UCLA professor of medicine charged with possession and distribution of
A professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine was charged with distributing and possessing child pornography, a Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office news release announced Wednesday.
Guido Germano, director of artificial intelligence medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA professor-in-residence, plead not guilty to one felony count of distributing obscene matter and one count of possession of child or youth pornography Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He is accused of using a peer-to-peer software to distribute child pornography videos and downloading them to his personal computer, according to Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson of the Cyber Crime Division in the news release.
Germano is still listed on the UCLA campus directory as of Aug. 2. However, he was placed on administrative leave Thursday after the university was made aware of the charges against him, a UCLA spokesperson said.
He was arrested June 19 and released on bond. His arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 1.
Germano faces a potential maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the news release. The case is still under investigation.
Aunt of Dallas boy found dead in landfill arrested
DALLAS, TX – The aunt of an 18-month-old Dallas boy whose body was found in a landfill has been charged with child endangerment.
Chrystal Jackson was arrested Thursday morning. Her bond was set at $35,000. Conditions of her release stipulate she is to have no contact with any child. She must also submit to random drug testing, not consume alcohol or possess a deadly weapon.
Chrystal reported her nephew, Cedric “CJ” Jackson, missing on July 10. She told police she put him to bed the night before and said he was gone when she woke up the next morning.
An Amber Alert was issued for Cedric because another child living in the apartment said they saw someone take Cedric in the middle of the night.
Jackson’s boyfriend, who has a lengthy criminal history, later confessed that he had swaddled Cedric in a blanket to “restrict” his movement.
Johnson explained the 18-month-old got up one night and “made a mess” by getting into ketchup packets, so he wrapped him tightly to prevent him from getting up in the night, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Johnson said the boy began throwing up and became unresponsive after he unwrapped him. He said he performed CPR on the boy for 30-45 minutes before putting him in a dumpster, the affidavit states.
C.J.’s body was found at a Rockwall landfill after the dumpster had been emptied.
C.J. was placed in his aunt’s care by Child Protective Services in May under an agreement with the child’s biological parents. It’s not clear why her boyfriend was caring for him instead.
CPS removed six other children’s from Jackson’s home following Cedric’s death. Two are Jackson’s children and four are Johnson’s children.
A custody hearing is set for later this month, and CPS says it is reviewing how it handled C.J.’s placement into Jackson’s home.
One mother who lives in the same complex as Chrystal Jackson said this will help justice be served for C.J.
“It’s sad. I feel like justice should be served for the baby, you know. It’s crazy,” Heather Johnson said.
[REPORTER: “To hear that he died in such a terrible way under her care, what goes through your mind as a mother?”] “It’s just, you have to watch everybody, I mean, the closest people that you think, I mean, stuff happens,” she responded.
Blue ribbons wrapped around trees with C.J.’s name line the streets surrounding the aunt’s condominium where he was reported missing.
A neighbor said they were put up in and around the area where DPD officers and volunteers searched for the little boy.
Body Of 18-Month-Old Cedric Jackson
Found In Landfill, Aunt’s Boyfriend
DALLAS, TX – Sedrick Deshun Johnson — the boyfriend of 18-month-old Cedric “C.J.” Jackson’s aunt — is in police custody in relation to the death of the little boy.
Police arrested the 27-year-old Thursday morning. He was charged with injury to a child, serious bodily injury. According to police, he confessed that he was at the apartment and moved Cedric’s body to a dumpster in northeast Dallas. Detectives learned that the dumpster was emptied twice since then.
According to the arrest affidavit, Johnson stated the 18-month-old “made a mess” with ketchup packets, and that he then tightly swaddled him to restrict his movement and placed him on the floor.
It was reported that around 12:30 a.m. July 10, Johnson unwrapped the little boy and he began to throw up and later became unresponsive.
Johnson told police after he attempted CPR in the bedroom for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, he drove Cedric to another location where he disposed of him in the dumpster.
During a forensic interview, one of the juvenile witnesses reported that Johnson would wrap Cedric too tightly, causing him to cry. The witness stated he heard Cedric crying late-night then stopped suddenly before he disappeared.
