Threats Made Against Parents Of Malnourished Daughter

EVERGREEN, Colo. — Threats have been made against the Evergreen couple accused of starving their six-year-old daughter, law enforcement sources told FOX31 Denver.

Jason Barton, 40, and Katie Barton, 36, face child abuse resulting in serious bodily harm.

Their daughter weighed just 25 pounds when the couple brought her to Children’s Hospital on June 10.

The parents admitted taking their daughter out of kindergarten and placing locks on their refrigerator to keep their oldest child from eating.

Neighbors have the same questions investigators did, why?

The couple’s three children, were placed in protective custody.

Investigators said only the oldest, a 6-year old showed signs of abuse. She had the weight of a 2-year old, 25-pounds, skin pockmarked with dents from malnutrition.

A neighbor Vance Bristow called the girl’s condition heartbreaking.

“You just can’t explain things like that people do things that are beyond any kind of logical explanation,” Bristow said.

Jason and Katie Barton were released from jail after each posted a $25,000 bond.

Their address has been redacted from the arrest affidavit for their own protection.

Prosecutors don’t want an outraged community knowing exactly where the couple lives in the mountain town of Evergreen.

“It’s not unusual in a case that has facts that really grabs the public’s attention for my office to receive communication from the public expressing their interest in the case and expressing opinions as to what should happen and that has happened in this case,” said Peter Weir, District Attorney for the First judicial district.

Detectives said the parents admit keeping locks on their refrigerator and pantry to keep their six-year-old from eating.

“I know she’s significantly malnourished, I think the affidavit indicates that she has the development of a 2-year-old,” DA Weir said.

On a Facebook post from 2013, a friend of Katie’s writes about the six-year-old, “She is so tiny. Feed her a cheeseburger. Lol.”

But, it’s no joke anymore. Doctors compared the girl to a concentration camp victim, a girl who told investigators she was forced to run laps in her driveway for taking food without permission.

The girl “was not allowed to have any birthday cake while the other children were allowed to eat cake,” according to the affidavit.

The report goes on to state medical staff observing the mom, “Katie was drinking chocolate milk in front of the 6-year old and apparently ‘taunted’ her by showing her the full carton of milk and then drinking it.”

“I’m glad that somebody found out. That’s the main thing that this little girl can now be helped,” Bristow said.

The affidavit also states the girl was forced to sleep in a sleeping bag in her parent’s bathroom. At one point her father admitted to detectives that he and his wife were quote “jackasses” for denying their daughter food.

The couple is due back in court on July 21.

AZ Couple Arrested For Child Abuse

TUCSON, AZ – Two people were arrested on child abuse charges Saturday after a two-year-old child was found unresponsive Friday.

Ashley Fry, 22, and Kyle McConnell, 24, were booked into the Pima County Jail for child abuse. McConnell was also charged with narcotic paraphernalia. Tucson Police revealed additional charges are pending for both.

On Sunday night, police informed News 4 Tucson that the child was still in critical condition. The toddler suffered multiple injuries, one was a severe head injury.

Police responded to the Sunquest Apartments near Pantano Road and Broadway Boulevard Friday to find the toddler with life threatening injuries.

There is another child in the family, but the child’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

Fry is being held on $25,000 bond, and McConnell’s bond is $7,500.

Florida Mom Charged With Child Abuse

.jpg photo of mother that abused child
Naomie Paul, 25

A Florida mother is facing aggravated child abuse charges after her 18-month-old boy was taken to a hospital with burn marks and bite marks all over his body.

Naomie Paul, 25, was arrested Thursday, Local 10 reported.

La-Darris Smart, the child’s biological father, told the news station that he suspects the boy has been abused. He said his son was in the intensive care unit at Plantation General Hospital with fever blisters in his mouth, burn marks on his head and buttocks, and bite marks on his stomach.

“You can see his ribs,” Smart said on Thursday. “He’s really not eating nothing. He just cries a lot. He don’t want to do nothing.”

According to a police report, the boy would not sit still while Paul tried cleaning his ears with a Q-tip. The infant’s injuries were classified as “intentional inflicted harm” by medical professionals, the report stated.

