Tag Archives: Child Sexual Abuse

STD Cases Soar in the US

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Your Child Needs You, STD Cases Climbing Rapidly!

STD Coverup, Pandemic Since 2000, Cases Climbing Rapidly

TUESDAY, September 20, 2022  –  Soaring numbers of sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases have prompted U.S. public health experts to call for more prevention and treatment.

This includes rising rates of syphilis and gonorrhea and HIV

“It is imperative that we… work to rebuild, innovate, and expand [STD] prevention in the U.S.,” Dr. Leandro Mena, director of the Division of STD Prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a speech Monday at a medical conference on sexually transmitted diseases, the Associated Press reported.

Solutions include home test kits for some STDs that will make it easier for people to learn they are infected and to take steps to prevent spreading it to others, said Mena.

But Dr. Mike Saag, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said a core part of efforts must be to increase condom use.

“It’s pretty simple.  More sexually transmitted infections occur when people are having more unprotected sex,” Saag said.

The monkeypox outbreak has added another layer of concern, because the virus has been spreading largely between men who have sex with men.

Public health organizations and the National Coalition of STD Directors are calling for more federal funding, including $500 million for STD clinics.

Mena suggested reducing stigma, broadening screening and treatment, and supporting the development of at-home testing.

“I envision one day where getting tested [for STDs] can be as simple and as affordable as doing a home pregnancy test,” Mena said.

While syphilis cases dropped sharply with the availability of antibiotics in the 1940s, rates of the infection last year reached their highest since 1991.  The total number of cases reached its highest level since 1948.

At one point, infection rates had been so low the CDC planned to work to eliminate the disease, but the agency discarded those plans in 2013 as case numbers continued to grow, the AP reported.

Cases have been rising since 2002, primarily in gay and bisexual men.  In 1998, there were only 7,000 new syphilis cases nationwide.  By 2021, that number was 52,000, the AP reported.

The rate of cases was 16 per 100,000 people last year, with the highest rates in men who have sex with men and in Black and Hispanic Americans and Native Americans, the AP reported.

Women have typically had a lower rate than men, but it rose 50% last year.

Syphilis causes genital sores.  The bacterial infection can lead to severe symptoms and death without treatment.

Congenital syphilis, which passes the infection between a pregnant woman and her baby, can lead to loss of sight, hearing and even death in a newborn.  Last year, congenital syphilis cases reached 2,700, including 211 infants who were stillborn or died.  That’s a sharp increase from 300 cases annually a decade ago, the AP reported.

Infection rates for gonorrhea have also been increasing for years, while HIV cases were up 16% in 2021, the AP reported.

It is “out of control,” David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, told the AP.

Reasons for the increase range from inadequate funding for testing and prevention to delayed diagnosis during the pandemic.  Condom use has also been declining, while drug and alcohol use may have reduced inhibitions.  Increases may also be linked to a surge in sexual activity after COVID-19 lockdowns.

“People are feeling liberated,” Saag told the AP.

Former TN Elementary School Teacher Facing Two Dozen Child Sex Charges

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Rutherford County Jail, TN

Teacher charged with 24 sex crimes after posting TikToks of students, school says

A former Tennessee elementary school teacher is facing two dozen child sex charges including rape after police say she posted inappropriate videos of students to TikTok.

Taylor Cruze, 23, was indicted last week by a grand jury in Smyrna as a result of a police investigation in connection to the felony crimes, Rutherford County Schools spokesperson James Evans told USA TODAY.

Evans said that prior to her arrest last month, Cruze was a first-year fifth-grade teacher at John Colemon Elementary School in Smyrna, about 25 miles southeast of Nashville.

She was suspended without pay May 2, Evans said, and resigned from her job May 22.

Evans did not provide additional details about the case to USA TODAY, including what the TikTok videos contained or when they were posted.

On Aug. 3, court records show, officials issued a warrant for Cruze’s arrest and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office arrested her Aug. 10.

Cruze is charged with multiple counts of exploitation of a minor under 13 by electronic means, exploitation of a minor by electronic means and especially aggravated sex exploitation of a minor.  She also faces charges of solicitation of a minor – rape of a child, and sexual battery by an authority figure.

Court documents show that at the time of her arrest, Cruze lived in Murfreesboro, about 14 miles south of the elementary school.

On Wednesday, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lisa Marchesoni told USA TODAY her current address was listed in Knoxville.

A jail spokesperson told USA TODAY Wednesday that Cruze posted a $100,000 bond the same day she was arrested.

Court records show she is due in court on Sept. 28 for a plea hearing.

Evans said the school district is “fully cooperating with law enforcement” as the investigation continues.

Mistrial in Child Sexual Assault case against ex-Texas Rangers pitcher John Wetteland

 

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Former Texas Rangers pitcher John Wetteland appeared in a Denton County Court on Monday to respond to charges of three counts of aggravated assault against a child

Former Texas Rangers pitcher John Wetteland appeared in a Denton County Court on Monday to respond to charges

DENTON, TX  –  A Denton County judge on Friday declared a mistrial in the child sexual assault case against John Wetteland, a former Texas Rangers player who is accused of molesting a boy three times more than a decade ago.

The jury told the judge three times that it was split.  At one point, the judge said she heard loud arguing coming from the deliberation room.