Jackson’s aunt, Crystal, stated she had woke up during the night and noticed that both Johnson and Cedric were missing. She then called Johnson and confronted him about why he wasn’t at the residence.
It is believed that Johnson caused serious bodily injury to Jackson by compressing his airway and failed to seek medical assistance.
Johnson’s prior criminal history includes abandoning and endangering a child with intent to return, prostitution, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Dallas police said in 2010, after arresting Johnson for prostitution, his daughter – who was 4 months old at the time – was found left alone in his apartment. Police said Johnson told them he had left her on the bed while he went to the store to get cigars.
Johnson got four years probation for the offense, which he later violated multiple times. Violations include testing positive for THC on several occasions, giving officers false information, resisting arrest.
Police found Cedric’s body in a landfill shortly after 11 a.m. He was taken to the coroner’s office where they will determine how and when he died.
Cedric was reported missing from the Twin Oaks Apartments, in the 9700 block of Whitehurst Drive, around 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Child Protective Services (CPS) recently gave his aunt temporary custody of Cedric for reasons that remain unclear. That woman told police she put the little boy to bed sometime after 11:00 p.m. Tuesday and he was gone the next morning when she woke up.
Before authorities began searching for Cedric’s remains, family members had expressed concern about the aunt’s claim since they say the woman slept next to the child, in the same bed.
Officials issued a statewide Amber Alert for Cedric Wednesday night.
His wife, Sini Mathews, quickly left the courthouse without commenting on the sentence. Originally charged with child abandonment, the registered nurse had her case dismissed earlier this year by prosecutors who said they couldn’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Before his capital murder trial was to begin Monday, Mathews pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: injury to a child by omission. On Wednesday, he said he accepted whatever decision the jury came to for his punishment, even if it were a life sentence.
“I’m more than happy to take it,” he said Wednesday morning.
Life is precisely what prosecutors advocated for in closing arguments. They argued that Mathews built a public persona of a good father, but ultimately failed to protect Sherin.
Fine accused Mathews of killing the girl and said the father acted out of anger because she wouldn’t finish the milk a doctor had prescribed for her nutrition. The father wanted to exert power over the girl, Fine said.
“He is a liar,” Fine said. “He had to be in control.”
Rafael De La Garza, Mathews’ attorney, defended his client against the murder accusation. He argued prosecutors couldn’t prove Mathews committed murder, otherwise he would have stood trial on that charge.
De La Garza contends that, by pleading guilty, Mathews was accepting responsibility for Sherin’s death, the result of his inaction when the child began to choke. The attorney fought against the perception that Mathews didn’t care about Sherin, and said his client will live with the consequences of her death for the rest of his life.
“You can see from the videos, you can see from the photos that they loved and adored Sherin,” De La Garza told the jury.
Photos and home videos played for the jury during the trial weren’t enough for Fine, however. He argued that Mathews showed his true colors with his behavior after Sherin’s death.
“Great guys and great dads, they don’t stick their daughters in trash bags and dump them in sewage drains,” Fine said.
A day before prosecutors and the defense rested their case Wednesday, Mathews took the witness stand Tuesday to describe the night the toddler died.
He told jurors that Sherin choked while drinking milk in the family’s garage but he didn’t call for emergency help or alert his wife — a registered nurse — because he was scared Child Protective Services would get involved.
Crippled by fear, Mathews testified, he put the girl’s body in a culvert, where it was found about two weeks later.
“I could not absorb what had happened. I could not believe that in a very quick time my child had gone from me,” Mathews said Tuesday. “I was really, really paralyzed.”
Mathews took the witness stand again Wednesday morning, when Fine grilled him on multiple inconsistencies between the account he told police and his testimony Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Mathews told the jury he brought the girl into the garage to see a new lawnmower to calm her down so she could drink her milk, and that he had played piano to pass the time — two things Fine said he never told police. Mathews also testified that he gave Sherin CPR, which Fine said also deviated from what he told police.