Thursday, July 23, 2009

Arlayne Curiel Arrested for Sexual Abuse


An Albany woman called police on Saturday to report that she was being harassed by neighbors. By Tuesday her tale had unraveled, according to police reports, and 24-year-old Arlayne Curiel was in jail.

A police investigation alleges that the harassment started when neighbors discovered she had spent early Saturday morning having sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy. According to police, Curiel reportedly met a 13-year-old boy while walking in downtown Albany Friday night. At about 1 a.m. on Saturday the 13-year-old boy reportedly went to Curiel's home.

Police said Curiel then gave the 13 year old alcohol before entering an unoccupied home next door with him at 2335 S.E. Salem Ave., where they had sexual contact.

On Tuesday, Albany police detectives arrested her on multiple charges. She was lodged in the Linn County Jail on the following charges:

• Sex Abuse in the First Degree (2 counts)
• Sodomy in the Second Degree (3 counts of hand- or mouth-to-genital contact)
• Rape in the Second Degree
• Burglary in the First Degree
• Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor

One person who said they knew Curiel said she may be developmentally disabled and did not know what she was doing was wrong.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information regarding Arlayne Curiel or this investigation is asked to call the Albany Police Department Detective Section at (541) 917-7686.

Sean Hale Arrested for Sexual Abuse

Ada County Prosecutors says a violent sex predator is back to his old ways.

Sean Hale, 44, is accused of two very serious crimes -- sexual abuse of a minor and possession of sexually exploitative materials.

"Mr. Hale are you currently working?" asked Judge Theresa Gardunia.

"No," Hale replied over closed circuit video.

"When is the last time that you worked Mr. Hale?"

"Two-and-a-half to three years ago."

"How are you supporting yourself?"

"I live with friends," replied Hale.

This early questioning is meant to determine whether Hale would receive a court appointed lawyer.

It's strictly routine, but so is Hale's appearance in court because this is far from his first time.

In 1994 he was found guilty of a series of very similar crimes involving rape, rape of a child, and child molestation in Washington, so he's already a registered violent sexual predator.

His latest endeavor took place on July 21 with his 16-year-old niece and her 15-year-old boyfriend when he allegedly took them swimming at a private pool.

"He told the female to remove her clothing -- to remove her shirt -- so he could take a picture of her holding her breasts," said the deputy prosecuting attorney.

Soon he got her boyfriend in on the act and took even more pictures until prosecutors say they refused to perform one of Hale's requested poses.

"On the way home from swimming, he informed the male victim not to put back on his clothes, so he rode home naked on this occasion. He also told the female victim to pose sexy and he took pictures with his cell phone," said the prosecutor.

But the photo shoot didn't end there.

Officials say when they got home, he took the boy into a back room, made him watch a pornographic video and took even more pictures.

Those pictures soon led to his capture when one of the victim's friends, who was outside at the time, asked Hale to use his cell phone.

"Mr. Hale said, 'Don't look at my pictures.' And she did so anyway and saw explicit pictures of both the female victim and the male victim," the prosecutor said.

Hale will be back in court in a couple weeks for a preliminary hearing.

Until then, he'll remain in the Ada County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Matthew Sizemore Arrested for Child Porn

A Carroll County grand jury has indicted an East Wakefield man on 10 counts of felony possession of child pornography.

Matthew D. Sizemore, 52, of 104 Burley Park Drive, who remains free on $25,000 cash bail, faces arraignment on the charges on July 29 at 8:45 a.m. in the Southern Carroll County Superior Court. If found guilty on the charges, Sizemore could face a 100 year prison sentence.

An indictment is not an indication of guilt, but rather a finding of a grand jury enough evidence exists to warrant a trial.

Each count, a Class A felony, is punishable by jail term of seven and one half to 15 years. Sizemore was charged following an investigation conducted by the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, members of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office and Wakefield Police Department.

Copies of the indictments, made available to the press last week, provide a brief description of the sexual acts depicted on the videotapes that are too graphic to print here for the general readership, but the images depict children involved in sexual acts.

Sizemore is an electrical contractor who police say lives alone at the home and to their knowledge has no regular contact with children.

