Category Archives: Our Circle

MD HS Coach Accused Of Child Sexual Abuse

.jpg photo of Baltimore high school Coach accused of child sex abuse
Ernest Jackson, Mercy High School former part-time coach.

Mercy High School sends out letter to parents amid former coach’s Child Abuse charges

BALTIMORE, MD  –  Mercy High School officials sent out a letter to parents following news of its former athletic coach being charged with child sexual abuse.

The statement says “we continue to be deeply upset as we learn additional information from media reports about our former part-time coach Ernest Jackson. The details of the charges against Mr. Jackson revealed in local news coverage early this evening are very disturbing to our entire community—our students, parents, faculty and staff, board, alumnae and friends.”

Officials say that Ernest Jackson was a part-time coach for indoor track, outdoor track and soccer.  He coached at the school on a seasonal basis, beginning in November 2015 until last month.  He is no longer a coach and he was reportedly banned from campus when the school learned of a report of abuse before Thanksgiving.

Jackson has reportedly been released on bail.  School officials say “Student safety has been and always will be of paramount importance to us.  I want you to know that in our hiring process we comply with all federal, state and local employment laws.  All candidates for employment are interviewed, and their references are carefully checked.  Candidates also undergo a fingerprint criminal background check through the FBI’s Criminal Justice Identification Services (C.J.I.S) Division.

The C.J.I.S. system provides automatic updates to the school if employees are subsequently charged with crimes flagged by the C.J.I.S system.  The results of background checks are carefully reviewed.  The school regularly provides safe environments training for child and youth protection to employees.

Our first responsibility is to the safety and privacy of our girls.  We must balance transparency with student privacy, and I thank you for understanding and respecting this.  In addition, because there is an ongoing criminal investigation that involves child sexual abuse, we are limited in what we can share, as we respect the legal process and must not interfere with an ongoing criminal case.”

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Baltimore Police’s Child Abuse Unit at 443-984-7378 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP

TX Child Suffers Violent Assault At DayCare

.jpg photo of employee accused of Child Abuse at Daycare
Tracy Ludwig

North Texas Daycare Worker Charged
With Child Abuse

HASLET, TX (CBSDFW.COM)  –  A North Texas daycare worker faces a felony child abuse charge for a violent assault caught on video.

Those who run the Little Country Daycare and Preschool in Haslet are not talking about the arrest of employee, Tracy Ludwig.

They did say they were cooperating with authorities but could not comment any further.

The alleged abuse came to light when a 4-year-old’s mother demanded to see security video because no one could explain how he got serious facial injuries.

In the video an adult straddles a small boy on the floor and repeatedly slaps and pinches him.

Kindsie Andreason, the child’s mother, obtained the video of her son being assaulted inside the Little County Daycare and Preschool.

It was recorded on November 6 when he came home with welts and bruises that she was told were caused by him acting up.

Authorities investigated and arrested Ludwig for felony child abuse.

Andreason says she can only wonder if her son was assaulted more than once in his two years at the school before she removed him.

“Whenever we were watching the video outrage just went over me, I mean just to see your son being beat by a teacher that you pay to care for your kid while you’re at work.  It makes me sick,” said Andreason.

Andreason says she likely would’ve never known about the abuse if not for a teacher who alerted her.

She believes the daycare management tried to conceal what happened and that’s why she posted the video on social media and plans to sue the daycare.

This is not the first complaint about inappropriate discipline at Little Country Daycare and Preschool.  The CBS 11 I-Team found the center was issued four violations earlier this year.  Two of the violations were even considered “high risk.”

The violations stem from an incident in May when an employee force-fed a child, according to an inspection report provided by Texas Health and Human Services.

The report states after the child vomited, the employee yelled for the child to leave the room, then tossed a towel to the child to clean up the mess.

While staff informed the child’s parents about the incident, Little Country did not tell the state.  The lack of oversight resulted in a third violation.

A fourth violation was issued over missing paperwork.

State inspectors gave the daycare a week and a half to fix the issues.

A second report acknowledges Little Country complied with changes. Administrators acknowledged that children can’t be forced to eat and employees interacted with kids in a “positive manner,” according to an inspection report.

In Texas, licensed childcare facilities must be inspected at least once a year by The Department of Health and Human Services.

Information about these centers is posted online.

If centers face violations, they must also face more inspections.

Since 2015, Little Country has faced nine inspections.

A state database indicates the daycare was issued three violations in 2015 over record-keeping issues.

A look at a pair of inspection reports HERE

Kids Threatened With A Machete

.jpg photo of woman accused of child abuse
Ordene Christie, 50

Collier County nurse alerts deputies to
Child Abuse, prevents decapitation

NAPLES, FL  –  A nurse at Palmetto Elementary in Collier County tipped off deputies to an awful child abuse case.

While there are more than 3,000 reports of child abuse cases each year, according to Children’s Advocacy Center, it still shocks residents when these crimes happen against children living in Southwest Florida.

Christina Breen said she can’t begin to imagine what kind of person. “As a mom it hits home the worst,” Breen said.  “It’s heartbreaking.”

Collier County deputies said Ordene Christie is the kind of person who would harm a child.  Christie, 50, is accused of beating three kids under her care with a belt, stick and machete after they attempted to obtain food from the kitchen.

She even threatened to “chop off their hands and head.”

