Thursday, August 28, 2014

Courts gave father full custody of two sons despite evidence of evidence of abuse, control issues; dad stopped mom from having contact--then stabs the boys to death along with his parents (Santa Barbara County, California)

Horrifying case. The mother's concerns about the father's physical and sexual abuse of the boys were ignored and belittled. She was drowned out by her husband's money and power (the fact that she was Hispanic and he was white didn't help her case either).

Kudos to Lara Cooper for writing this and NAMING THE NAMES of the whores of the court who severed this woman's parental rights and placed these poor children with the father who brutally murdered them.

Shame on people like Matthew Long and psychologist scum ball Gary Rick. You gentlemen have blood on your hands.

The killer daddy is identified as Nicolas Holzer.

Bitter Custody Battle May Offer Clues in Holzer Family’s Gruesome Mass Murder

With Nicolas Holzer charged as suspect, investigators still seeking motive in killings of his sons and their grandparents as ex-wife grapples with grief

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer
Published on 08.24.2014 11:05 p.m.

Shortly after two young boys and their grandparents were found murdered inside their home near Goleta earlier this month, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said investigators were searching for an explanation.

“There’s nothing that points out any motive or anything that would have preceded this terrible tragedy,” Brown told a news conference on Aug. 12, the day after Nicolas Holzer, 45, was arrested on murder charges.

Holzer is accused of fatally stabbing his sons, Sebastian, 13, and Vincent, 10; his parents, Sheila Garard Holzer, 74, and William Charles Holzer, 73; and the family dog at the home they all shared on Walnut Park Lane, a quiet cul-de-sac off Ribera Drive near Foothill School.

At the news conference, Brown said “Holzer told detectives that he had killed his family to fulfill what he believed was his destiny.” He said Holzer was waiting outside the house when deputies arrived and was taken into custody without incident.

To date, Brown and his department have released no additional information about what might have spurred the second mass murder to rock the South Coast this year.

But clues to what triggered the carnage may lie, in part, in the nasty custody fight between Holzer and his former wife that began in 2006 as the couple was going through a divorce.

An inches-thick Superior Court file obtained by Noozhawk chronicles the battle between Holzer and Juana Holzer, replete with accusations of mental illness, aggressive and controlling behavior, and sexual abuse. The court ultimately granted Holzer full custody of their children, and largely cut off Juana from contact with the two boys.

But the matter was last in court more than four years ago, so it’s unclear if anything transpired in the interim to yield such a violent outcome.

However, court documents suggest that a family situation that may have seemed normal and amiable to friends and neighbors may have had a much darker side.

Family law attorney Matthew Long, who represented Holzer in the divorce, told Noozhawk that the case was one of the more protracted court custody cases he’s handled. But he said there was nothing in the custody case and Holzer’s interaction with the family court system that raised a concern. “He always presented as a normal guy, which I know sounds preposterous given the events that unfolded,” Long said. “That’s what’s so disturbing about this. We want to have some kind of an explanation.”

Long said he last spoke with Holzer four years ago and last saw him six years ago.

“That’s the scary part ... A lot can happen in six years,” he said. “Obviously something happened.”

Neighbors of the Holzers have been reluctant to speak about the incident or the family.

One neighbor said the killings had been “devastating for those of us on the cul-de-sac as well as others within the neighborhood and the community.”

“The Holzers were always a very private family,” said the neighbor, who asked that her name not be used.

In a more public forum, last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting was adjourned in the family’s honor by Supervisor Janet Wolf, whose second district includes the Holzer home.

Wolf described William Holzer as a “brilliant scientist” and his wife, Sheila, as a “loving and devoted grandmother.”

She said she did not know the family personally, but has had many close to the family reach out to her office since the murders occurred.

Wolf described Vincent as a “boy with an electric smile who would have been joining his classmates starting fifth grade and was a standout on his school’s intramural Foothill Falcons football team.”

Sebastian was an incoming eighth-grader at La Colina Junior High School “who was a bright, spirited and gentle boy who loved being with his friends and participated in the school’s AVID program and while only 13 was already planning for college.”

Those close to Holzer’s ex-wife, Juana, are speaking out even as they are grieving the death of the boys, whose funerals were held last weekend.

Noozhawk spoke with Charles Sirois, Juana’s fiancĂ©, who said her family is consumed with grief.

