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.


Patrick Oneal Colwell Arrested for Child Abuse

Captain Marty Bruce with the Athens Police Department says 21-year-old Patrick Oneal Colwell of Athens was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated child abuse.

Colwell is charged with abusing his 4 month old son.

Officer Daniel McNatt responded to a call at the baby's neighbor's house. The child's mother reported Colwell shook the baby and he was unresponsive at the time of Officer McNatt's arrival.

The mother asked Colwell to give the baby a bath so she could get some things done. She heard the baby screaming and went to check on the baby. She saw Colwell shaking the baby. The mother took the baby and went to a neighbor's house to call an ambulance.

The baby was transferred to Athens Limestone Hospital by Athens Limestone EMS. The baby had bruises on his nose, shoulder and a red mark on his neck.

Detective Sergeant Dustin Lansford investigated the case. Colwell was transferred to the Limestone County Jail.