Category Archives: Our Circle

All States Should Upgrade To CO Abuse Hotline System

.jpg photo of child abuse graphicColorado Child Abuse, Neglect hotline
sees record number of calls in 2018

DENVER, CO  –  Concerned Coloradans called the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline almost 222,000 times in 2018, according to a new report from the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).

December marked the end of the fourth year of the public awareness campaign, which is put on by the CDHS.

The 24/7 hotline — 1-844-CO-4-KIDS or 1-844-264-5437 — received a record of 221,969 calls in 2018, which is a 10,500 increase from 2017.

Thanks to the people who made the calls, social services agencies investigated the safety of more than 57,042 children in 2018.  Of those children, 13,289 were experiencing abuse or neglect, according to CDHS.

In addition, 12,787 families received voluntary support from social services to help prevent abuse or neglect in the future.

Minna Castillo-Cohen, director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families at CDHS, said the growth in the number of calls is encouraging because it means more people understand their role in preventing abuse and neglect.

“Sadly, children in Colorado continue to experience abuse, and reporting can’t be the only way Colorado is working to help build communities that strengthen families and prevent child abuse,” she said.

Out-of-town placements for these children are sometimes necessary to protect them, but most children and teens who receive help through child welfare services are not removed from their homes.

Calls to the hotline are routed to the appropriate county, which are responsible for responding to the reports.  As of Monday, 38 counties rely entirely on the hotline to screen their calls, according to CDHS.

“The fact that more than half of Colorado’s counties now believe strongly enough in the Hotline County Connection Center to trust them to screen all of their child abuse, neglect and child sex trafficking inquiries and reports represents a wonderful vote of confidence in our system,” Castillo-Cohen said.  “Many of these counties are smaller in population and therefore have fewer staff members to cover large territories.  Using the County Connection Center’s call screening process, resources and personnel are freed up to be boots on the ground in these counties, connecting directly with and supporting families in crisis.”

To learn more, visit www.co4kids.org .  Call the hotline at 1-844-264-5437 if you suspect a case of child abuse or neglect.  If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

It’s No Accident Our Children Have No Rights Now

.jpg photo of man charged with child sex abuse
Daniel Edmonds ran for Oklahoma’s second congressional district seat in 2010

Former Congressional Candidate
Charged With Child Sex Abuse

OKMULGEE COUNTY, OK  –  A former congressional candidate is behind bars tonight, charged with three counts of child sexual abuse.

Daniel Edmonds ran for Oklahoma’s second congressional district seat in 2010 against Charles Thompson and lost. Okmulgee County sheriff’s deputies arrested Edmonds on Friday.

On Monday, the Muskogee County District Attorney’s Office charged Edmonds with the crimes.

“We’re not gonna tolerate it,” Muskogee County Sheriff Rob Frazier said.  “Of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” he continued.  “But stuff like this absolutely sickens me.”

One affidavit details incidents that happened between April 2015 and June 2017.
It says “Daniel Edmonds did have sexual contact” with a minor and that the incidents “happened multiple times” in different locations.

“We don’t care who you are, we don’t care where you come from,” Frazier said. “You’re not gonna do this to minor children in Muskogee County.”

A separate affidavit said another child reported “Daniel began molesting him sometime in 2015” and continued until last month.

“It’s been going on for a while, and as far as we can tell, lasted all the way up until almost present day,” the sheriff said.

The report said the boy reported he’d been molested many times.

“You do not have a right to treat anyone in the manner these minor children have been treated,” Frazier said.

Frazier said when the initial report was made, they only knew of one victim, but it’s now developed into two.

“We had developed another victim, so at this time we believe there are two victims and possibly more,” he said.  “We’re still under investigation.”

Sheriff Frazier said they’ll continue investigating and make sure there are no more victims.

GOD Speed With Our Prayers For You

.jpg photo of justice graphic
GOD Speed With Our Prayers For You Justin, in all you do.

Marine found not guilty in Child Abuse case

JACKSONVILLE, NC  –  A Marine arrested in 2016 in child abuse charges was pronounced not guilty by jury.

Justin Teeter was charged by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in February 2016 with intentional child abuse causing serious physical injury and assault by strangulation.  He was accused of strangling a 3-year-old and at the time of his arrest was an active-duty Marine with II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, The Daily News reported.

According to Teeter’s defense attorney, Matt Silva, the verdict was a long time coming for Teeter, who is no longer with the Marine Corps.

“I think he can go back and fix things now, which was a part of our goal — to restore his reputation,” Silva said.

The trial began with jury selection Tuesday and closed on Thursday, with the jury returning a verdict in just about an hour, Silva added.

Ultimately, Silva said he and Teeter were pleased with the verdict, which will allow Teeter to move on from the felony allegations he’s faced the last three years.

“I’m just happy he can move on with his life,” Silva said.

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