Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tyler Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Sexual Assault

A Tyler man found guilty of sexual assault with a child was sentenced to 10 years in the state penitentiary and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine Thursday morning in Smith County's 7th District Court.

A jury found the defendant, 32, was found guilty of the crime Wednesday in Judge Kerry Russell's court.

In the punishment phase Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Richard Vance argued the defendant's failure to meet pre-trial bond agreements, the 17-year age difference, and the relationship the defendant had with the victim before the incident gave the jury cause to send him to jail for the maximum time.

Having been convicted of a second-degree felony, the defendant faced two to twenty years in the federal penitentiary.

Vance said Wednesday that the inappropriate behavior allegedly began in Belize on a mission trip in January 2008, when the victim was 14 years old.

Although he was not prosecuted for these events because they took place outside the country, Vance asked the jury to consider them when deciding the length of the sentence.

Upon returning, the defendant asked the victim to go with him to develop pictures from the trip.

Vance said the victim was hesitant to go with the defendant but knew her mother and other family members would know something was wrong if she refused.

The defendant then took her to an apartment where more sexual acts were performed.

The victim's family began to notice she was acting strange and took her to UTMC, where the story was revealed, Vance said.

The defendant will be eligible for parole after 5 years.

Prosecutors were Assistant District Attorneys Vance and Greg Cole and the Defense Attorney was Bill Booth.

Raymond Gabaldon & Ashley Tafoya Arrested for Child Abuse

Relatives of accused child abuser Raymond Gabaldon said they can't believe their loved one could possibly harm a two-week-old infant, but Gabaldon and his girlfriend Ashley Tafoya remain in custody on felony child abuse charges.

Police said the injuries Isaac Gabaldon received the July 4th weekend are consistent with torture and sexual molestation. That's why Gabaldon and Tafoya are behind bars in custody in lieu of one $250,000 cash bail.

According to the Children, Youth and Families Department, the child should never have been left alone with the couple following a protective agreement in June. The department said the family failed to hold up its end of the bargain.

Family members stated their disbelief of the charges.

"They have my blessings and I love them, but they didn't commit those crimes," said Brenda Gabaldon, Isaac's grandmother.

Brenda was staying with Raymond and Ashley at the time Isaac's arm was broken, but apparently wasn't watching him at the time.

Thursday she met with CYFD investigators and saw photographs of Isaac's latest injuries. She said they are not the injuries she saw on the 4th.

"I think the hospital did it," said Brenda. "The majority of them and the sexual abuse on this child. There was no sexual abuse on this child whatsoever."

University Hospital officials said that because Isaac is in state custody, privacy laws prohibit the hospital from commenting on gabaldon's allegations in any way.

CYFD officials said federal and state law requires the agency to consider in-family placement for Isaac. CYFD officials said that process is under way. The agency also said for an in-family placement, the family member would have to go thru a rigorous background check and take foster parenting classes.

Isaac is currently staying in a licensed foster home.


John Jackey Worman Jailed for 120 Years for Sexual Assault

A "psychopath" pedophile has been jailed for 120 years after making a huge collection of child pornography that shows him sexually assaulting a dozen children.

The FBI found John Jackey Worman in 2007 with more than one million indecent images of youngsters, some of whom were at his girlfriend's 'in-home' day care.

"I cannot know... what was going through your head while you were molesting my daughter. Was it a big joke as I pulled away each day?" a mother who used the day care service said while testifying at his trial.

Worman, 42, made girls perform sex acts for school lunch money in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He told prison doctors he felt no remorse for sexually "anointing" his victims.

"I am totally at peace with everything I have done," Worman said, according to district judge Lawrence Stengel.

The judge, who sentenced Worman on Wednesday, described him as a psychopath who sponged off women and sadistically coerced his young victims.

A teenager who had been abused for several years tipped off authorities after watching an episode of TV show Law & Order about child sexual abuse.

It was only when the victim saw the program that she realized Worman's attacks were wrong, assistant US attorney Michelle Rotella said.

Jurors at the trial, who sometimes asked for breaks from viewing the harrowing evidence, convicted Worman of 56 child pornography offences.

His girlfriend, baby sitter Concetta Jackson, is in prison awaiting sentence after admitting to a child pornography charge.

Prosecutors said the 46-year-old procured some of the victims.

Worman's ex-girlfriend, Dorothy Prawdzik, 45, was also jailed in April for 30 years after being convicted of assisting with and participating in the attacks.

Gabriel Gullickson Arrested for Child Porn

What one person says she found after receiving a laptop leads to charges against a young man from Chippewa Falls.

Gabriel Gullickson has been charged with possession of child pornography. The criminal complaint says Gullickson was looking after a woman's snakes when one of the reptiles died.

