Category Archives: Sexual Assault

WHEN RACE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SAFETY OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN

The Great Divide
9 takeaways from Boston’s investigation into Mission Hill School; DA reviewing

SUFFOLK COUNTY, MA  –  A blistering investigation released this week revealed institutional failures that endangered children for years at Boston’s Mission Hill K-8 School, including overlooked reports of sexual abuse and bullying.

Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden on Thursday said his office is reviewing the report for “any crimes or incidents where mandatory reporting of sexual assault allegations did or did not occur.”

The report spurred Superintendent Brenda Cassellius to take the extraordinary step of recommending the school’s closure at the end of the academic year in June.  The Boston School Committee will vote on the closure May 5.

“This is the stuff of nightmares,” Mayor Michelle Wu said Thursday on GBH News, pledging accountability in BPS.

Many parents have continued to defend the school.

Here are nine key takeaways from the report:

1.  The school ‘systematically failed to protect students’ from sexual abuse, investigators found

The 189-page report by the law firm Hinckley Allen was sparked by complaints from parents that Mission Hill officials were ignoring their concerns about bullying, and separately, allegations by five families that one student had repeatedly sexually abused their children.

Investigators found the school “systematically failed to protect students” from sexual abuse by neglecting to document, investigate, or address allegations.  The school’s lacking response to sexual abuse allegations went far beyond a case in which BPS in August agreed to pay a $650,000 settlement to five Mission Hill families who said their six young children were repeatedly sexually abused by the same student and administrators failed to adequately act.

Investigators blamed much of the school’s problems on a former administrator they labeled “MH Admin 3.”  That administrator’s tenure coincided with Ayla Gavins, who served as principal for 12 years until summer 2019.  She did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

The report details witnesses’ accounts of the principal’s response to the case of the student identified in court records as “A.J.,” who was accused in the families’ lawsuit of inappropriately touching fellow students and digitally penetrating one from 2014 to 2016.  Gavins told parents who complained they should “pull their kids out” and that A.J. “had a right to be” there, the report says.  A staffer recalled employees also voiced concerns that the student would be criminalized because he was Black, the report says.

The investigation found Mission Hill failed to complete official incident reports for at least 20 incidents of sexual misconduct allegations against A.J. and at least another 40 incidents of sexually inappropriate behaviors involving the school’s other students from 2013 to 2021.

The report says the failure to document sexual conduct was “an intentional by-product” of Gavins’s efforts to protect students of color.

2.  A ‘persistent and well-documented bullying problem’

Investigators concluded Mission Hill had a “persistent and well-documented bullying problem” that ballooned due to the school’s “hands-off attitude” which “taught students to protect themselves by being abusive.”

Mission Hill School’s failure to implement standard disciplinary procedures led to a rise in bullying that was “largely unaddressed” by Gavins, according to the report.  Investigators wrote that Gavins often paid “lip service” to handling serious bullying incidents.

Parents told investigators that Gavins avoided giving direct answers to safety questions and accused white parents of being racist or hostile when they advocated for their child’s safety.

3.  Special education failures

The school also failed to properly provide special education services due to its philosophy that “each child is special and learns at their own pace,” investigators found, leading to students’ learning challenges going unaddressed.

The report found that students with disabilities — who make up one-third of the school were likely failed in many ways, including the school’s practice of removing disruptive children for “what was effectively babysitting in another room.”

4.  BPS was aware of Mission Hill’s problems for years

Over the six years before the investigation, BPS received multiple complaints from parents and investigated several internally.  In 2015, BPS hired attorney Joseph Coffey to investigate allegations.  Coffey found Gavins failed to provide specialized instruction by special education teachers, allowed improper restraints of children, created a culture of intimidation, and asked staff to “misrepresent” the school’s English as a Second Language services, the report says.

From 2014 to 2017, the report says, BPS received numerous complaints reporting sexual misconduct at the school.  Coffey’s 2015 report cited concerns by a staff member who reported incidents involving A.J. in a staff meeting and recommended the student be evaluated, but Gavins allegedly refused due to concerns about Black boys being “over diagnosed” with disabilities.

In August, a parent told Cassellius that six employees in the superintendent’s office failed to act despite knowing that the school inadequately responded to reports of abuse, assaults, and bullying.

5.  Three key e-mail accounts deleted during investigation

The report suggested some school employees put their self-interests before that of children, including by using a separate e-mail server and deleting at least three key employee e-mail accounts while the school was under investigation.

6.  Cultural problems cited

Investigators said they found a “cult-like” climate at the academically struggling school, which espoused its philosophy as the unique “Mission Hill Way,” and an intolerance of dissent that ostracized employees and parents who voiced concerns.

