His wife, Sini Mathews, quickly left the courthouse without commenting on the sentence. Originally charged with child abandonment, the registered nurse had her case dismissed earlier this year by prosecutors who said they couldn’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Before his capital murder trial was to begin Monday, Mathews pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: injury to a child by omission. On Wednesday, he said he accepted whatever decision the jury came to for his punishment, even if it were a life sentence.
“I’m more than happy to take it,” he said Wednesday morning.
Life is precisely what prosecutors advocated for in closing arguments. They argued that Mathews built a public persona of a good father, but ultimately failed to protect Sherin.
Fine accused Mathews of killing the girl and said the father acted out of anger because she wouldn’t finish the milk a doctor had prescribed for her nutrition. The father wanted to exert power over the girl, Fine said.
“He is a liar,” Fine said. “He had to be in control.”
Rafael De La Garza, Mathews’ attorney, defended his client against the murder accusation. He argued prosecutors couldn’t prove Mathews committed murder, otherwise he would have stood trial on that charge.
De La Garza contends that, by pleading guilty, Mathews was accepting responsibility for Sherin’s death, the result of his inaction when the child began to choke. The attorney fought against the perception that Mathews didn’t care about Sherin, and said his client will live with the consequences of her death for the rest of his life.
“You can see from the videos, you can see from the photos that they loved and adored Sherin,” De La Garza told the jury.
Photos and home videos played for the jury during the trial weren’t enough for Fine, however. He argued that Mathews showed his true colors with his behavior after Sherin’s death.
“Great guys and great dads, they don’t stick their daughters in trash bags and dump them in sewage drains,” Fine said.
A day before prosecutors and the defense rested their case Wednesday, Mathews took the witness stand Tuesday to describe the night the toddler died.
He told jurors that Sherin choked while drinking milk in the family’s garage but he didn’t call for emergency help or alert his wife — a registered nurse — because he was scared Child Protective Services would get involved.
Crippled by fear, Mathews testified, he put the girl’s body in a culvert, where it was found about two weeks later.
“I could not absorb what had happened. I could not believe that in a very quick time my child had gone from me,” Mathews said Tuesday. “I was really, really paralyzed.”
Mathews took the witness stand again Wednesday morning, when Fine grilled him on multiple inconsistencies between the account he told police and his testimony Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Mathews told the jury he brought the girl into the garage to see a new lawnmower to calm her down so she could drink her milk, and that he had played piano to pass the time — two things Fine said he never told police. Mathews also testified that he gave Sherin CPR, which Fine said also deviated from what he told police.
Son of woman charged in Wake Forest
Child Abuse case: ‘We never had a
WAKE FOREST, NC – Two Wake Forest parents were charged with child abuse causing serious physical injury, arrest records show.
Records state Michael Daniel Bell and Rebecca Ann Bell, of Washhouse Lane in Wake Forest, failed to enroll at least one child in school, abused at least one child and exposed a child to domestic violence and let at least one child live in a condemned home for a week.
The home that was condemned had no electricity and no running water and had holes in the ceilings, exposed nails in the floor and mold and raw meat throughout the house, according to warrants.
According to the couple’s Facebook page, they have nine children.
Rebecca Bell’s oldest son, 21-year-old Matthew Shirely, lives in Nevada and said that Michael Bell abused him and his siblings for years.
“You know, just getting like smacked around to like actual fistfights between me and my stepdad,” he said.
Shirely said his family lived in Nevada prior to living in North Carolina, where Rebecca Bell moved to get back together with Michael.
“Growing up, none of my siblings, me included, we never had a stable home. We bounced around. Off the top of my head, I could probably give you around anywhere from 16 to 20 addresses we’ve lived at,” Shirely said.
Shirely said he feels helpless being across the country while 10 of his siblings are split up in foster care.
“You know, they’ve gone through it in the past. They went through it when I was there. I went through it when I was with them, and it hurts knowing my siblings, like I’m not there to do anything about it,” he said.
A father himself, Shirely said he doesn’t understand how his mother could watch her children suffer.
“She’s seen the fights, she’s seen abuse, she’s seen the way Mike treats the kids, and it just amazes me someone could watch their kids go through that and not want something better,” he said.
