Category Archives: Child Sexual Abuse

TN Educators Not Reporting Suspected Abuse Pt-2 of 2

.jpg photo of school investigated for Child Sexual Abuse
Brentwood Academy, a school for Nashville’s elite.

Lack of reporting of suspected Child Abuse by schools an ‘epidemic,’ prosecutors say

Thousands of Tennessee schoolchildren may be vulnerable because of lax reporting and investigating of possible child abuse, according to the findings of a Tennessean investigation.

‘We have one shot to get a good statement’

There are several reasons an educator might not report an abuse suspicion directly to police or child services, said Kristen Houser, spokeswoman for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

“Sometimes, people err on the wrong side; they think they want more information to feel more sure that it’s real before they report it.  Frankly, that’s really dangerous,” Houser said.

Crump, who serves as prosecutor for Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties, said school officials could divulge information to the possible perpetrator, posing a safety risk to an abused child.

School officials are not trained as forensic investigators, so trying to interview a student about possible abuse can have other drastic consequences.

“We have one shot to get a good statement from a child,” Crump said.

The student may not tell a school official everything that happened, Crump said.  That could create conflicting statements in the future, or push the school to decide there is no problem when in fact abuse occurred.

Crump knows of one case in which a counselor decided no abuse occurred, but police and Crump’s office filed charges after conducting their own investigation.

‘I’d go with more of a carrot than a stick’

Scott Berkowitz, executive director of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, said schools nationwide must tell teachers to report directly to authorities if they even suspect abuse.

More training for all educators may work better than prosecuting those who do not report, he said.

“I’d go with more of a carrot than a stick on this,” Berkowitz said.

Crump said he’s spoken in schools, telling teachers to go directly to school resource officers once they suspect abuse.

But these officers are typically not in private schools like Brentwood Academy.

While Brentwood Academy officials have said all of their staff is trained on mandatory reporting, the student handbook lays out a conflict resolution process that does not specifically mention what to do if sex abuse is suspected.

There can be broader, cultural issues when it comes to abuse and reporting in private schools, said Houser, the spokeswoman for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

“Whenever you end up with an environment that really prides itself on being elite, it can sow some seeds, because you have other priorities that are (seen) as most important,” Houser said.

“Those are vulnerabilities an offender can then exploit to perpetuate abuse and protect themselves.”

Tennessee child abuse hotline

Any adult who suspects or knows of child abuse in Tennessee is required by law to notify the Department of Children’s Services or local law enforcement.  The DCS abuse hotline is 877-237-0004.

Who is reporting child abuse?

While some states require only professionals, such as teachers or doctors, to report child abuse, Tennessee requires any person who suspects any form of child abuse to report it to child services or the police.

In 63 percent of cases across the country, professionals report the abuse, according to the 2015 Child Maltreatment report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Here’s a breakdown of who submits reports for cases that received an investigation or some form of response.

  • Education personnel: 18.4 percent
  • Legal, law enforcement personnel: 18.2 percent
  • Social services personnel: 10.9 percent
  • Parents: 6.8 percent
  • Relatives: 6.8 percent
  • Anonymous sources: 7.4 percent

TN Educators Not Reporting Suspected Abuse Pt-1 of 2

.jpg photo of school investigated for Child Sexual Abuse
Brentwood Academy, a school for Nashville’s elite.

Lack of reporting of suspected Child Abuse by schools an ‘epidemic,’ prosecutors say

Exactly when Brentwood Academy officials learned of allegations of the rape and sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy by other students at the school, and when they informed law enforcement of what they knew, is disputed.

The allegations against the elite Christian private school outlined in a $30 million lawsuit illustrate what some say is a systemic problem across the state.

Thousands of Tennessee schoolchildren may be vulnerable because of lax reporting and investigating of possible child abuse, according to the findings of a Tennessean investigation.

State law mandates any adult with a suspicion or direct knowledge of child abuse must report it immediately to either child services or the police.  Not doing so is a misdemeanor and could mean jail time.

