Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dad with history of domestic violence gets visitation anyway; now kids are injured (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

This is a very misleading headline. It was not as a teacher that JEREMY PARKE abused children. The victims here were not his students or students at the school in which he taught. No, the victims were his OWN children, and it was as a FATHER that Parke had access to them and abused them. Note that it was also as a father who had been granted VISITATION RIGHTS that Parke abused them. And that this father apparently had visitation rights with two different mothers! WHY???? Notice that Daddy filed paternity papers in one of the cases, so he obviously wasn't married to that mom. And that there is also a divorce pending with the other mother. So we have, at minimum, a two-timing cheater who got visitation. But it gets worse than that.

What bozo judge granted this father visitation rights given the following history?

1) January 2010: Mom files for protective order. UNNAMED JUDGE DENIES IT.

2) March 2010: Domestic violence and battery charges filed against Dad. UNNAMED JUDGE DISMISSES IT.

The denial and coddling of abuser daddies just goes on and on, doesn't it? Do you think Daddy will finally get prosecuted this time? Or will the denial and coddling just go on and on until somebody is critically injured or killed?

Oklahoma City Public School Teacher Arrested For Alleged Child AbusePosted: Mar 30, 2011 1:13 PM CDT
Updated: Mar 30, 2011 7:02 PM CDT

Jeremy Parke, 38, is a sixth grade science teacher at Roosevelt Middle School and was arrested at the school at 12:30 p.m. on two counts of child abuse. Parke has been teaching there since August 2006.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City Public School officials said an Oklahoma City Public School teacher was arrested Wednesday afternoon for alleged child abuse.

Jeremy Parke, 38, is a sixth grade science teacher at Roosevelt Middle School and was arrested at the school at 12:30 p.m. on two counts of child abuse. Parke has been teaching there since August 2006. He began teaching social studies and also served as a substitute, and P.E. teacher at Cleveland Elementary School.

Authorities said the alleged victims are his two young children. The alleged physical abuse occurred between March 4 and March 7 at Parke's Moore home.

Police said the children each went home with their mothers with several injuries including burns on their chests.

"He explained them as being rug burns, by he was playing with the children, dragged them across the rug. They sustained the burns which had eventually scabbed over," said Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis.

Police said Parke's one-year-old daughter also had a busted lip, a cut above her eye and bruises on her buttocks. Both children were seen by doctors in Logan County and at OU Children's Hospital.

"The doctors determined they weren't accidental. They were abuse type injuries," Sgt. Lewis said.

School officials said no students were in or around Parke's classroom when the arrest took place. The district will alert parents of the incident through the recorded telephone alert system.

News 9 has found several domestic-related filings involving Parke, in both Oklahoma and Cleveland counties. In December 2009 Parke filed paperwork in Oklahoma County to establish that he was the father of a child.

In January 2010, Parke's wife filed for a protective order against Parke on behalf of their child in Cleveland County. A judge denied that protective order. Less than two weeks later, Parke filed for divorce Oklahoma County. That divorce is still pending.

In March 2010 a domestic assault and battery charge was filed against Parke. A judge has since dismissed that charge, at the request of the Cleveland County District Attorney.

"Oklahoma City Public Schools has become aware of the arrest of a Roosevelt employee. We have fully cooperated with the law enforcement. We will take the appropriate administrative action and Mr. Parke will be immediately placed on administrative leave," said OKCPS in a statement regarding the incident.

Dad sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for sexually abusing daughters (Provo, Utah)

His kids are amazing pianists. But that certainly doesn't excuse the disgusting actions of their dad, KEITH BROWN.

5 Browns father sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for abusing daughters
Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:02 p.m.
MDT By Emiley Morgan, Deseret News

PROVO — The father of the classical piano-playing group the 5 Browns was ordered to prison Thursday.

Keith Brown, 55, was given a 10-years-to-life sentence for sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony, and sentences of one to 15 years for each of two counts of sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.

"I do believe you are a pedophile. I do believe you are a danger to society," 4th District Judge David Mortensen told him.

The judge was the only one who commented in court Thursday, saying that he hoped the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole would keep Keith Brown in prison for at least 10 years. He noted there could have been "many more charges" as the abuse was ongoing.

"I think it's obvious that a home should be a refuge and a safe place and a parent should be a protector," Mortensen said.

The judge ordered that the three prison terms be served concurrently.

Brown wasn't handcuffed but was escorted back into the holding area to be committed to prison. He made no comment in court Thursday, but did write what his attorney called "a statement of apology addressed to his family and the community" to the judge. The statement was not read in court.

Each of Brown's daughters also wrote victim impact statements, which were submitted to the judge.

Defense attorney Steve Shapiro said Brown drove to court alone Thursday knowing what sentence he would receive. The reason no other family members were present was a sign of that understanding, he said.

"I don't think it should be taken as his family was not supportive," Shapiro said. "I think they thought private goodbyes are much better than public ones."

He said his client takes responsibility for what he's done and hopes to see his family "reunified" someday.

"Every step he's taken in the process has been geared toward taking responsibility and today was another difficult step," Shapiro said.

Prosecutor David Sturgill said he was satisfied with the resolution because it was what the victims wanted.

"This is a resolution we discussed, and I hope they're happy it finally came," he said.

He agreed with the judge's comments,saying they were "spot-on." Sturgill also said all three of Brown's daughters are doing well.

"They are strong women, they are courageous women. But for good or bad, (Keith Brown) has changed the course of their lives."

Brown pleaded guilty to all three of the charges in February, just weeks after they were filed. The charges and plea deal were part of an agreement reached between prosecutors, Brown's attorney and Brown's three daughters — Desirae, 32; Deondra, 30; and Melody, 26. Though the charges stemmed from incidents that took place in the 1990s, the sisters only recently came forward about the abuse, prompted by the news that their father was looking to manage musical acts.
The daughters initiated the case against their father "out of concern for the welfare and protection of other young women and girls," said Kimball Thomson, a spokesman for the group.

He said the daughters are "at peace" with the agreement and "relieved and grateful to close this chapter in their lives."

The sodomy charge involved oral sex incidents that occurred between November 1990 and October 1992, according to prosecutors. The other two sexual abuse of a child charges were in connection with fondling incidents between 1990 and 1992 and spanning 1997 and 1998. Prosecutors have said they were not isolated incidents and the abuse was ongoing. All of the girls were 13 or younger when the incidents occurred.

The charges against Keith Brown came to light following a car accident involving the man and his wife, Lisa, just four days after the charges were filed. The couple was returning home from a  dinner at Snowbird when their vehicle plummeted about 500 feet off the main road and into Little Cottonwood Creek. It took rescuers more than two hours to locate the Browns and carry them to waiting medical helicopters. Both were seriously injured, though Keith Brown was able to appear in court a few days later.

Keith Brown had a second car accident March 3, after police say the convertible BMW 330ci he was driving drifted into another lane of travel in Highland on state Route 92 near state Route 74, causing a second vehicle vehicle to hit him.

When police talked to Brown, he said "he did not remember" the accident, according to a report. The 17-year-old driver of the other car told police that Brown "turned in front of him, causing him to hit" him, the report states. Neither Brown nor the teen suffered serious injuries.

The 5 Browns are a classical piano-playing group consisting of five siblings — the three girls and their two brothers, Gregory and Ryan. They were the first group of five siblings to attend The Juilliard School in New York City.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mom tries to prevent more children from being murdered by abusive fathers (LeRoy, Illinois)

We've reported on the murder of these two boys by their father, MICHAEL CONNOLLY, before. The mother continues to be an activist in protective mother issues, and is trying to prevent future murders.

LeRoy Boys' Mother Trying to Prevent Similar TragedyBy WEEK Producer
March 29, 2011

Updated Mar 29, 2011 at 6:29 PM CDT

The death of two LeRoy boys at the hands of their father shocked the area two years ago this Tuesday, March 29th.

The boys' mother, Amy Leitchenberg is fighting to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.

Jack, 7, and Duncan, 9, were abducted and murdered by their father Michael Connolly, he then committed suicide after killing the boys.

She says the tragedy still haunts her saying, "You know, I believe the first year was much of a blur. This year is much harder. Because it's real. They're not coming home. That door is not going to open at 3:15 from school. But I can't let him win. I can 't let any other parent feel like this. This is no pain any parent should feel. There are no words for this pain."

Leitchenberg says supervised visits at the Family Visitation Center in Bloomington would have allowed Connolly to see the kids in a safe environment, but low funding, among other things prevented that.

Now she wants to make sure the center is well funded for future use.

Leitchenberg is one of the organizers of the "Steps to End Child Abuse" on April 17th at Bloomington's Tipton Park.

For more information go to

Men's murderous revenge: They kill their kids to punish the mother, not because of a lack of access or "support" (Sydney, Australia)

We've posted many times on ARTHUR FREEMAN, the Australian father who has been convicted of murdering his 4-year-old daughter during visitation. Predictably--but sickeningly--the Freeman case has aroused all the usual fathers rights apologists with the same old tired old excuses. You know, how it's always the fault of  "the System" (but not Daddy) when a father murders his kids. It's good to see Debbie Kirkwood take on these idiots.

