WI Toddler Showing Signs Of Being Shaken

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Toddler Showing Signs Of Being Shaken

Oshkosh Man Arrested for Child Abuse after 2-month-old taken to hospital

OSHKOSH, WI  –  A 31-year-old Oshkosh man was arrested Tuesday for child abuse.

The suspect’s 2-month-old daughter was taken to Mercy Hospital where an exam showed for injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome.  The infant was transported to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

The condition of the infant is unknown at this time.

“Detectives did travel down there maybe about an hour ago,” says Crime Prevention Officer Joseph Nichols just before 3 PM Wednesday, “but I haven’t received an update in regards to the child’s condition.”

Nichols says cases of alleged child abuse are relatively rare for Oshkosh, and taken very seriously.

Charges are expected to be filed against the suspect soon.  His identity is being withheld until then.

TX Man Charged With Child Abuse Of 2 Toddlers

.jpg photo of Child Abuse suspect
Allante Edwards, 19, has history of Domestic Violence.

1-year-old girl in Child Abuse case dies

IRVING, Texas  –  A man is facing charges in connection with a child’s death.

19-year-old Allante Edwards, the mother’s boyfriend, is being held in the Irving Jail on two charges of injury to a child.  His bonds are set at $100,000 and $25,000.

According to Irving PD, officers were called to a home in the 1900 block of Rosebud Drive on a report of an unresponsive 1-year-old Olivia on Jan. 4.

Police say the toddler was found unresponsive on Wednesday after Jennifer’s boyfriend, Allante Edwards called police.

He was babysitting Olivia and her two other siblings.

Olivia was sent to Children’s Medical Center, where she was found to have a severe brain injury and signs of other internal injuries.  She later died after being removed from life support.

Detectives interviewed Edwards about the events surrounding the child’s injuries but say he has changed his story.  They also say that he has a previous history of domestic abuse.

An evaluation of the two other children in the home, a 3-year-old girl and 6-month-old boy, revealed the boy, sustained injuries from being assaulted.

According to a police report, Olivia had brain swelling, healing rib fractures and possible abdominal trauma.

They arrested Edwards for injury to a child.

Mom, Jennifer Cangemi tearfully spoke with News 8 about Olivia.

“She was the most sweetest, smart, beautiful little girl I have ever seen in my life,” Cangemi said.

Karen Cangemi the child’s grandmother said, “We want justice for Olivia.  We want justice from what has been taken from our family.”

Olivia was on life support until Monday morning when her family decided to take her off.  She died a short time later.

Karen Cangemi says, ”It’s not fair to this world.  We lost a child.  She was just a joy to the world.”

But her family says Olivia will live on.  They donated her organs including her heart.

Jennifer Cangemi says,”Because she can live on through other children and she helped about 3 to 4 other kids.”

Police say Edwards was also charged with injuring his 6 month-old-boy, Allante Jr. who had a bite mark on his cheek and other injuries.

Jennifer Cangemi did not want to talk about the allegations against her boyfriend.

She and her family say instead they want to focus on the fact Olivia was an organ donor and helped save other children’s lives.

Officials say the investigation is ongoing.

Caring CA Educator Leads Authorities To Accused Child Predator

.jpg photo of accused Child Predator
Paul Dwayne Kilgore, 69, accused Child Predator.

Healdsburg educator’s report prompted Child Abuse investigation into Dwayne Kilgore

Healdsburg Police Officer Craig Smith said that while their investigation is currently limited to two boys, the evidence he’s uncovered shows a troubling pattern, with news of Kilgore’s arrest prompting about two dozen people to come forward with information that could lead to other abuse cases involving Kilgore in Sonoma County and San Mateo County.

Santa Rosa, CA  –  Nick Egan was relaxing after a workout in the sauna at Healdsburg’s Parkpoint Health Club last year when snippets of a conversation taking place in the adjacent hot tub disturbed his thoughts.  He began listening carefully and found himself stepping outside the sauna to hear more clearly over the noise of the spa’s jets.

“It took a while to even process the words,” said Egan, a 38-year-old Healdsburg educator.

An older man was talking intimately and in some detail with two boys about their private parts, and all three were naked, Egan said.

He thought to himself, “I can’t believe what I’m hearing, but I know it’s not right.”

His account to police that day in late August last year began an investigation that resulted in the arrest of Paul Dwayne Kilgore, 69, a Sonoma Valley resident accused of molesting three children in a pattern of child abuse that authorities say stretched back for years.

Kilgore, a former athletics director at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, has been held at the Sonoma County Jail on $1 million bail since his arrest in September.  He pleaded not guilty Oct. 31 to seven counts of lewd acts against three children under 14.

Deputy Public Defender Lynette Brown, who is representing Kilgore, said Friday she had no comment on his case.  If convicted, Kilgore, who goes by his middle name, faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

Egan, head of The Healdsburg School, a private K-8 school, said he takes his role as a mandated reporter of child abuse seriously.