He was first arrested on June 5, when members of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which included Lt. David Meyer of the Carroll County Sheriff's Department, executed a search warrant and seized computers at the home. Additionally, Sizemore was charged with manufacturing and possession of illegal drugs (marijuana) when police allegedly found plants growing outside. Sizemore was subsequently charged on June 9 with possession of child pornography.

While State Police prosecutors had asked for a $50,000 bail at the initial arraignment in district court, the judge combined the bail and Sizemore has been free on $25,000 cash bail.

At the time of the arrest, law enforcement officials working the case expressed shock at the content of the nine videotapes and one photograph depicting "hundreds" of sexual acts involving underage children.

Sizemore was released with additional conditions that include he have no internet access, no contact with persons under 16 years of age, refrain from possession of firearms, dangerous weapons or ammunition and refrain from use of alcohol or drugs. The judge also required Sizemore to sign a waiver of extradition.

The New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is made up of several Law Enforcement agencies around the State of New Hampshire that came together in the late 1990's to combat the rise of crimes against children that involve computers and other digital devices. The Carroll County Sheriff's Office has been involved with the task force since 1999.

Edwin Sevrence Guilty of Sexual Assault on 8-year-old

After deliberating for about four hours, a Washoe County jury, for a second time, found a Reno man guilty of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl, whom he allegedly had “groomed” to be his sexual playmate.

Washoe District Judge Steven Elliott ordered Edwin Sevrence to return to court on Sept. 10 to be sentenced on the two counts: sexual assault of a child under 14, and lewdness with a child.

He could face a maximum of life in prison on the charges.

Sevrence was convicted in 2005 on the same charges, but appealed the conviction. Last year, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Elliott should have called a mistrial after it was learned that a juror had connections to Sevrence’s parental rights case, and ordered a new trial.

His new trial started last week, and ended with closing arguments late Wednesday.

Deputy District Attorney Kelli Ann Viloria said she was thrilled.

“I’m pleased the jury came to what I believe was a proper verdict,” she said. “This was about the children -- the girl and her siblings. They deserved to be believed.”
“Hopefully now they can move ahead.”

Sevrence’s lawyer, Roger Whomes, said they respect the jury’s decision, but said he would likely appeal again.

The girl, now 14, testified that Sevrence would take her into his bed at night, and use a lubricant as he touched her inappropriately. She also said he made her fondle him once while they were in the bathroom together, and made her show her private parts to her brothers.

Whomes argued that there were inconsistencies in her statements, and told the jury that the findings of a sexual assault nurse with the Child Abuse Response & Evaluations, or CARES program were later found to be incorrect.

But the jury found in favor of the child and Viloria.

Derrick McKee Arrested for Child Porn

A 29-year-old Summerfield man was arrested Wednesday on 12 counts of possessing child pornography.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from America Online on July 17 stating Derrick W. McKee sent e-mails in early 2006 that may have contained pornographic images of children, according to a sheriff’s report.

Deputy Michael Dodd went to McKee’s residence at 16345 S.E. 97th Ave. Road on Wednesday to question him. McKee admitted sending the e-mails and consented to a search of his computers, according to the report.

One one computer, Dodd found 30 photographs and 21 videos suspected to be child pornography, the report said.

McKee showed Dodd a second computer, which he said he used to download child pornography before he gave it to his mother and bought a new one.

Dodd took both computers as evidence.

McKee told Dodd he used the file-sharing program Limewire to download the child pornography. He said he has been looking at it for several years and didn’t know how many of the illegal files were on the computers, according to the report.

Dodd arrested McKee and took him to the Marion County Jail, where he remained Thursday.

Carlos Beltran Sentenced to 20 Years for Beating His 5-year-old

A Main Township man is sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter in 2007.

Carlos Beltran pleaded guilty to aggravated battery charges. First-degree murder charges against him were dropped when he agreed to testify against his common-law wife, the woman who prosecutors say actually killed the child.

Melanie Beltran died when her mother, Mila Petrov, allegedly slammed the child's head into a wall. Cook County prosecutors say Melanie had repeatedly been abused by Petrov and her father did nothing to stop the abuse. They say that on the day Melanie was killed, Beltran helped Petrov clean up their apartment and dispose of evidence.

At the time of the killing, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said the case was one of the "most horrific" examples of child abuse he had ever seen.

