Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update on Officer Robert Sizemore Arrested for Rape

A Chattahoochee police officer arrested Saturday in Georgia on rape and child molestation charges is expected to make his first court appearance Friday, said Maj. Wendell Cofer of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.

Cofer said Robert Sizemore was arrested on charges of rape, child molestation and aggravated sexual battery. The victim was a juvenile female.

Cofer said Sizemore is currently undergoing medical treatment at an undisclosed hospital. Upon release, Cofer said he will be taken to the Decatur County Jail, unless the jail administrator decides to place him elsewhere because of his status as a former law-enforcement officer.

Cofer said the girl was assaulted Friday night and that she reported it to police the next day. Sizemore was later found at the Jameson Inn in Bainbridge, Ga., where he threatened suicide. Officers were able to talk him into leaving the hotel room peacefully.

A news release from the city of Chattahoochee says Sizemore worked as an officer from Nov. 27, 2008, until the day of his arrest, when he was fired. He worked as a correctional officer with the Florida Department of Corrections from August 2007 until July 2008, and as an officer with the Blountstown Police Department from October 1982 to November 1992.

A Chattahoochee Police officer arrested Saturday in Georgia on rape and child molestation charges has been fired, according to a release from the City of Chattahoochee.

The release states Robert Sizemore, an officer with the Chattahoochee Police Department since Nov. 27, 2008, was arrested on charges of rape, child molestation and aggravated sexual battery by the Decatur County Sheriff's Department following a reported sexual assault by a family member early Saturday morning.

Sizemore was found at the Jameson Inn, 1403 Tallahassee Highway, Bainbridge, Ga., according to the release, and threatened suicide. Chattahoochee Police Chief Vann Pullen came to the scene for assistance by request of DCSO.

The release states Sizemore previously worked as a correctional officer with the Florida Department of Corrections from August 2007 until July 2008, and as an officer with the Blountstown Florida Police Department from October 1982 to November 1992.

Jeffrey Smiley Arrested for Child Molestation

A Spanaway man suspected of child molestation was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with aggravated sexual abuse for assaulting a young girl on federal property, an FBI spokesman said.

Jeffrey Richard Smiley, 36, was taken into custody near Military Road and 12th Avenue Court East in Spanaway by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office and members of the FBI's South Sound Gang Task Force.

Earlier this month, a 7-year-old girl told authorities Smiley had molested her in the woods on the Fort Lewis Military Reservation, FBI spokesman Fred Gutt said. Last week, at two locations in the woods, investigators reported finding camera equipment, children's clothes, toys, mattresses, and sexual paraphernalia.

Investigators also found and impounded Smiley's red 1992 Nissan Maxima, which contained pornographic images of the victim, Gutt said.

Smiley was charged in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

The federal charge stems from an ongoing FBI investigation into the discovery of possible child pornography production sites on the remote eastern training grounds of Fort Lewis – an area near Spanaway that's accessible to the public – Gutt said.

Aggravated sexual abuse is punishable by a mandatory minimum thirty years imprisonment.

Anyone with additional information about possible victimization of a child is asked to contact the FBI at 206-622-0460 or seattle.fbi@ic.fbi.gov.

Bernard Albina Arrested for Sexually Abusing 4 Boys

Prosecutors say an orthopedic surgeon has been arrested and charged with the alleged sexual abuse of at least four young boys, some of whom were patients.

Sixty-9-year-old Bernard Albina was arrested Tuesday and charged with five counts of sexual abuse, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault of a child and promotion of child pornography.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Eric Devlin said police officers were working 70 to 80 hours a week going through hundreds of hours of confiscated videotape of Albina with children.

A statement from St. Joseph Medical Center said CEO Phil Robinson had suspended Albina's medical staff privileges there pending further investigation. The statement said Albina had not been active at the hospital since June 1, 2008.

The Houston Chronicle reports court records did not show an attorney of record for Albina.

George Payton Charged with Sexually Assaulting 10-year-old

An Oshkosh man accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in 2008 is now facing criminal charges.

George L. Payton, 46, was charged in Winnebago County Circuit Court last week with first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Payton assaulted the girl at a residence in the 400 block of Washington Avenue in February 2008. The girl told a forensic interviewer with the Child Advocacy Center that Payton touched her inappropriately even though she had asked him to stop. The girl said Payton stopped when her siblings came into the bedroom.