7.  Retaliation concerns

Parents said staffers who raised concerns were fired or pressured to leave.  Several parents told investigators that the school fired an employee because the employee filed a “51A” report to the Department of Children and Families against A.J. in November 2014, which the parents felt disobeyed Gavins’s “view of keeping matters in-house,” the report says.

Although the employee reported leaving for other reasons, the employee also described being pushed out by Gavins and enduring a “pattern of hostility by [Gavins] and long-term teachers,” the report says.

8.  Academic failings

Investigators concluded that Mission Hill failed to provide rigorous academic instruction in math, writing, literacy, and science.

The school focused on literacy for marginalized students, but often didn’t recognize that students from all backgrounds struggled, investigators wrote.

9.  Gender-nonconforming students bullied

Investigators found the school fostered a culture that “allowed increased bias and discrimination” toward transgender and gender-nonconforming students.  One parent told investigators the school “allowed a culture” where transgender students were beaten up in the bathroom.  Investigators wrote they found evidence Gavins “showed an unwillingness” to address concerns raised about these students.

The Great Divide is an investigative team that explores educational inequality in Boston and statewideSign up to receive our newsletter, and send ideas and tips to thegreatdivide@globe.com.

TN Nurse Has License Suspended Five Years

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Tessa Proffitt, of Jonesborough, was found guilty on six counts.

Nurse convicted for sharing information
on child rape has license suspended

JOHNSON CITY, TN  –  A former Johnson City Medical Center nurse who was a sexual assault examiner has had her license suspended for five years, 18 months after she was found guilty of unlawful disclosure of confidential child sex abuse information.

Tessa Proffitt, of Jonesborough, was found guilty on six counts in November 2018 after she was discovered to have communicated with the mother of a child rape suspect about the case.  William David Blevins was convicted in the case of rape of a child who was 10 years old at the time of the offenses.

During its investigation into Blevins, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) discovered Proffitt was communicating with Alicia May, a registered nurse who is Blevins’ mother, according to a Tennessee Board of Nursing agreed order.

Proffitt, as a sexual assault nurse examiner, had performed a rape examination on Blevins’ victim and collected evidence for a rape kit.

A Washington County grand jury initially charged Proffitt with two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of criminal conspiracy to tamper with evidence in addition to the unlawful disclosure charges.

WOMAN INDICTED FOR REVEALING INFO, TAMPERING IN CHILD SEX ABUSE CASE

She was sentenced to 11 months 29 days probation, ordered to perform 60 hours of community service and fined $250.

During the suspension of her nursing license, Proffitt is ordered to obtain 15 hours of Tennessee Board of Nursing-approved ethics training and 15 hours regarding HIPAA/confidentiality.

She must also pay two separate $1,000 fines and take and pass the Ethics and Boundaries Assessment Exam.

Blevins, of Johnson City, was charged in November 2019 with violating the sex offender registry.

JOHNSON CITY MAN CHARGED WITH
VIOLATING SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

Justice For A Child

.jpg photo of Statue of Justice
Justice is standing in front of a Judge and Jury and being judged for crimes committed.

Last night I came across a picture…

I didn’t remember the name, but I remembered that he walked out a free man.

I have a file just for people like him… he wasn’t there.

Finally I went to the site media folder…

* I am only publishing as little as possible of this case

On October 23, 2015, Cole County Missouri Judge Patricia Joyce sided with the defense, saying Aaron Fisher’s constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated.  He was freed from jail on Monday, October 26, 2015 and the case was dismissed.

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Aaron Michael Fisher in 2009.

On October 28, 2015 I published:

A WORLD AGAINST INNOCENCE: AARON FISHER RELEASED

The Miller County, MO man, Aaron Michael Fisher, who admitted to raping his five-month-old daughter was released from jail after his trial was dismissed, and disappeared into the night.

I want to say THANK YOU!!!! to Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Winfrey for not giving up on this case.

Rep. Miller Investigating Release Of Aaron Fisher

B.A.C.A. Outraged Over Joyce Ruling

Appeals Court Will Not Reconsider Rape, Sodomy Case Against Aaron Fisher
December 21, 2016

Will Justice Be Served This Time? Aaron Fisher Headed To Trial For Assault On Infant Daughter
February 24, 2017

.jpg photo of missouri man that raped his baby daughter
Aaron Michael Fisher in 2018.

Last Attempt At Justice Prevails: Aaron
Fisher Sentenced To 15 Years For Assaulting
His Infant Daughter

LACLEDE COUNTY, MO – The notorious case against Aaron Fisher has finally come to an end.

On Friday, January 19, 2018 at the Laclede County Courthouse, Fisher pleaded guilty to 1st degree Assault and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Was this justice for the crimes Aaron Michael Fisher committed?  To be totally honest, I believe nothing short of public hanging on the town square will stop crimes like this and most particularly the taking of innocent lives, which I believe is the only definition of a hate crime.