During the mother’s court appearance Friday, Broward Judge John “Jay” Hurley set her bond at $1,500 and ordered her not to have any contact with the child until further notice, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Sammie Lee Worthy, Paul’s current boyfriend, was also arrested Thursday on a warrant for outstanding traffic violations, Local 10 reported.

“I didn’t want (the boy) around her boyfriend because he’s been to, like, jail (previously) for something like this,” Smart said.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Child Abuse Clearance Law Being Clarified

Pennsylvania — Gov. Tom Wolf has waived the fees required by the Child Protective Services Law for volunteers who work with children.

Wolf said earlier this month he was waiving the fees for the volunteers’ child abuse clearances and criminal background checks as a matter of policy. Additionally, the Department of Human Services and the Pennsylvania State Police will reduce the cost of those clearances from $10 to $8 for all other applicants, effective July 25.

As of Wednesday, volunteers are required to obtain both the Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services and the Criminal History Record Check from state police.

In addition, FBI clearances also are required for all employees and for volunteers who have not been a continuous resident of the commonwealth for the last 10 years. Since those clearances are administered by the federal government, current fees of $27.50 for a clearance through Human Services and $28.50 for one through the Pennsylvania Department of Education will continue to apply.

The administration is not issuing refunds to volunteers who already obtained their clearances, noted state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-116, Butler Township, whose office has been flooded with questions regarding who needs the clearances and who doesn’t need them.

Earlier this month, the House approved legislation that aims to address the unintended consequences created by the child-protection laws. The measure would limit background checks to volunteers and employees at schools, child-care facilities and similar places that have direct contact and routine interaction with children.

The current law, Act 153, requires clearances for people with direct contact or routine interaction, which wasn’t clearly defined. Under House Bill 1276, direct contact is defined as care, supervision, guidance or control of children, while routine interaction is regular, repeated and continued contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.

“H.B. 1276 is an effort to clarify who needs clearances and who does not”, Toohil said. “For example, right now, due to the confusion we have people getting clearances that do not need to get clearances. A parent who wants to bring cupcakes into their child’s class for the child’s birthday does not need to get clearances”.

“The law applies to parents who frequently become a volunteer in the classroom in a chaperoning capacity”, she said.

Similarly, volunteers from a nonprofit organization, such as a Veterans of Foreign Wars post, hosting a one-time event for children, such as a holiday party, would not need clearances, Toohil said. Also exempted would be volunteers working in an administrative capacity behind a desk for a nonprofit, she said.

But people with more direct and frequent contact with children, such as a Little League coach or volunteer in a classroom or field trip, would need clearances, Toohil said.

She believes most people working with children want to know those children can’t be exposed to people with a record of abuse against children and will make the effort to ensure the children are safe, she said.

“Child predators will do anything they can to avoid having a light expose their history or background”, Toohil said. “Typically, child predators do not want to answer questions about who they have resided with and where they have resided. The requirement of having to complete a child abuse clearance has a deterrent effect and many times people will just refuse to complete the process”.

Toohil encouraged anyone with questions about the clearances or H.B. 1276, which is now before the state Senate, to contact her office.

Wolf credited the Legislature for its bipartisan efforts “to develop needed clarifications” to the law.

“Through that process, the General Assembly expressed concerns of many members about the cost of background clearances, particularly for volunteers. I share those concerns and that is why I am excited about this announcement”, he said.

State Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-122, Lower Towamensing Township, one of nine lawmakers who voted against H.B. 1276, said he did so because it was amended to exempt college and university employees from the background check requirements.

Heffley said the laws were created in response to atrocities committed on a university campus, referring to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.

“As the laws began to take effect, it became increasingly clear that the General Assembly needed to revisit them to clarify definitions and, in some instances, make the requirements less onerous,” he said.

“I am disappointed that, in the process of cleaning up the laws … in a manner that is not prohibitively costly to our valued volunteers, an amendment was added that exempts college and university employees from the background check requirements. By exempting the very people these laws were initially intended to cover, this amendment rolls back important protections that were included in the original laws.”

If the Senate amends the bill to remove the exemption for college and university employees, Heffley said he would gladly vote for it.

Too late for this year

Hazleton Little League President Ed Shoepe said the changes are fine for next year but this year it still affects coaches participating in all-star tournaments and others.