Winnebago County Court Commissioner Daniel Bissett ordered Payton be held on a $5,000 cash bond at the Winnebago County Jail.

Payton is due back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

Patrick Davenport Arrested for Making Child Porn

A 22-year-old man who plays the Scooter mascot at Sussex Skyhawks games was arrested and charged with making child porn computer files available to others, according to a published report.

According to the New Jersey Herald, Patrick A. Davenport of Vernon is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Police said their initial investigation revealed child pornography on Davenport's computer, although a more detailed review of the hard drive is pending, prosecutors told the newspaper.

Davenport was being held in the Sussex County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Prosecutors told the newspaper there is no evidence of inappropriate behavior by Davenport at Skyhawks games.

The Skyhawks' general manager, Ben Wittkowski, said the organization only learned of the arrest Monday afternoon and was not prepared to comment. He said the team has a second person who dresses as Scooter for games.

Fox News Producer Aaron Bruns Senteced to 10 years for Possessing of Child Porn

Aaron Bruns, the ex-Fox News producer who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, was sentenced to 10 years in prison today by a federal judge. That's 10 more years than an NPR producer got last week for the same crime.

Bruns, a former Fox News "campaign embed" with Hillary Clinton's campaign, was arrested in January and fired from Fox in short order. He described himself in sentencing documents as having been addicted to pornography since he was a teenager.

The sentence is a sharp contrast to the case of David Malakoff, who was sentenced—like Bruns, by a federal district judge in Washington, D.C.—to probation, a fine, and community service last week for possessing kiddie porn. According to a spokesman for the U.S, Attorney's office in Washington, Bruns' sentence was mandatory because he had previously been convicted of child pornography in Michigan, and under federal sentencing guidelines, a prior offense requires a minimum of 10 years.

Rodney Bramlett Sentenced to Life for Sexually Abusing Child

For the second time this year, a convicted child sex offender was given life in prison.

Rodney Bramlett, 34, was convicted of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a child and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. Bramlett was found guilty of sexually abusing more than one child under the age of 13.

This is the second time in three months that the Winnebago County State's Attorneys Office has sentenced a convicted child sex offender to life in prison. Ronnie Watts was given life for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old.

"Permanently separating convicted sexual predators from society sends a strong message that Winnebago County will not tolerate these crimes," said Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato.

Jose Reyes Aguilar Wanted for Sexual Assault

San Antonio police are searching for a 34-year-old man suspected of sexually assaulting a child.

Jose Reyes Aguilar is believed to have assaulted a child over a four-year period, according to police department spokesman Sgt. Chris Benavides. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Saturday afternoon, officials said.

Police learned about the accusations against Aguilar upon responding to a disturbance call Saturday morning, which is also the last time Aguilar is believed to have assaulted the child, Benavides said in a press release.

When officers arrived at the home, Aguilar fled through a back window and evaded arrest, Benavides said.

Exactly where the assaults took place is unknown, because police do not release addresses of sexual assaults, authorities said.

Anyone with information on Aguilar's whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (210) 224-7867.

Jaime Rogel & Mirshad Pineda Wanted for Child Abuse

More than six months after they were accused of abusing their daughter, a northwest Houston couple remain at large, authorities said Monday.

Jaime Rogel, 26, and Mirshad Pineda, 22, were charged Feb. 1 with felony injury to a child for a 2008 incident at their home in the 8900 block of Jones, officials said.

Pineda told investigators she saw Roger — the child's biological father - holding their 1-year-old daughter to the ground on Nov. 14. He also struck her several times, officials said.

The girl was taken to the hospital the next day but her parents didn't tell the physician about the attack. On Nov. 20, she was again taken to the hospital after suffering seizures where her parents still refused to tell doctors about the earlier incident, officials said.

Pineda was already on probation for an earlier injury to a child charge involving her 7-month-old son.

Investigators believe the couple is still in the Houston area. Warrants have been issued for their arrests.

Crime Stoppers will offer up to $5,000 for information leading to their arrests. Call 713-222-8477.


Three People Accused of Letting Rats Bite 6-week-old Baby

Three people have been accused of letting rats bite a 6-week-old girl and chew off her toes at their cluttered Ohio mobile home.

