Category Archives: Our Circle

NV Teacher Accused Of Felony Abuse

Las Vegas school teacher arrested on
Child Abuse charge

A Las Vegas elementary school teacher was arrested Friday on a felony child abuse count after an incident with a student, Clark County School District police announced.

Officers arrested Melody Carter, 58, after an investigation was opened in May at Harmon Elementary School, 5351 Hillsboro Lane, near Nellis Boulevard and Hacienda Avenue, police said in a release.

She was booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

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No details about the nature of the incident were immediately released.

Carter was hired by the school district in September 1996 and works at the school.

Carter has been assigned to her home, the release said.

A Knight’s Shield

Retired biomedical engineer bikes across country to battle Child Abuse

Headlines illustrate the Tri-State area’s struggle with child abuse and neglect:

“Hedgesville woman placed on probation in scalding death of her child.”

“Hagerstown man sentenced to 20 years in birthday cake beating death.”

Larry Heyn said he couldn’t stand along the sidelines and say nothing when children are abused.

The retired biomedical engineer is riding his bike across the country to bring attention to child abuse.  Heyn estimated that he talks to about 15 people a day about the problem and refers them to his website at shieldthechildren.com to learn more.

The 67-year-old Minneapolis man departed Mission Bay in San Diego on April 7 and anticipates reaching Washington, D.C., this week.  Heyn neared the Tri-State area biking on the Great Allegheny Passage, then getting on the C&O Canal.

Heyn left the Paw Paw, W.Va., area Monday morning and made his way through Hancock before reaching the Cushwa Basin in Williamsport Monday afternoon.

While Heyn rides, his wife Debi drives a used Winnebago that Heyn refers to as his “sag wagon”.

Debi takes care of the laundry, cooking and making reservations at campgrounds. Larry helps people understand all of the different types of child abuse, whether it’s forced labor or a mother abusing alcohol while she’s pregnant.

Heyn said its troubling the way children are treated, such as the frustrated mother who screams at her child in the grocery store and says she wishes the youngster were never born.

“A lot of this abuse that goes on doesn’t have to go on,” Heyn said.

Heyn and his wife were planning to stay at an area campground Monday night.

Justice For Gabriel, CPS Next

Mother, her boyfriend sentenced in boy’s “beyond animalistic” Child Abuse death

LOS ANGELES, CA  –  A judge sentenced a California mother to life in prison Thursday and gave her boyfriend the death penalty in the “beyond animalistic” killing of the woman’s 8-year-old son, who prosecutors say was punished because the couple believed he was gay.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli told the couple that he hopes they wake up in the middle of the night and think of the injuries they inflicted on 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez of Palmdale.

Lying Is Part Of What Needs Total Realignment

Four Social Workers Charged

LA Judge Walking Tall Against 4 CPS Employees
Prosecutor Says CPS Covering Up Own Misbehavior

“I can only wish … that it tortures you,” the judge said.

Gabriel was repeatedly beaten, starved, tied up, locked in a cabinet, shot with a BB gun and once had his teeth knocked out with a bat, the judge said.  Court records also detailed that Gabriel had been doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth to muffle his screams, according to CBS Los Angeles.

“It is unimaginable the pain that this boy probably endured,” Lomeli said.

The boy also had a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns across his body.

“It goes without saying that the conduct was horrendous and inhumane and nothing short of evil,” Lomeli said.  “It’s beyond animalistic because animals know how to take care of their young.”

Gabriel’s mother, 34-year-old Pearl Fernandez, pleaded guilty to murder in February in the death of her son in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, reports CBS Los Angeles.  A jury found her boyfriend, 37-year-old Isauro Aguirre, guilty of murder last year and found that he intentionally tortured the boy.

Fernandez called 911 on May 22, 2013, to report that her son wasn’t breathing.  She told responding deputies that he had fallen and hit his head on a dresser.

When paramedics arrived, they found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin.

He died two days later of blunt-force trauma and neglect, the coroner’s office found.

Gabriel’s siblings testified that Fernandez and Aguirre would call the boy gay, punish him if he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls’ clothes to school.

Gabriel’s first-grade teacher, Jennifer Garcia, tearfully addressed the court ahead of Thursday’s sentencing, saying she thinks of him every day and how he just wanted to be loved.

“I find comfort in believing he is now at peace,” Garcia said.  “And I know that unlike him, his abusers will never have peace.  They will have a lifetime of suffering to endure, and I know I’m not alone in hoping they experience the same abuse in their lifetime and worse.  They are evil people for what they did.”

