Category Archives: Incest

WA Couple Apparently Grew Up Together

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Melvin W. Bledsoe, 27

Post Falls couple accused of felony Child Abuse also face charges of incest

Spokane, WA  –  Three months after their arrests in connection to a grievous child abuse case, Melvin W. Bledsoe and Joy T. Anderson remain in Kootenai County jail.

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Joy T. Anderson, 30

Bledsoe and Anderson, half-siblings accused of severely beating, starving and tying up Bledsoe’s 6-year-old son in the Post Falls area, both were charged with felony injury to a child in October.  During the abuse investigation, according to court documents, detectives uncovered information to support charging the two with incest.

Bledsoe’s and Anderson’s bonds have been set at $200,000 and $75,000.

Anderson, 30, and Bledsoe, 27, have pleaded not guilty.

According to Post Falls police, the boy, whom Bledsoe and Anderson took to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in October, was suffering from a split pancreas and had scars and scabs all over his body.  The boy had several fresh wounds, dried blood on his body, ulcers on his legs and a cauliflower ear, police said.

Bledsoe and Anderson are accused of delaying the child’s treatment when he had life-threatening injuries.  Both alleged abusers face maximum sentences of life in prison.

“(The child) was hiding food, was requesting the foster mom bring food and had many indicators that he was starved for some time,” prosecuting attorney Laura McLinton said in a court hearing.  “He was eating household items, including a pillow, because he didn’t have food.”

The child, who was primarily home-schooled, according to court files, quickly gained 5 pounds after he was sent to the hospital, McLinton said.  He is in protective care.

This isn’t the first time Bledsoe has been accused of abusing the boy.

In 2012, Bledsoe pleaded guilty to felony injury of a child after slapping the boy, who was then 9 months old, according to court records.  Child Protective Services temporarily took the baby from him, according to records.

In the 2012 case, Anderson, a married mother of three at the time, lived with Bledsoe and testified against him.

In the 2017 abuse case, Anderson and Bledsoe told police that the boy sustained his injuries from being “clumsy,” saying he crashed his bike, fell down the stairs and also fell on a rock at a park.

A former neighbor in Rathdrum told police the boy often was lying face down on the bed with ropes tied around his wrists, the police report said.  The same neighbor said he sometimes witnessed Bledsoe picking up the boy and throwing him into a wall.

We Joked About Child Abuse In The 90s

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Pedophile that Sexually Abused his Daughter

Then The Daughter The Convicted Pedophile Raped Speaks Up

It was 1996 when police arrested Jim and Justine and charged them with prolonged sexual abuse and exploitation of their 13-year-old daughter, Amanda.

At the time, Jim claimed that he didn’t think he was doing any harm to his daughter, and that in those days, child molestation was considered “something people joke about” — citing comic book “Chester The Molester” as supposed cultural evidence of this.

But the repercussions of that abuse — which began when his daughter was just 11 — would haunt Amanda into her adulthood, sending her life sideways as she attempted to self-medicate and escape the pain.

Now, 20 years later, Amanda and her biological parents meet again — Amanda for an apology, her parents (particularly her father) forgiveness.

Appearing on Wednesday’s episode of “Dr. Phil,” Amanda says her parents would routinely photograph her in “provocative” situations and video tape her performing various sexual acts— sometimes with her father — with the plan to sell the tapes across the world.

She tells Dr. Phil: “Jim told me with the money we could make, I could go to college”

Amanda adds that she never saw any of her supposed earnings.  Her mother, on stage with Amanda already, begins weeping, presumably overwhelmed with guilt and regret at her part in the abuse.

Then Dr. Phil brings out Amanda’s father.  The audience is silent as he walks out, the tension at its peak.

Amanda starts in on Jim, at first tenuously, seeming to barely contain her rage:

“Where to begin?….  How could you?”

Amanda begins to ask questions directly to her father — reluctantly, at first — saying she’s “dreamed of this moment,” but adding:

“Truthfully I would have preferred if you had been six feet under.”

Jim says to Amanda as she stares at him in anger and disbelief that he’s ashamed that he only remembers abusing Amanda four or five times when it was obviously a regular routine in the family.

Looking straight at his daughter, he says:

“It should have been burned into my memory as much as it was into yours.”

As Amanda recounts how her life spiraled out of control into adulthood — addiction, work as a topless dancer, even the creation of an alter ego to escape the pain she was experiencing — it’s clear that the memories left significant scars with lasting impact.

But the most chilling moments in the episode come from a one-on-one interview with Jim taped earlier, in which the former convict claims that during the early 1990’s, “sexually abusing children were things that people winked and joked about.”