Pike County prosecutor Rob Junk says the baby's toes on one foot were gone when sheriff's deputies went to the home Sunday after receiving an anonymous tip.

The baby is in fair condition at a Columbus hospital.

A married couple and the 18-year-old boyfriend of the baby's mother are charged with felony child endangering. They were in court for an initial hearing Tuesday. They're jailed pending a plea hearing in two weeks.

The prosecutor says they all lived in the mobile home west of Piketon, a village noted for its old uranium enrichment plant.

He says the baby's mother is a juvenile. He won't identify her or say if she'll be charged.

James Lujan Arrested for Killing 4-year-old

The man accused of killing a 4-year-old Lompoc boy as a result of child abuse, is facing murder charges.

James Lujan was arrested Saturday night for death of Diego Calles. Calles was rushed to the hospital after his mother called 911. Calles died at the hospital.

After an initial investigation, Lompoc Police had reason to believe Lujan had abused the boy, causing injuries that resulted in his death.

On Tuesday, Lujan was scheduled to appear in a Lompoc court for his arraignment, but that was postponed to early August.

The Lompoc District Attorney's Office says, Lujan is facing one count of murder, assault on a child causing death, felony causing injury to a spouse or child's parent.

Lujan does have a prior abuse conviction.


Linda Nef Sentenced to 3 Years to Life for Having Sex with Student

Despite requests from Linda Nef's 13-year-old victim and his family, Judge Rodney Page said Tuesday that he had no other choice but to send a former Bountiful Junior High teacher to prison.

The 2nd District judge sentenced Nef to three years to life in prison for having sex with one of her former students, and a flushed and sobbing Nef was immediately handcuffed and led from the courtroom.

In lengthy remarks before he imposed the sentence, Page said he wished the responsibility to sentence her rested with someone else.

"I haven't slept well in thinking about this case and knowing that from the date the defendant entered her plea, it would be my responsibility to impose sentence," Page said.

While he said it was commendable that Nef had come forward and confessed her wrongdoing with the boy, he said there were hundreds if not thousands of victims besides this particular boy who had been hurt by her actions.

"The greater victim in this might be our society as a whole," Page said. "This undermines our faith, beliefs and confidence in institutions that create the foundation of freedoms by which we live — and that is our schools.

"In our society, we esteem our teachers to be among the most honorable people, although sometimes we wouldn't think that by the way we try to pay them and other things. We entrust them with the most important commodity we have in our society, and that is our children," Page said.

Page said he had no doubt Nef was a good teacher and was genuinely repentant for what she has done, but the judge sensed Nef also was motivated by the "a concern this was going to come out anyway" once Nef got word about an alleged sexual relationship between another teacher and the same boy.

A tearful Nef, 46, apologized to her victim, his family and "educators everywhere who have been damaged by my actions," but especially the faculty at Bountiful Junior High, whom she characterized as honorable and hard-working people.

"I loved teaching with all my heart — and yet I committed a crime," she said.

Nef, who is married and the mother of three, began to choke up as she described how sorry she was for any harm she had done to the boy and said she wanted to offer her apologies publicly for "my completely selfish actions."

"I was an adult, I was responsible, and I knew better," she said.

Nef pleaded guilty in June to a reduced charge of attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, as part of a plea bargain.

She originally faced charges of rape of a child and sodomy on a child, both first-degree felonies that generally carry tough penalties.


James Walter Crellin Arrested for Child Porn

State police have charged a Christiana man after a two-month investigation during which computers were seized from his home.

James Walter Crellin, 22, of the 200 block of East Slocum Avenue, faces 55 counts of sexual abuse of children and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.

Several computers and drug paraphernalia were seized from his home April 29, police said. The computers were forensically examined and contained multiple movie and image files of child pornography, police said.

Crellin was arraigned before District Judge Isaac Stoltzfus on Monday and released on $30,000 unsecured bail, police said.

Thomas Whittaker Convicted of Sexually Assaulting 2 Sisters

A Lexington County man was convicted of seven counts of criminal sexual conduct on a minor after he sexually assaulted two young sisters, aged 8 and 10.

Investigators say 49-year-old Thomas Whittaker of Sandy Spring Lane in Lexington first abused the girls when he worked as a maintenance man at an apartment complex.