Under California law, every person who has contact with children through their employment — including educators, coaches, scouting leaders, health care providers, counselors and clergy members — is required to report suspicions of child abuse.

Mandated reporters are discouraged from investigating abuse on their own.

“Fact-finding is the role of child protection investigators and law enforcement who have been trained in how to minimize the trauma that an investigation and interview process may have on a child victim,” according to the U.S. government’s child welfare website.

“Reports of suspicions are treated very sensitively by police,” said Sgt. Dave Burgess of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office sexual assault unit.  “Some people who report to us are sure, and some are just worried.  We tread carefully and realize the stakes are very high.”

At Parkpoint Health Club on Aug. 27, Egan followed Kilgore and the boys he was with for the next 10 minutes as they moved from the indoor hot tub to a shower area and the changing room.

“I needed to hear more to be sure, to understand the entire picture,” he said.

He overheard Kilgore asking the boys if they were circumsized and if they liked bubble baths, according to Healdsburg police reports. Later, while the three were standing naked, Kilgore pointed to a boy’s penis and brushed a hand against his bare thigh, police documents said.

Egan told police said he was “sickened” by the behavior, the documents said.

After about 15 minutes, he had heard enough from Kilgore’s interaction with the boys, ages 11 and 12, that he went to the club’s front desk to report his concerns.

He then drove the short distance home, spoke briefly with his wife, who also works with children, and phoned Healdsburg police.  He was connected with Officer Craig Smith, who has led the investigation from the first day.

Smith spoke with Kilgore that night by telephone to question him about the reported incident, according to police.  Kilgore said he knew the boys through their families in the Sonoma Valley and acted as a “big brother” to the 12-year-old and his older brother, both of whom police identified as alleged victims in their report.

Pressed by Smith about his interaction with the boys at the health club, he said he understood how such a discussion could alarm a bystander but that he was accustomed to talking to other boys about circumcision, police said.  He also did not refute or challenge the report of his having touched one of the boys on his thigh, police said.

In their training, mandated reporters learn that proof of inappropriate behavior is not required, and suspicions should be shared directly with authorities.  Even if a strong case cannot be built, the paper trail can make it easier to stop a repeat offender, or to build a solid case in the future.  The state Department of Justice maintains a central repository of information about reported child abuse.

The investigation of Kilgore led to a search warrant being issued for the Boyes Hot Springs home that he shares with his 94-year-old father, as well as his gold Toyota Corolla and his storage locker on Highway 12.  Officers found videos, photos and DVDs as well as weekend itineraries, all labeled with boys names, as well as two duffel bags containing 17 pairs of swim trunks and two novels with pedophilic themes, according to the police report.

Kilgore was arrested Sept. 18.  A preliminary hearing in his case is set for Feb. 2.

Kilgore had a long history of taking Sonoma Valley boys on outings to local pools, and some of the lewd acts he is charged with occurred during overnight trips, according to police reports.

Kilgore worked as athletics director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley for about a decade before resigning in 2013.  Kilgore told police investigators that he resigned because of a new policy that would have prevented staff from seeing youth members away from the club.

Following his arrest, youth club officials said they had not had contact with him since his resignation.  In October, when the case against Kilgore was expanded to include a third victim — also a young boy — the prosecutor, Javier Vaca, would not say if he or the other alleged victims had been contacted through the youth club.

Previously, Healdsburg police had said that the allegations stemming from the interaction Egan witnessed did not involve children linked to the Boys and Girls club.

Egan said his experience helped him understand how child molestation can be difficult to detect or report.

“If you take a slice in time, and overhear one small thing, maybe that’s not enough to make you act.  I think also that sometimes people don’t believe their eyes or what they heard.  They think, ‘probably I just misheard that,’ ” he said.  “Most abuse happens by people who are close to the victim so people sometimes just can’t believe it could be true.  But just because other people trust someone, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust your intuition if something feels wrong.”

MA Sees Slight Rise In Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Massachusetts Sees Slight Rise In Child Abuse reports

Child Abuse reports rose in 2016

Suffolk County, MA  –  District attorneys across the state are seeing an uptick in reports of child abuse and neglect, a jump they say is causing a pinch on already strained resources that are needed to fully investigate the staggering number of incidents.

“These investigations take a lot of work, and they also take an emotional toll on the prosecutors and team that is working on them,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley told the Herald.  “We are lucky to have a great group of prosecutors, but from time to time I lose them because of fatigue.  That’s a loss to me, but also the victims and their families.”

There were 10,917 reports of child abuse or neglect during the 2016 fiscal year, a jump from the 10,624 in the 2015 fiscal year, according an annual report sent by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association to Gov. Charlie Baker last week.

The Department of Children and Families is the primary source of the referrals, but many reports come from police, victims and their families, according to the report.