Unbelievably, he goes on to complain that he’d been “exploited, taken advantage of [and] beaten up,” in prison.  He also protested that he had never been aroused by his daughter, but rather was interested in the “mechanics.”

But Dr. Phil doesn’t pull punches responding to claims that Jim didn’t know what he was doing to his daughter, saying directly to Amanda:

“To suggest that he was in an environment where parents didn’t know it wasn’t okay to rape their children is insulting your intelligence, it’s insulting to your experience, it is a complete insult to this entire experience between him and you.  Now he’s either that naive, or he’s just thumbing his nose at you because that is an idiotic statement.”

To watch the entire episode, which aired on Wednesday of this week, check Dr. Phil’s website for listings.

The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, which collects statistics nationally, reports that 46% of children who are sexually abused are the victims of family members.

It also reports that 61% of American rape victims are raped before the age of 18, and unbelievable 29% of all rapes occurred before the victim was 11.

 

GA Woman Gets 190 Years For Child Abuse

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Dianna Franklin

Taylor Co. woman sentenced to 190 years in Child Abuse case

Macon, GA  –  A Taylor County woman was sentenced Tuesday to 190 years in prison for abusing her adopted daughter.

She’s the Taylor County woman found guilty of putting her adopted daughter in a chicken coop as punishment.

A jury found her guilty on 28 counts including cruelty to children, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment.

“We’re talking about torture were talking about abuse were talking about that this county that this state has not seen where the child didn’t die,” Prosecutor Wayne Jernigan said.

The child, now 18, was in court when her mother, Diana Franklin was sentenced.

“I will never treat my children the way you treated me.  I forgive you for everything you’ve done.  You have to pay for what you did to me,” the teen said before her mother was sentenced.

Judge Bobby Peters felt troubled by Franklin’s demeanor.
“You’ve actually shown no remorse at the beginning of this trial during the trial or after the trial even when you testified,” Peters said.

Franklin and her husband Samuel Franklin were arrested in May 2012 and charged with beating and starving the teenage girl and making her sleep in a chicken coop.

During the trial jurors heard about the abuse Franklin’s adopted daughter suffered for years.

They convicted her for using a shock collar on the girl, locking her in a chicken coop naked and giving her lashes.

It’s abuse the GBI investigator Leigh Brooks said the daughter still remembers.

“She continues to have nightmares as a result of the abuse she suffered from Diana Franklin,” Brooks said.

She said, “This is the worst case I’ve ever seen where the child survived a child abuse case.”

Peters didn’t hold back how he felt about Franklin before reading his sentence.

“You’ve shown no remorse,” he said.  “You’re just an evil woman who hides behind the Bible.  “You’ll get better treatment in prison than you gave your daughter.”

Franklin said she never imagined herself being there defending herself.  “In a pair of handcuffs for doing nothing more than loving someone who needed love,” Franklin said.

But in the eyes of the law what she called love was viewed as abuse.

The trial for Franklin’s husband Samuel, is expected to begin next week.  He faces similar charges to his wife, as well as child molestation charges.

Janie’s Fund To Help Child Abuse Victims

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Steven Tyler Launches Janie’s Fund

Steven Tyler Launches Janie’s Fund to Help Child Abuse Victims

Steven Tyler has launched a new philanthropic initiative that aims at raising money and awareness to help girls who have suffered sexual abuse, the singer announced today.  For Janie’s Fund, a nod to Aerosmith’s 1989 hit “Janie’s Got a Gun,” Tyler will partner with Youth Villages to bring hope and healing to those victims of neglect and abuse.

On Pump’s “Janie’s Got a Gun,” Tyler tackles the issue of child abuse and incest in the song’s lyrics, and the creation of Janie’s Fund has been a longtime goal of Tyler’s.  “As a father and grandfather, I want to focus my energy on things that really matter and leave behind something else in this crazy world along with my music,” Tyler said in a statement.  “I am starting Janie’s Fund to give a voice to the millions of victims who haven’t had one and encourage everyone to join me on this mission.”

To help plant a foundation for Janie’s Fund, Tyler has launched a Prizeo page filled with unique rewards for those who donate, ranging from t-shirts for $50 “Star” donors to $25,000 “Big Kahuna” donors who will receive a “VIP Mardi Gras Experience” with Tyler. There’s also a Janie’s Angel reward for donors of $75,000 that will include “dinner with Steven Tyler and receive one of his iconic scarf enrobed mic stands (with a working mic) as well as a limited edition signed and numbered framed copy of the ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ lyric sheet.”