Molly & Scott McCurry Sentenced to 20 Years for Child Abuse


Molly and Scott McCurry, a Spartanburg couple accused of abusing three boys in their care, received a 20-year prison sentence Thursday afternoon.

Both were convicted of three counts of child abuse and three charges of unlawful conduct toward a child.

The jury received the case around 12:30 p.m. Thursday and returned the guilty verdict shortly after 3:00 p.m.

After the verdict was announced, Scott McCurry's lawyer requested for the jury to be polled, and each juror said "guilty."

Less than an hour later, the judge asked the McCurrys if they wanted to speak before he decided on a sentence. Both declined to say anything. Their attorneys asked for leniency.

The judge sentenced the couple to the maximum of 20 years for the child abuse charges and 10 years for the other charges. However, those sentences will run concurrently, meaning they will spend only a maximum of 20 years behind bars.

"I don't think they'll survive, if you want my opinion," said Debra Justice, the victims' aunt.

News 4's Mike McCormick reported Scott McCurry's family seemed visibly upset in the courtroom.

The victim's relatives said the couple "got what was coming to them," and they were grateful for the verdict and sentence.

The neighbors who reported the abuse, Tammy and William Lister, were also in the courtroom for the sentencing.

"We're so happy for them. We hope they get some justice. We hope they get a family that will treat them and love them like they should be loved and deserve. They really deserve it," Tammy Lister said.

Susan Reese, the assistant solicitor, said she is "just very happy it's over. Very happy for them boys and just very happy the judge gave them the sentence he did."

The McCurrys must serve 85 percent of their sentence before they are eligible for parole.

Both of the McCurrys asked for a new trial, but the judge refused.

They have 10 days to appeal the decision.

Thursday's Testimony

The McCurrys had one last chance to talk to the jury Thursday morning. Scott McCurry testified that he found evidence of Molly McCurry smoking crack about three months before they were arrested. Molly McCurry then took the stand to deny that, and said she passed a drug test after the arrest. After that, closing arguments began.

Molly McCurry's attorney cast doubt on Scott McCurry.

"Her mother overheard Scott making threats against Molly," the attorney said.

Scott McCurry's attorney cast doubt on Molly McCurry.

"So the woman who told you that she didn't tie the kids up -- 'It was Scott' -- that she didn't beat the kids -- 'It was Scott' -- that she didn't make them stand in the corner -- 'It was Scott' -- she's the same woman who told you, 'He bought milk. He bought cereal. He bought Pop Tarts. He bought lunch meat.' He bought those things," said defense attorney Doug Brannon.

The assistant solicitor cast blame on them both.

"The truth is, ladies and gentlemen, that these boys were being starved, and they were being starved around the clock, and it took two people to do this," said Assistant Solicitor Susan Reese.

The defense for both of the McCurrys called for a retrial. Both were denied.

Couple Arrested In 2006

The McCurrys were arrested after deputies found the boys in their Holly Springs home “extremely thin and weak” and "literally skin and bones,” according to the arrest warrant.

The boys were taken into protective custody after they were found to be severely malnourished, burned and bruised.

Spartanburg County Deputy Len Burgess was the first officer to arrive at the home. Burgess said the McCurrys told him that the whole family had a stomach virus and was losing weight.

A doctor who treated the boys at the hospital testified that their conditions were not caused by a virus, but were the result of chronic malnourishment, starvation and neglect.

A former Wellford police officer who also went to the McCurry home that day testified that all three of the boys had visible lice in their hair.

One of the boys, who is 10 years old now, testified on Tuesday and told the court that, at first, he liked living with the McCurrys. Then, he testified, “everything changed.”

He said he was tied up at night to his bunk bed and was not untied until morning. He said that, if he had to use the bathroom, he had to use it in the bunk bed.

Molly and Dennis Scott McCurry have separate attorneys. The attorney for Molly McCurry indicated in opening arguments that the couple was poor. The attorney for Dennis Scott McCurry indicated that he made a good salary, but that someone else had squandered the money.

On Wednesday, both Scott and Molly McCurry testified in the case along with their biological daughter.

Molly McCurry's Testimony

Molly McCurry said she never starved or harmed the three boys, who were ages 5, 7 and 9 when their aunt and her husband, Dennis Scott McCurry were arrested in 2006. The McCurrys were legal guardians of the boys.