However, two prosecutors say the failure of principals, counselors and teachers to report suspected abuse to proper authorities is widespread.

“The lack of reporting from schools here in Davidson County and probably surrounding counties has become an epidemic,” said Chad Butler, a child sex abuse prosecutor in Davidson County.

“It’s happening so frequently that I can’t help but think it’s not a coincidence.”

Stephen Crump, a Republican prosecutor in East Tennessee, said the problem is a cultural issue in education.  School officials often want to investigate the alleged abuse instead of immediately reporting it.

“I can’t teach the math of my kids in high school.  (Schools) aren’t trained to do investigations.  They will overlook things,” Crump said.

‘I know they’re telling their staff not to report’

Brentwood Academy officials deny wrongdoing, saying they reported what they knew to appropriate authorities at the time.

Brentwood police said the department is investigating allegations of attacks on the boy in the locker room at the academy.  That investigation does not include school officials for failure to properly report the attacks, as alleged in the lawsuit.

Kim Helper, the district attorney for Williamson County, said she didn’t think non-reporting was a local issue and she can’t remember any recent prosecutions for non-reporting.

In Nashville, however, Metro police investigate any reporting law violations if there is a suspicion school officials didn’t notify the proper authorities, confirmed police spokesman Don Aaron.

There are active investigations involving Davidson County schools not properly reporting suspected abuse.

“I know they’re telling their staff not to report. … I know for a fact that’s what they’re doing,” Butler said.

“It’s gotten to the point in our office where we’re just going to start prosecuting them.”

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services opened a new investigation Wednesday into allegations at Brentwood Academy, a school for Nashville’s elite with annual tuition nearly $25,000.  The school has produced at least 10 NFL players.

DCS was unaware of possible child abuse reporting concerns involving Nashville public schools until contacted by The Tennessean.

“In the rare instances that we learn that someone who should have called us did not, we share that information with the local district attorney general’s office to see if its staff wants to prosecute.  That would be the DA’s call, not ours,” DCS spokesman Rob Johnson said in an email.

“We are reaching out to the Davidson County District Attorney General’s office to see what their staff’s specific concerns are about those who do not report child abuse.”

‘I don’t think I’ve gotten explicit instructions’

Metro Nashville Public Schools instructs principals to review abuse reporting policies at the start of every school year, said Tony Majors, executive officer of student services.

“If you have reason to suspect, whether that be visual, behaviors that you observed or a direct statement you’ve received, then you should notify DCS.  It’s DCS’ responsibility to investigate,” Majors said in a Friday interview.

Majors and an MNPS spokeswoman declined to comment on Butler’s statements.  But Majors acknowledged some principals in recent years “misinterpreted” the policy, telling educators to inform administrators first before notifying DCS or law enforcement of suspected abuse.

That confusion could stem from the wording in MNPS’ policy. Principals are listed before DCS on a list of authorities educators should contact if they suspect abuse.

When informed of the list order by The Tennessean, Majors said it was not intended to be chronological but “now that you’ve brought that to my attention we’ll go back and change the policy.”

Majors said the training includes telling teachers DCS’ child abuse hotline number.  Even though the training is required, Majors said the administration isn’t ensuring such training occurs in every school.

Nashville teachers who spoke with The Tennessean said they were told to first contact school counselors, not police or child services, when they suspect abuse.

“I don’t think I’ve gotten explicit instructions on how to file with DCS,” said an MNPS teacher, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the policy.

“If you believe there is any abuse, you are legally obligated to report it.  But that is within the school.”

This teacher, who’s been employed by the district since 2010, said teachers have seen mixed results in reporting abuse to a counselor.

Instead, teachers will look for an adult at the school who is close to the student and try to learn more about the circumstances, the teacher said.  Once the student feels comfortable, then the teacher said together they will approach a counselor or principal.