Men's murderous revenge
Debbie Kirkwood
March 31, 2011

It's not angst over custody: fathers kill their children to punish their ex-partners.

SINCE Arthur Freeman was found guilty of murdering his four-year-old daughter, Darcey, much of the media focus has been on the distress of fathers going through separation and custody disputes. There has been a call for more support for fathers.

However, we must ask ourselves whether we are losing sight of the victims and, more importantly, whether this is the best approach to preventing these deaths from occurring in the future.

While the community understandably struggles to comprehend a parent killing a child, our research shows that these are not inexplicable tragedies. There is a particular type of filicide (the killing of children by parents) that occurs in the context of the separation of the parents.

In these ''spousal revenge'' cases - as recognised by the Freeman jury - fathers kill their children to punish their ex-partners. There is usually no prior violence against the children. In fact, they appear to love their children. The act of killing is directed towards harming the child's mother. The motive is revenge.

In the case of Freeman and Robert Farquharson (found guilty of three counts of murder of his sons Bailey, Tyler and Jai, aged two to 10, who drowned in a dam near Winchelsea), both fathers indicated that they wished to punish their ex-partner. Shortly before killing Darcey, Freeman told his ex-wife to say goodbye to her children and that she would never see them again - clearly to make her suffer. Farquharson told a friend that he would make his ex-wife suffer by taking what mattered to her most - her children.

Contrary to some claims, these cases are not about fathers losing access to their children. The reality is that in both cases, the fathers had access to their children and, in both cases, killed them during it.

There is no logic to the thinking that if a person is distressed about not spending enough time with their kids they would decide to kill them.

If, however, they are consumed with anger and hatred towards their ex-partner and wish to hurt them, then it is, tragically, a very effective means to do so.

The killing of the children in such cases should be recognised as a form of violence against the mother. We need to explore the relationship between the parents in order to understand the killing of children. In particular, the father's attitudes and behaviour towards the mother prior to, and after, separation must be examined. VicHealth has clearly identified the underlying causes of violence against women as including belief in rigid gender roles and a masculine sense of entitlement.

What we really need to challenge is the sense of entitlement that some men have over their families, an entitlement that leads them to believe that their partner has no right to leave them and no right to form a new relationship, and that punishing her is justified because of the suffering they themselves experience.

The current focus of commentary suggests that men are victims of the family law system. The mothers seem to be implicitly blamed for the distress their partners experienced when they left them.

Let's be clear: the first and foremost victims here are the children whose lives are taken. The mothers, whose children have died in perhaps the worst way imaginable, are also the victims, as are remaining siblings and other family members. Darcey Freeman's mother, Peta Barnes, had expressed concerns about the safety of her children prior to Darcey's death. She also expressed concerns about Arthur Freeman's ''anger management issues'' and mood swings. It is important that such concerns are heard and responded to appropriately by a broad range of professionals coming into contact with separating parents, as well as by family and friends.

The family law process must make children's safety it's absolute priority. Importantly, the federal government currently has a family law bill before Parliament which prioritises the safety of children in family law matters.

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria acknowledges that separation and family breakdown can be incredibly difficult for parents. Parents should be assisted to deal with separation and encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour. As a community, we need to focus on building positive and respectful relationships.

We support the call for greater services and support. We ask that these services be equipped to identify and respond to risks to the safety and wellbeing of children and their parents. We need to ensure there is accurate and reliable screening and risk assessment for all forms of family violence. These cases demonstrate that the risk of harm to children is closely linked to risks of harm to the mother.

Cases such as Freeman's have a profound impact on the community and we are right to search for answers. Unfortunately, there has been very little research on parents who kill their children in the past decade in Australia. If we are to find ways to prevent these deaths, we need a far better understanding of why and how they occur.

Dr Debbie Kirkwood is a researcher at the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria and is currently writing a paper on filicide in the context of parental separation.

Dad sentenced for sex crime against 3-year-old daughter (Hinds County, Mississippi)

Dad JAKE JEROME BIAS has been sentenced to 20 years for sexually assaulting his 3-year-old daughter.

Father sentenced for sex crime against daughterPosted: Mar 30, 2011 3:14 PM CDT
Updated: Mar 30, 2011 3:14 PM CDT

HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - A 27 year old Jackson man was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for a sex crime against his 3-year-old daughter.

Last October, Jake Jerome Bias was arrested and charged after the victim's mother took the child to the University Medical Center where doctors discovered the toddler was infected with two venereal diseases.

After questioning, Bias confessed to having sex with the child.

Hinds County Judge Tomie Green ruled bias must serve 15-years of his 20-year sentence. Five years were suspended.

Dad charged with murder in death of 4-month-old son (Rock Island, Illinois)

Dad DEMETRIUS PHILLIPS is charged with murder in the death of his 4-month-old son. The baby's mom also reports that Phillips has been violent towards her, and that she had filed for an order of protection in December. Two months later, Phillips had already "allegedly" violated the order. What a surprise....

Rock Island father charged with murder in infant’s deathRock Island father charged with murder in infant’s death
Dustin Lemmon The Quad-City Times | Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 4:05 pm
An 18-year-old Rock Island man was arrested this afternoon on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his 4-month-old son.

Demetrius Phillips, who is charged in Rock Island County Circuit Court, is accused of shaking the boy, Lyrick L. Phillips, and causing his head to strike a flat surface, court records state. Rock Island police investigated the case.

The child’s mother, Jasmine Anderson, also of Rock Island, filed for an order of protection against Phillips in December. According to the order, the infant was injured in November and taken to a children’s hospital in Peoria, Ill., where he died Dec. 10.

Rock Island County State’s Attorney Jeff Terronez said he was waiting on medical analysis and other details related to the investigation, which is why his office didn’t file the murder charge until Wednesday.

He said he is seeking the murder charge, which in Illinois carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted, because Phillips knew his actions would cause the child’s death or great bodily harm.

“It’s a mandatory life sentence because of not only his age but the age of the victim,” Terronez said.

In the order of protection, Anderson said her son had a fractured skull and bleeding in the front and back of his brain. She said police detectives showed her “strong evidence” that Phillips harmed the child and hospital staff would not let him have contact with his son.

Anderson also mentioned an incident that happened while she was 10 to 12 weeks pregnant in which she and Phillips had an argument and he grabbed her by the neck and threw her down, documents stated.

“I feel like if Demetrius Phillips can harm our four-month-old baby, what will he do to me,” she wrote in the order.

Phillips faces a misdemeanor count for violating the order of protection in February. Efforts to reach Anderson for comment were not immediately successful.

Phillips’ bond was set at $1 million.

Dad pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of 2-year-old son (Jamestown, New York)

Dad AGUSTIN MORALES has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his 2-year-old son.

MAYVILLE, NY - A Chautauqua County man pleaded guilty Tuesday to manslaughter in the death of his toddler son back in October, 2008.

Agustin Morales, 32, of Jamestown is charged with recklessly causing the death of his 2-year-old son Austin back in October, 2008.

District Attorney Joseph Foley called the case "tragic" saying that "even though Mr. Morales may not have intended to cause the death of this poor child, Auston died as a result of his father's behavior, and for that Mr. Morales needs to be held accountable."

Morales also pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to make a terrorist threat for incidents that took place between June and August of last year at the Chautauqua County Social Services Department in Jamestown.

Sentencing on both charges is set for June 6th.

Dad charged with homicide in death of 6-month-old son (East Lansing, Michigan)

Dad YUMAR BURKS has been arrested on homicide charges in the death of his 6-month-old son. Notice there is mention of two other children in the home, but NO mention of a mother. Why?


dated: 5:24 PM Mar 29, 2011

Father Charged In Infant Son's Death
The East Lansing man is sitting in jail, being held on charges of homicide and child abuse.

Posted: 5:09 PM Mar 29, 2011
Reporter: News 10

An East Lansing man is sitting in jail tonight--- accused of killing his six-month-old son.

26-year-old Yumar Burks is charged with homicide and first-degree child abuse in the death of his son, Antonio.

Not much about the child's death is known at this time--- only that an ambulance was called to the home on Friday, March 25--- and the boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The status of two other young children living in the home is also unknown at this time.

Dad gets time served for abusing 6-week-old son (Annapolis, Maryland)

Dad THOMAS H. VIRTS III is yet another daddy who couldn't hack it when it came to the care of a crying newborn. So this piece of crap apparently beat this infant so badly he now has visual and developmental disabilities. Why Daddy was the one who was up all night with the baby is not explained. Mom working? Custody/visitation? Nor is it explained why Mom no longer has custody, but the paternal grandparents--the parents of the abuser!--do. Why? Why? Why?