Woman charged with sex trafficking of
girl, 11, on Las Vegas Strip
LAS VEGAS, NV – An 11-year-old girl boasted of smoking cigarettes and drinking booze on the Strip, and she told men she was a prostitute, according to police.
Now the 40-year-old woman prosecutors allege brought the girl to Las Vegas is charged with sex trafficking and child abuse.
In a brief court appearance Friday morning, Gigi Mitchell clasped her hands at her waist and choked back tears as Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Harmony Letizia told Mitchell she faces a preliminary hearing next month on seven felony charges.
The girl, who admitted to drinking and smoking with Mitchell in casinos, has been taken in by child protective services.
Metropolitan Police Department officers working at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in the early morning hours of March 2 spotted Mitchell and the girl approaching men in the casino, while the girl wore a “tight-fitting” white floral dress and black high heels, according to an arrest report.
When the two were initially questioned by police, they gave what officers believed were “rehearsed” answers, the report said.
Mitchell told investigators that she and the girl were “selling flower pens” and went to The Cosmopolitan for breakfast.
Mitchell initially told police she had just met the men. Later, she said they were cousins named Brandon and Justin, or Randy and Gary.
The girl, identified in the arrest report as “victim 1,” told police that she and Mitchell had driven to Las Vegas from Arizona around the time of the Super Bowl in early February and had stayed at various hotels along the Strip.
After Mitchell allowed police to review her phone, investigators found a photo of male genitals that she sent to the girl. She denied sending the photo.
Mitchell’s lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Mike Feliciano, declined to comment on the allegations.
On the girl’s cellphone, police found various messages with men that appeared to be “prostitution related.” In her purse, they found two condoms and three pens.
The report detailed various sexually explicit conversations the girl had with an unidentified man, with whom she apparently had engaged in sex acts.
In one, the man mentioned a desire to marry the girl.
“Tyna (thought you’d never ask) come on now I’m not marry type material,” she replied.
He responded: “Why u say that LMFAO”
The girl wrote back: “Cuz ima prostitute LMAO”
The messages appeared to indicate that Mitchell was aware that the girl had sex with the man.
One of the men, identified as “Tony” from San Francisco, messaged the girl about sex and she replied “Sorry hun, we are already done for the night.”
As of Friday, only Mitchell had been charged in the case.
When investigators tracked the man down, the report said, he immediately responded: “I did nothing with the young one.” He said he discussed sex acts for money with Mitchell before changing his story to say that they “only discussed her giving him a massage for money.”
He said he was first approached by the girl, who wanted to sell him flowers, before she introduced him to Mitchell. When investigators asked him about text messages he sent to the girl, he told them he had been joking.
Investigators later found records of Mitchell renting rooms along the Strip starting Feb. 3, the day of the Super Bowl. She paid cash for three nights at Treasure Island, and later that month the two were spotted on surveillance at the New York-New York, Stratosphere, Bellagio and Paris Las Vegas hotels. One of the men seen on video admitted to taking Mitchell to his room at Stratosphere, but said she “left abruptly” because she “must have thought he was a cop.”
The morning in early March that police found the girl and Mitchell inside The Cosmopolitan, they were seen approaching eight different men within 45 minutes. “Not one time did Gigi Mitchell or victim 1 approach a female guest,” the report said.
“Gigi Mitchell is seen holding flower pens and claimed she and (victim 1) were only trying to sell these pens. It appears to (police) that Gigi Mitchell and victim 1 are using the flower pens as a cover to hide the activity of prostitution.”
The girl later told investigators that she and Mitchell sold pens to men for “anywhere from $10 to $1,500,” according to the report.
She said she and Mitchell would sometimes go to hotel rooms with men “because they would have more money up there … Sometimes these men think they are going to do ‘bad stuff’ so they have more money but that she would never do that stuff … When these men would try to have them do stuff, they would just ‘ditch them’ and leave the room.”
Mitchell is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on $500,000 bail.
State was notified of Child Abuse
allegations more than a year before
Waukegan school employee’s arrest
CHICAGO, IL – More than a year before a Waukegan school employee was charged with sexually abusing a girl for years, state education authorities were notified that he was fired by Chicago Public Schools on allegations of “child abuse,” records obtained by the Lake County News-Sun show.
