.

Tolentino was charged with one count of aggravated Child Abuse and one count of Child Neglect Causing Great Harm.

Deputies say he also has an out-of-county warrant from New Jersey for Failure to Appear.

Tolentino was to the Lee County Jail.