Molly McCurry said Wednesday that she fed the boys three small meals a day and some snacks after the Department of Social Services told her to cut back on their food. She said DSS told her that the boys were "known to eat out of the trash" and would eat themselves sick.

"I fed them breakfast, usually a bowl of cereal or Pop Tarts in the morning," Molly McCurry said. "Then lunchtime, since the refrigerator was messed up, I gave them like two bologna sandwiches or two ham sandwiches, whatever meat we had that we went and bought."

She admitted that the boys had been tied up, but said she and her husband tied them up because it was the only way that she could keep the older boys from sexually assaulting the 5-year-old.

She testified that she and her husband took turns staying awake at night to try to prevent the boys from sexually abusing each other. She said, when they were unable to stay awake, they tied the boys up.

Molly McCurry testified that her husband had once broken her arm when she tried to stop him from beating one of the boys. She said she had previously lied and said she broke her arm in a fall.

She also said that Scott McCurry punished the boys by making them stand while wearing backpacks filled with either cat litter or bottles of bleach.

After pictures were shown of the boys in court, the assistant solicitor asked McCurry if she should have taken the youngest boy to see a doctor. McCurry answered, "Yes, ma'am."

The McCurry's 13-year-old biological daughter also took the stand on Wednesday. She testified that she lived in the same house with the boys at the time of the alleged abuse.

The 13-year-old said that she saw her father spank the boys with a belt and saw her mother tie them up. She also said she remembered a time when the family got food and the boys were then made to stand and look the other way while she and her parents ate.

She said that she would wait until her parents were asleep and would sneak food in to the boys.

Scott McCurry's Testimony

Last to take the stand on Wednesday was Dennis Scott McCurry.

He and his ex-wife said little to defend each other throughout the trial.

Scott McCurry couldn't account for how the food he bought did not wind up filling the stomachs of the boys at his home.

Some of his credibility, especially about his work record, was called into question during cross examination.

He also addressed some of the accusations against him from his ex-wife and daughter. He denied making the boys stand with heavy book bags and he also said he never forced the boys to stand and watch while the rest of the family ate.

But he was at a loss to explain how the faces of the boys became images that brought tears to the people in the courtroom who saw them.

Solicitor: “But you told Tracy Moss they looked fine to you. “

Scott McCurry: “Yes. And I know those pictures knocked me for a loop.”

Solicitor: “So this little boy looks fine to you?”

Scott McCurry: “No. “

Solicitor: “He didn't look fine to you?”

Scott McCurry: “No. Not in that picture he does not.”

Solicitor: “Well, this picture was taken in your house.”

Scott McCurry: “I know.“

Solicitor: “Every night you saw these kids.”

Scott McCurry: “I can not explain that. I really can't. I blame myself for that.”
Previous Stories: July 22, 2009: Witnesses Emotional In Child Starvation Trial

Alfred Roy Smith Arrested for Child Porn

An Adams County resident is currently being detained at the county jail after being charged with three counts of possession of child pornography.

Alfred Roy Smith, 43, 7 Longmire Road, was arrested Monday and is being held on a $30,000 bond.

While several agencies within the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office spearheaded the investigation, details on the arrest are scarce.

Attorney General Jim Hood said in a statement multiple images of child pornography were found in the (Smith’s) home.

Each of Smith’s three possession charges carries a minimum of five years, and a maximum of 40 years, with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Adams County Sheriff Angie Brown said her deputies were asked to help execute search and arrest warrants at Smith’s home, but provided no further details.

Karen Stillman Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse

A mother who left her children in the care of another family accused of later sexually abusing them pleaded guilty to attempted child abuse with serious bodily injury Thursday.

Karen Stillman, 58, faces 16 years in prison when she is sentenced on Sept. 18 in Denver District Court.

Stillman was homeless when she gave her son and daughter to the Torrez family to take care of them. Eric Torrez, Linda Torrez and their son, Patrick Torrez, are scheduled to go on trial Jan. 4 and have pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault on a child.

Steven Dixon Charged with Child Abuse

Greenbrier County deputies arrested 27-year-old Steven Dixon of Sinks Grove. He's charged with child abuse causing injury.