While this approach may be well-intentioned, Crump said it could not only compromise a criminal investigation but create the potential for a child to be hurt again. 

TX AG CEU Rounds Up Woodway Purveyor Of Child Porn

.jpg photo of Child Pornographer
Charles David Baker, 23, of Woodway Texas.

OAG’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests McLennan County Man for Possession of Child Pornography

AUSTIN, TX  –  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested 23-year-old Charles David Baker, of Woodway, on two counts of Possession of Child Pornography, a third-degree felony.  Baker could face up to 10 years in prison per charge if convicted.

Following a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children involving the upload of an image of child pornography to an email account, CEU investigators executed a search warrant at Baker’s residence, where child pornography was found on his personal computer.

Investigators seized several additional digital storage devices that will be examined by the attorney general’s Digital Forensics Unit.

During an interview, Baker admitted the email account was his.

He was transported to the McLennan County Jail where he will appear before a magistrate.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.

The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.

If you suspect someone of producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC.

For more information on cyber safety, please visit: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/

The Touchables, Fish In A Barrel, Sliced Onions

.jpg photo of violent pedophile
Timothy DeFoggi, 56, the former acting director of cybersecurity for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

How To Have A Big Successful Fish Fry

I know that I refer to CPS as The UnTouchables, but that is not the whole story.

The day the Big One didn’t get away.  I want you all to know that this is a low-life sewer rat, and I refuse to call him a fish.

Timothy DeFoggi had the position a lot of very good security people would have given almost anything to have, BUT NOT THEIR MORALS NOR ETHICS.

Former HHS BigWig is Violent Pedophile

If not for this sewer rat, and a lot more, several big fish frys would never have happened.  Actually let’s just say that the barrel would never have been so full of fish(sewer rats) to shoot, and sliced onions refer to TOR.  Timothy DeFoggi, 56, was Director of Cyber Security at HHS.

And now, The Rest of The Story.

Buyers, sellers and cops on the hunt for
AlphaBay’s successor

 

Oregon CPS Determined Child Sexual Abuse Allegations Valid In 1980s – Pt-2

.jpg photo of Seattle Mayor
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a gay rights activist.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Sexually Abused foster son, Child Welfare investigator found in 1984

An Oregon Child Welfare investigator concluded that Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son in the early 1980s, leading state officials to assert that “under no circumstances should Mr. Murray be certified” as a foster parent in the future, according to public records obtained by The Seattle Times.

Case withdrawn

Simpson gave a second interview a day later with Butler and Portland police Detective Dave Foesch.  Simpson told the detective that Murray sometimes warned him that if he told anyone, he’d be removed from Murray’s home and sent to an institution.

When the detective asked if Simpson was willing to help prosecute Murray, Simpson responded, “No, he is my father,” Foesch, who has since died, wrote in a police report.

“It was then explained to Jeffrey that Mr. Murray is not his father and that a father would not do these things to his son,” Foesch wrote.  “Jeffrey then thought about it for a while and agreed that he may possibly be able to save some other child from suffering the same indignations.”

The next day, Simpson, Butler and Foesch testified before a grand jury, Butler’s report states.  Meantime, Murray, unaware of the allegations, called Simpson’s group home several times, demanding to speak with him and threatening to sue when he was denied contact, Butler’s report states.

After testifying to the grand jury, Foesch called Murray to inform him of Simpson’s allegations and set up an interview.  A lawyer for Murray later told Foesch his client was “too emotionally upset at this time to be interviewed,” the detective’s report states.

Murray changed lawyers several times before settling on Hoffman, who soon provided statements to investigators from people who knew Simpson and Murray, and did not believe the allegations.

Murray also reportedly took a private polygraph, but “since the exact results were not released to the D.A. my assumption is that it was inconclusive,” Butler wrote in the assessment.  She noted Hoffman described Murray as “coming out ‘Real good’” in the test.

Murray and Hoffman said last week they didn’t have records of the polygraph results.