“It still affects five teams this year plus Little League board members, volunteer workers (at) the concession stands, you’re talking 30 to 40 people who must pay the fees” because the waivers don’t go into effect until July 25, Shoepe said.

While existing volunteers who did not previously need the clearances have one year to obtain them and will be able to obtain them free after July 25, new volunteers needed to obtain both the criminal record and child abuse history clearances before July 1 to work with children.

The league, with more than 300 children on 24 teams, adds new volunteers every year, Shoepe said. It needs about 130 volunteers, including more than 80 coaches and 24 team moms or team parents, to function, he said.

Some of those volunteers were required to get the nearly $30 FBI clearances, in addition to the two state clearances, because they haven’t lived in the state for 10 years, which is common in Hazleton, he said.

Shoepe pointed out that a Hazleton police officer working as a coach in Little League tournaments had to have the required background checks.

“The average cost was about $50 for volunteers to get the background checks for both state and federal requirements”, he said.

Shoepe admits the rules are confusing, especially when it comes to something like the Challenger League where the parents are on the field with their children alongside volunteers. Hazleton Little League also requires parents to be at the children’s games, albeit not on the field, he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the governor and state lawmakers are making the changes, but it is too late for this year. Those changes won’t kick in until next year,” he said.

The Signs Of Child Abuse

The phone rang and I answered on the first ring.  It was an old friend that I’d gone to school with starting in grade school, and up until high school, when we moved to Dallas after my junior year.

I had lost touch with him until just a couple of years ago, when we happened to cross paths on social media.

We talked for some time, and I finally asked him what was up, and he finally told me.  I thought for a minute or two, then we really talked.  Toward the end, I asked him what made him think about this now and he told me about what he had read, which he would send me a copy immediately.

As I look at this now, I would like to disagree with more than a few things on this article, but I am not an absolute expert that has seen this day-in and day-out, case after case.  But what I will say is, PLEASE, don’t think of this as a long check-list, think of each one of these signs individually, because that may be all you see is one or maybe two signs….

I was astonished recently when a successful middle-aged man I know shared with me that during the years he was growing up he suffered some pretty harsh child abuse. He described the abuse in some detail, literally bringing me to tears.

I was moved by his story especially because I knew him during those years. I was enough older that I was an adult when he was yet a 12-year-old. I knew him during the years when this abuse was occurring regularly. I might have been able to help.

And I didn’t suspect a thing.

Moving through my own guilt about this, I have looked into the signs of child abuse that I might have missed. Sure enough, he did exhibit some of these characteristics, but I never connected the dots.

It seems to me that if I could have missed this, others may also look right past it. After all, unless we have experienced abuse ourselves, why would we imagine the unthinkable?

And yet, every adult in any society must serve as a guardian of all the children growing up in it. For this reason, I would like to share some of the signs that a child may be a victim of neglect or abuse.

A neglected child may lack adult supervision, miss a lot of school, beg or steal food or money or lack hygiene or medical care.

An abused child may show sudden changes in behavior or school performance. A former A-student who fails to turn in assignments should have a second look.

An abused child may not receive help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention. These parents may want to avoid discovery.

An abused child may have learning or concentration problems. If a formerly attentive child seems hard to engage, adults would do well to pay attention.

An abused child may seem always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen. These kids are often “on edge”.

An abused child may be overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn. These children often go to great lengths to avoid drawing negative attention to themselves.

An abused child may come to school or other activities early, stay late and not appear to want to go home.

An abused child may be reluctant to be around a particular person. There may be a very good reason Tommy doesn’t like Uncle Jerry.

Finally, an abused child may eventually disclose maltreatment. If a child actually speaks up, he is hoping an adult will help.

The confusing thing is that often abused children seem great. In fact, some abused children are overly responsible and eager to please, hoping to avoid punishment by their perfection. These children may seem model citizens, pleasing adults in such a way that no one thinks to wonder about abuse.

If you see signs of neglect or abuse in any child, talk to someone else who knows the child and compare notes. Don’t be afraid to ask the child about it if you suspect abuse. Convey that you are a safe person to confide in. And if you have a good relationship with the parents, ask them if everything is OK at home.

Child abuse is a terrible thing, but it can be stopped and both children and adults can find resilience with the right help. The first step is usually supported by a loving adult with open eyes who simply cares enough to get involved.