I want everyone to know that there is more to this Child’s Justice, this Child and her sibling was adopted by a very good set of Parents.
Robert StrongBow

The List Keeps Getting Longer

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Spacey will be arraigned at Nantucket District Court on January 7 .

Actor Kevin Spacey to be charged with
sexual assault

Oscar-winning US actor Kevin Spacey is facing a felony charge for alleged sexual assault of a teenager in a restaurant in 2016, prosecutors said on Monday.

Kevin Spacey scandal: A complete list of the 15 accusers

Spacey will be arraigned at Nantucket District Court on January 7 on a charge of indecent assault and battery, according to the district attorney of Cape and Islands, Massachusetts.

Prosecutors did not name the alleged victim of the July 2016 incident but former Boston-based television news anchor Heather Unruh told a news conference last year that police were investigating a complaint by her son against the “House of Cards” and “American Beauty” star.

Unruh told reporters the 59-year-old had sexually assaulted her son on the holiday island of Nantucket after plying him with alcohol late at night in a bar in July 2016.

Unruh described her son at the time as a “star-struck, straight” 18-year-old.

“Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink, and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him,” Unruh told the news conference in Boston.

“Spacey stuck his hand inside my son’s pants and grabbed his genitals,” Unruh said. Her intoxicated son, whom she did not name, panicked and froze.

When Spacey left briefly to use the bathroom, he allegedly fled to his grandmother’s house, where he is said to have told his sister what had happened.

Spacey was considered one of the finest actors of his generation.  His career has nose-dived following allegations of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen men in the United States and Britain.

The first public report of alleged abuse by him came from actor Anthony Rapp, who claimed that Spacey sexually abused him when Rapp was 14, in 1986.

Bizarre video

Spacey apologised to Rapp, claiming not to remember the incident, but remained silent as accusations against him mushroomed.

As a result, Netflix dropped Spacey from its political thriller series “House of Cards,” and he was dumped from his scenes in Ridley Scott’s film “All the Money in the World.”

Spacey is one of the most high-profile figures in the torrent of allegations that have brought down male power players from the worlds of politics, finance, entertainment and journalism, in the wake of accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein 14 months ago.

As the arraignment was announced, a bizarre video was shared by Spacey’s Twitter account of the actor apparently addressing his sacking by Netflix — while in character as President Frank Underwood from “House of Cards.”

“Oh sure, they may have tried to separate us, but what we have is too strong, too powerful.  After all, we shared everything, you and I,” Spacey says in Underwood’s signature southern drawl, in the video entitled titled, “Let Me Be Frank.”

“I told you my deepest, darkest secrets. I showed you exactly what people are capable of.  I shocked you with my honestly, but mostly I challenged you and made you think.  And you trusted me, even though you knew you shouldn’t.  So we’re not done, no matter what anyone says.  And besides, I know what you want.  You want me back.”

The three-minute vignette marks Spacey’s first public performance since the allegations against him came to light.

“Of course, some believed everything and have been just waiting with baited breath to hear me confess it all.  They’re just dying to have me declare that everything said is true and that I got what I deserved,” he goes on.

“Only you and I both know it’s never that simple, not in politics and not in life,” he says — apparently an allusion to the allegations against both the actor and his Machiavellian character on the show.

Tax Payers Pay For Child Predator Sex Change?

.jpg photo of child abuse graphic
Your Child Needs You

Federal Judge Rules State Must Pay for
Inmate’s Gender Surgery

A federal judge in Idaho has ruled that the state must pay for the gender reassignment surgery of a man who has been living as a woman.

The Thursday ruling involved the case of Adree Edmo, a 31-year-old transgender inmate in Pocatello who is currently in a men’s prison.   Edmo was sentenced for sexual abuse of a child under 16 back in 2012, according to the Idaho State Journal, and will be in prison until 2021.

There is no such thing as transgender, it is GENDER DYSPHORIA!  Every person in America has guaranteed rights except Children, this is against the laws of this land!!!!
Robert StrongBow

Edmo’s suit contends that “she lived full-time as a woman, dressing in women’s clothes and wearing women’s cosmetics” before serving time in jail.

Edmo was diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a prison psychiatrist in June of 2012, just months after sentencing.  Gender reassignment surgery is one potential treatment for the condition.

“Many transgender individuals are comfortable living with their gender role, expression and identity without surgery,” U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote in the Thursday ruling.  “For others, however, gender confirmation surgery … is the only effective treatment.”

“The state has six months to provide Edmo with the surgery, which will restructure her physical characteristics to match her gender identity,” the Associated Press reported.

“Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray said IDOC will be addressing some of the issues raised by the ruling — including whether the state will appeal, and where Edmo will be housed after her surgery — in the days to come.  There are currently 30 inmates with gender dysphoria in state custody, according to the ruling.”

Edmo, it’s worth noting, has already received some taxpayer-funded treatment for gender dysphoria.  That includes hormone therapy.  However, they also have a disturbing history of attempting a crude sort of self-surgery.

“Edmo testified that she feels depressed, embarrassed and disgusted by her male genitalia.  Her gender dysmorphia was so severe that in 2015 she tried to remove her testicles using a disposable razor blade,” the AP reported.

“She was unsuccessful at that time, though she continued to be troubled by thoughts of self-castration.  In December 2016 she made another attempt, studying anatomy, boiling her razor blade in an attempt to make it sterile and managing to remove one of her testicles before she began to lose too much blood and called for help.”

In Judge Windmill’s ruling, he contended that the denying Edmo gender reassignment surgery was unconstitutional.

“For more than forty years, the Supreme Court has consistently held that consciously ignoring an prisoner’s serious medical needs amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment,” the ruling read.

“I think the thing that makes this case so important is that this is a procedure that is necessary for some transgender inmates, and in fact is lifesaving care, but it’s almost universally denied and banned by prisons across the country,” said Amy Whelan, an attorney with the group that represented Edmo, the National Center for Lesbian Rights.  “There is no state that I’m aware of that has ever provided the surgery without being ordered by a court to do so.”

There are two reasons why this line of thought is pretty much bunk, however: the surgery remains elective and there’s no actual evidence that it’s effective.

The first part is pretty straightforward.  Adree Edmo will survive whether or not the surgery is performed.  Given their past, one would hope prison officials might take more care in not allowing razors anywhere near Edmo’s cell, but there’s no risk of death if the surgery isn’t performed.  When you consider the fact that surgeries like this can cost tens of thousands of dollars and there are 30 inmates with gender dysphoria in the Idaho system alone, you quickly begin to grasp the burden this would be on taxpayers for what amounts to an elective surgery.

And then there’s the efficacy of the surgery, which has always been in debate.  There are plenty of studies on this, but I’d like to reference two: one by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2016 and one by the U.K. Guardian in 2004.

I reference these specifically because neither could be categorized by the left as bastions of retrograde conservatism.  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted the study under the Obama administration, which was almost uniformly friendly to any dubious excess of political correctness when it fit under the aegis of transgender rights.  The Guardian, meanwhile, has long been the paper of record if you want to know what British progressives who aren’t thinking for themselves are thinking.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services study was issued in response to a request that gender reassignment be covered under Medicare.  They declined based on a paucity of evidence for the efficacy of the procedures.

“Based on a thorough review of the clinical evidence available at this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria,” the Centers concluded, according to the Heritage Foundation.

“There were conflicting (inconsistent) study results—of the best designed studies, some reported benefits while others reported harms.  The quality and strength of evidence were low due to the mostly observational study designs with no comparison groups, potential confounding, and small sample sizes.  Many studies that reported positive outcomes were exploratory type studies (case-series and case-control) with no confirmatory follow-up.”

Meanwhile, the Guardian discovered what opponents of the surgery have long claimed; they found “no conclusive evidence that sex change operations improve the lives of transsexuals, with many people remaining severely distressed and even suicidal after the operation.”

“There is a huge uncertainty over whether changing someone’s sex is a good or a bad thing,” Chris Hyde, the director of the University of Birmingham’s aggressive research intelligence facility, told the Guardian.  “While no doubt great care is taken to ensure that appropriate patients undergo gender reassignment, there’s still a large number of people who have the surgery but remain traumatized — often to the point of committing suicide.”

That, indeed, remains the problem.  Of the studies out there, one demonstrated a higher mortality rate for those who underwent sexual reassignment therapy, including a higher rate of attempted suicides.  Another found that “(t)he evidence concerning gender reassignment surgery in both (male-to-female) and (female-to-male) transsexism has several limitations in terms of: (a) lack of controlled studies, (b) evidence has not collected data prospectively, (c) high loss to follow up and (d) lack of validated assessment measures.”

In short, at best we can say that we don’t know how efficacious these procedures are.  At worst, there’s evidence that they cause injury to the individual involved, both physically and mentally.

This is what a judge wants the state of Idaho — which means the taxpayers of Idaho — to fund: a surgery where the effectiveness isn’t demonstrated on a prisoner with clear mental instability issues.  One should certainly have the choice, in a free society, to pursue elective surgical options for conditions even if the benefit hasn’t necessarily been demonstrated.

However, one also ought not to have a claim to pursue it using someone else’s money — particularly if the reason they’re getting that money is because they’re behind bars.  This is an absurd decision which desperately needs to be appealed.