Man gets time served in child-abuse caseBy HEATHER RAWLYK, Staff Writer
Capital Gazette Communications
Published 03/30/11

After five early-morning hours of trying to quiet his crying 6-week-old son last March, Thomas H. Virts III lost control.

By the end of what Virts described to county police as a rough rocking, the infant boy was bleeding from both sides of his brain. He had abdominal trauma, a liver contusion, brain swelling and a bruise on his forehead, according to prosecutors.

The infant, Xavier, survived his injuries. But prosecutors said in Circuit Court in Annapolis Tuesday that he's developmentally behind.

Having entered an Alford plea to second-degree child abuse in January, Virts, 26, of Chester Circle in Glen Burnie, was sentenced Tuesday by Circuit Court Judge Paul A. Hackner to 10 years in prison, with all but 119 days suspended. Virts was credited for the 119 days of time served at Jennifer Road Detention Center and left court with Xavier's mother, Ashlie Crowl, and Virts' parents, Thomas and Roberta Virts.

He'll remain on supervised probation for five years and is to have no unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16 during that time, Hackner said.

While he didn't believe Virts' explanation of how Xavier was injured, Hackner said he did not think the young father meant to severely injure his child.

"I don't think he intended it with any sort of premeditation," Hackner said at the sentencing. "My thought is he got so frustrated and he was so at his wit's end as result of his inability to quiet the child that he lost it, in a literal sense.

"Mr. Virts, you've got to get a hold of your emotions," he said.

Xavier was admitted to Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie on March 9, 2010, with severe head injuries, according to Capital archives. The child was later flown to Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Homicide detectives conducted interviews and talked to hospital staff, who believed the boy was a victim of abuse.

Police got an arrest warrant for Virts, but could not find him. Detectives looked to the public on March 17, 2010, to help find Virts. Two days later, police were led to a home in the 300 block of Grove Park Road in Brooklyn Park and found him shortly after in a parked vehicle at Belle Grove Elementary School.

He was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree child abuse, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Under the Alford plea in January, Virts was found guilty of second-degree child abuse and the remaining charges were dropped. An Alford plea allows a defendant to maintain his innocence while admitting prosecutors have enough evidence to convict.

According to prosecutors, Virts told police that he'd been up with Xavier between 2 and 7 a.m. March 9, 2010. The baby was fussy and Virts said he tried several things to calm the infant. Virts told detectives he bounced the baby on his knee without supporting his head, rubbed his stomach, and rocked Xavier in a jerking-type fashion without supporting the baby's head.

Doctors disagreed and said a reasonable person should have known that amount of force would inflect serious injuries, said Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Alban. However, medical staff could not definitively say that Xavier had been shaken, which played a big part in the case, she said.

Peter O'Neill, Virts' attorney, said his client did not intend to injure Xavier. He said Virts is a young man who was not equipped emotionally and educationally to handle the situation appropriately.

At his last exam, when Xavier was 10 months old, he tested at 1- to 2-month-old levels in cognitive, motor and sensory skills. He had significant visual impairment and could only keep his head up for several seconds at a time, Alban said. Doctors won't know the long-term effects of the injuries until Xavier is of school age, she said.

Xavier is in the custody of Virts' parents in Glen Burnie.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Moms protest family law system, discrimination against mothers (Lebanon)

Want to know first hand how progressive father's rights is? Then move to Lebanon, a theocracy where government and society are ruled along religious lines.

Lebanon Protesters Take Aim at Family Law System Monday, 28 March 2011 15:04 Iman Azzi
Source: Women's eNews

The demonstrations held here on March 20 marked the third time in four weeks that protesters gathered to demand an end to the "confessional" or sectarian system that divides Lebanon's government and society along religious lines.

But this time the focus of protesters' anger broadened to include the country's system of family laws that are governed by religious authorities and often discriminate against women.

Signs echoing ongoing protests across the Middle East, including "Game Over," mixed in the streets with new ones such as "Civil Marriage Not Civil War."

"We have a saying in Arabic that if you do something three times, the third time confirms it," Sara Abughazal, editor of the Beirut-based Sawt al-Niswa (Voice of Women) online newsletter, told Women's eNews.

"Sunday was really good," said Abughazal, who is also a member of Lebanon's Nasawiya, a feminist collective that supported the rally and has also planned a discussion on women in the anti-sectarian campaign for tomorrow. "We are able to say that there is a popular interest in secularism. It's not just the intellectuals. We're getting the attention of random people from everywhere."

At this most recent demonstration, Lebanese citizens once again joined in the thousands to demand the overthrow of "the sectarian regime," a slogan modified from Egyptian protesters' demands for the overall overthrow of the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

All three protests have focused on bringing an end to sectarianism--a system that has been with this small Mediterranean republic since its independence in 1943--which critics say enflames the tensions among Lebanon's religious communities by pitting them against one another in the division of power.

The demonstrations follow a large anti-sectarian protest held in the capital last year and are occurring ahead of a major April 2 follow-up march that is expected to benefit from the region's current revolutionary energy.

Power Divided Among 18 Religions

Unlike many Arab states, which have been ruled by the same man--or dynastic father-son combination--for decades, Lebanon is not under the control of an authoritarian ruler. Instead it has a sectarian dictatorship that divides power among 18 official religions and limits individual access to the state.

The president must be a Maronite Catholic, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, the speaker of the house a Shiite Muslim and all other cabinet and parliamentary posts are filled according to religious quotas.

Under the confessional system, a citizen must choose a sect before attaining citizenship rights.

All family laws--marriage, birth, death, inheritance--are controlled by religious authorities.

Since current family laws are under the jurisdiction of religious courts, civil marriage, for instance, does not exist in Lebanon.

Most religious laws grant fathers child custody and children are automatically registered in their father's village. Shiite courts allow parents to leave property to daughters alone, while Sunni courts demand that at least some of assets go to the nearest male relative. In some sects, men who harm female relatives can still receive a lesser penalty if they did so citing protection of "family honor," while rape within marriage is also not recognized as a crime.

The march ended in front of the Interior Ministry, with several nongovernmental groups joining. One group there was the Collective for Research and Training on Development – Action, which leads the campaign to overturn the Lebanese government's law restricting Lebanese women from passing citizenship to their foreign husbands and children.

"The strong current confessional political polarization impedes all attempts to pursue rational, cool-headed and objective discussions over the would-be rights of citizens," said Omar Traboulsi, field manager for the group.

"The Nationality Campaign called for the support of the march against sectarianism because our demands for equality between men and women in terms of the right to nationality are being frustrated by confessional considerations constantly being flagged by most of the leading political circles in Lebanon," he added.

Up to 20,000 Protesters

The group estimated that nearly 20,000 Lebanese came out to protest the status quo, a number supported by Twitter users and bloggers. The news agency Agence France-Presse reported between 6,000 and 7,000.

One of the protest's early supporters is Ali Dirany, who helped coordinate some of the rally's logistics.

"You can call me romantic but I want to marry this woman in a healthy environment where she is treated as equally as I am," Dirany said, turning towards his girlfriend, as the two sat outside a coffee shop off of one of Beirut's main streets. "Every sort of law in the civil sector is unjust towards women."

In the two decades following its 15-year civil war, Lebanon has engaged in several economic growth projects and has one of the fastest growing economies in the region. With a population of just over 4 million, it does not suffer the same scale of poverty as its larger Arab neighbors.

The current political structure pits two major camps--one supported by the West and the other backed by Syria and Iran--against each other. Current party heads agree that now is not the time to challenge the system itself.

But with presidents ousted in Tunisia and Egypt, a U.N. "no-fly zone" and military intervention in Libya, a fired cabinet in Yemen and ongoing street-protest-related violence claiming the lives of thousands across the region, every society is feeling the ground shifting.

Beirut has been called the "Paris of the Middle East" since the 1960s for many reasons, including its Mediterranean beaches and culinary pleasures, but never for its revolutionary tendencies.

With help from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, regional neighbors in upheaval and people on the street eager to claim rights as individuals, that may all change.

Many Lebanese now seem eager to make the most of the revolutionary window that has opened.

"It's Lebanon's turn," said Dirany.

Iman Azzi is a freelance journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon.

Police recover 4-month-old daughter, loaded handgun after dad gives chase (Indianapolis, Indiana)

No doubt UNNAMED DAD just wanted some quality time with his 4-month-old daughter! They were no doubt going to go bowling or play video games! That's why he took off with her! And don't Americans have rights to loaded handguns?

Oh wait. You say Daddy did the the adolescent police chase thing, lost control of the car, then took off on foot, abandoning the baby in the car? Oh, and Daddy has a previous felony battery conviction? Um, never mind. Give us a while, though, and we'll think up more excuses for why he's a Poor Oppressed Daddy, beaten down by The System.

Police recover 4-month-old, gun after chase10:20 AM, Mar. 28, 2011

An automobile chased by police early Sunday involved a loaded handgun and a 4-month-old girl who had been taken from her mother, police said.