Conley and other district attorneys indicated that the increase can be attributed to people being more willing to go to authorities — a major boon for prosecutors trying to tamp down on the crimes.

However, each report requires time-consuming interviews, meetings and possibly criminal charges, all of which require resources.

“These are different than other cases in many respects,” said Middlesex DA Marian T. Ryan, president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association.  “You’re dealing with a child, you’re dealing with the child’s parents and there is a lot of coordination that is required to connect everyone.  That puts a strain on our office.”

In its letter to Baker, the MDAA indicated that prosecutors need more resources to add personnel and fund training.

Never Discipline A Child When Angry

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Frustration can escalate during times of high stress, It’s never OK to hit a child.

Reduce stress to prevent Child Abuse

Kentucky  –  Stress can increase during the holidays, even in the most loving of families.  And that can put some children at risk for abuse or neglect.

With children home from school, holiday travel and seasonal shopping and associated expenses, parents can get frazzled more easily than usual.  What is typically a fun and joyful time for children can become devastating when parents or caregivers cope with stress by becoming abusive or neglectful to children.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), the state agency charged with child and adult protection, reminds adults to keep their cool this winter when it comes to disciplining kids.

“Parents enjoy spending time with their children, but frustration can escalate during times of high stress,” said Adria Johnson, commissioner of the CHFS Department for Community Based Services (DCBS).  “It’s never OK to hit a child.”

Johnson and Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK), one of the cabinet’s community partners, offered these tips to keep children safer this season:

  • Count to 10.  It’s a tried and true method to diffuse high emotions and clear your head before you say or do anything.
  • Get some space.  If you are so upset that you feel like screaming — or more — leave the room.  Say, “I’m so angry; I need a minute to think.”  Then leave the room or send your child to his room so you can calm down and regroup.  You’ll get yourself under control, and it’s a good example for your children.
  • Be quick.  Catch your child in the act.  Delayed reactions dilute the effect of the punishment.
  • Use selectively.  Use timeout for talking back, hitting and safety-compromising problems.  Don’t overuse it.
  • Keep calm.  Your anger only adds fuel to the fire and changes the focus from the behavior of the child to your anger.  This prevents you from being in control.
  • Model disciplined behavior.  Ask other adults around your children – even house guests – to do the same.  Children are usually better behaved when their parents and caregivers are happier and more relaxed.
  • Teach children to communicate, too.  Ask them to talk about what’s bothering them rather than reacting by hitting or yelling.
  • Talk it out.  If you’re under stress, talking to someone is an easy and effective outlet.  Looking to other parents for advice helps mothers, fathers and other caregivers feel less isolated in their problems.  Online communities and resource sites can offer support and solutions.
  • Stick with it.  Once you punish or say “timeout,” don’t back down or be talked out of it.  If you decide to use timeout to control hitting, for example, use it every time your child hits, even if he spends most of the day in timeout.  Eventually, he’ll decide that it’s more fun to play without hitting than to sit alone in his room.

Johnson said staff at county DCBS offices may help parents by finding resources to deal with the problems that may cause stress, such as the loss of a job.  Community resources are often available to assist families who need help with services like utilities, child care or job training.

“The local offices can assist with referrals to appropriate agencies,” Johnson said.

Log on to https://prdweb.chfs.ky.gov/Office_Phone/index.aspx to find the phone number for the DCBS office in your county.

Drug and alcohol abuse may increase during the holidays, leading to an increase of child safety risk, Johnson said.  Families who need help with these issues can get information about prevention resources from the CHFS Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities’ Substance Abuse Prevention Program at http://dbhdid.ky.gov/dbh/sa.aspx.

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK), one of the cabinet’s community partners, is a statewide nonprofit agency whose mission is to prevent the abuse and neglect of Kentucky’s children through its outreach.

“Abuse and neglect are associated with short- and long-term consequences that affect not only the child and family, but also society as a whole,” PCAK Executive Director Jill Seyfert said. “PCAK gives parents and caregivers expert guidance on child safety.  We’re proud to be one of DCBS’ partners in prevention.”

PCAK works with a statewide network of providers to offer parent education and support to help prevent child abuse.

To learn more about the self-help, parent education and support group providers serving Kentucky, contact Joel Griffith, jgriffith@pcaky.org.  To learn more about PCAK’s other prevention opportunities and how you can help, call 800-CHILDREN, or visit PCAK online at http://www.pcaky.org.

Johnson said it takes effort from entire communities to stop abuse and neglect.  Kentuckians should remember that if they even suspect child abuse or neglect, they must report it.  “It’s the law,” she said.

In state fiscal year 2016 (July 2015-June 2016), more than 52,400 reports of abuse met criteria for investigation, and more than 15,300 of those were substantiated.

Call your local police or the cabinet’s child abuse hotline at 877-KYSAFE1877-597-2331 – to report suspected abuse.  Callers remain anonymous.