Gabriel Valadez, 26, of Darien, was hired by Waukegan District 60 in August 2017, six months after he was suspended by Chicago Public Schools, where he was a special education classroom assistant. He was fired from CPS in December 2017 after his suspension the previous February.
A letter obtained from Chicago Public Schools shows the Illinois State Board of Education was notified of his termination the following month, in January 2018. A spokeswoman for the state agency said she could not comment on specific cases, but ISBE records show Valadez’s paraprofessional educators license remains valid.
Defense attorney John Deleon, who is representing Valadez, declined to comment due to the pending charges. He said his client also would not comment.
An internal Chicago Public Schools memo summarizing Valadez’s 2017 termination hearing concluded that he “exhibited all the classic signs of child grooming behavior,” which occurs when an adult attempts to gain the trust of the child, looks for opportunities to be alone with the child and gives gifts or money to the child.
Valadez, who pleaded not guilty earlier this month, was arrested Feb. 19 at Waukegan District 60’s administrative offices by Chicago police officers and charged with grooming and sexually abusing a girl for several years, when she was between the ages of 9 and 13, according to court records.
He is accused of taking the girl’s hand and having her touch him, of groping her bottom and of asking her to send sexually explicit and nude photographs of herself, according to preliminary complaints filed in Cook County court.
Waukegan District 60 has “not received any official communication” from either Chicago Public Schools or the Illinois State Board of Education regarding Valadez and his time at CPS, district spokesman Nick Alajakis said.
A bill approved by the Illinois House and awaiting action in the Illinois Senate would give the State Board of Education the ability to suspend the licenses of educators under investigation, a change that might have helped Waukegan District 60 learn about Valadez’s history sooner.
Valadez joined Chicago Public Schools in May 2014 in office support for the district’s Network 7, according to personnel records obtained from CPS.
Seven months later, in December 2014, he took a job as a special education classroom assistant at Infinity Math, Science and Tech High School in Chicago’s South Lawndale neighborhood, according to personnel records. A year later, he moved to Jungman Elementary School.
It was at Jungman that questions arose about Valadez’s contact with a student.
Valadez was suspended Feb. 16, 2017, after giving a student a chocolate Valentine’s Day present despite being warned verbally and in writing to have no contact with that student, according to a letter from Chicago Public Schools to Valadez.
Valadez was never the student’s teacher, he told an investigator. He said during the 2016-17 school year, one of his assignments included taking another student from one classroom to the science lab, where the girl was also assigned during that period.
Valadez was told not to contact the student following a March 2016 incident where he was speaking to the student outside someone’s house after school until the father came home, according to a November 2017 internal memo.
According to the report, Valadez had been reminded of the no-contact order in September 2016 after staff members saw him playing basketball with the student after school hours. Valadez denied that he had played basketball with the student.
Valadez told Jungman’s principal that he thought it was OK to give the student the chocolates because two other adults were present at the time, according to a redacted copy of the investigative report. The principal said Valadez told her he had been asked by another special education classroom aide to bring the chocolates for the student.
The other employee told the investigator that she never told Valadez to get chocolates for the students, according to the report.
Valadez later told an investigator that he had brought chocolates and red roses to give to staff, and decided to give the chocolates to the student after he realized he had some left over, according to the report. He said the student had followed him into the classroom and he gave the student the chocolates and told her, “Get outta here.”
The student told the investigator that she did not know Valadez was not supposed to talk to her, according to the report. The student said she would often speak to Valadez before and after school, at least once a week, which Valadez denied when interviewed by the investigator.
A union representative who testified on Valadez’s behalf at his termination hearing denied Valadez was engaged in grooming behavior, and said Valadez did not communicate with the student through social media or text messaging.
According to an internal memo, Valadez did not testify at the hearing.
Valadez had previously been investigated in 2015 for alleging staring at student-athletes during practice and making them uncomfortable, for making an inappropriate comment to a former student, and for staring at a student who was in detention, according to the investigative report.
The investigator, who spoke to the students involved as well as staff, found none of the allegations were supported by evidence, according to the report.
