Army Of Hope

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A war is being waged for Our Children, will you join the fight?

Organizational Alliances

I received an email from a Good Friend the middle of June of this year.  I could not believe my eyes, so I reread this over and over it seems, because Our Senior Editor said she watched me for over 5 minutes as I sat and couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief.

We had been inducted into the Army.

No, we are an ally of the Army.  We ARE an Army that is an ally to a bigger Army.

Ark of Hope for Children proudly recognizes the following Allied Organizations.

I had never imagined anything like this, Ark of Hope for Children recognizing NOT IN MY WORLD!!!! as an “Allied Organization”?

But just then my eyes fell on the other “Allied Organizations”, and suddenly I was reduced to the “Sand Lot” Team and our t-shirts we wear, while this group all had uniforms, scouts, Team jets… and now as I look back, (and after reading all of the email again, and making sure no one was watching this time), we aren’t such a “Sand Lot” Team anymore,   In a month and 3 days we will be 3 years old, with over 14,800 Followers.

Then my eyes just happened to look at the Yankees, Dodgers, and the White Sox….  Mr. Blair Corbett are you sure of this????

Right beside Our name….  I was humbled to my knees, and I prayed, and gave Thanks to THE ONE MAN that deserved all the credit.

Ark of Hope for Children proudly recognizes the following Allied Organizations.

Not In My World is an online child victim advocacy group that has grown dramatically in influence as it shares awareness of the harms of child abuse and human trafficking.

The levels of apathy in our world are still high towards the plight of survivors but the impassioned leaders of Not In My World are truly making a difference.

They use their various social network sites including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and encourage their followers to work hard to make that change.

The leadership of NIMW and everyone involved has embraced Ark of Hope for Children’s mission in a great way by sharing our programs, resources and our Removing Chains of Child Abuse book and journal, and resources.

Thank you to the many thousands of followers of NIMW for your passion!

Judges Are Children’s Worst Enemy

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Larry Nassar, 53

Former USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to Child Pornography charges

“I sacrificed my childhood to compete for the United States throughout the world,” Antolin said.  “The doctor they assigned to treat me betrayed my trust.  Now the federal government is giving him a free pass for his alleged assaults on me and many other child athletes.  That’s not justice.”
Jeanette Antolin

Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics physician accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women and girls, pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal child pornography charges.

Nassar, 53, pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography, possessing child pornography and to a charge that he hid and destroyed evidence in the case.  The guilty plea was part of an agreement with the western Michigan US Attorney’s Office and was formally entered in federal court in Grand Rapids.

“Victims and the public can be assured that a day of reckoning is indeed in Dr. Nassar’s future,” Acting US Attorney Andrew Birge said in a statement.  “No one, no matter his station in life, is above the law.  Those who exploit children will be found out and they will be held accountable.”

Nassar’s attorneys, Matthew Newburg and Shannon Smith, declined to comment on the guilty plea, but issued a brief statement about the state charges he also faces.

USA Gymnastics agrees to dozens of changes amid sex abuse scandal

“Dr. Nassar’s position on the state cases has not changed and we intend to proceed to trial.  The plea today was negotiated only to resolve the federal charges,” their joint statement reads.

In total, Nassar faces 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 11 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level, according to Megan Hawthorne, deputy press secretary for state Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Nassar has pleaded not guilty to all of the state charges, Hawthorne said.  Several of the first degree charges pertain to victims under 13, and all of the state-level charges involve former family friends, gymnasts, and/or patients of Nassar, she said.

Nassar, the father of three school-aged children, was the team physician for the Michigan State University gymnastics and women’s crew teams, as well as an associate professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.  He worked at MSU from 1997 to 2016, and served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games.

Prosecutors alleged that between September and December 2004, Nassar knowingly downloaded images and videos of child pornography from the Internet and that between 2003 and 2016, he knowingly kept thousands of child pornography images and videos on his hard drive.  Some of the images Nassar allegedly possessed included those of a minor under 12 years old, court documents state.

Furthermore, court documents allege that in September 2016, when he was aware that he was under investigation, Nassar paid $49 to have his laptop completely wiped of the pornographic images and videos and threw away several hard drives containing child pornography.

Nassar faces a combined maximum of 60 years of imprisonment. Nassar must also register as a sex offender and pay restitution to all of the victims of his sexual exploitation, the amounts of which will be determined at a later sentencing date, according to the terms of the plea deal.

In return, the US Attorney has agreed to dismiss Nassar’s original indictment and not prosecute Nassar for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children, relating to alleged conduct with two minors in Nassar’s swimming pool in the summer of 2015 and for “illicit sexual conduct” with two other minor children during interstate and international travel, according to the plea agreement obtained by CNN.

Jeanette Antolin, a member of the US National Gymnastics Team from 1995-2000 who alleges that Nassar molested her when she was competing in Canada, Switzerland, and China, denounced the plea agreement.