“It’s a tragic loss of life,” he said.

The custody battle was costly and protracted, and taxed Juana to the brink, Sirois said.

“To take on that family that was financially capable of doing whatever it took ...,” he said. “Juana is an immigrant. She didn’t stand a chance.”

Sirois said Juana had not been in touch with the children for a number of years because the court order had become so restrictive “it pretty much eliminated all contact.”

“She was under the impression that since the Holzers had financial resources, that they would be able to take care of the children and that they’d be in a safe place,” he said of the grandparents.

Sirois has reviewed the detailed court file of the couple’s custody battle. More than two inches thick and spanning more than five years, the file outlines a contentious custody battle for the boys, which began at the divorce, and details accusations of sexual abuse.

The records paint a heartbreaking picture of two young children caught in the crossfire. The file also depicts a mother who had little recourse or money to fight a financially secure father in the court battle, and who gradually lost more and more contact with her sons.

The file outlines the beginning of their relationship, stating that Nicolas and Juana were married Jan. 13, 2001, and separated and divorced in 2006. At the time of the divorce, their sons, Sebastian and Vincent, were 6 and 3 years old, respectively.

The paperwork contains income statements and background of both parents used to sort out support payments and provide some personal history of the couple.

Holzer was listed as a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, but was enrolled at a trade school and living with his parents at the time of the divorce.

As part of the asset documentation, the file states that Nicolas had inherited some money prior to the marriage and the pair purchased a condo with the help of his parents in 2002.

Juana Holzer is described as having graduated the seventh grade in Mexico, where she was born, and had been unemployed during the marriage.

She lived in San Diego with other family members at the time of the divorce filing, and the documents state it was uncertain whether she had a driver’s license.

“Because of her educational background and lack of fluency with the English language, she will likely not be qualified for other than a minimum-wage occupation,” court records state.

When the couple separated, Juana moved into her sister’s house with the children. At the time, she had physical custody of the boys and Holzer was required to drive to San Diego for visitation.

“The evaluator recommends that physical custody be awarded to their father in Santa Barbara,” because it would be difficult for the mother to arrange transportation to get to Santa Barbara when the court arranged for custody visits with their father.

The document also acknowledged that the children would be spending time with their grandparents while Nicolas was attending classes in Ventura County.

Holzer previously worked at Raytheon, but layoffs were on the horizon and both he and his wife agreed that Holzer should be proactive and look to find a job with flexible hours and begin taking business classes, documents stated.

When the two separated, Holzer was working at Bargain Network in Goleta and shortly thereafter moved to another sales position at Select Personnel Services.

Holzer began attending ITT Technical Institute in Oxnard to become a record-coding specialist in hopes of earning what he had previously made at Raytheon.

Beginning in November 2006, Holzer was required to pay Juana $833 in child support and $490 in spousal support, with a $250 per month travel credit, leaving a monthly support obligation of $1,074.

Juana was not working at the time of the separation, and the court gave warning that she was expected to make “reasonable efforts to assist in providing for her support needs.”

In the court file, Juana expressed concern about Holzer’s mental stability and aggression toward the children. However, a 2006 statement from Holzer explained that doctors initially thought he was depressed but eventually diagnosed him with a thyroid condition.

Holzer’s parent were described as being supportive of the boys living with them in the Walnut Park Lane home.

“My parents are both in good health and good spirits and would very much like to provide a stable and loving home for Sebastian and Vincent,” Holzer wrote.

The divorce was just the beginning of the battle over the boys.

Perhaps the most revealing parts of the file are the notes about custody and visitation of the children, which chronicle a tumultuous battle between the parents.

A judge-appointed psychologist, paid by Holzer, performed a child custody evaluation on Oct. 3, 2007, and issued a 58-page report, which is not public record, recommending that Holzer be given custody.

Psychologist Gary Rick, who practices out of Ventura and is listed as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Santa Barbara, was hired by Holzer to evaluate the children and recommend who should be granted custody.

Rick did not respond to Noozhawk’s request for comment.

“The living situation and personal traits of the father were more likely to meet the emotional and educational needs of the minor children than those of the mother. Primary custody to the father is recommended,” Rick’s notes in the court file state.