Indianapolis metropolitan police recovered the gun and the child, who was unhurt. The 24-year-old man driving the car got out and ran away and had not been caught as of Sunday night.

The incident began with an argument on the city's Far Northside, and the pursuit ended several miles away on the Near Northside, according to incident reports from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Officers were first called to an apartment complex in the 7100 block of Warrior Trail at 3:03 a.m. Sunday. A police report said a woman told officers that she had been riding in a 2002 Buick Century driven by the father of their girl, with the girl riding in a child seat in the back seat.

Police said the man and the woman argued, and that when the man dropped off the woman on Warrior Trail, he drove away with the child still in the back seat.

A second police report said the pursuit began at 3:43 a.m. Sunday at 38th Street and Keystone Avenue, when an officer spotted a Buick speeding north on Keystone. The Buick's driver hit the brakes and made a quick left-hand turn onto Millersville Road with the officer in pursuit, according to the second incident report.

The pursuit continued south through a residential area, where officers said the Buick's driver lost control of the car several times. After racing through several streets, the Buick finally slid to a stop on a curb at 29th Street and Guilford Avenue, where the driver got out and ran away.

The second police report said officers found a loaded .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun inside the Buick and the girl still strapped in the infant seat. The girl, who was not injured, was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital to be checked out.

Police reports said the man who led police on the chase did not have the right to carry a handgun because he had a previous felony battery conviction, and that he did not have custody of the child and faced a possible charge of child endangerment.

Dad sentenced for injuring infant son over disrupted video game (Grand Junction, Colorado)

Believe it or not, this is far from the first time I've seen a father lash out violently at a crying baby or child for having his video game interrupted. Dad EDWARDO CHRISTY is simply the latest. Check out the video game tab for other examples....

Updated: 10:52 PM Mar 28, 2011

Man sentenced for hurting child over disrupting video game A father who hurt his infant son because he was disturbing his video game was sentenced Monday.
Posted: 4:41 PM Mar 28, 2011
Reporter: KKCO
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A father who hurt his infant son because he was disturbing his video game was sentenced Monday.

Edwardo Christy will spend the next four years in community corrections.

Christy failed a lie detector test and then admitted he was playing a video game and when the infant wouldn’t stop crying, he picked him up and accidentally hit the baby’s head on the wall and knocked him out.

During sentencing, an emotional Christy said he wants to let his son know he loves him. The baby’s mother says Christy is a good dad and should get another chance.

Dad found guilty of 1st-degree murder in death of 5-month-old daughter (Aurora, Illinois)

Dad JOEL CHAVEZ has been found guilty of 1st-degree murder in the beating death of his 5-month-old daughter. Evidence of healing injuries suggest this wasn't the first time Daddy had abused her either. Seems Daddy got frustrated because the baby "wouldn't take her bottle or stop crying."

Aurora father guilty of daughter's murderHis 5-month-old daughter was fatally injured after she wouldn't take a bottle or stop crying, prosecutors said
March 28, 2011|By Art Barnum, Tribune reporter

An Aurora man was convicted Monday of killing his 5-month-old daughter two years ago. Prosecutors said the infant wouldn't take her bottle or stop crying.

Joel Chavez, 28, was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder by DuPage County Circuit Judge George Bakalis, who presided over a two-week bench trial this month.

The child, Julyssa, died of blunt force trauma and traumatic brain injury, authorities said. According to Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Lindt, the girl had numerous bruises over her body and fractured ribs and arms, multiple skull fractures and a lacerated spleen. He said the abuse injuries were both old and new.

Defense attorney Steven Muslin had argued that the child was dropped on a bed by Chavez and then went limp after her head hit a wall. He said the injuries occurred when Chavez tried to resuscitate the child incorrectly. The incident occurred Jan. 12, 2009. The child died later at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Bakalis said Chavez's acts were without justification and were done with a strong probability of causing death or serious injury.

The charge carries a mandatory sentence of 20 to 60 years.

"Justice was served," said a tearful Lupe Chavez, the victim's mother and estranged wife of the defendant.

Assistant State's Attorney Michael Pawl said, "Judge Bakalis' ruling was absolutely appropriate given the facts as presented."

Muslin had asked for a verdict of involuntary manslaughter, which carried a maximum sentence of 14 years.

"I still believe there was no intention to hurt the child," he said. "He didn't realize what he was doing."

Chavez's sentencing will be later this spring.

Report paints grisly picture of dad's "alleged" attack (San Bernadino, California)

More information on dad IAN ANTHONY RODERIQUEZ, who is charged in the murder of his 16-year-old son in addition to the attempted murder/torture of the rest of his family. This guy is certainly a delusional sicko....\

Report paints grisly picture of SB father's alleged attackJesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/28/2011 03:13:10 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO - A San Bernardino man stabbed his wife and children repeatedly, beat them with a monkey wrench, forced them to walk on broken glass and threatened to set them on fire during an 11-hour ordeal that left the family's oldest son dead, according to surviving family members.

A police report, filed Friday, describes what happened when two days earlier, Ian Anthony Roderiquez allegedly attacked his wife, Sujal, 35, and his five children - Richard, 16; Jacob, 13; Gabriel, 12; Daniella, 10; and Yasmine, 8.

Richard was pronounced dead at the scene - one that shocked even a veteran homicide detective.

"It's one of the worst scenes I've ever seen," said Sgt. Don Lupear, who prepared the report.

Gabriel told investigators that his father began beating his family with a monkey wrench about 10 p.m. on March 22 and accused them of stealing his drugs, according to the report.

Sheriff's deputies first made contact with Ian Roderiquez, 35, after they responded to a 9-1-1 call made by a neighbor at 9:15 a.m. the next day.

Roderiquez allegedly refused to open his front door, but he broke the front window to his home using a pair of hedge clippers.

Deputies took him into custody - in handcuffs - after a short negotiation.

They then entered the Roderiquez home, navigating around the sofa and mattress barricading the front door. The deputies made their way to the home's garage.

That's where they found Roderiquez's wife and children - all bleeding or dead.

Sujal Roderiquez was suffering from several stab wounds and lying on a twin bed box spring, according to Lupear's report. Four of the Roderiquez children - Jacob, Gabriel, Daniella, and Yasmine - were suffering from blunt-force trauma wounds.

Deputies took the four children to the home's living room, where they cared for them until paramedics arrived.

The children told the deputies to go back to the garage and check on Richard.

Deputies found Richard laying on the garage floor, underneath a car seat. He was covered with blood and appeared to be dead, according to Lupear's report.

When paramedics arrived, they pronounced Richard dead.

When coroner's investigators examined Richard's body, he had "numerous" injuries, according to the report.

He had a possible broken lower leg, numerous cut and stab wounds all over his body and legs, blunt-force trauma to his left hand and multiple skull fractures, according to the report.

Gabriel told investigators that Roderiquez attacked Richard with the monkey wrench, according to the report.

Coroner's investigator Marline Layva, told detectives about 12:30 p.m. on March 23 that she believed Richard had been dead from 10 to 18 hours.

The four surviving children all gave testimony to investigators, describing the horror dealt to them by their father.

Daniella and Yasmine told investigators that Roderiquez forced them to walk barefoot on broken glass, according to the report. When Daniella refused to lay down in the glass, he poured bleach on her and threatened to set her on fire.

Yasmine and Daniella both said their father beat them with a metal pipe.

Investigators later searched the Roderiquez home and found a 12 1/2-inch stainless steel pipe, covered in blood, according to the report. The pipe was hidden in a cloth bag.

Gabriel told investigators that his father used "shears" to stab his mother and he bludgeoned her with the monkey wrench.

Sujal Roderiquez was able only to give a brief statement to investigators before she was taken into surgery. She told them her husband had beat her and stabbed her.

Sheriff's investigators interviewed Ian Roderiquez March 23, according to the report.

When he entered the interview room, he told investigators that his children were "thieves and liars."

Deputies read him his Miranda rights and he requested a lawyer, and the interview ended.

But when he was being photographed, Ian kept talking, according to the report.

He said his wife was responsible for the injuries his family members sustained. He said when he left his home to speak with the deputies, all of his family members "were okay and standing up."

Roderiquez said his wife was trying to frame him and injured herself by striking a bed post and a bed frame with her body.

Sujal is still in critical condition at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Daniella and Yasmine were released from the hospital Wednesday night to the custody of Child and Family Services.

Jacob and Gabriel are still hospitalized.

Investigators plan to reinterview Sujal Roderiquez and the four surviving children when their injuries permit. They have been cooperative but investigators are trying not to push them further than they are able to go, Lupear said.

"We're still continuing the investigation but we have to take our time," he said. "The family is not only injured but they're traumatized as well."

Roderiquez pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, four counts of torture, and four counts of child abuse.

He is on suicide watch at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. He is held without bail.

He is due in court Wednesday for a confirmation-of-counsel hearing.