All donors will be entered into a raffle to win the “Ultimate VIP Rock Experience with Steven Tyler” prize, which will include walking down the red carpet with the rocker at his upcoming solo album’s release party as well as the opportunity to hang out with Tyler backstage.

Tyler adds on the Janie’s Fund Prizeo page, “Now…We can’t undo what’s been done by abuse in this country…but we CAN let these girls know they are loved, get them the help they need, and assure them that there is MUCH LIGHT at the end of the tunnel.

U of G Law Alumnus Funds New CSA Legal Clinic

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Atlanta Attorney Marlan Wilbanks. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

The University of Georgia School of Law is launching the first legal clinic in the nation to assist victims of child sexual abuse, thanks to a gift from an alumnus, Atlanta plaintiffs lawyer Marlan Wilbanks.

Wilbanks declined to say how much he is donating, but he said it’s a “substantial gift” that will be ongoing.  He also plans to be personally involved in the clinic.  “This is going to be a lifelong commitment for me,” he said.

The clinic, called the Wilbanks Center for Child Sexual Assault and Exploitation Survivors, will both assist adult survivors of child sexual abuse in filing civil suits and help children to gain protection from their abusers, he said.

Wilbanks is a longtime advocate for preventing child sexual abuse and helping survivors because his mother is a survivor of sexual abuse by her father.  He said she was able to disclose her abuse only when she was well into adulthood, in her late 40s, which is common for many survivors.

“She has gone from being a victim to being an unbelievable advocate,” Wilbanks said.  “She is my hero, and I want to continue her legacy.”

His mother, Marilyn Motz, helped to start the Habersham County chapter of Prevent Child Abuse and Wilbanks is on the board of an Atlanta advocacy group, VOICE Today.

Both pushed for new Georgia legislation that went into effect July 1 extending the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse to file civil suits—an impetus for the new clinic, which will open in the spring semester.

Wilbanks said the clinic will also help children gain injunctive relief—for instance, by helping victims secure protective orders to get abusers out of their home.

“This is not just helping people bring lawsuits for dollars,” Wilbanks said.  “I want to create a system that creates safety for people—and make sure predators get prosecuted.”

The dean of UGA’s law school, Peter “Bo” Rutledge, said the new law, HB 17, known as the Hidden Predators Act, makes it particularly appropriate for a public law school to step in.  “The General Assembly wants to open the courthouse doors to these type of claims,” he said.

The new legislation allows victims to file civil claims at a much older age.  Before, they only had until they turned 23.  “The average median age of victims for when they are psychologically able to deal with what happened to them, like my mother, is over 40 years old,” Wilbanks said.

HB 17 initially eliminates the statute of limitations until July 1, 2017, creating an open window in which victims may file claims. After that it allows two years from when “the plaintiff knew or had reason to know of such abuse and that such abuse resulted in injury to the plaintiff as established by competent medical or psychological evidence.”

Wilbanks’ initial gift, Rutledge said, will help fund a clinic director’s salary and fellowships, which could be summer jobs for law students or term-time jobs for law graduates.

The law school is conducting a search for a clinic director. Rutledge said the initial goal is to have six to eight students working in the clinic per term.

The clinic will add to the law school’s experiential learning offerings, he said, giving students the chance to serve as advocates for Georgians without adequate legal resources.

Wilbanks said it’s insufficient to rely on police, government prosecutors and the state child protective agency to protect children from sexual abuse.  “Calling the cops does not immediately get the father or other family member out of the house.  You do not get the injunctive relief,” he said, and intervention from the Division of Family and Child Services may not be effective.

“Nobody is advocating for the child,” Wilbanks said, adding that abuse victims often have very little money to hire lawyers.  “Private attorneys need to get involved.”

Besides offering legal services, the clinic could serve as a liaison with the private bar, he said.

A child being abused in the home is often afraid to say anything, Wilbanks added.  For this reason he envisions the UGA legal clinic partnering with medical providers and social services groups that assist sexual abuse victims.

“We want to connect the victims to their legal rights and identify their sexual predators,” he said.  “They are falling through the safety net.”

The other impetus for Wilbanks’ gift was a big win in a whistleblower case.  Wilbanks and other lawyers brought a Medicare fraud case against a dialysis chain, Da Vita Healthcare Partners, which resulted in a $495 million settlement earlier this year, including $45 million for legal fees and costs.

Another plaintiffs lawyer on the DaVita case, UGA Law graduate Stacey Godfrey Evans, also used some of her fee to make a big gift to the law school. Evans donated $500,000 in July to fund a scholarship for law students who, like herself, are first-generation college graduates.