Juana maintained that her ex-husband had mental-health problems and was aggressive and controlling toward her and the children, but Rick’s report indicates that “these allegations were not born out by the investigation.”

A chilling account from Juana in June 2008 states the contrary.

She noted that she was seeing the children every other weekend, and would go to Santa Barbara to pick them up and Holzer would retrieve them in San Diego.

“Vincent always cries because he doesn’t want to go with his father,” she said, adding that problems began when Holzer met her in the parking lot of a San Diego grocery store to hand off the children after a visit one weekend.

“As usual, Nicolas began to scream and offend me, then aggressively yanked Vincent from my arms,” she said. “I told him not to abuse my son, and he told me, ‘I have custody. I can do what I want.’

Juana said William Holzer was out of the truck and saw the situation unfold. She said she asked him for help to stop his son from mistreating Vincent.

But her ex-husband told her to “go away” and that she “could not talk to his father.”

When she threatened to call the police if he didn’t stop abusing Vincent, Holzer taunted her, saying, “You remember who has custody? I do, not you, and I decide what to do with my children.”

Nicolas Holzer’s position in the court files was that his wife “refused to work on marital issues and was under the under influence of her family to act unilaterally and was not meeting the educational and emotional needs of the children.”

Her visitation rights were suspended in March 2008 when Vincent made “disturbing statements to his grandmother, me and his therapist,” Holzer wrote, saying that the boys reported they had been sexually abused by their mother and her sisters.

Juana stated that her ex-husband was telling the children to make those claims.

“I am concerned about the mental and emotional well-being of our children,” she wrote. “Because of the serious nature of the false accusations that are being made against me and my sisters, I began to investigate my options with several authorities, including the San Diego police, Santa Barbara police and La Casa de la Raza.”

“I have requested that similar investigations be made of Nicolas regarding his treatment of our children,” she wrote. “If someone is doing harm to my children, including putting ideas into their heads that their mother and aunts have sexually abused them, then I want this to be stopped.”

When the couple had been married, Juana said, she had seen Nicolas do things to their sons that she did not agree with and thought were abusive.

She said she reported these acts to Rick during the evaluation process.

Juana alleged that Holzer would touch the babies’ genitals while changing them, shower with the children and allow them to touch his genitals.

She also stated that at their home when they had been married and at his parents’ home, Holzer would touch himself in front of the children, even while his parents were present and would regularly look at child pornography.

“There were times when the children would wake up crying in the middle of the night, and he would go to into their rooms without turning on the light, grab them and cover their mouth so they couldn’t scream and put them in the car and drive away with them for as long as two or three hours at a time,” she wrote.

Attorneys for both parties expressed concern about the sexual-abuse allegations, and the documents record that sheriff's Deputy Michael Emens interviewed Holzer and one of the boys on March 11, 2008.

It’s unclear whether a forensic examination of the child was ever done.

Noozhawk has requested more information about this interview with Holzer from the Sheriff’s Department, but has not been provided any information about it.

Court documents state the children’s mother was diligent to call each night to speak with the children, but Holzer said that the calls proved to be “stressful for everyone in our household.”

Whenever the mother called, Holzer told the court, he would ask each child if they wanted to talk to their mother. They would always say no, he said.

“I encourage them to talk with their mother, but given her unwillingness to put in the effort to visit them, they are apparently angry with her and I don’t feel that it is appropriate to force them to talk on the telephone,” he said.

The paperwork details that the day before Sebastian’s eighth birthday in 2009, when Juana asked to see the children without following the supervision procedures in the court order, she announced to Sebastian, “Well, anyway, I will see you tomorrow,” and then hung up the phone.

“While she did not end up driving to Santa Barbara, this incident caused tremendous stress, confusion and sadness on a day that should have been one of family celebration and unity,” Holzer stated at the time.

He said he believed there had been a “significant negative, cumulative emotional and spiritual effect” from not visiting but continuing with the nightly phone calls.

The court ordered that Juana’s right to telephone calls be terminated, and that her visitation with the children should be supervised by a psychologist for “the purpose of addressing the children’s anger towards their mother.” The court said Juana would be responsible for the cost as long as it continued.

Juana maintained that Holzer was the one who did not want her to speak to her children.

In 2008, Juana’s attorney at the time stated that she was unable to afford the cost of professional supervised visitation.