Deputies say Dixon was arrested after a 7-month old baby was taken to Greenbrier Valley Medical Center for treatment. The infant had a head injury that investigators say was the result of abuse.

The baby was transferred to the Charleston Area Medical Center for further treatment.

Dixon is free after posting $25,000 bond.

Former Officer Milton Scott Pruitt Guilty of Child Porn

A former Forysth County cop has been found guilty by a federal jury on two counts of receiving child pornography.

Milton Scott Pruitt, 41, was accused of accessing illegal images that had been stored as evidence on a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office detective’s computer.

Witnesses testified that Pruitt, while working the overnight shift in March 2007, viewed 10 images of young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The former sergeant, who was found guilty late Wednesday, admitted viewing the files on a laptop issued by the department, telling a GBI agent he was “just curious.”

“It is truly sad when a law enforcement officer uses county property to access such materials, and in this case, child pornography was also found on his home computer,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan.

Pruitt, who will be sentenced Oct. 8, faces a mandatory five years in prison on each count and a maximum of 20 years behind bars.

Charles William Schaaf Charged with Sexual Exploitation of Child


Authorities say a man from Prescott wanted on a number of sex crimes violations has been arrested in Alabama.

Officials say 57-year-old Charles William Schaaf was picked up in Shelby County last week.

According to Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn, a search warrant had been issued for Schaaf's arrest as a result of allegations from 2007-2008.

Child Protective Services reported to officials that a female minor had been involved in sexual activity with an adult male, D'Evelyn said.

He said her guardian, Schaaf, was aware of the relationship but failed to report the activity.

Detectives learned that Schaaf allowed the minor and other teenagers to "party" at a home on Prescott East Highway, officials said.

Schaaf was alleged to have provided alcohol and drugs to the minors during the parties while videotaping their activity.

After several interviews, detectives reportedly learned that Schaaf kept child pornography images on his computer. They also investigated claims that certain adult males, some living at the home, were having sex with minor females.

In the meantime, Schaaf had apparently moved to Casa Grande where a search warrant was served on his home in 2008. Detectives reportedly confiscated Schaaf's computer where forensic experts found child pornography, according to D'Evelyn.

He said detectives found several thousand videos and images involving children as young as 9- or 10-years-old.

D'Evelyn said detectives recently discovered that Schaaf was no longer at the Casa Grande residence and could not be found.

They had information that Schaaf could be in Alabama, where he was arrested on July 17.

Schaaf faces extradition and charges of child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual exploitation of a child, among other charges.

Marcus Stafford Arrested for Sexual Assault

Marcus Stafford, 27, of Waco was in custody Thursday after a 16-year-old Mexia girl was held against her will in a motel room and raped.

Stafford was arrested Wednesday after Waco police received a call from someone who expressed concern about the girl’s safety.

Officers went to the Roadway Inn on S. Jack Kultgen Expressway in Waco and found the girl in a room that was registered to Stafford, police said.

Waco Police Spokesman Steve Anderson says officers knocked on the door and Stafford came out and talked to them outside.

The officers determined the 16-year-old girl was inside the room, and that she had been sexually assaulted, Anderson said.

Stafford was arrested at the scene.

Police say they believe the girl was held in the room from around 6 p.m. on Tuesday until officers found her at around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Police say officers were able to determine the girl asked to leave a number of times, but that she was not allowed to.

Police wouldn’t provide details about how the girl and Stafford met or how they ended up in the motel room.

Stafford is charged with aggravated sexual assault.

Judge Raymond Britton set Stafford's bond at $250,000

David Justin Ackerson Arrested for Child Porn

A Greeley man was arrested late Wednesday after a relative called police to tell them he had child pornography on his computer.

David Justin Ackerson, 38, was booked into the Weld County Jail on a charge of sexual exploitation of children after police used a search warrant to look into his computer and also found photographs in a filing cabinet in his home.

He remained in jail today, held on $50,000 bond.

Court records on the case show that a family member of Ackerson's was using his home computer and found photos of young boys and girls involved in sexual acts, sometimes with adults. Police said the children appeared to be between 6 and 10 years old.

When asked about the photos in the file cabinet, Ackerson told police they were placed there by a nephew. Family members denied Ackerson's claim. He also told police he'd had the photographs on his home computer for about nine months, but was sorting through the photos to remove the ones that were illegal.