Termination and notification
Following the Feb. 16, 2017, suspension by Chicago Public Schools, Valadez was sometimes paid and sometimes unpaid throughout the course of an investigation and subsequent proceedings, CPS records show.
He was fired in December 2017 and placed on the district’s do-not-hire list, according to a letter from the district to Valadez.
A month later, Chicago Public Schools sent a letter to the Illinois State Board of Education, notifying the agency it had “reasonable cause” to believe he had been fired after “committing an intentional act of child abuse.”
By this time, Valadez had already been hired by Waukegan District 60 as an administrative assistant at its district offices, records show. Valadez resigned in February, the week after his arrest.
His application with Waukegan, submitted in July 2017, said he was still employed by Chicago Public Schools and had never been fired, which was all true at that point. On a form completed in August, he denied that he had ever been investigated for misconduct, which was not true.
Valadez wasn’t the district’s first pick, according to text messages sent by Superintendent Theresa Plascencia to a school board member following Valadez’s arrest. Three other applicants, including an internal candidate, received offers but declined the job.
Plascencia did know Valadez from her time at CPS, but she was not involved in his hiring at Waukegan, Alajakis said.
Plascencia was the chief of Network 7 from November 2013 to August 2015 when she took a new role with CPS as executive director for high school design, programs and support. She left CPS in April 2016 prior to the start of the internal investigation into Valadez’s conduct at Jungman.
Notifications like Chicago Public Schools’ letter to ISBE, which are required under state law, can trigger an investigation by the Illinois State Board of Education and ultimately the suspension or revocation of an educator’s license, ISBE spokeswoman Jackie Matthews said.
Matthews, who declined to comment on any particular case, said there is no way to predict how long any single case will take to resolve because each comes with its own set of circumstances.
Valadez still had an active paraprofessional educator license as of Friday, Illinois State Board of Education records show.
ISBE will hold off on an investigation, for example, if the police or Department of Child and Family Services are conducting their own investigations, Matthews said. The amount of time it takes for those investigations and criminal proceedings to conclude “varies significantly.”
That means an educator’s license can remain valid and, if they’ve since moved on to another district, no one there may know they’re under investigation.
ISBE does not have the ability to suspend educators’ licenses while they are being investigated for serious alleged crimes involving physical and sexual abuse, though it would want that authority, ISBE’s general counsel, Stephanie Jones, testified before the General Assembly last year.
A bill that would give ISBE that power passed the Illinois Senate in a 57-0 vote April 11. It is now being considered by the House.
May 2014: Gabriel Valadez joins Chicago Public Schools in Network 7 office support.
December 2014: Valadez takes a special education classroom assistant position at Infinity Math, Science and Tech High School.
December 2015: Valadez moves to Jungman Elementary School.
March 2016: Valadez told to have no contact with a student at Jungman.
February 2017: Valadez was suspended after giving Valentine’s Day chocolates to the student with whom he had been ordered to have no contact.
August 2017: Valadez is hired at Waukegan District 60 as an administrative assistant at its district offices.
December 2017: Valadez is fired from Chicago Public Schools.
January 2018: Chicago Public Schools notifies the Illinois State Board of Education that it fired Valadez over allegations of child abuse.
February 2019: Valadez is arrested at Waukegan District 60’s administrative office on charges of child sexual abuse and grooming. He voluntarily resigns the following week.
Now, a report out indicates that a man who dresses as a woman and reads storybooks to children in the Houston Public Library during Drag Queen story time is actually a convicted child sex offender.
First, Dylan Pontiff, a self-professed sodomite and drag queen, stated, “This is going to be the grooming of the next generation. We are trying to groom the next generation.”
Well, indeed, they are doing it and parents are virtually silent and so is the city that elected a lesbian mayor, who tried to force bathroom bills on the public that put everyone at risk.
According to MassResistance, an organization that outs sodomite behavior across the nation and take it head on, another sodomite drag queen has been unmasked for the child sex offender he is.
Houston MassResistance unmasks another Child Sex Offender at Drag Queen Story Time, a drag performer with many aliases (who) has sexually assaulted children and publicly recounted his history as a transgender dominatrix and prostitute for hire. Janet Mefferd tweeted.