Her arrest report said the children tried to procure the food because they are never full.  All three children, who are ages 7, 8 and 9, are underweight.  The youngest weighs 41 pounds.

“I can’t even think about that,” Monica Thonday said, a neighbor.  “I don’t know, I have no idea — that’s insane.

A nurse at Palmetto Elementary ultimately saved their lives.  She noticed the bruising and proceeded to report it to deputies.

“It is comforting knowing people are looking out for children,” Breen said, “and are watching out for these things.”

The district policy states employees are required to report student abuse or neglect if they suspect — just like the nurse did.  All staff members are required to train with the Department of Children and Family Services on identifying abuse.

“You don’t know what someone’s mindset is,” Thonday said.  “You don’t know what they’re going to do to your kids.  You can’t trust everybody.”

If you know of or suspect child abuse, call the Florida Abuse Hotline.  It can be reached at 1-800-96 ABUSE (800-962-2873).  The agency is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Caller information is kept confidential.

Kentucky Toddler Beat With Leash

.jpg photo of Kentucky toddler beat with dog leash
Jaxsin Fellows is pictured one week after an alleged beating that Jaxsin’s father says involved a dog leash.

`Dad says dog leash used in NKY Child
Abuse case.  Investigator calls it ‘worst
I’ve seen’

Boone County, KY  –  A dog leash was used to whip a 3-year-old boy in Northern Kentucky, according to the boy’s father.

Jaxsin Fellows suffered facial abrasions, a swollen eye and chipped teeth.  He needed five stitches.

His father, Nick Fellows of Erlanger, Kentucky, said his son’s mother, Karen Spurlock, told him a dog leash was used in the beating.

Spurlock and her boyfriend, Shane C. Sasher, face criminal abuse and second-degree assault charges in the incident.  They initially blamed the boy’s injuries on a fall down stairs, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said.

The pair “thought he was deceased” the morning after the alleged assault, the sheriff’s office said.

Sgt. Philip Ridgell said he and other investigators were appalled by what they discovered.

“In my experience, it’s one of the worst (cases) I’ve seen,” Ridgell said.

Jaxsin’s paternal grandmother, Diane Fellows, established a GoFundMe account to defray medical and rehabilitation bills as well as future legal bills for custody of Jaxsin.

More than $1,200 has been raised toward a $10,000 goal.

Nick Fellows said he also hopes to donate to another family suffering similarly and to ProKids.org of Cincinnati, which works to break the “vicious cycle of child abuse and neglect.”

Jaxsin had been staying with his mother and Sasher in the 10000 block of Irish Way in Union, Kentucky at the time he was beaten, according to Ridgell.

On Sept. 18, medical professionals at St. Elizabeth Edgewood notified law enforcement that Jaxsin had “significant facial injuries consistent with abuse,” including abrasions and contusions beneath his eyes and to his forehead, temples and cheeks.

Over the course of a three-day probe, the sheriff’s office said, investigators learned the boy was alone in the residence with Spurlock and Sasher the night before.
After suffering separate assaults, the sheriff’s office said, the victim was given Motrin and put to bed.  Spurlock and Sasher attempted to wake him up the next morning, and before he awoke they believed he may be dead.

Detectives found inconsistencies in their statements, according to authorities. Spurlock said Sasher told her not to report the initial injuries the boy suffered from the first assault.

Neither Spurlock nor Sasher has confessed to meting out the abuse, Ridgell said. They’re charged equally because they were the only ones in the home when the alleged abuse occurred.

Spurlock and Sasher’s bonds were set at $100,000, Ridgell said.  They remain in custody at the Boone County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 1.

KY Mother And Boyfriend Abuse Toddler

.jpg photo of man charged with abusing toddler
Shane Sasher, was charged Friday with abusing a 3-year-old child.

Two people assaulted 3-year-old, thought he was dead the next morning, police say

BOONE COUNTY, KY  –  Two Northern Kentuckians were arrested Friday for allegedly abusing a 3-year-old child, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

.jpg photo of mother charged with abusing toddler
Karen Spurlock was charged Friday with abusing a 3-year-old child.

Shane C. Sasher and Karen Spurlock face criminal abuse and second-degree assault charges in incidents that left a boy badly beaten.  The pair “thought he was deceased” the next morning, according to the sheriff’s office.

The boy, Spurlock’s son, lived with his mother and Sasher in the 10000 block of Irish Way in Union, Kentucky.

On Tuesday, medical professionals at St. Elizabeth Edgewood notified law enforcement that the boy had “significant facial injuries consistent with abuse,” including abrasions and contusions beneath his eyes and to his forehead, temples and cheeks.

The victim’s left eye was swollen shut.

Over the course of a three-day probe, the sheriff’s office said, investigators learned the boy was alone in the residence with Spurlock and Sasher the night before.

After suffering separate assaults, the sheriff’s office said, the victim was given Motrin and put to bed.  Spurlock and Sasher attempted to wake him up the next morning, and before he awoke they believed he may be dead.

They later took him to the hospital, blaming the injuries on a fall down stairs, the sheriff’s office said.

Detectives found inconsistencies in their statements, according to authorities. Spurlock said Sasher told her not to report the initial injuries the boy suffered from the first assault.

The child is now in the custody of a relative.

Sgt. Philip Ridgell, a spokesman for the Boone County sheriff’s office, said Spurlock and Sasher are in custody at the Boone County Jail.  No bond or arraignment date has been set.