Category Archives: StopChildAbuse

Head Of TX CPS Vows To Get Better

.jpg photo of adoptive mother of child found dead
Sini Mathews, mother of Sherin Mathews.

State failed 3-year-old Sherin Mathews,
head of Child Protective Services says

Texas Child Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman is disappointed in his agency’s handling of Sherin Mathews’ case.

Whitman, who declined to talk about any specifics of the case, said the agency will figure out how Sherin’s case “slipped through.”

“I’m gonna tell you right now, it is my mission, it is my passion that we get better at this,” he said.

In March, a doctor found that the 3-year-old Richardson girl had suffered injuries to her upper-arm bones and fractures in her leg bones that were in various stages of healing, according to testimony Wednesday.

The doctor, Suzanne Dakil of the Referral and Evaluation of At Risk Children Clinic, reported the injuries to CPS, suspecting that Sherin had been injured at the hands of her parents.

“I had no explanation other than this child had been physically abused,” Dakil said.

Sherin was found dead in a culvert Oct. 24, more than two weeks after her father reported her missing.  Wesley Mathews originally told police he had left her outside in an alley around 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk.  Later, he said that she had choked while he “physically assisted” her in drinking the milk, and he left her body in the culvert.

Wesley and his wife, Sini, remain jailed on charges related to the girl’s death.  Her father is charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury and her mother is charged with abandoning or endangering a child.  Authorities say the couple went out to dinner with their other daughter, also 3, while leaving Sherin at the house alone.

The other daughter was placed with family members in November after more than a month in foster care.  She is the couple’s biological daughter; Sherin was adopted from India.

Court testimony this week showed that Sherin was treated for an elbow fracture in September 2016.  The family said her sister had pushed her off a couch while the two were playing, according to medical records.

Injuries in her upper-arm bones were suffered after Sini grabbed the girl to catch her from a fall on the playground, she claimed.  But Dakil told the court that the injuries weren’t consistent with the mother’s claims.

After more X-rays showed leg fractures, Dakil reported the family to CPS.

The agency reached out to Dakil about Sherin’s medical history, she said, but the CPS commissioner says that “they could have done a better job.”

Commissioner Whitman says he can’t say why Sherin wasn’t removed from her home after the report, but that “it breaks [his] heart.”

“I mean, to have a child go outside because they didn’t want to drink their milk or whatever, I mean that story was just not believable,” he said to WFAA.  “I don’t know.  I don’t know what was going through her father’s mind.

“It’s astounding to me why someone would do that to a baby.”

Ohio Mother Files Child Abuse Report

.jpg photo of child abuse graphic
Law Enforcement is in the process of interviewing witnesses.

Finneytown principal, teacher under
investigation for Child Abuse

FINNEYTOWN, OH  –  A principal and teacher are under investigation in Finneytown after child abuse allegations came to light.

The mother of a student filed a police report with Springfield Township Police alleging her child was assaulted by Principal Lana Gerber.

In the report, it states the mother got a call from a “faculty member at Brent stating she witnessed the principal buckle her sons knees causing him to fall to the ground.”

The mother in the report states she asked her son about the incident and he said that it did occur.  The child in question is 6-years-old.

The alleged incident happened on Nov. 10.

District officials told FOX19 NOW they are cooperating with police and their investigation.

The principal is still working as they look into the incident.

A spokesperson with police said, “Investigators assigned to the case are still in the process of interviewing witnesses.  Once that is complete the determination will be made whether this will be pursed as a criminal offense, an administrative matter or that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to determine the incident occurred.”

FOX19 NOW did attempt to talk to the mother of the 6-year-old but was unsuccessful.

It was just last week that FOX19 NOW learned a Finneytown teacher had been placed on paid administrative leave since Oct. 5 over an incident which involved the dragging of a student.

The school district would not go into detail, but they did give a letter which it reads, “The administrative leave shall remain in effect until further notice, pending a formal meeting with the superintendent. The reason for this action is a substantiated report that you may have participated in an incident of child abuse.”

FOX19 NOW did speak to the teacher by phone.  She said she used “poor judgment,” but felt her actions were not a fireable offense.  She said she grabbed a student by the hand and was trying to get him to music class.

She said the child began to lay on the ground and she dragged him about four to five steps. The incident was captured on school cameras.

The teacher said, “I know what I did was wrong.”

She claims the child got up after those four to five steps and never even told his mother what happened.

The teacher’s personnel file also includes a glowing report.  It reads, “she responds effectively to misbehavior.  The teacher is extremely tolerant of individual differences and she persists in seeking effective approaches for individual students.  She does an outstanding job of managing behavior even with difficult students.”

She said she will not resign and the Board will have to fire her.

Texas AG CEU Does It Again

.jpg photo of Williamson County Sheriff vehicle
Texas AG Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) Does It Again

AG Paxton: Child Predators Brought to Justice in Williamson County Operation

AUSTIN, TX  –  Continuing its efforts to protect children from dangerous child predators, the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office arrested three men in Williamson County for Online Solicitation of a Minor during an online operation last week.

The men were all charged with a second-degree felony and booked into the Williamson County Jail without incident.

During the operation, the three men, identified as Samuel David Kelly, Shane Michael Perry and Joshua Logan Dean, sexually solicited investigators posing as children online.  Each man was arrested after they arrived at a predetermined location expecting to meet and engage in sexual activity with a child.

The attorney general’s office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their safety.

Cyber safety tips for kids:

  • Never give out personal information such as name, address, phone number, or school.
  • Never agree to meet someone you met online.
  • Always tell an adult if you receive a message that makes you uncomfortable.

Report anything suspicious to the attorney’s general office at 800-252-8011

For more information on cyber safety, please visit: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/cyber-safety

Child Found In La Grange

.jpg photo of Child in Amber Alert
Josue Gonzalez, 3

Child subject of AMBER Alert found safe

SAN ANTONIO, TX  –  The child who was the subject of an AMBER Alert on Monday night was found safely in La Grange, more than 90 miles east of San Antonio.

San Antonio police spent nearly two hours looking for a 3-year-old child who was in a car that was stolen on the city’s West Side.

Josue Gonzalez, 3,

who was last seen in the backseat of a 1998 dark green Ford Mustang convertible.

Gonzalez is 2 feet tall and weighs 32 pounds.  He has brown hair, brown eyes, and last seen wearing a pink/red shirt with gray collars, cut off jean shorts and blue and brown Sperry shoes.

A man has been arrested, police said.

The suspect was driving a dark green 1998 Mustang with a Texas license plate number DD2P676.  The car has a ripped black convertible top, front left damage, right tail light out, back glass falling out and a portable gas tank visible.

The child’s mother said Gonzalez was asleep in the backseat of the stolen vehicle, police said.  She left the child in the car with it running while she went inside to pick up her boyfriend.