Dad who killed 14-week-old son shows no remorse, court told (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

We've posted on this case before. Despite splitting up with the mother BEFORE the baby was born and a history of domestic violence and psychological instability (suicide attempts), dad RYAN LESLIE got shared custody of his infant son. Then he promptly killed him at only 14 weeks of age. Newborns belong with their mothers. If Daddy doesn't want to stick around for the birth or to support the mother, then he needs to have his arse kicked out of the picture. ESPECIALLY when he has a history of violence and mental health issues. Babies do not benefit from joint custody or being tossed around like a hot potato from household to household.

Father who killed baby son shows no remorse, court is toldBy Sarah Rainey
Saturday, 26 March 2011

A father sentenced to life in prison for murdering his baby son has shown no remorse and refuses to admit his guilt, a court has heard.

Ryan Leslie was convicted of killing 14-week-old Cameron after the child was rushed to hospital with a head injury in September 2008.

Prosecuting barrister Ciaran Murphy QC told Belfast Crown Court that the 26-year-old “maintains that someone else may be responsible” for murdering his son.

He asked the judge to sentence Leslie, from Newtownabbey in Co Antrim, for a minimum of 15 years.

He said a probation report found the defendant, who has a record of violence against former partner Sheree Black, to be at a “high risk” of reoffending.

Miss Black, who was present at yesterday’s hearing, was visibly distressed as she watched Leslie smile and wink at his family from the dock.

“This was a defenceless baby,” Mr Murphy told the judge.

“We suggest that there were attempts to cover up the murder by saying that the fractured ribs were caused by doing CPR when it is known now that they were not. There is also a lack of remorse from the defendant.

“We suggest that these factors are directed towards there being no mitigation whatsoever.”

At the end of his trial last month, a jury unanimously found Leslie guilty of murdering Cameron and causing him grievous bodily harm with intent.

The court heard how the baby was rushed to Antrim Area Hospital and later died in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital after a head injury caused his brain to swell.

He also had severe injuries to several parts of his body, with 14 fractured ribs and bruises on his legs, torso, throat and chin.

It was revealed that Leslie had tried to kill himself shortly before taking custody of Cameron.

He was looking after the baby in the days before his death.

Mr Justice Stephens remanded Leslie in custody and said he would set the minimum tariff for his jail sentence next week after considering all the evidence.


Ryan Leslie was unanimously convicted of murdering his 14-week-old son Cameron Jay Leslie in September 2008. The baby died of a head injury and also suffered bruising to his legs, torso, throat and chin, as well as having 14 rib fractures. Leslie’s former partner Sheree Black said she would never forgive him for killing their son.

Dad charged with sexual abuse of son, child porn (Howell, Michigan)

UNNAMED DAD already had a history of molesting children. No big surprise in a sense that he's now being charged with sexually abusing his own son (and daughter) over a period of 5 years or more, and manufacturing child pornography. Was there a mother in this home? No mention of one.


Court Docket: Father faces more molestation chargesMar 27, 2011

A Howell-area father already charged with multiple felonies for allegedly molesting his children is facing new charges involving his son and an acquaintance.

The 51-year-old father was arraigned Thursday on three counts of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly molesting a family friend twice in 1997 when he was a teenager and once in 2010 when he was an adult.

One of the counts alleges penetration occurred.

In a separate case, the father was charged with three counts of child abusive commercial activity for allegedly taking sexually explicit photographs and videos of his son. Police said there is no evidence the man shared those images with anyone else.

The father returns to District Court on Thursday for an exam conference in the two new cases, and to Circuit Court on Friday for a pretrial hearing on the initial charges, which include five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, four counts of second-degree CSC and two counts of third-degree CSC/incest.

Police allege the father molested his son and daughter, then both under age 13, for a period of about five years or six years.

The Daily Press & Argus is not naming the father because it could identify the children.

Violent dad pulled knife on daughter and assaulted her, court told (Dublin, Ireland)

It's an UNNAMED DAD. Notice how silly the "estranged" language is. Honestly, when I think of "estranged" I think of complicated psychological conflicts. If somebody beats you up and pulls a knife on you, I think one can fairly say you may not particularly care for that person because he's a violent scumbag and criminal. And for good reason. Notice that Dad also hit the girl's mother.

Violent dad pulled knife on daughter in row, court told

By Eimear Cotter

Monday March 28 2011

A FATHER accused of pulling a kitchen knife on his teenage daughter and threatening to kill her during a row has been sent forward for trial. The man, who is in his 40s, is also charged with threatening the 17-year-old girl with a screwdriver and hitting her while she walked to college with a male friend.

It is alleged the girl was left with bruising to her knees, back and arms after she was assaulted twice within a couple of hours by her father.

The man, who cannot be named to protect his daughter, appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with threatening to kill his daughter, producing a knife and a screwdriver during the course of a dispute and three counts of assault.

It is alleged that the victim was walking to college with a male friend on October 18 last when her father pulled up alongside them, threatened her with a screwdriver and hit her.

The girl got into the car with her father, and they returned home.

EstrangedAn argument broke out in the family home, and it is claimed the defendant hit his daughter a second time and held a knife to her face, prodding the knife into her neck.

It is also alleged that the defendant hit his wife when she returned home and saw how upset their daughter was.

His wife, from whom he is now estranged, did not suffer any injuries during the attack.

The book of evidence has been served on the defendant, who goes forward to the present sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

- Eimear Cotter

Source: Police say dad admitted to killing three sons (Morenci, Michigan)

Those of us who have followed this case for a while are not surprised. There was little doubt--realistically speaking--that dad JOHN SKELTON murdered these boys. If only he had the basic decency to tell the grieving mother where the bodies are. But just like DAN PORTER, it may be necessary to drag the information out of him. Either threaten him with the death penalty or putting him in with the "general population"--assuming he's convicted by a jury. Once again, this is a case where a volatile and violent father should NOT have been awarded court-ordered child visitation--but was.

Source: Police say father admitted to killing sons Posted: 11.30.2010 at 12:32 PM Updated: 11.30.2010 at 2:05 PM

MORENCI, MICH. -- As authorities and volunteers continue to search for three missing brothers from Morenci, Michigan, investigators say they have low expectations.

The search is on for any sign of 5-year-old Tanner, 7-year-old Alexander, and 9-year-old Andrew Skelton; however, during a morning press conference on Tuesday, authorities said they do not "anticipate a positive outcome" in the case after days of searching and based on information from the boys' father.

According to sources, Morenci Police say John Skelton has admitted to FBI profilers that he killed his sons. No further details were released regarding the admission.

John Skelton, told investigators on Friday that he gave his sons to a woman named Joann Taylor before attempting to commit suicide. He said she was to take the boys to their mother's home. Authorities now say they believe Skelton lied to them about Taylor and that a reported relationship between the two does not exist.

Skelton, 39, was unsuccessful in his attempt to hang himself. He is now being treated at a mental health facility in Ohio. Police say they have been engaging in conversations with Skelton regarding where his sons may be located and that he has been forthcoming with some information. Those conversations led them to grim expectations, according to Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks. No details or specifics were provided, but Weeks says statements made by Skelton to investigators are what indicated to them that there would not be a positive outcome to this case.

Weeks says no decision has been made about charges being brought against Skelton.

The boys' mother and family have been notified that authorities are not optimistic about the case. However, searchers will continue to look for the missing brothers. When asked how the family reacted to new information given to them Tuesday, Chief Weeks said, "Imagine your worst nightmare. How would you respond?"

Crews searched areas of Williams County on Monday, including a campground where authorities believed John may have taken the boys in the past. Searchers have set up a command center in Pioneer, with searches extending to West Unity, Kunkle and Holiday City.

If you have any information you are asked to call the Morenci Police Department at 517-458-7104.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How lawyers manpulate doctors in custody cases (Rhode Island)

Excellent piece by Anne Grant at

March 28, 2011 at 11:39:49
How lawyers manipulate doctors in custody cases: Do-No-Harm vs. Take-No-Prisoners
By Anne Grant

When soldiers are ordered to "take no prisoners," it means to annihilate their enemies. Physicians who vow to "do no harm" step onto a treacherous path when they sell their expertise to lawyers trained to take no prisoners in adversarial lawsuits.

For more than two decades, I have researched domestic abuse custody cases in Rhode Island Family Court, trying to understand how this publicly financed process crushes children and families. In many of these cases, lawyers, who are officers of the court, have manipulated clinicians. (Below I am naming only those lawyers and physicians specifically responsible to protect children.)

First Case: At Hasbro Hospital's Child Protection Program (CPP), Providence, Rhode Island, in 1997, a 6-year-old girl sat rigid, a blanket over her head. Children often try to disappear when life gets intolerable.

The girl's father had a documented history of aggression against his first two wives and their children. This child, the youngest, showed symptoms of sexual abuse. CPP Director Dr. Carole Jenny reported: "There is no doubt in my mind that some event happened because of the child's clear and consistent disclosure."