“(She) currently has no resources available to her to challenge the findings and recommendation issued by Dr. Rick, and is dissatisfied with the manner in which the investigation was conducted,” her counsel said.

The documents also say that she contacted Catholic Charities, La Casa de la Raza, CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation), CASA of Santa Barbara County (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) and the Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara but “to date no such services have been obtained by her.”

The court case last came before Judge Thomas Anderle in June 2010. Holzer was present with his attorney, but Juana was not with her attorney.

Since then, she has had almost no contact with her children, her fiancé stated.

“It was just a such a tragic event,” Sirois said. “(The court battle) was such a display of money and power ... Everything was manipulated against her.”

Holzer is due back in court Sept. 9 for arraignment.

Dad accused of beating 6-month-old son to face trial (Taylor, Michigan)

Dad is identified as NICHOLAS ALAN SPIRDIONE.

Father of 'Baby Jesse' to face trial Dec. 10

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014

By Anne Runkle
The News-Herald

A Taylor man accused of beating his six-month-old son, “Baby Jesse,” will stand trial on Dec. 10 in Wayne County Circuit Court.

If Nicholas Alan Spirdione, 23, is convicted of one of the two most serious charges, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Spirdione was arraigned Aug. 25 before Circuit Judge Gregory Bill. He stood mute; a plea of not guilty was entered for him.

Spirdione’s son, Jesse, underwent numerous surgeries and spent about a month in the hospital earlier this year after police were called to the home Spirdione shared with the child’s mother in the 6600 block of Pine Street. The infant’s mother, Corie Stahl, told police and paramedics the child was having trouble breathing.

Spirdione waived his preliminary examination of the evidence against him Aug. 18 in 23rd District Court in Taylor.

Stahl testified that she was in the kitchen preparing the infant’s food when Spirdione brought the child to her and she noted that his cry wasn’t normal, he had marks on one side of his head that looked like ink and his eyes weren’t focusing. She said doctors at Children’s Hospital of Michigan told her the child needed emergency surgery if he was going to survive.

Stahl told the court that Jesse, now 10 months, is “perfectly fine,” although he is somewhat behind in his development. He goes for occupational and physical therapy several times per week, she said.

Spirdione is being held in the Wayne County Jail. He is charged with torture, two counts of first-degree child abuse, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and domestic violence.

Dad accused of assaulting 2-month-old son; baby has life-threatening injuries (Groton, Connecticut)

Dad is identified as JORDAN RITTENHOUSE.

Groton father, Navy sailor accused of assaulting 2-month-old son

Posted: Aug 28, 2014 3:15 PM EDT Updated: Aug 28, 2014 10:18 PM EDT
By Kaitlyn Naples
By Joseph Wenzel IV, News Editor
By Kim Lucey

GROTON, CT (WFSB) - A 2-month-old boy suffered life-threatening injuries after police responded to the report of a possible child abuse incident on Tuesday.

The child is being treated at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, and the boy's father is being charged with risk of injury to a minor and first-degree assault.

Police have arrested 24-year-old Jordan Rittenhouse of 53 Deerwood Dr., Groton.

Rittenhouse is a student at Naval Submarine School and his current rank is Seaman, according to Navy Public Affairs. He entered the Navy in November of 2013 from Rockwell, NC, and reported to Naval Submarine School in January of 2014.

Police said they have not been called to the home before. As of Thursday afternoon, police said the baby was still alive, but not doing well.

Shock and sadness is spreading through a tight-knit Groton neighborhood made up of those dedicating their lives to service on a submarine, just a few streets away from the base.

"Total shock, I have two little ones so I could never imagine that happening to them," said neighbor Ty Callands. "The submarine force is really a tight-knit family. They're there to help you, the people there are all your supervisors, your shipmates, they're always there to help."

Neighbors said Rittenhouse is a husband and has a daughter in addition to the 2-month-old, and the boy's mother has reportedly spent every moment at the hospital with her son.

While some neighbors said the family has been nothing but warm and welcoming, others said they were startled to see Rittenhouse's temper flare just a few months ago.

"The daughter grabbed a toy or a bucket or a shovel, he didn't like that, grabbed it very angry, like the kid kind of backed away scared," said neighbor Misty Lewis, who said when she noticed that incident she made her presence known and Rittenhouse calmed down.

