Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

NE Law Officers Get New Tool For Child Abuse Cases

.jpg photo of No excuse for child abuse sign
There’s NO EXCUSE FOR CHILD ABUSE

LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska law enforcement agencies are slated to get another training tool to help officers who are working on child abuse cases.

In the past 10 years, reports of child abuse across the state have increased by the thousands.

Attorney General Doug Peterson announced Wednesday that all of Nebraska’s law enforcement agencies will receive an eight-part DVD series with instructions on how to handle reported cases of child abuse.

“When you do this, you have to do it right,” Peterson said. “You have to get it right the first time.”

The DVDs and informational notebooks are aimed at new officers, with lessons such as the proper way to gather evidence and interview children. It includes eight DVDs produced by the League of Municipalities and other law agencies, that will walk officers through every phase of handling child abuse allegations, including talking to the children. The series also discusses the role of Nebraska’s child advocacy centers and protective services hotline.

“These kids are scared to death,” Peterson said. “They are scared to death about what just happened to them and who can they talk to and who can they trust.”

Peterson says the materials are intended for officers who have been hired but not yet completed all of their formal training.

Preserving and gathering evidence is critical in these cases.
“Let the evidence speak for the child, so they don’t have to relive their abuse on the witness stand,” Kerry Crosby said.

Peterson hopes the DVDs, which will be distributed mid-August, will help new officers get the advanced training needed, especially in smaller agencies.

“The thought is we need to get this into their hands as quickly as possible,” Peterson said.

Carol Stitt was the director of the Foster Care Review Board for 30 years. She works for the League of Municipalities now and helped launch the training program. She applauded Peterson’s initiative.

“He’s prioritizing these cases not only in his office, but he’s prioritizing training and he’s trying to get the word out that one of his first priorities is protecting children,” Stitt said.

“Law enforcement has to do a thorough and complete job of investigating that crime, because that young man and that young girl are trusting for us to do that,” Peterson said.

The project is a joint effort of law enforcement groups, municipalities and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Peterson is also sending out the message that there are resources that law agencies can tap into for help, including his office and seven child advocacy centers across the state

AA Manager Travels To Meet 10-Year-Old, Mom For Sex

.jpg photo of Child Predator
Ray Howland, 55

Pittsburgh, PA – An American Airlines manager was arrested Friday after allegedly trying to meet a 10-year-old girl and her mother for sex during a business trip in Pittsburgh.

What Ray Howland apparently didn’t know is that he was being set up in a sting operation. The 55-year-old Texan had posted an ad online “looking for a family or a couple of girls” to have sex with on his business trip, according to a statement released by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Monday.

In emails and text messages, Howland explained in detail the explicit sexual acts he wanted to engage in with both the girl and her mom, officials allege.

Instead, when he showed up in Moon Township in Pennsylvania on Friday, he met up with undercover agents. He was collared and charged with attempted rape of a child, unlawful contact with a minor and attempt to commit indecent assault, among others.

Howland’s first hearing is set for July 7, and his bail was set at $150,000 at Allegheny County Jail. Officials are still trying to determine whether he had contact with any other, real victims.

Howland serves as a senior manager with American Airlines, WPXI reported.

A spokesperson at the airline released the following statement Monday morning, according to WPXI:

“American Airlines holds its employees to the highest level of ethical standards. Employees who violate these standards are subject to disciplinary action, which may include immediate termination. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement and do not intend to comment on this case publicly out of respect for all involved.”

Kane congratulated officers from the Moon Township Police Department, hailing a “778 percent increase” in the arrests of child sex predators in Pennsylvania since 2012.

Today, we announced the arrest of a Texas man who traveled to Pittsburgh for sex with a “10-year-old girl.” Mr. Howland…

Posted by Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General on Monday, June 29, 2015

TX Teacher Arrested For Sexual Assault Of A Child

COPPERAS COVE, TX — The Copperas Cove Police Department said it arrested a local teacher on charges of sexual assault of a child and improper student/teacher relationship.

A news release said Shawn Westley Noordam, 29, of Copperas Cove, a teacher at S.C. Lee Jr. High School, was arrested and released Friday on $50,000 bond.

“The allegation was investigated and on (Thursday), a criminal complaint was filed, charging Noordam with sexual assault of a child and improper relationship between educator and student,” the news release said. “Noordam was taken into custody without incident in the 1100 block of Rhonda Lee Street on (Friday).

He was later arraigned by Justice of the Peace Bill Price.”

Copperas Cove police said Noordam’s alleged victim is a 15-year-old female student at S.C. Lee Jr. High School. The case was reported to Cove police May 31.

Copperas Cove Independent School District officials said Noordam was placed on administrative leave when the allegations surfaced.

District spokeswoman Wendy Sledd said Friday that Noordam was no longer employed by the district and officials continue to cooperate with the police investigation.

Law Enfo­rcement Groups Combat Child Abuse

.jpg Photo of law Enforcement fighting Child Abuse
SAPD, BCSO, DA’s Office, FBI, and Dept of Homeland Security

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Children in communities in Bexar County and all over the world are being abused in many different ways.

From physical assault and sexual assault to child pornography, child exploitation and child trafficking, all are different and equally concerning types of abuse.

But local, state, and federal agencies are working together to keep children safe.

“Victims are left with permanent physical, emotional, and psychological damage,” said Department of Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Harry Jimenez.

Jimenez said that to save children from these nightmares, the combined agencies formed Project Safe Childhood in 2006.

“We could pool our resources and identify and rescue as many children as possible, and to prosecute those responsible for the exploitation of children,” said Project Safe Childhood coordinator Tracy Thompson.

The San Antonio Police Department, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are all working on Project Safe Childhood.

“None of us are here looking for credit,” said Jim Wheat, with the District Attorney’s Office. “We’re looking to get the results.”

Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said it’s working.
“Just last week, an individual was given a life,sentence for being a child predator,” she said.

But there’s still a long way to go.

“There are parts of this issue, especially with human trafficking of children that often is difficult to prosecute (and) difficult to prove because of the laws that are in place,” Pamerleau said.

She said she wants to call attention to the Texas Legislature, which is currently considering legislation that will provide better tools for agencies to prosecute these crimes.