The father harassed those who tried to help his families: a security guard, social workers, therapists, teachers, pastors. He bullied a Providence Journal editor. He took aim at Kevin Aucoin, chief legal counsel at the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), for not responding quickly enough after the father appealed DCYF's findings against him. When he threatened to sue, Aucoin needed Dr. Jenny to revise her assessment.

She listed warning signs in the father's behavior, then minimized them in a summary of court documents. Her new "forensic review" freed the father to demand possession of his children. He held them for thirty months, until the eleventh Family Court judge to hear the case denounced his behavior in 2003 and sent the children home to their mother with damage that has not yet healed.

Second Case: In March 2006, attorney Lise Iwon began writing letters to the CPP about a case in which she purported to be a neutral guardian ad litem. She secured an astonishing report from Dr. Nancy S. Harper at CPP. Instead of medical information, Harper's report glibly summarized court documents Iwon had provided, repeating the conjecture, hearsay, and biased rhetoric in the father's defense strategy.

Harper's supervisor, Dr. Jenny, never saw or signed off on her CPP report before Iwon whisked it off to the judge who ordered DCYF to remove two young girls that day from their mother for a "psychiatric evaluation." Police arrived with a social worker to take them from their schools into "temporary" custody. The children remained in foster homes and a shelter at taxpayer expense for more than sixteen months before the state awarded the younger girl to the father she had accused of sexually assaulting her; the older girl went to yet another foster home.

Scores of neighbors, teachers, and others wrote letters attesting to the mother's superb parenting, but Iwon never interviewed them. Dr. Jenny told me the mother's behavior sounded "bizarre" but candidly admitted she herself might seem bizarre if she believed her children were in danger.

Third Case: A German father, head of a vast multinational corporate empire, retained several law firms in the U.S. and Germany to retrieve his two American sons after his estranged wife brought them here to her parents for one to have surgery in 2007.

The mother told me she had confronted her husband in Germany with evidence that he was sexually abusing their sons. She said she had walked in on this happening and found disturbing photos on a laptop computer her husband had given her. She related that her sons had pointed out a store where their father got hardcore pornography. They allegedly told her that he forced them to watch it and act it out.

The father hired a former U.S. official (at $700 an hour) as one of his lawyers, who reached out to Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah, Jr., and paid the chief's assistant David Tassoni over $2,300 to help. The father's attorneys met alone in chambers with U.S. District Judge William E. Smith and intervened to end the involvement of Family Court, DCYF, and the FBI. They secured attorney Sharon O'Keefe, who had been assistant child advocate in Rhode Island, to serve as guardian ad litem.

O'Keefe contracted with Dr. Jenny to evaluate some of the father's photographs and a stack of German legal documents with apparent translations. O'Keefe's bill exceeded $13,000, including at least $2,000 to be paid directly to Dr. Jenny.

O'Keefe hardly talked with the boys, and Jenny never met them. Both concluded they saw no evidence the father was a pedophile. Judge Smith gave the boys and their American passports to their father, who took them back to Germany in April 2007.

Judge Smith ordered the father to give the boys plenty of time with their mother. But she has not been allowed to see or communicate with them since 2007. On Mothers Day 2010, one son wrote a plaintive note asking why "these people" would not at least let them Skype her.

It is troubling that Dr. Jenny never talked to the boys, who might have helped her interpret the photos. Nor did she demand an independent search of the hard drive by state police who are trained and equipped to examine electronic evidence of child pornography--and who do not accept private payment for their services.

In January, I wrote expressing these concerns and asked Dr. Jenny to improve CPP's protection of children by:
  • Establishing ethical standards that forbid CPP staff to produce reports for private clients in litigation without a full investigation into the family's history;
  • Making a complete inventory of past reports produced by CPP or its staff to see how these have been used in litigation and to examine the outcomes for children;
  • Providing CPP staff with training in domestic abuse, coercive control, and the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that clinicians need to recognize in protective parents who may seem "bizarre" in their appropriate efforts to protect their children.
Clinicians must recognize the pitfalls when officers of the court reach out to them. Lawyers are hired to zealously represent their clients, no matter who gets hurt. Doctors trained to "do no harm" are easy prey for them; children suffer the consequences.


In order to protect children's identities, I am referring only to case numbers.

First Case: P92-4797 in Rhode Island Family Court; Carole Jenny, MD, signed the Child Safe Clinic #0629-23-38 report of January 14, 1997. After an extensive sexual abuse assessment by St. Mary's Home (April 16, 1997), DCYF sent a letter (April 18, 1997) to notify the father he had been "indicated." He appealed and a year later  threatened to sue DCYF and its senior counsel Kevin Aucoin for failure to schedule a hearing. DCYF asked Dr. Jenny to review her records. Her report (July 29, 1998) was followed by a revised DCYF report (August 6, 1998), and Aucoin's motions (August 6, 1998, etc.) to launch an expedited trial. DCYF investigator Edward J. O'Donnell sent a letter (August 18, 1998) to the father stating that the findings against him "are hereby overturned . . . pursuant to . . . a forensic review of the investigation and all associated material conducted by Dr. Carole Jenny" (DCYF Administrative Appeal of SCR 425142 I/6).

Second Case: N04-0106 in Rhode Island Family Court and 1676-86-32 AC 000119896231 at Rhode Island Hospital. The court file, which is now sealed and presumably held at the Rhode Island Supreme Court, contains Lise Iwon's Motion (March 31, 2006) regarding her communications with Nancy Harper, and Iwon's Motion (April 5, 2006) asking to release clinical reports and court documents to Harper, whose report (March 21, 2006, signed April 5, 2006), shows that Harper already had those documents. I interviewed the mother and secured documents from her and the court file until Judge John Mutter imposed a gag order forbidding all parties to disclose anything further about the case and sealed both the divorce and DCYF files, on or about August 16, 2007.

Third Case: 07-46S in the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island, which holds transcripts, including the ex parte chamber conference of January 31, 2007, and court orders, including the decisive order of March 28, 2007; Jenny's report to O'Keefe (March 15, 2007); and the father's documentation of payments to Tassoni and others. The mother provided scores of documents, including the rental list from the German video store (October 2005), an initial DCYF report by Paul Ventura (January 31, 2007), O'Keefe's bills (March 12 and 28, 2007),  hundreds of photographs from the laptop, and her son's letter (Mother's Day 2010).

Anne Grant writes several blogs about legal abuse in custody courts and wrote a chapter for Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues,  ed. Mo Therese Hannah, PhD, and Barry Goldstein, JD (Civic Research Institute, 2010). 

Deja vu over child deaths (Miami, Florida)

Yup. It's deja vu all over again....

Déjà vu over child deaths in Florida
 For years, brutal child deaths have begat task forces, which produced reports – followed by still more child deaths.

By Carol Marbin Miller and Diana Moskovitz

For months a little girl goes to school, battered and bruised. Teachers’ calls to the state’s abuse hot line go unheeded. She disappears and is found, days later, dead. The prime suspect is her father.

A shocked state calls for reform, and a panel investigates what went wrong. It finds little urgency among front-line workers in the state’s child welfare system, too little credibility given to the concerns of educators and a startling lack of people using common sense.

The group concludes: “It is imperative that the children of Florida be protected from abuse better.”

But this is not the story of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona, found dead on Valentine’s Day, her small body awash in chemicals and shoved in a black trash bag inside her adoptive father’s pickup truck. They are the hauntingly similar findings of a grand jury called more than 10 years earlier to look into the death of 6-year-old Kayla McKean, a Lake County girl beaten to death on Thanksgiving Eve 1998 after a series of reports to state child protection workers saying she was physically abused went ignored.

The grand jury presentment on Kayla’s death is among about two dozen reports compiled in the last 20 years blasting Florida’s troubled child welfare system. Each resulted from a scandalous child death. Each found similar faults with the system and were soon followed by promises from leaders with the state’s Department of Children & Families to make Florida’s children safer.

Fast forward to Nubia’s death this year, and the cycle continues.

“It doesn’t sound like they learned a whole lot from Kayla,’’ said Susan Salazar, the little girl’s guidance counselor who had begged authorities to take action.

Once the largest state social service agency in the United States, DCF — originally called the Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services — has been chopped, renamed, centralized, decentralized, and mostly privatized.

Through successive administrations, it remained the whipping boy of state government. Lapses meant less money. Less money led to more lapses — followed by panels.

U.S. Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett, a former state Supreme Court justice, helped draft the Bradley McGee Act when she headed the Florida Study Commission on Child Welfare following the ghastly death of 2-year-old Bradley from having his head plunged into a toilet.

“It gets very frustrating when you address the same issues over and over again,’’ said Barkett, who has been a forceful advocate for attorneys for abused and neglected children.

Before Nubia, and before Kayla, there was Corey Greer.