Navy Public Affairs could not comment on allegations against Rittenhouse or his current status with the Navy.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Navy's public affairs officers for comments, but calls have not been returned yet.

Rittenhouse is being held on a $300,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

At least 60% of shaken baby perpetrators are male caretakers, and usually fathers (Ogden, Utah)

This article is misleading in many ways, starting with the headline. The problem is not Mom's boyfriend per se, which is a typical right-wing backhanded way to bash single moms. It's ALL male caretakers, INCLUDING FATHERS, especially younger males.

Nearly every study I have ever seen on the perpetrators of abusive head trauma report that fathers out number boyfriends. But notice that the data is fudged here. And as a result, the numbers do not add up to 100%. See the statistics tab for the existing data.

And notice that the onus is put on mothers to prevent shaken baby. Fair enough, but the advise is convoluted and misleading. The simplest way? Avoid using male caretakers. Especially young deadbeat ones, including fathers, who are enlisted to do infant care because the mother has to work.

But of course, that's not politically correct to say now, is it? Notice that we are lectured about how fathers are "vital" to a child's development, which of course is a confusing message for mothers who are forced to make child care decisions. But the specifics of how they are "vital" are not articulated. If you review the literature carefully, you'll see that the specifics are in fact rarely explored and when they are, the supporting evidence is dubious at best.

What the research does show is this: What is "vital" to an infant's well-being is consistent, attentive, and loving care. Having a Y chromosome adds nothing special to mix, despite the ongoing anxieties of fathers rights freaks and their allies in public health and elsewhere.

Shaken-baby perpetrator often the mother's boyfriend

Wednesday , August 27, 2014 - 3:51 PM

Multimedia Reporter Standard-Examiner staff

OGDEN — Take 10 minutes. Just 10.

That’s what Jenny Johnson from the Utah Department of Health says.

After all, it could save a life.

Johnson, a violence and injury prevention coordinator, stresses that while statistics show an average of four Utah child deaths each year are a result of abusive head trauma, otherwise known as shaken-baby syndrome, there is preventive help.

Just stepping into another room, away from a crying child, for a few minutes could prevent an abuse injury.

Yet another said case occurred in Ogden this week.

Ogden police arrested Adam Joseph Barney, 23, in connection with the death of a toddler Monday evening. They said Barney was arrested after emergency crews responded to reports of an unresponsive child at the Western Colony Inn at 234 24th St., No. 2.

Responders say they found the 14-month-old girl dead.

Barney, a live-in boyfriend, was questioned by police and admitted that he hit the child and squeezed her, causing severe injury, officers said.

The child’s mother was working at the time of the incident.

Statistics have found that child abuse homicide patterns reflect that the perpetrator is always a caregiver.

“It’s important for people to understand it’s not always biological parent(s), but the ones taking care of the child at the time — the boy/girlfriend of the parent, the day-care provider,” Johnson told the Standard-Examiner.

She adds that abusive head trauma is the “most common injury that we see among children.”

To be exact, 55 percent of children injured under the age of 4 are affected by abuse. “

The biological father of the child or the mother’s boyfriend are most often the perpetrators,” Johnson noted. “As scary as that is, by no means does that indicate that males and fathers are not loving caregivers; in fact, they play a vital part in child development.”

But what causes the aggressive behavior?

It may be substance abuse, stress, broken homes, among other risk factors, says Johnson. “So it’s very important mothers make sure they understand the potential risks.”

She offers these statistics on shaken-baby perpetrators:

● 30 percent, mother’s boyfriend.

● 30 percent (or less), biological father.

● 16 percent, biological mother.

● 11 percent, baby sitter.

● Usually young males between 20 and 33 years old with little experience caring for a child.

● Deaths among children, under age 2, are significantly higher in Utah; most deaths abuse-related.

“As a parent, you know it can get pretty frustrating if an infant constantly cries,” Johnson says. “That’s why parent resources are really important, for those who have these stress factors, to access help if you don't have it.”

“Fortunately this doesn't happen as often we think, but that number (statistic) can fluctuate,” she said in a phone interview Wednesday.

The Utah Department of Health violence and injury program studies a large variety of child abuse and maltreatment cases. The department reviews abuse-related deaths among children, a lot of those circumstances surrounding deaths, Johnson said.

