Disney actor Stoney Westmoreland
charged in underage sex case
SALT LAKE CITY – Former Disney Channel actor Stoney Westmoreland has been charged with six felony counts after authorities said he tried to have sex with a 13-year-old boy.
Prosecutors say the 48-year-old Westmoreland was on the dating app Grindr when he found a profile that appeared to be an underage boy but was operated by a police detective in Salt Lake City, near where the show “Andi Mack” is filmed.
He also sent explicit photos, authorities said.
A message left with Westmoreland’s agent, Mitchell Stubbs, was not immediately returned.
Charging documents say Westmoreland was arrested Dec. 13 after he took a car to meet the boy so they could go back to his hotel room.
Charges filed Friday include attempted exploitation of a minor and enticing a minor.
Westmoreland has been dropped from his role as the grandfather of the teenage title character in the Disney show after his arrest.
Westmoreland’s other acting credits include “Scandal” and “Breaking Bad.”
Federal Judge Rules State Must Pay for
Inmate’s Gender Surgery
A federal judge in Idaho has ruled that the state must pay for the gender reassignment surgery of a man who has been living as a woman.
The Thursday ruling involved the case of Adree Edmo, a 31-year-old transgender inmate in Pocatello who is currently in a men’s prison. Edmo was sentenced for sexual abuse of a child under 16 back in 2012, according to the Idaho State Journal, and will be in prison until 2021.
There is no such thing as transgender, it is GENDER DYSPHORIA! Every person in America has guaranteed rights except Children, this is against the laws of this land!!!! Robert StrongBow
Edmo’s suit contends that “she lived full-time as a woman, dressing in women’s clothes and wearing women’s cosmetics” before serving time in jail.
Edmo was diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a prison psychiatrist in June of 2012, just months after sentencing. Gender reassignment surgery is one potential treatment for the condition.
“Many transgender individuals are comfortable living with their gender role, expression and identity without surgery,” U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote in the Thursday ruling. “For others, however, gender confirmation surgery … is the only effective treatment.”
“The state has six months to provide Edmo with the surgery, which will restructure her physical characteristics to match her gender identity,” the Associated Press reported.
“Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray said IDOC will be addressing some of the issues raised by the ruling — including whether the state will appeal, and where Edmo will be housed after her surgery — in the days to come. There are currently 30 inmates with gender dysphoria in state custody, according to the ruling.”
Edmo, it’s worth noting, has already received some taxpayer-funded treatment for gender dysphoria. That includes hormone therapy. However, they also have a disturbing history of attempting a crude sort of self-surgery.
“Edmo testified that she feels depressed, embarrassed and disgusted by her male genitalia. Her gender dysmorphia was so severe that in 2015 she tried to remove her testicles using a disposable razor blade,” the AP reported.
“She was unsuccessful at that time, though she continued to be troubled by thoughts of self-castration. In December 2016 she made another attempt, studying anatomy, boiling her razor blade in an attempt to make it sterile and managing to remove one of her testicles before she began to lose too much blood and called for help.”
In Judge Windmill’s ruling, he contended that the denying Edmo gender reassignment surgery was unconstitutional.
“For more than forty years, the Supreme Court has consistently held that consciously ignoring an prisoner’s serious medical needs amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment,” the ruling read.
“I think the thing that makes this case so important is that this is a procedure that is necessary for some transgender inmates, and in fact is lifesaving care, but it’s almost universally denied and banned by prisons across the country,” said Amy Whelan, an attorney with the group that represented Edmo, the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “There is no state that I’m aware of that has ever provided the surgery without being ordered by a court to do so.”
There are two reasons why this line of thought is pretty much bunk, however: the surgery remains elective and there’s no actual evidence that it’s effective.
The first part is pretty straightforward. Adree Edmo will survive whether or not the surgery is performed. Given their past, one would hope prison officials might take more care in not allowing razors anywhere near Edmo’s cell, but there’s no risk of death if the surgery isn’t performed. When you consider the fact that surgeries like this can cost tens of thousands of dollars and there are 30 inmates with gender dysphoria in the Idaho system alone, you quickly begin to grasp the burden this would be on taxpayers for what amounts to an elective surgery.
And then there’s the efficacy of the surgery, which has always been in debate. There are plenty of studies on this, but I’d like to reference two: one by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2016 and one by the U.K. Guardian in 2004.