“I sacrificed my childhood to compete for the United States throughout the world,” Antolin said.  “The doctor they assigned to treat me betrayed my trust.  Now the federal government is giving him a free pass for his alleged assaults on me and many other child athletes.  That’s not justice.”

These federal charges are separate from the sexual assault charges that Nassar faces at the state level.

The state charges, filed in two Michigan counties, stem from allegations that Nassar sexually abused young female athletes under the guise of providing medical care in his home and other settings, including the Michigan State University sports medicine clinic and Twistars Gymnastics Club.

In February, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon stated that the university is “fully cooperating with every aspect of the ongoing criminal investigations and have urged all members of the MSU community to do so as well.”

The following month, Twistars Gymnastics Club issued a statement saying they “had zero knowledge of any of the allegations against Dr. Nassar, who was never an employee of Twistars.  Our hearts go out to the women who have spoken up and, like everyone else, we are sickened to the core by their stories.”

In April, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) revoked Nassar’s medical license for a minimum of three years, said Jason Moon, communications director for LARA. Nassar must also pay a $100,000 fine if he chooses to file an application to reinstate his license.  Reinstatement would require approval from the Michigan Board of Medicine, Moon said. 

If I Built The Statue Of A Real Man

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Officer Jody Thompson and Family

Police Officer adopts 8-year-old boy
he saved from severe Child Abuse

POTEAU, OK  –  Two years ago, Officer Jody Thompson was pulling into the parking lot at the Poteau Police Department in Oklahoma to drop off his partner when he overheard a dispatch about a case of physical child abuse.

Thompson wasn’t on duty at the time, but he responded to the call and offered assistance.  Before he joined the department 16 years ago, Thompson was an investigator for the district attorney’s office, where he handled dozens of abuse cases.

“I’ve investigated child abuse cases before,” Thompson told CBS News.  “I thought I’d better go ahead and respond.”

When Thompson arrived at the scene, he was stunned to see a severely underweight boy — his wrists bound by belts, with bruises along his back and a huge knot on his head.  The 8-year-old boy had been submerged in a trash can full of cold water.

He weighed just 61 pounds at the time.

“He did not have a spot on his body that didn’t have a bruise or abrasion,” Thompson said.  “It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”

After covering the boy, who was named John, with a blanket, Thompson took him to an Oklahoma Children’s Advocacy Center so detectives and investigators could take photographs.  When they were done, Thompson drove him to the emergency room.

“I sat with him,” Thompson said.  “And when he was admitted into the intensive care unit, I sat all night until the next day.”

Thompson refused to let John out of his sight.  He knew from the first moment he saw him he wanted to take care of him for the rest of his life.

“When I’d seen him in that house shivering and his hands tied — just soaking wet and confused — I knew at that moment the only time I would be satisfied and sure that he was safe is if he was with me,” Thompson said.

The next day, Thompson contacted the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to become a certified foster parent.  A couple days later, he brought John home.

“At the time, I had a 15-year-old son and an 8-year-old son.  When I brought John home I didn’t tell them or my wife,” Thompson said. “Everyone knew… they trusted I was doing the right thing before they even knew what happened and heard the story.”

Thompson welcomed John into his home on April 30, 2015.  Two days later, he found out his wife was pregnant with their third biological son.

“But the story gets even more incredible,” Thompson explained.

Nearly 7 months later, on November 3, 2015, DHS called to inform the Thompsons that John’s mother had given birth to a baby girl while in jail.  Officials asked the Thompsons if they would be interested in fostering her.

“We literally picked her up in the hospital the next day when she was a day old and brought her straight home,” Thompson said.  “Never in my life did I dream of having a large family, but God had different plans and so here we are.  And I’m loving it all.”

Thompson formally adopted John in August after his biological parents, who are both incarcerated and awaiting criminal trials, relinquished their parental rights.  However, they refused to relinquish rights for their daughter.

After a lengthy jury trial and an appeal, the parents’ rights were terminated and the Thompsons were able to adopt their little girl, Paizley, on February 16.

“[John’s] the toughest guy I’ve ever met,” said Thompson, explaining that his son had to testify on his own behalf during the trial.

Though it’s difficult, Thompson said his family is ready to put the past behind them.

“John is amazing.  He’s a straight-A student, on the honor roll, in the gifted and talented program, involved in the local drama club,”  Thompson said of his now 10-year-old son. “That kid’s very resilient. He bounced back from this.”

On Tuesday, Thompson received a certificate of commendation from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations, and John stood by his side as he graciously accepted it.

“Jody’s actions as well has his families are second to none.  The example of love and compassion he has shown to this young man and his sister is an example everyone should follow,” Poteau Police Chief Stephen Fruen said in a statement.  “It’s men like you that make me proud of our law enforcement brothers and sisters.  You are very deserving of this commendation.  I am proud to serve with you.”

Thompson said John just recently decided to share his story in hopes of helping other abuse victims like himself.

“We went through something bad, but we’re not going to let it define who were are.  We’re not going to let this hold us back,” said Thompson.  “Always have compassion, you never know what you’re going to walk into.”