Wetteland, who testified in his defense during the trial last week, faced three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.  He played for the Rangers from 1997 to 2000, as well as for the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners, and is in the Rangers’ Hall of Fame.

At 4:40 p.m., the jury sent its third note to the judge.  It said it was deadlocked and some jurors were “unwilling to budge.”  The jurors asked how long they were expected to deliberate.  Some were concerned about child care.

Judge Lee Ann Breading had pressed the jury to keep trying to reach a verdict.  But after questioning the jury about 5 p.m., she declared a mistrial.

Wetteland, 56, faced 25 years to life in prison if convicted.  It was unclear Friday whether prosecutors would pursue a second trial.  Defense attorneys declined to comment.

Since Tuesday, jurors in 462nd District Court heard from the accuser, Wetteland and other witnesses.

According to authorities, Wetteland sexually assaulted the child three times between 2004 and 2006, starting when the child was 4 years old.  Wetteland pleaded not guilty and said the accuser’s account of sexual abuse is a lie.

According to the accuser’s mother, he first told her in 2016 — when he was 16 — that Wetteland raped him as a child.  She said she did not report the allegation to police.  In his testimony, the accuser said he did not want to report the abuse and wanted an apology from Wetteland, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.

The accuser testified on Tuesday.  He said he looked up to Wetteland and wanted to please him.  The first time Wetteland sexually abused him, he said, he was confused.  The abuse impacted him deeply into his teenage years, he testified, causing incontinence, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

When the boy was 18, his mother testified, she told him to write a letter about the abuse and planned to send it to people connected with Wetteland.

On Wednesday, Argyle school district’s former chief of police read the letter to the jury. The letter, which the accuser wrote in Google Docs, detailed allegations that Wetteland sexually assaulted him in a shower.

According to prosecutor Lindsey Sheguit, the document was saved on the Argygle school Google account, and the school district’s monitoring system flagged it.  Employees discovered the letter, the school district’s chief technology officer testified Wednesday, and reported it to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

On cross examination from Derek Adame, one of Wetteland’s defense attorneys, the technology officer testified that the district could not know who wrote the letter, only that it was written on the accuser’s account.  Adame and defense attorney Caroline Simone argue the abuse allegations are not true and were possibly fabricated by a man named Chris.  Chris is not biologically related to the accuser but lived with him when the accuser was a teenager.

Three members of the Wetteland family testified that they also believe Chris instructed the accuser to write the letter, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported.  They described Chris as aggressive and jealous of Wetteland.

A grand jury indicted Wetteland, who lives in Trophy Club, in 2019. Bartonville police have said DFPS contacted the department about the case on Jan. 9, 2019.

AS TRUSTED ADULT TEACHER SHOULD NEVER HAVE RECEIVED CHEAPEST BOND

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Victor Hugo Moreno, 28-years-old

Irving teacher molested 7-year-old girl, then went to teach in another school, police say

IRVING, TX  –  A former Irving elementary school teacher has been arrested and accused of molesting one of his students in the second grade during the 2020-21 school year, Irving police said Thursday.

Irving police believe other students may have been sexually abused by the teacher.

Police identified the suspect as 28-year-old Victor Hugo Moreno, who was arrested last week and was released from jail after posting a $15,000 bond.

He faces charges of continuous sex abuse of a young child and improper relationship between student and educator, Irving police said.

The 28-year-old former teacher is accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl who was in the second grade at Townsell Elementary in Irving. Moreno was her teacher.

Irving school district officials received an outcry in the spring semester of the 2021-22 school year.

Moreno resigned from the Irving school district at the end of the 2020-21 school year after failing to meet his certification requirements, Irving police said.

Moreno taught in the Plano school district during the 2021-22 school year and was fired because of a code of conduct violation, police said.

School and police officials are encouraging anyone whose whose child could have interacted with Moreno in the Irving and Plano school districts to talk with their children, family members, and friends to make them aware of Moreno.

If you know of a victim or are a victim, contact the Irving Police Department at 972-273-1010 or call your local police department, or dial 911.

Couple Indicted For Sexually Abusing Two Children And Creating Child Porn

.jpg photo of arrest of couple wanted for child sex abuseVicksburg pair indicted on child abuse, porn charges

GRAND RAPIDS, MI  –  A couple whose home was raided by the FBI last week in Vicksburg are accused of sexually abusing two children and creating child porn.

Virgil Chandler Knowles III and Samantha Jean Batts have each been charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a child.  Knowles has also been charged with one count of distribution of child pornography.

Batts was in federal court Tuesday.  Knowles’ hearing was rescheduled.

The charges stem from a complaint filed in federal court that alleged 47-year-old Knowles and 35-year-old Batts sexually abused two family members, neither older than 10.

Knowles used to be a custodian and maintenance employee at Vicksburg Community Schools, but had not worked there since 2018, a release from the district said.

Vicksburg couple arrested for child sexual abuse

Undercover FBI agents discovered Knowles in a private online chat room, where he admitted he abused the children.  He also told undercover agents that Batts said she wanted to get “something” to make one of the victims sleep, the complaint says.  It says Knowles shared several explicit photos with the agent, some featuring Batts.

FBI was able to locate the couple using Snapchat data and geolocation. Agents raided two homes in Vicksburg on Thursday, leading to the arrests of Knowles and Batts.