I reference these specifically because neither could be categorized by the left as bastions of retrograde conservatism. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted the study under the Obama administration, which was almost uniformly friendly to any dubious excess of political correctness when it fit under the aegis of transgender rights. The Guardian, meanwhile, has long been the paper of record if you want to know what British progressives who aren’t thinking for themselves are thinking.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services study was issued in response to a request that gender reassignment be covered under Medicare. They declined based on a paucity of evidence for the efficacy of the procedures.
“Based on a thorough review of the clinical evidence available at this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria,” the Centers concluded, according to the Heritage Foundation.
“There were conflicting (inconsistent) study results—of the best designed studies, some reported benefits while others reported harms. The quality and strength of evidence were low due to the mostly observational study designs with no comparison groups, potential confounding, and small sample sizes. Many studies that reported positive outcomes were exploratory type studies (case-series and case-control) with no confirmatory follow-up.”
Meanwhile, the Guardian discovered what opponents of the surgery have long claimed; they found “no conclusive evidence that sex change operations improve the lives of transsexuals, with many people remaining severely distressed and even suicidal after the operation.”
“There is a huge uncertainty over whether changing someone’s sex is a good or a bad thing,” Chris Hyde, the director of the University of Birmingham’s aggressive research intelligence facility, told the Guardian. “While no doubt great care is taken to ensure that appropriate patients undergo gender reassignment, there’s still a large number of people who have the surgery but remain traumatized — often to the point of committing suicide.”
That, indeed, remains the problem. Of the studies out there, one demonstrated a higher mortality rate for those who underwent sexual reassignment therapy, including a higher rate of attempted suicides. Another found that “(t)he evidence concerning gender reassignment surgery in both (male-to-female) and (female-to-male) transsexism has several limitations in terms of: (a) lack of controlled studies, (b) evidence has not collected data prospectively, (c) high loss to follow up and (d) lack of validated assessment measures.”
In short, at best we can say that we don’t know how efficacious these procedures are. At worst, there’s evidence that they cause injury to the individual involved, both physically and mentally.
This is what a judge wants the state of Idaho — which means the taxpayers of Idaho — to fund: a surgery where the effectiveness isn’t demonstrated on a prisoner with clear mental instability issues. One should certainly have the choice, in a free society, to pursue elective surgical options for conditions even if the benefit hasn’t necessarily been demonstrated.
However, one also ought not to have a claim to pursue it using someone else’s money — particularly if the reason they’re getting that money is because they’re behind bars. This is an absurd decision which desperately needs to be appealed.
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.
Maryland high school football players
accused of sexually assaulting
teammates with broom
DAMASCAS, MD – Four 15-year-old Maryland high school football players charged as adults with rape for sexually assaulting four teammates with a broom during a hazing incident have been released on bond.
The Damascus High School athletes, whom NBC News is not identifying, were each charged with one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted rape and one count of conspiracy to commit rape, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said.
Each of the students was released Tuesday on $20,000 bond, according to court records. They are not allowed on the premises of Damascus High School, and they are not allowed to contact one another, McCarthy said.
A fifth teammate is accused of participating in at least one of the attacks and being charged as a juvenile but is also identified as one of four victims, charging documents show.
One of the alleged victims told police that the suspects held him down, pulled his pants down and poked his buttocks with a broomstick before “the broomstick was inserted into his anus a few inches,” prosecutors said.
Two of the victims said they were violently attacked, but were able to fight off the assailants before they “got the broom,” prosecutors said.
Another victim said a broomstick, which he described as a wooden handle with a “cut on the tip of it” said he was “stabbed” on the buttocks with the broomstick. When that victim tried to fight the attack, the suspects told him it was “tradition,” he told police.
When interviewed by investigators, one of the suspects said the broom “started from generations ago,” according to prosecutors, who said freshmen were the ones targeted.
Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said citing tradition is not a defense.
“I’m offended by the term hazing. It’s not hazing, these are crimes, and I would caution anyone to refer to this as hazing. These boys were victims of criminal acts,” McCarthy said. “They were not victims of hazing, they were victims of first-degree rapes.”
The alleged rapes and attempted rapes happened on Oct. 31, according to the court documents. Damascus High School’s principal reported the possible assaults to police on Nov. 1.
Montgomery County Public School District Superintendent Jack Smith said in a statement that the district is cooperating with police and providing support for Damascus High School students.
“Our thoughts are with the students, staff and all who have been affected,” Smith said.
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.