According to The Nemours Foundation, abusive head trauma (shaken-baby syndrome) has many other names, including inflicted traumatic brain injury and shaken impact syndrome. However, all mean one thing: an injury to a child's brain as a result of child abuse.

“Sometimes an injury can cause head trauma to an infant without shaking him or her,” thus it is more accurate to title it ’abusive head trauma’,“ Johnson said. “We’ve never had this happen in Utah, but in other parts of the county there are such cases where children experience the same physiological symptoms from being dropped or thrown.” In which case, child abuse resulting in traumatic brain injury may result in lifelong injuries or disabilities.

Elizabeth Sollis, communications director for the Utah Department of Human Services, whose mission is to provide education, service and support to those in need, tells the Standard-Examiner there are crisis nurseries available across the state; Family Support Center runs the crisis nursery in Ogden.

“Child abuse and neglect can be prevented, and resources to support families and help them live safe, healthy and successful lives are detailed on our website,” she said.

If someone suspects child abuse or neglect, they should report it immediately by calling 855-323-3237. In an emergency, they should call 911.

“Don’t keep it a secret; we don’t want to see theses things happen anymore, either,” Johnson said, “and it is against the law — we have an obligation to prevent child abuse.”

In addition to calling the child abuse hotline to report abuse or neglect, the public can be directed to resources in their community. Sollis adds, “Another great resource is 211. By calling (this number), Utahns will be able to learn about a myriad of resources — public and private — in their community.”

These free resources are available for anyone, but especially those new and young parents to make sure they have what it takes to prevent child abuse. It answers questions like: What do I do when my baby’s crying? Resources, she said, recommend taking 10 minutes away from the infant to breathe.

“It sounds simple, but people don’t realize the impact,” Johnson added. “Many families have children that have had abusive head trauma and now suffer lifelong problems; it’s not just death.”

Dad accused of abusing 3-week-old son (East Providence, Rhode Island)

Dad is identified as RYAN ENOS.

Father accused of abusing 3-week-old son in East Providence

Published: August 27, 2014 09:49 AM
By Mike McKinney

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A 19-year-old Massachusetts man has been charged with first-degree child abuse after the police said his three-week-old son was brought to Hasbro Children’s Hospital over the weekend.

Ryan Enos, of Dighton, was charged, according to the police.

The police said the child had various bruises.

Tanya Visinho, 19, of East Providence, who is accused of obstruction of a police officer in connection with the case, was released on a District Court summons to appear in District Court next month.

Custodial dad, step accused of horrendous acts of child abuse against two daughters, including child porn, beatings, rape, imprisonment, starvation (Manitoba, Canada)

In the vast majority of these kinds of cases, the media never reports how or why the father had custody. In this case, however, we are told that the mother died. Daddy apparently started abusing these grieving children almost immediately, one he had full control.

Can't help but wonder HOW the mother died, knowing how utterly sickening this man is in every way.


Dad, stepmother accused of abusing kids

By: Mike McIntyre
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 at 7:25 AM

TWO young Manitoba girls have been rescued after police say they were exposed to horrendous acts of child abuse at the hands of their father and stepmother.

The victims, currently aged six and seven, endured sexual, physical and emotional trauma while living in the Parkland area of western Manitoba. Court documents show incidents allegedly occurred between Sept. 4, 2011 and Aug. 7, 2014, which is when RCMP and Child and Family Services were contacted.

The Free Press is not publishing the name of their small home community to avoid potentially identifying the children, who are now living with a relative after being seized by CFS. The names of the accused are also being withheld for the same reason.

RCMP say the girls were forced to perform sexual acts with the adults, including some that were captured on film. They were often starved and locked in their rooms for "most of the day" while being repeatedly assaulted with weapons.

Court documents show their 37-year-old biological father is facing a total of 18 charges, while his 24-year-old wife has 16 offences. They include making child pornography, making obscene matter, forcible confinement, failing to provide the necessities of life, sexual assault and assault with a weapon.

None of the allegations has been proven, and both are presumed innocent.

The children's birth mother died in 2011. It was just weeks later the alleged abuse began. The father then married the accused in 2013. Photos of the couple, along with the children, are posted on their Facebook sites.