To compensate her, investigators say he gave her his laptop. She told police she found pornographic pictures of young girls on it. Police say they looked at the computer and found several pictures. He'll be in court next week.

Reynaldo Victoriano Alonzo Arrested for Attempting to Lure Boy

A 41-year-old registered sex offender from Fresno has been arrested by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s detectives on suspicion of attempting to lure a teenage boy into his van in the Santa Ynez area earlier this month.

Authorities traveled to Fresno on Tuesday to take Reynaldo Victoriano Alonzo into custody after an investigation suggested he had tried to entice a 14-year-old boy to get into his van on August 3, sheriff’s officials said. The suspect allegedly approached the teenager in front of a grocery store in the 1000 block of Edison Street, Sheriff’s Spokesman Drew Sugars said.

“The victim, having been trained how to deal with similar situations by his parents, was able to walk away from the suspect,” he said in a news release.

Detectives learned that a man matching the description of the suspect had been spotted in the Chumash Casino Resort and were able to identify Alonzo as a potential suspect while working with casino security.

Authorities tracked down the 41-year-old in Fresno and booked him into the Santa Maria Jail on suspicion of annoying or molesting children.

Alonzo, who has a Fresno address listed in a state database of sex offenders, had been previously convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, according to the database. If convicted again, he faces between two to six years in prison, according to the California penal code.

Sugars said the case would be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether criminal charges will be filed following further investigation.

Joshua Close Charged with Having Sex with Minor

The Florence County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man they say had sex with a minor.

28-year-old Joshua Close is charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 16 and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Arrest warrant say Close picked up the girl, took her to a local motel where he gave her marijuana, before persuading her to have sex with him.

Police say it happened on or around August 3rd.

Lynn & Lindsey Maxwell Released from Jail

Lynn and Lindsey Maxwell, the parents of Erin Maxwell, were released from jail on Thursday.

The two were being held until their October sentencing after convictions of four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Earlier this week, the judge agreed to lower their bail to $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond each.

The couple was accused of locking Erin in her room and forcing her to live in deplorable conditions.

Lynn's stepson, Alan Jones, is accused of killing Erin. Jones second degree murder trial is scheduled to begin in September.

Richard & Katherine Graham Arrested or Assault

Following a month long, joint investigation between the Oswego County Sheriff's Department and the Oswego County Department of Social Services Child Protection Unit, Sheriff's Investigators announced the arrest of an Oswego Town couple.

On August 12, 2009 Richard Graham, 28 years old and his wife Katherine Graham, 25 years old were arrested and charged with 2 counts each of Assault in the first degree a Class B felony, Reckless Endangerment in the first degree a Class D felony, and Endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.

Both the Graham's live at 208 Furniss Station Road in the Town of Oswego with their six children. The investigation revealed that a lack of care was given to the two youngest children, 14 month old twins over the course of the past year.

Mr. And Mrs. Graham were arraigned in the Granby Town Court and remanded to the Oswego County Correctional Facility. Mr. Graham is being held on $20,000.00 cash bail / $40,000.00 bond. Mrs. Graham is being held on $10,000.00 cash bail / $20,000.00 bond.

Both are to reappear in the Oswego Town Court on August 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM.

The Graham twins are currently in foster care. The other Graham children are staying with other family members.

The investigation is continuing.

William Reynolds Charged with Sexual Assault

A Willingboro Recreation Department employee was charged with sexually assaulting a girl in his home, Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi and Willingboro Director of Public Safety Gregory Rucker announced Wednesday.

William G. Reynolds, 40, of Southampton Drive in Willingboro, was arrested Tuesday and lodged in Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly. He was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Superior Court Judge Patricia R. LeBon ordered him held on $100,000 bail during his first court appearance Wednesday. If he makes bail, Reynolds cannot have contact with the victim and cannot have unsupervised contact with any unrelated minors, the judge said.

Authorities said an investigation revealed the assaults occurred on separate occasions in 2007 inside Reynolds' home. Reynolds instructed the 13-year-old girl not to tell anybody about the assaults, according to prosecutors.

Due to the nature of the charges and the need to protect the victim's identity, prosecutors would not release any additional information.

Detectives from the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office's Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit and the Willingboro Police Department conducted the investigation.

In June, Reynolds' brother, Thomas R. Reynolds Jr., 50, of Westampton, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Thomas Reynolds, a former service clerk for a transportation company, admitted that he abused one boy from 2002 to 2006, starting when the child was 11. He also acknowledged assaulting another boy over a two-year period from May 2001 to August 2003, starting when the child was 15.

Thomas Reynolds admitted touching another boy for several months in 2006, when the child had just turned 15.