Simpson, who state foster reports show was prone to lying, stealing, using drugs and running away, presented problems for the district attorney in proving the case.  About a month after the allegations emerged, the prosecutor’s office withdrew the case against Murray and the other accused foster parent from the grand jury.

But in her CPS assessment, Butler found Simpson believable.  She noted he’d expressed concern that his claims would ruin Murray’s career, and had “no motive to make something like this up” because Simpson knew he’d likely be placed in an institution and never allowed to live with Murray again.

“It is unfortunate that the criminal justice system chose not to act in this case simply because a conviction of … Mr. Murray would probably be the only way of mandating (him) in to treatment for … sexual deviancy,” Butler added.

A few months after the investigation ended, Murray left Portland and moved to Seattle.

“Those records exist”

Simpson said Friday he didn’t remember accusing the other foster parent of abuse when he spoke with reporters earlier this year, saying that was probably because it didn’t compare to what Murray allegedly did to him.

Oregon opens records of sexual-abuse investigation into Ed Murray
Oregon DHS Response to Seattle Times’ Appeal for Murray Records

“It upsets me that I didn’t remember,” he said. “I’m not trying to be deceitful or anything like that.  It hurts my validity.”

The other man was Simpson’s foster provider for about a month, the records show.

Simpson is one of four men who have publicly accused Murray of sexual abuse decades ago when they were teenagers.  Heckard claimed Murray started paying him for sex in 1986, when Heckard was a drug-addicted 15-year-old.  Lloyd Anderson and Lavon Jones also separately allege Murray paid them for sex as teenagers.

In May, Murray’s personal spokesman, Jeff Reading, provided The Times with copies of several statements from people who supported Murray when Simpson first made his allegations in 1984.

Reading said he was providing the information because “there is an existing body of evidence that rebuts and contradicts what Jeff has said.”

The statements were given by people who had counseled or taken in Simpson and described him as emotionally unstable and Murray as having tried hard to help.

One couple, who took Simpson on weekend outings, told a Murray defense investigator Simpson didn’t respond well to discipline and in his early teens “seemed to be very obsessed with the fear of being a homosexual.”

The couple believed the boy’s sex-abuse allegation “was nothing more (than) Jeff acting up” and “striking back” for “some form of rejection.”

Another statement, from a counselor who had worked with Simpson at Murray’s request, said the teenager previously had claimed sexual abuse.

The counselor said “he recalled a telephone call in which Jeff alleged that Ed had forced him into sex and paid for it,” he told Murray’s defense investigators.

The counselor dismissed Simpson’s claim, saying “he did not believe that allegation at the time, and found it to be completely irrational.”

Some of the same statements were included in the state foster records released to The Times this month.  The CPS investigator considered them before making her finding.

Murray said the CPS report doesn’t accurately reflect what happened, noting other important records from Simpson’s foster file and the D.A. inquiry that no longer exist would illustrate Simpson’s destructive behavior.

“He got angry at every foster parent that he’d ever been involved with,” Murray said.

In interviews, Simpson has acknowledged his troubled youth, drug problems and lengthy criminal record, including a 10-year prison term.

He also has signed several waivers to allow authorities to release his private counseling and other records.

In June, after Heckard withdrew his lawsuit, Murray held a news conference at City Hall to declare he’d been vindicated.  The mayor also told reporters the media hadn’t gone far enough in seeking information that would demonstrate his innocence in the Simpson case.

“All those records exist,” Murray said.  “Also, that a prosecutor and grand jury investigated it and didn’t pursue it, all those facts exist.”

When reminded Thursday of his statements criticizing the press for not pursuing more records, Murray responded: “But you cherry-pick records.  You cherry-pick records.”

In the Saturday night letter, Murray’s attorney Heekin also said, “The Seattle Times … seeks to reinvestigate the case, to take the place of law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office, act as judge and jury without a full vetting and disclosure of the facts that were available to law enforcement in 1984, rewrite history, and mislead the public.”