Gabriel’s biological father, who is serving time for robbery, was also present at the sentencing hearing, but declined to speak.  He watched the sentencing from his cell, reports CBS Los Angeles.

An expressionless Fernandez spoke briefly during the court hearing, saying she was sorry and wished Gabriel was alive.  She also criticized family members who have spoken of their grief over Gabriel, saying they just want fame.

A jail chaplain who has met with Fernandez told the court that she loved her son and is a different woman today than when she walked into jail.

Several agencies investigated abuse allegations leading up to Gabriel’s death. Garcia, the teacher, had called authorities to report that the boy had asked her if it was normal for a mother to hit her children with a belt, reports CBS Los Angeles.

On several occasions, investigators concluded there was no evidence of abuse.

Prosecutors have since filed charges of child abuse and falsifying records against four county social workers in Gabriel’s death.

TX AG Unit Arrest 29 Most Wanted

.jpg photo of man arrested for child sex assault
Juan Gabriel Herrera, 43

AG Paxton’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit Reaches New Milestone with
10,000 Total Arrests

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today commended the Fugitive Apprehension Unit of his office for reaching a major milestone since its inception in 2003.

Earlier this week, the unit – working jointly with the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force – achieved its 10,000th arrest with the capture of 43-year-old Juan Gabriel Herrera.

The undocumented illegal immigrant from Mexico was wanted for aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.

“This major milestone is a testament to our Fugitive Apprehension Unit’s hard work and dedication.  These courageous law enforcement officers have successfully arrested 10,000 fugitives and provided invaluable protection for Texans,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “I am proud of the bravery and valor they demonstrate every day while keeping Texas strong, safe and just.”

Among the arrests made by the Fugitive Apprehension Unit are 29 dangerous criminals on the Texas DPS Top Ten Most Wanted List.

The Fugitive Apprehension Unit includes 22 investigators, three criminal analysts, two administrative assistants and a five-person command staff who operate in regional offices in Austin, Houston and Arlington.

The unit’s mission is to locate and arrest violent fugitives, convicted child sex offenders who violate conditions of their parole, and to arrest sex offenders who fail to comply with the state’s mandated sex offender registration requirements.  It also assists in locating missing and endangered runaway children reported by local law enforcement agencies to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

To learn more about the Criminal Investigations Division and its efforts to keep Texans safe, visit the attorney general’s website at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/criminal-investigations

For more information about protecting your children online visit https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/cyber-safety

AZ Veterans On Patrol Find Signs Of Trafficking

Veterans Group Discovers Possible
Underground Child Trafficking Camp

Members of a veteran’s advocacy group believe they have discovered a hidden child-trafficking camp in Arizona.

Last month, Veterans on Patrol, a group that helps homeless veterans, were searching for veterans in need near Interstate 19 in Tucson when they came across what looked like an underground bunker.  According to KGUN-9, they also found a baby crib, stroller, hair dye, wrist restraints, crates, and pornographic material.

The group contacted local authorities who said while they are not ruling out the possibility that this site was used for human trafficking, they believe the bunker is most likely an abandoned homeless camp.

Veterans on Patrol shared what they discovered with former Navy SEAL Craig Sawyer, who founded Veterans for Child Rescue, a faith-based organization that fights human trafficking. He went to the site and shot footage of what he found.

“The underground bunker is a septic tank and it’s turned on its side and it’s buried partially underground,” Sawyer told CBN News.  “It looked cruel and inhumane.. like a place where you would put children so people don’t hear them scream.”

In the bunker he found a chain, children’s clothing, and toy dolls among other things.

While he admits his suspicions of human trafficking could be wrong, he does not believe the site is an abandoned homeless camp like local police suggest.

“I can’t imagine seeing any homeless people putting their children in there willingly. It just does not seem like a hospitable shelter,” he explained.

Sawyer and his team also found a grove of trees nearby with “numerous straps to latch or bind” something or someone to them.  If this is indeed a trafficking ring, he believes children could have been tied to the trees and assaulted.

Sawyer says the combination of what appears to be “rape trees” and an underground septic tank with children’s clothes in it leads him to believe children were being trafficked here.

While it’s too early to tell who could be behind the alleged trafficking camp, Sawyer says the location could give some clues.

“MS-13 or the Mexican drug cartel would be my first two guesses,” he explained.  The site is located right next to Interstate 19, which runs all the way to Mexico.

Whatever the truth behind this site may be, Sawyer says he will continue to glorify Christ by fighting those who wish to do children harm.

“This is the frontline between good and evil,” he shared, adding that the Church needs to be on the forefront of the battle against human trafficking.

According to Tucson News Now, the local police department is now investigating the veterans group’s discovery.