Houston MassResistance Unmasks Another Child Sex Offender at Drag Queen Story Time, “a drag performer with many aliases (who) has sexually assaulted children and publicly recounted his history as a transgender dominatrix and prostitute for hire.” https://t.co/oItecyNVOh
— Janet Mefferd (@JanetMefferd) April 6, 2019
“We have another big reveal today at our press conference which will take place at 2 PM at the Freed Montrose Library,” local MassResistance leader Tracy Shannon announced in an email. “Due to this individual using multiple aliases and having moved around a lot it was hard to nail down his identity but we finally connected the dots. We found his name a few days ago but trying to find some affirmation and photos was like looking for a needle in a haystack of social media postings.”
“Once we affirmed the identity we ran background checks and found the record. We will reveal all at 2 PM Central time at our press conference,” she added.
She didn’t let the Houston Public Library off the hook either. Blasting them in a conference, Shannon said, “MassResistance will demand an audit of the entire HPL background checks vs volunteer applications to see how many have experienced an ‘oversight’ and how many sex offenders have been allowed to participate in children’s programming at the libraries in Houston. We will also be demanding a city ordinance that requires background checks for all city-sanctioned programs for children when we have our press conference.”
PJ Media reported:
Shannon sent PJ Media the research document outlining how MassResistance uncovered this second alleged sex offender.
She connected the man to an article at About Online recalling experiences in “sex work” as a “professional dominatrix.” At the beginning, the anonymous author admitted, “I had tried for so many years to alleviate my depression and dysphoria through random sex, I had lost track of how many partners I’ve had.” This eased the transition from “sex work” to becoming a transgender prostitute and porn actor.
Shannon also connected the man to the Instagram account of Liza Lott, and to the group Space City Sisters/Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Instagram posts allegedly show this man posing with other Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, guiding children “past hate groups to Drag Queen Story Time.”
It appears the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a transgender anti-Catholic group, mocking Roman Catholic nuns by dressing in habits but living by a sexually licentious standard — the exact opposite of true nuns.
MassResistance uncovered an online record purporting to be his. PJ Media reached out to the Harris County clerk for corroboration, but since the man was 16 at the time of his conviction, his juvenile record has been sealed.
The organizers of Drag Queen Story Time said they provided the HPL legal department ” a comprehensive list of every guest performer, every book read, and every song sung” around October 2018. Yet this man escorted children to the Drag Queen Story Time in late October.
“The malfeasance by the legal department, library staff, Mayor Turner, Rhea Lawson and city council members who are close to and protecting this program from scrutiny is appalling,” Tracy Shannon told PJ Media. “In January, we gave city council and the mayor an expose that was over 160 pages. Our expose is now over 600 pages on this program and we are not even done.”
“We still do not have all documents requested by this ‘transparent’ administration and the library and we are submitting more FOIA requests based on the uncovering of more negligence and malfeasance,” she added.
This is MassResistance’s second bust in the drag queen story time criminal activity.
Back in March, the group revealed that 32-year-old Alberto Garza, who goes by the stage name Tatiana Mala-Niña, was convicted in 2008 for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy.
“If they had done their job and due diligence, they might have said wait — maybe it’s not a good idea to have a sex offender who at 200 pounds and 5-foot-11 assaulted an 8-year-old boy,” Tracy Shannon, a leader of the Houston chapter of MassResistance, told reporters on Friday.
Local media seemed stunned in their reporting that such a thing could even happen. This shows you how clueless…. or complicit they are in all of this.
While the library issued an apology and pledged that “this participant will not be involved in any future HPL programs,” they meant it solely to cover their own backsides.
“In our review of our process and of this participant, we discovered that we failed to complete a background check as required by our own guidelines,” the library statement read. We deeply regret this oversight and the concern this may cause our customers. We realize this is a serious matter.”
No, that is not what occurred. I’ll guarantee you no background check was conducted at all on these people. They merely got caught selling your children out.
Furthermore, what in God’s name are you parents in Houston doing? It doesn’t appear you are doing enough to not only stand up for your own kids but the kids of your community to call out the people practicing an abomination in your city.
It’s time that parents across the country band together against the sodomites, the corrupt government and the perverted criminals that are targeting your children before it is ultimately too late. There is no way this is only going on in Houston, Texas.