In one of the incidents, Lexington deputies say the father of the children walked into Whittaker's bedroom to find the 49-year-old sexually assaulting the younger child.

"He gave these girls a lifetime of horrible memories and stole their innocence," said Assistant Solicitor Debra Moore.

The victims were aged 5 and 6 when Whittaker began his sexual assaults on them. The children's family moved away to Missouri for about a year, but while there, Whittaker visited the family twice.

That's when investigators say he assaulted both children during both visits. After that, Whittaker invited the children's family to live with him in his South Carolina home, rent-free.

According to a news release from the solicitor's office, Whittaker told the children that if they told anyone of the assaults, they would be homeless because their parents had no money to buy a house, and the 49-year-old would be put in jail.

After the children's father discovered the suspect assaulting the children, the other child told her parents about the series of assaults. Investigators say Whittaker confessed to them that he had molested only one of the sisters.

Two cousins of the victims, who also lived in the apartment complex, told investigators that Whittaker had molested them as well.

Three Emaciated Children Found in Dallas Motel Bathroom

Authorities said three emaciated children found in a Dallas motel bathroom this month were kept there day and night for almost a year, maybe longer.

One of the children said she thought they had been in the motel bathroom since October, but investigators do not know whether she was referring to 2007 or 2008, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The children, ages 6, 10 and 11, were in a hospital for 10 days after they were found July 2.

Court records detail the children's gruesome living conditions and awful abuse by the mother's boyfriend, the newspaper said.

The 11-year-old said her mother's boyfriend had been raping her for three years. She had told her mother about the sexual abuse several times, the newspaper reported.

The girl also said she and her siblings hoarded food because they would not be fed for days. The children vomited when Child Protective Services workers first tried to feed them.

The 10-year-old boy told investigators they were locked in the bathroom because their mother believed her boyfriend's accusations that the children had molested their youngest sister. He said they were not allowed around other children at first , then they were kept from going outside, before they eventually ended up in the bathroom.

His 11-year-old sister said they were only allowed out of the bathroom when their mother's boyfriend took a shower.

The 10-year-old boy said the man beat him and his mother. The boy was covered in bruises when the children were found.

The children were discovered after the mother's brother came to Texas from Ohio to check on them. The mother had told family members in Florida that her boyfriend was abusing her and had threatened to kill the children.

The uncle called for a police escort to the motel in the 8100 block of Stemmons Freeway where the family lived.

He told the Dallas Morning News that he "just broke down" when the emaciated children came out.

The uncle said he thinks police did the correct thing by arresting his sister.

"I'm sure she was being abused, but when you see the kids, something just hits you," he told the Dallas Morning News. "You don't know how another human being could let kids get to that point."

The 30-year-old mother faces a charge of injury to a child and is being held on $50,000 bail.

Her 37-year-old boyfriend faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse. His bail is set at $125,000.

The three children, and their 1-year-old sibling, who appeared to be healthy, are in temporary foster care. Their uncle told the newspaper his mother wants custody of the children.


Cheryl Alston Charged with Shaking Baby

A day care operator who spent much of her life tending babies now faces a charge that she shook one so violently that he'll never recover.

Cheryl Alston, 53, was arrested last week, more than two months after Chris Lear found his son limp in Alston's arms at her home day care on the outskirts of Chapel Hill.

Every moment since, 7-month-old Lucas has struggled to live, spending much of his first summer strapped to tubes and machines at the neonatal unit of UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. His brain had swelled so dramatically that doctors had to drill a hole in his skull to relieve pressure, said John McCabe, an attorney for the family.

The Lears have sued Alston, saying she put him in jeopardy and has now rendered him impaired for life.

Alston had earned the state's highest rating for an at-home day care. In the wake of Lucas' injuries, the state Division of Child Development stripped Alston of her license. On Monday, a judge in Orange County ordered her to stay away from children.

On Tuesday, plastic Easy-Bake ovens and baby dolls were scattered about her porch, dormant and warm in the summer's sun. Alston sobbed as a reporter asked her what happened. She declined to comment until she spoke with her attorney.

A screaming call to 911

According to a state investigation, Alston told a state official that she changed Lucas' diaper, then put him in a car seat so she could wash her hands. When she returned, the child was unresponsive.

Alston told state investigators that she shouted his name and snatched him out of the car seat. His head fell back as she tried to press him against her shoulder, she said.

