N.C. woman charged with indecent liberties, child abuse

Woman charged with Sexually Abusing Boy
Christy Lynn Jaski, 42

Wilmington, North Carolina – A Wilmington woman was arrested Monday on charges of indecent liberties and felony child abuse.

Christy Lynn Jaski, 42, of Jeb Stuart Drive, has been charged with two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and one count of felony child abuse-sexual act, according to court records.

Jaski is charged with a “lewd and lascivious act upon the body” of a 14-year-old boy, according to an arrest warrant. The abuse allegedly occurred between Dec. 1, 2014, and Jan. 8, according to the warrant.

The Wilmington Police Department is investigating the case. Jaski knew the teen, police spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay said.

Jaski made her first appearance Tuesday in New Hanover County District Court, where she waived court-appointed counsel. District Judge Jeffrey E. Noecker ordered that Jaski have no contact with the victim or any minor children. She is permitted to see her biological children with Department of Social Services supervision, Noecker ruled.

Jaski was released from the New Hanover County jail on a $100,000 secured bond. She is scheduled to make her next appearance in New Hanover County District Court on March 5.

Malicious Prosecution Alleged in West Virginia

Courthouse News Service
Thursday, February 12, 2015

(CN) – The disgraced former prosecutor for Mingo County, West Virginia pressed bogus child abuse charges against a special education teacher so his wife could get her job, the aggrieved educator claims in court.

The prosecutor in question, C. Michael Sparks, is currently in prison having pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to cover up evidence of illegal drug use and other misconduct by a now deceased former county sheriff.

In a complaint filed in the Charleston, West Va., Federal Court, Tina Grace says she was called into a meeting with the Mingo County superintendent of schools on Sept. 23, 2011, and confronted with allegations that she had been abusing special needs students.

Afterwards, and as required by law, the superintendent called the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and reported the alleged abuse, thereby initiating an investigation of the matter by the state.

Grace was then suspended, with pay, for the duration of the inquiry, the complaint says.

As described in the court documents, two people providing the most negative information about Grace to investigators — C. Michael Sparks and his wife, Jennifer Sparks — who are alleged to have said she routinely bullied and belittled children in her care.

“Defendant Sparks’ wife … was the only teacher to provide critical comments about Tina Grace saying she had twisted a child’s cheeks, was not nice to kids, mentioning aides had complained about her disciplinary methods and also discussing those same incidents of some two years earlier involving a balancing device known as the ‘turtle’ and the use of hot sauce for disciplining an unruly child,” the complaint says.

Grace says Sparks’ motive was clear – she had two children in the school in which both she and Grace worked, but she also had the least seniority of any special education teacher there, meaning an impending consolidation of schools would likely result in her losing her job.

In addition, Grace says, she and Jennifer Sparks “had engaged in several verbal disagreements in recent years over various matters, including one where Mrs. Grace had replied something to the effect her coal miner husband was smarter than Sparks’ lawyer spouse.”

Grace says the only other people testifying against her were a personal friend of the Sparks, and a teacher’s aide whose husband worked at the county courthouse.

The state investigation turned up no specific findings of abuse, the complaint says. Nevertheless, about 10 days after the investigation ended, the district fired Grace. Days after that, she was indicted on a single county of battery, and two counts of child abuse.

“Defendant Sparks presented these matters to the grand jury initiating Tina Grace’s indictments,” the complaint says.

Grace pleaded not guilty to the charges, and she says what transpired from then on was nothing short of a sham trial. For instance, she says, “In a lame attempt to [cover up] his inherent conflict of interest in prosecuting Tina Grace, Defendant Sparks did not list his wife as a witness … although she had been the only teacher in the entire Mingo County school system to provide evidence concerning Mrs. Grace.”

Grace ultimately agreed to a deal in which she would drop an ongoing appeal of her dismissal from the school district in return for Sparks’ dropping the charges against her. Sixty days later, Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury expunged the record of the case. Thornsbury was later sentenced to 50 months in prison for his involvement in the scheme for which Sparks is now jailed.

Grace then filed an ethics complaint against Sparks with the West Virginia Disciplinary Counsel, which ultimately close the matter due to the fact Sparks’ license had already been annulled due to his other legal problems.

Grace has since filed to rescind the withdrawal of her grievance challenging her termination from the Mingo County Schools.

She seeks $1 million in compensatory damages, lost back wages and future wages on claims Sparks and his co-defendants derived her of her civil rights under state law, that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to effect malicious prosecution, false arrest, and multiple counts of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

ACLU Seeks Facts on Abuse of Immigrant Kids

Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

PHOENIX (CN) – The Department of Homeland Security blew off FOIA requests for information on the abuse of immigrant children in immigration custody, the ACLU claims in court.

The ACLU sued the DHS and its creatures, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on Wednesday in Federal Court.

In its December 2014 FOIA request, the ACLU says, it sought “to shed light on longstanding allegations of abusive treatment of children by Border Patrol, including prolonged detention in degrading and inhumane conditions, as well as DHS oversight agencies’ handling of those allegations.”

None of the agencies have responded, the ACLU says.

“This case is about the systemic failure of multiple institutions to protect some of the most vulnerable among us,” ACLU of Arizona staff attorney James Lyall said in a statement. “Under any reasonable definition, the neglect and mistreatment that these children experience in Border Patrol custody qualifies as child abuse, and federal officials and contractors are required to report that abuse under applicable child protection laws.”
The ACLU and other civil rights organizations sent an administrative complaint to DHS in *June 2014, claiming 116 immigrant children had been abused by the Border Patrol.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/06/11/68651.htm

“One quarter of these children reported physical abuse, including sexual assault, beatings, and the use of stress positions by Border Patrol agents, and more than half reported various forms of verbal abuse, including death threats,” the June complaint stated. “Many reported being denied blankets and bedding and attempting to sleep on the floors of unsanitary, overcrowded, and frigid cells.”

Eighty percent of the children said they were not properly provided with food and water, and nearly as many said they were detained for more than the 72-hour maximum. About half of the children said they were denied medical care, including a number who required hospitalization.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske acknowledged after the ACLU’s June complaint that the allegations regarding holding room conditions were “absolutely spot-on,” and said his agency and DHS would investigate.

In October, however, the Office of the Inspector General “reported it would be ‘curtailing routine inspections,’ and has issued no subsequent findings or taken any other public action in response to the complaint,” the ACLU says in the new lawsuit.

In fact, “Border Patrol restricts access to detention facilities such that attorneys, advocates, and family members are generally prohibited from meeting with detainees, many of whom are held incommunicado for days. Immigrant children – like all immigrants – have no guarantee of legal counsel in removal proceedings; without legal representation, children are far less likely to report abuse or pursue civil rights complaints involving government officials,” the complaint states.

The ACLU says that the volume of these complaints “point to systemic deficiencies in Border Patrol’s detention policies and practices, and yet the full extent of these problems is still unknown.”