RCMP say they first received information on Aug. 7 that "child abuse was occurring in the home and that two girls were being abused physically and sexually by their custodial parents." No other information was disclosed.

The Free Press has learned it was another family member who initially contacted authorities with concern about the state of the children.

RCMP immediately removed the girls, along with a younger sibling who was not allegedly abused, and placed them in CFS care. Officers with the child-exploitation unit carried out a search warrant at the home on Aug. 14 and seized a number of materials, including computer equipment, which is still being reviewed. Further charges could be laid as the investigation continues.

Both accused made their first court appearances Tuesday in Dauphin.

The father has had his case adjourned until Sept. 2 and remains in custody.

The stepmother made a bail application Tuesday afternoon and was released by provincial court Judge Don Slough under strict conditions.

The Crown was opposed to her release. A court-ordered ban prevents specific details of the hearing, including evidence and submissions presented by lawyers, from being published.

The woman's bail includes a $2,000 surety and an order she reside in Winnipeg with her mother. She is also banned from having any contact with her husband, her stepdaughters or any children under the age of 16. She is also on a nightly curfew of 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Dad gets probation for child porn (County Down, Northern Ireland)

This headline and first paragraph are misleading. Dad MICHAEL STUART JACKSON didn't "just" collect or look at child porn; HE MADE IT. His own attorney admits he was "controlling" when it came to his wife and kids. Ya think?

And yet this scumbag only gets PROBATION. Typical of the coddling that sexually abusive father get in the UK and everywhere else in the world.

Probation for father-of-two over child abuse images

Published on the 27 August 2014 20:34

A 37-year old father of two from Co Down was today placed on probation for three years after he admitted possessing 258 indecent images of children.

As part of his probation Michael Stuart Jackson, from Craigarusky Road in Killinchy, will undergo the Internet Sexual Offenders Treatment Programme. In addition, he was made the subject of a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard that police called at Jackson’s home with a warrant on February 28 last year and that during the course of a search, Jackson’s laptop was seized. When the laptop was forensically tested, a total of 258 indecent images of children were discovered in a file marked ‘Michael’s downloads’. Also present were several extreme pornographic images of bestiality.

Crown prosecutor Rosemary Walsh said that some of the images in the more serious categories included oral sex being performed on a baby by a female adult, and children as young as four being raped and forced to perform oral sex on adult males.

Ms Walsh also revealed that during police interviews, Jackson said he had been looking at over 18 porn websites, but that other images had popped up from websites he would not normally go to. He also admitted that some of these images that “inadvertantly” popped up were of children as young as ten.

The court heard Jackson was interviewed a second time last August, and on this occasion he claimed he had been under the influence of drugs during the first interview and had given “incorrect answers to police.” He did, however, accept he had viewed images of children on the Internet.

It also emerged that both Jackson’s wife and two children has access to the laptop used by him to view and download child porn images. They have since moved overseas.

Jackson - who worked for the family furniture business - subsequently pleaded guilty to seven counts of making indecent photographs of children, two counts of possessing indecent photographs of children and three counts of possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Defence lawyer Darren Duncan told the court that whilst on the surface Jackson had a good family background, there were “issues” between his client and his father. These problems, Mr Duncan said, led to Jackson having “issues about control”, especially concerning his wife and two children.

Regarding the offending, the lawyer said this also came down to control. He said that the pop-up images “intrigued” Jackson, who “acknowledged thereafter that he searched for other images”.

Mr Duncan added: “He felt this gave him an element of control in that he could look at whatever he wished.” Mr Duncan told Judge Geoffrey Miller QC that Jackson looked at these images whilst on legal highs. He also spoke of the “clear implications” his client’s actions have had both on him and his family - adding “he is far from proud at what he had done.”

Passing sentence, Judge Miller said that he accepted Jackson had displayed both a level of victim empathy and also embarrassment and remorse for his actions. He also acknowledged Jackson’s clear criminal record.

However, the Judge told Jackson that by viewing these images, he had “contributed” to the perpetuation of child sexual abuse where youngsters are subjected to acts of violence and depravity.

Placing Jackson under a three year probation order, Jackson was told by Judge Miller: “It is clearly apparent from your background and from the reports I have that programmes that exist are of a necessity for you to fulfil, in order that the underlying deviancy within your character which has led to these offences being committed needs to be addressed.”