Corey was four months old and living in a Treasure Island foster home licensed for four children — but brimming with eight more. His caregivers neglected to turn on his heart monitor, and left him alone in a stiflingly hot room. Then-Gov. Bob Graham appointed a task force that found high turnover and low pay among caseworkers contributed to Corey’s death, and a host of changes were put in place.

Four years later, in July 1989, when 2-year-old Bradley McGee’s stepfather plunged the toddler head-first into the toilet as punishment for a potty-training accident, a panel, once again, found the state’s child protection workforce understaffed and underpaid.

The 1990s saw child death task forces at the rate of one every two years. In May 1995, it was Lucas Ciambrone, whose Bradenton adoptive parents beat, starved and tortured him. He died with cracked ribs, more than 200 bruises and weighed just 27 pounds.

The Ciambrone panel issued 44 recommendations, including that lawmakers stop passing child welfare laws without the money to pay for them. Four months later, legislators cut 33 child abuse investigators from their budget.

The Community Review Panel report that followed Lucas’ death barely had time to gather dust when Florida experienced one of the worst periods in its child-welfare history. In September and October 1997, six children with extensive DCF histories were killed: Beaunca Jones, 2; Nia Scott, 2; Alexandria Champagne, 21 months; Saydee Alvarado, 8 months; Walkiria Batista, 3, and Jonathan Flam, 2.

A task force followed, and then-DCF Secretary Edward Feaver developed new protocols for measuring risk to children.

Then came Thanksgiving, 1998. Richard Adams in Clermont reported his 6-year-old daughter missing.

“The Grand Jury understands that is impossible to legislate common sense, or to regulate an employee to care. Yet the Grand Jury is concerned about the reluctance of various individuals to enthusiastically embrace their duties.’’

That was among the criticisms offered in the look back at the short, tortured life of Kayla McKean, a little girl with blond hair and big eyes who forever peers out at the world from her grade school photo with a cautious smile. Born to teenage parents who never married, Kayla lived with her mother most of her life until, when destitute, Kayla’s mother gave her to Kayla’s father, Adams.

Six-year-old Kayla was well-known to Central Florida’s child protection system. When Kayla sustained two black eyes in April 1997, her mother blamed anemia and spider bites. When she, again, had two black eyes — in addition to a broken hand and a broken nose — her parents said she fell off a bicycle.

“Kayla didn’t even own a bicycle,’’ Salazar, the counselor, said of the quality of the DCF investigations.

In October 1998, Kayla had a “knot” on her head, a scraped chin, injured wrist, black eye and walked with a limp. The new explanation: a dog stepped on her face and she fell in the bathtub. Kayla told investigators the marks were because her dad tied her wrists together.

After her father reported her missing, an army of volunteers searched for Kayla for five days in the Ocala National Forest. Adams later admitted he beat his daughter to death, then buried her in a duffel bag. He was upset because she had soiled her panties.

A grand jury convened and proposed sweeping changes to how Florida responded to reports of child abuse: Require the state’s abuse hot line to accept all reports, “every complaint, no matter how inconsequential it may appear over the telephone.’’ Never minimize or ignore the concerns of educators. Require the Department of Health’s Child Protection Team to evaluate all allegations of physical injury. Allow the same investigator to look into all successive abuse allegations so patterns can be observed. Never interview abused children in front of their suspected abusers.

The Kayla McKean Act became law on July 1, 1999.

“We sent that damn thing to the head of the state Senate, the head of the House, the governor-elect, the sitting governor. We sent it to anybody who could possibly make a difference,’’ said Assistant State Attorney William M. Gross, who supervised the grand jury. “Maybe I was naive, but we assumed that when we passed the Kayla law we had done something to protect kids. We all were so heartbroken.’’

It took less than a year before another community was heartbroken.

When asked, 2-year-old Joshua Saccone told DCF investigators in Palm Beach County that his mother’s boyfriend beat him. In one report, the boy told investigators that “Junior hit him and it hurts,” referring to his mother’s boyfriend. His mother promised to keep the boyfriend away. Joshua died in August 2000 after he was beaten to death.

A Palm Beach County grand jury followed, as did another one in Broward a year later.

The third paragraph of the 73-page report warned, “Stability, organization and common sense, hallmarks of successful public systems, are lamentably absent from Broward County’s child welfare system.”

A year later, another panel was formed — this time to study how a 5-year-old foster child had disappeared.

A DCF case worker had lied for months about making visits to the foster home of Miami’s Rilya Wilson. Her foster mother, Geralyn Graham, had a criminal history, including welfare-fraud allegations, authorities somehow overlooked.

It was more than a year before authorities noticed she was missing; they waited another week before calling police.

A blue ribbon panel was appointed, held public meetings, issued angry statements and wrote a page-turning final report. Among its recommendations: Immediately call law enforcement when a child is believed to be missing. Pay caseworkers and supervisors better, but also based on their performance. Streamline policies to focus on preventing abuse and neglect.

Five years after Rilya, when Courtney Clark vanished in the Tampa Bay area, a private caseworker waited four months before reporting her disappearance to police.

The toddler was found alive — in a rural Wisconsin home. Locked in the closet was an 11-year-old torture victim. Buried in the yard under newly planted flowers: a woman’s body.

Courtney’s task force, once again, recommended establishing a “zero tolerance policy” for caseworkers and investigators who fail to call police when a child disappears.

In a 37-page report following the latest death, the missing children recommendations from both Courtney and Rilya’s panels were marked “completed.’’

Still, when investigators failed to find twins Nubia and Victor Barahona after a Feb. 10 report that they were being tied up and locked in a bathroom — and a report two days later that Nubia had vanished — police were never called. The February reports were the last of nearly a dozen made to the abuse hot line about Nubia in her short life. Several calls came from educators — would-be “heroes,’’ according to the panel, had their words been heeded.

The twins went missing for four days until, on Feb. 14, a road ranger found them on the side of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach. Victor was awash in chemicals and having seizures inside his adoptive father’s pest control truck. Jorge Barahona was nearby, passed out.

Nubia’s body was decomposing in a trash bag inside the truck bed.

Police reports described hellish abuse of the twins in the home of their adoptive mother and father: tied hand and foot, confined to a bathtub, beaten, starved and “tortured.’’ Victor, police said, listened helplessly as his twin was beaten to death on the other side of a bathroom wall. She shrieked until her crying suddenly stopped.

DCF’s newest secretary called for a panel to act quickly. Among its members was Roberto Martinez, a former U.S. attorney who, even as a top federal prosecutor, cannot recall anything quite as horrible as the torment of Nubia and her brother.

The recommendations of Martinez and his two colleagues — children’s advocate David Lawrence, Jr. and former assistant Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner James Sewell — could have been cut-and-pasted from many others:

Place greater weight on the fears of educators. Call police at the first sign of a missing child. Review a child’s entire history when investigating abuse allegations, not just the last call. Avoid interviewing alleged victims in front of their reported abusers. Seek help from the Child Protection Team, the experts in evaluating child abuse. Use common sense.

“It sure seems like you could just substitute the names of the children,” Martinez said, “and the story repeats itself.”

Dad "in custody dispute" found guilty of murdering 4-year-old daughter (Melbourne, Australia)

With the conviction of  dad ARTHUR FREEMAN, the evidence continues to pile up on what a disaster Australia's near mandatory shared parenting policies have been for children. Even a father as volatile and unstable as Freeman got visitation--and we can see the deadly results.

Father Guilty Of Daughter's Bridge Murder 12:57pm UK, Monday March 28, 2011

Ian Woods, Australia correspondent

An Australian man who threw his four-year-old daughter off a bridge has been found guilty of murder.

Arthur Freeman was involved in a custody dispute with his wife.

He was driving his daughter Darcey to what was going to be her first day at school when he pulled over on Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge.

He asked her to climb into the front seat, then carried her over to the railing and dropped her 58m (190ft) into the Yarra River.

His two young sons, aged six and two, were also in the car at the time.

The older boy, Ben, told police that his sister "didn't even scream" in her fall.

"I said 'Go back and get her. Darcey can't swim'," he said.

"But he kept on driving. He didn't go back and get her."

Darcey was pulled from the river alive but died later in hospital from massive internal injuries.

Just before he threw her from the bridge Mr Freeman called his estranged wife Peta Barnes who was waiting at the school and told her "Say goodbye to your children. You'll never see your children again."

Afterwards, he drove to a court building to hand over his sons to staff who then called the police.

Mr Freeman admitted killing his daughter, but denied murder on the grounds that he was mentally ill.

The jury in his trial spent five days deliberating the verdict, and weighing conflicting evidence from psychiatrists.

He showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered, and will be sentenced at a later date.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Custodial dad held 23-month-old son in nearly boiling water (Victoria, Australia)

Dad SCH CHI MOK has been found guilty of seriously burning his 23-month-old son by holding him near boiling water. He then delayed medical treatment. For all that, he gets about 20 months in jail.

Notice that this is a CUSTODIAL father--he is not married to the boy's mother. In fact, there is no mention of the boy's mother. And the boy is now in the care of the grandmother (paternal? maternal?). So whatever happened to this little boy's mom? Not one word. Erased. Gone.