He faces seven to 10 years in state prison when he is sentenced next month.

Officer Devin Staten Accused of Molesting 14-year-old

An LAX police officer is out on bail after being accused of molesting a 14-year-old foster child under the care of his mother.

Police were called to the Inglewood home after a report of a possible sexual assault, said Mike McBride of the Inglewood Police Department.

A teenager at the home accused Officer Devin Staten of touching her in an "inappropriate way" Monday night, McBride said.

The foster care home is owned and operated by Staten's mother.

The 31-year old officer also lives at the house in a converted garage.

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services has been notified.

Investigators say two 18-year-old foster girls and a 10-year-old foster boy also live at the home, McBride said.

Lawsuit Settled Against Father Gerald Howard

Officials with the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese have agreed to pay part of a settlement to a man who claims to have been sexually abused by a former Boonville priest.

Jefferson City Diocese officials would not say how much they paid of a $600,000 settlement agreement.

An attorney representing the alleged victim says no amount of money can erase a stolen childhood, a shattered faith and horrific betrayal.

This story centers around a priest who used to call himself Father Carmine Sita. Sita was arrested and charged in 1982 with sexual molestation and marijuana distribution in New Jersey.

Sita later changed his name to Father Gerald Howard and the Catholic Church moved him to a Boonville parish here in Mid-Missouri. The alleged victim, whose name remains anonymous, says Father Howard abused him during the 1980’s at Boonville’s Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church. We do know that the alleged victim now lives in Virginia and sued the Catholic Church for more than $1 million. The church and the alleged victim reached a settlement of $600,000 in June, which is highest settlement for any sexual abuse case in Mid-Missouri involving a priest. Church officials do not know today’s whereabouts of Father Gerald Howard. That concerns the alleged victim’s attorney Bryan Bacon.

“We really encourage anyone that was assaulted by Fr. Howard in Boonville to come forward," Bacon said. "The statue of limitations for this type of crime, there is none. There are no statues of limitations. If you have been violated, I urge you to come forward and call the police.”

Officials with the Diocese of Jefferson City admit former Bishop Michael McAuliffe made a tragic mistake when he agreed to assign Father Howard to the Boonville Catholic Church in 1983. Church leaders say new procedures prevent situations like this from happening again.

“We’ve trained about 8,000 people in our diocese and the 38 counties that we serve," Associate to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Jefferson City Ronald Vessell said. "We’ve trained about 8,000 people in the ways of preventing child sexual abuse. That along with background checks. We do about 1,000 background checks a year.”

Vessell would not say how much of the $600,000 settlement his diocese is paying. Vessell did say any amount is a lot for a small diocese like his. Vessell says parishioners will not pay for the settlement. The church uses a special fund that has been created by private donations specifically for settlements involving child sexual abuse and priests.

The Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City now has it’s own lay review board that handles any allegations of child sexual abuse.

That board determines if any allegations are credible, before making any recommendations to Bishop John Gaydos.

That process was not available when Father Gerald Howard allegedly abused his victim in the 1980’s.

Allegation Against Rev Joseph Gibbs Clauder "Credible"

The Madison Catholic Diocese said Wednesday its sexual abuse review board has found an allegation of child sexual abuse against the Rev. Joseph Gibbs Clauder "credible."

The diocese said Madison Bishop Robert Morlino agrees with the board’s finding and has referred the case to the Vatican for judgment.

The allegation against Clauder was brought forth earlier this year but not made public at the request of the accuser, said diocesan spokesman Brent King. No other information will be released, including the gender of the accuser or the nature of the allegation, he said.

Clauder was placed on administrative leave in 1999 after the diocese received credible allegations against him involving sexual misconduct with an adult, the diocese said.

Clauder was involved in a legal dispute throughout the 1990s in which a woman said she had a sexual relationship with him. The woman sued the diocese accusing it of negligence for not investigating the priest after his suspicious conduct with another woman.

In its 1997 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court said the sexual relationship between Clauder and the woman who filed the civil claim lasted about a year. But it rejected the woman’s claim of negligent supervision of Clauder by the diocese.

Prior to being placed on leave, Clauder served in and around Madison. He was an associate priest at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Monona, an associate priest at St. Dennis Parish in Madison and a chaplain at the now-closed Madison General Hospital.

Since 1999, Gibbs has not been allowed to present himself publicly as a priest or publicly celebrate the sacraments, said William Yallaly, executive assistant to Morlino.

The Vatican is now the sole determiner of the case, Yallaly said. There is no time line for a decision. If the Vatican agrees with Morlino’s finding, a number of options are possible, including defrocking Clauder or asking him to spend the remainder of his life in prayer and penance, Yallaly said.