Chris Lear, Lucas' father, walked into the house about this time, according to the state report and McCabe. He had arrived early to fetch his son, having finished his last class to complete his master's in business at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Lear spotted his son in the crook of Alston's arm, McCabe said. Alston was screaming, according to the report, as she talked with a 911 dispatcher. Suddenly, one of Lucas' legs and an arm shook, then his body stiffened, the report said.

Lucas spent the next five weeks at UNC Hospitals. He has struggled to see. He continues to take medicine for seizures. It's too soon to know whether Lucas will walk and talk like normal boys or whether he'll struggle in school.

The Lears are now planning to move back to New Jersey to be near family who will help take care of Lucas.

"Their whole life has been turned upside down," McCabe said.

Another investigation

Alston, too, told state investigators that she has been devastated by Lucas' injury. Closing the day care robbed Alston of her only income, according to the report.

Alston told investigators "that she would not hurt a child because that would not look right in the eyes of God."

This is not the first time social workers investigated whether Alston took proper care of children at her center, which had been licensed by the state since 2003.

In April 2008, state investigators questioned Alston about another child in her care who was injured. The child's guardian suspected that Alston had not been watching the child carefully enough and another child in her care might have fallen on him.

Investigators couldn't determine whether the child was hurt in Alston's care or at home. They closed the case.

No bad marks appeared on Alston's record by late 2008 when the Lears began shopping for a day care provider.

Bianca Razo-Pina & Efren Chavez Charged with Child Neglect

A Pahrump teenager and her 24-year-old boyfriend were arrested after their 2-month-old daughter suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to a hospital.

Police charged Bianca Razo-Pina, 18, and Efren Chavez with child neglect. They are being held in the Nye County Detention Center.

Doctors at Desert View Hospital had the girl flown via air ambulance to Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas. She is in critical condition with extensive brain injuries. Police said the child also had numerous bruises and other injuries to her body.

17-year-old Accused of Attempting to Sexual Assault 11-year-old


Police in Fremont arrested a 17-year-old boy and accused him of attempting to sexually assault a child on a school playground.

An 11-year-old boy reported the assault last week, telling police he was approached by the teen at Linden Elementary School. The boy said the teen tried to sexually assault him, police said.

The teen has been charged as a juvenile with first-degree sexual assault.

Andre Williams Sentenced to 8 years for Sexually Abusing 9-year-old

A Gloversville man accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl over a three-year period was sentenced today in Fulton County Court to a prison term of eight years.

Andre R. Williams, 29, of Homestead Drive was sentenced by Judge Polly A. Hoye on the basis of his May 19 guilty plea to one count of first-degree criminal sex act.

Williams will also serve eight years of post-release supervision.

Police arrested Williams on Feb. 12 for incidents that occurred from 2003-06.

He was indicted April 8 on seven counts, including three of first-degree criminal sexual act; predatory sexual assault against a child, course of sexual conduct against a child and endangering.

David Eaton Jr Arrested for Sexual Exploitation

A 37-year-old Salina man was arrested Saturday on multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a child after police say child pornography was found on his computer.

Salina Deputy Police Chief Carson Mansfield said police investigated after receiving information that a computer belonging to David L. Eaton Jr., 811 Willis Apt. B, contained images of child pornography. Mansfield said police found 15 pornographic images on the computer that had been downloaded from the Internet.

John Tester Sentenced to 30 Years for Molesting Child

John M. Tester remained quiet as Allen Superior Judge John F. Surbeck ordered him to serve 30 years in prison for felony charges of child molesting, child exploitation and possession of child pornography.

It wasn't until his case was completed and the court moved to another case that Tester broke down, shaking as he wiped away tears and flipped through the stack of documents given to him by his attorney.

Tester, 33, of New Haven, was charged with vicarious sexual gratification, child exploitation, fondling in the presence of a minor, possession of child pornography and four counts of child molesting after two witnesses located images and videos of child pornography on his home computer, according to his probable-cause affidavit.

In a police interview, Tester revealed more information about molesting the girl on more than one occasion, the affidavit said.

In a June 22 guilty plea, which dropped six of the nine charges, he officially admitted to the charges.

On Monday, Tester issued a one-sentence apology to the court prior to sentencing.

“I'm sorry for the suffering I've caused,” he said.