Father held toddler in near-boiling water
Wayne Flower
From: Herald Sun
March 26, 2011 12:00AM

A FATHER who seriously burnt his 23-month-old son in a bath and sent him to bed without treatment has been sentenced to at least 20 months in jail.

Sch Chi Mok, 21, was found guilty by a County Court jury of negligently causing serious injury to his son Max by holding him in near boiling water on New Year's Day, 2009.

The court heard Mok, who was 19 at the time, caused horrific burns to the toddler's feet and buttocks before covering up his wounds and putting him to bed.

The child was taken to hospital the following afternoon when Mok's wife - who is not the child's biological mother - discovered the injuries.

Mok told hospital staff his son had been scalded when hot water fell off a stove.

But experts said the injuries were inconsistent with an accidental scalding but in keeping with deliberate submerging in hot water.

Mok, who migrated to Australia from China as a 13-year-old, pleaded not guilty to intentionally, recklessly and negligently causing serious injury.

Judge Carolyn Douglas condemned Mok for not immediately taking his child to hospital and his repeated denial of the facts.

"I sentence you on the basis you have shown little remorse," she said on Tuesday.

"There is no explanation before the court why you deliberately held Max in the hot water and why you delayed seeking medical treatment as you maintain Max did not present as distressed at any stage."

Mok was given a maximum jail sentence of three years.

The child remains in the care of his grandmother.

Dad arrested for assaulting 11-year-old son (Waterloo, Iowa)

Dad ANTIWAN EMANUAL CURRY has been charged with felony child endangerment for beating his 11-year-old son. The boy's injuries included a fractured eye bone. No mention of Mom at all.


Waterloo man faces felony child-abuse charge for beating son
Waterloo man faces felony child-abuse charge for beating son
Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 1:00 pm

WATERLOO, Iowa --- A Waterloo man has been arrested for allegedly breaking bones while beating his son.

Police arrested Antiwan Emanual Curry, 41, of 609 Stokes Drive, for two counts of felony child endangerment on Monday after finding him hiding in the attic of an East Mullan Avenue home, court records state.

School officials called police Monday about possible child abuse involving Curry's 11-year-old son. The boy was taken to Allen Hospital, and doctors found a number of injuries including bruises, lacerations and a fracture to a right eye bone.

The bone injury allegedly came from a March 7 incident after the boy got in trouble at school, and Curry allegedly punched him, records state.

The boy told his father he had blurred vision from the assault, but the father allegedly declined to get him medical attention, records state.

Investigators also allege Curry struck his son about 10 times with an audio/video cable on March 17.

Curry was taken to the Black Hawk County Jail, and bond was set at $200,000.

One of the charges is a Class C felony, which alleges Curry caused serious injury, and carries up to 10 years in prison upon conviction.

The other is a Class D felony, which alleges he used unreasonable force and is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Dad gets 22 years for beating 1-year-old son to death for crying (Kansas City, Missouri)

Dad REY CRUZ SR. has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for killing his 1-year-old son. Where Mom was while daddy was "babysitting" and torturing this child to death is not explained.


Rey Cruz Sr. gets 22 years for beating son to death for crying, punching him in the groin to wake him up

By Justin Kendall, Fri., Mar. 25 2011 @ 9:00AM

Rey Cruz Sr. isn't a father.

​Rey Cruz Sr. should never get to lay claim to being a father. The 20-year-old beat his 1-year-old son, Rey Cruz Jr., so severely over a three-day period -- just because the child cried -- that the boy ended up dying.

Cruz was sentenced to 22 years in prison Thursday, according to the Star. He'd been charged with second-degree murder, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child after his son was found with bruises covering his body -- including his head, torso, legs and genitals -- last May.

Cruz told police that he pushed the boy down while trying to teach him to walk and later shook him on May 4. He admitted slapping his son on the back of his head on May 5. Later that afternoon, the boy was crying, and Cruz hit him in the face. Frustrated again by the boy's crying, Cruz admitted shaking the child for a minute and hitting him in the face twice.

The boy calmed down after being given a bottle. Around 10 p.m., the child woke up crying. Cruz said he squeezed the child above the waist and poked him in his stomach to check him. Then he threw the child on the floor. The child was unresponsive. Cruz left him there for a little while.

Cruz also admitted to shaking the child two more times, punching him in the stomach three or four times, and flicking the child's penis and punching him in the groin to wake him up.

Cruz finally called 911 around 2:23 a.m. and tried to give the child CPR.

At the hospital, the child was unresponsive, and a medical report showed that the child had a subdural hematoma. The boy's brain was swelling so much that it was pushing down on his brainstem. He had 10 rib fractures and "multi-layered retinal hemorrhaging." Doctors classified the injuries as "non-accidental" and placed the boy in the intensive care unit. The boy was later declared brain-dead, and he died from his injuries.

Twenty-two years don't seem long enough.

Dad in "custody dispute" murders 3-year-old son with chainsaw (Bonn, Germany)

Once again, we don't have a custody "dispute." We have a violent, unstable UNNAMED DAD who made death threats against this child and had had a history of previous "incidents" (that the authorities refused to classify as domestic violence, but no doubt were). And despite all this, the father got custodial rights and/or visitation anyway, then turned around and exploited those "rights" to brutally slaughter his 3-year-old son. Actually, I can't even use the word "slaughter" here, because animals are butchered with more care and concern than this father showed.

State prosecutors are investigating whether the Youth Services Office (Jugendamt), which apparently manages child custody arrangements in Germany, knew about the death threats. If the files show they did, employees could be facing negligent homicide charges. This is something you almost never see in the U.S. Regardless of how blatant the incompetence and/or corruption that allowed a violent or sexually abusive father to obtain custody/visitation.

Hat tip to Angel Fury.

Man kills son and self with chainsaw
Published: 24 Mar 11 18:13 CET

A German man murdered his three-year-old son with a chainsaw before killing himself in an apparent custody dispute, police in Bonn said on Thursday.

In a gruesome display of violence, the 24-year-old decapitated his son in the woods outside Hennef near Bonn before turning the chainsaw on himself. A jogger on Wednesday found their bodies in a car and alerted the authorities.

The police said the man from Linz in Rhineland-Palatinate was separated from his wife and had picked up the boy from his mother to have an ice cream on March 22, however, they never returned as had been agreed.

Georg Jahn, the lead homicide investigator, said the crime scene was a “horrible sight” and the police chose not to examine the corpses there out of basic decency.

A spokesman for the state prosecutor, Robin Faßbender, said a custody battle was likely behind the horrific crime. The boy’s mother filed a missing person report with police on Wednesday and reported threats made by the father to kill the boy.

Jahn said there had been a previous “incident” in the family, though it could “not be describe as domestic violence.”

Faßbender said the Youth Services Office (Jugendamt) in the Rhine-Sieg district, which is responsible for managing custody, might have known about the threats. On Thursday morning, state prosecutors made a search of the office to secure files on the family’s case and questioned two employees on suspicion of negligent homicide.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Missing" dad arrested in death of 2-year-old daughter (Fort Worth, Texas)

We've reported on dad CHARLES BELLAMY before. The AWOL daddy who disappeared shortly after his daughter's death has finally been arrested. It appears the little girl died from scalding burns while Daddy was supposed to be babysitting. Is anybody really surprised that this guy has a history of "family violence"?

Police Arrest Father Of Dead Fort Worth Toddler
11:47 PM, Mar 23, 2011
Written by Daniel Trotter

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Police in Fort Worth have arrested the father of 2-year-old Jazmine Howard, the toddler who died last week at her home under suspicious circumstances. Authorities said that it appeared as though the girl had been dipped in a hot liquid.

Howard was discovered late on March 15 in the 1800 block of South Edgewood Terrace. The incident was initially reported as a drowning, but as the investigation unfolded, police soon learned that this case could be much more severe. Howard had had suffered a rather painful death, with visible signs of trauma on her body, police said. "The preliminary investigation has revealed the child did suffer immersion burns," said Sgt. Pedro Criado.

Police questioned Howard's family, but had been unable to locate the girl's father, who was supposed to be watching the child at the time of her death. The father was identified as 25-year-old Charles Bellamy. He fled the scene before police arrived, and had been named a 'person of interest' in the case.

Bellamy was also wanted on an unrelated family violence charge.

Authorities had been following numerous leads throughout Texas and Oklahoma in an attempt to find the father, and said that they were nearing his arrest. But Bellamy surrendered to police on March 22 without incident, at the advice of his lawyer.

Joy Howard, the 2-year-old's mother, talked to CBS 11 News last week. She and other family members are convinced that Bellamy killed the little girl. "She was my life. My life has been taken from me," Joy Howard said. "I don't get to hold my baby any more. My baby has been taken from me. He deserves to feel the same pain I feel, and nothing less."

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner has still not determined the official cause of Howard's death.