Attempts to reach Clauder were unsuccessful.

Police will review and have the authority to investigate crimes they hear about through the media or from other sources other than the victim, according to Madison Police Lt. David McCaw, but doing so becomes difficult without a victim’s formal complaint.

McCaw said police are especially sensitive when it comes to sex crimes because victims initially might not want the attention that comes with an investigation.

Man Accused of Performing Sex Acts on 7-year-old

Sitting in the witness chair, a Manvel mother read a letter from her daughter which said the young girl knew things she wished she didn’t, and that for a long time she carried a terrible secret.

“I hate my secret,” the mother read. “I want to tell my secret so he won’t hurt anyone else.”

The mother read a victim impact statement Wednesday afternoon after a jury of six men and six women gave a 70-year sentence to her husband on a continuous sexual assault of a child conviction. The man could have faced up to life in prison.

The 39-year-old man is accused of having sex and performing sex acts with his 7-year-old stepdaughter at their Manvel home between December 2007 and September 2008, when the girl told her mother about the abuse.

The woman told her husband after his conviction he would not be able to throw a football, take long drives or see his own children grow up because he would be spending the next 70 years of his life in prison.

“You know what you did and how wrong you are,” the mother said. “Your choices are not yours anymore.”

It is Facts policy in sexual assault cases to withhold the name of the man because disclosing it could identify the victim.

The defendant is the first to be convicted of the continuous sexual assault charge in Brazoria County since it was added to the Texas Penal Code two years ago, Prosecutor Jessica Pulcher said.

“The jurors of Brazoria County made a statement today against a man who was doing horrible things,” Prosecutor Jay Wooten said.

The man’s attorney, Crespin Linton, said his client had nine previous convictions, four of which were felonies.

“We knew it would be a lengthy sentence,” Linton said.

Linton said he contends the child’s mother and his client had a contentious marriage, and she manufactured the charges to get back at him.

“She was so angry with him she would be willing to go this far,” he said.

Wooten said the case originally was indicted as an aggravated sexual assault and the defendant had a hung jury in July. when the case was reindicted as continuous sexual assault of a child, the victim had to testify again about the charges, Wooten said.

As prosecutors talked about the case in their office, the girl came by and hugged Wooten’s leg.

“I feel very vindicated,” he said.

Arnold Fred Hussong Accused of Sexually Assaulting 11-year-old


A 90-year-old Okabena man accused of allegedly assaulting an 11-year-old girl sexually was released on his own recognizance Tuesday with the condition he have no contact with his victim or anyone under the age of 18.

Arnold Fred Hussong was charged Tuesday with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and terroristic threats. When asked by authorities if he “went too far,” he replied, “Absolutely, absolutely.”

According to the criminal complaint, authorities in Jackson County were contacted Sunday about a possible sexual assault that had been reported in Okabena.

The girl’s mother said a neighbor had brought her “very upset” daughter home a short time before. The girl told her mother Hussong had pulled her by the hair, tied her up on his bed and touched her inappropriately. She said Hussong also threatened to kill her with a gun if she told anyone.

During an interview with authorities, the girl said she was gardening with Hussong, then they went into his house to watch TV. She said he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her onto a bed.

Hussong allegedly took her clothes off and used a thin cloth blanket to tie her up. The girl said she was screaming for help when he tied her hands. She told authorities she tried to fight back, and kicked him away several times.

The girl reported there was a long gun he loaded bullets into and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Hussong allegedly touched her inappropriately, but she said he did not penetrate her. She said he took off his clothes while he was touching her, and eventually fell asleep on her.

She said he let her go, and she ran to a neighbor’s house.

Authorities obtained a search warrant Monday and went to Hussong’s home, where they found him sitting on a riding lawn mower in his yard.

When an officer asked Hussong if he knew why they were there, Hussong replied that he did. At first, he could not remember the name of the girl that had been at his house the day before, but he said she is a nice girl.

He told the officer he has a very loving nature and shares his love with people. There should be more of that in the world, he said.

When asked how he showed the girl his love, Hussong said he gave her $2 for different things and gave her a rod and reel out of his shed.

When asked if he showed his love physically for the girl, Hussong said he gave her hugs and kisses and had kissed her on the lips the day before. He allegedly stated he had never dreamt he would go too far. Everyone was telling him, he said, that he went too far. He admitted to many of the allegations the girl had made, but denied that he ever asked her to touch him.

The search warrant was executed and authorities confiscated the bedding, including a lightweight white bedspread. A search of the room showed no firearms present, but two firearms were taken from the garage, as well as the loaded .22 shells that were in the rifle.

Hussong has an initial court appearance Monday in Jackson County District Court.