East Tennessee couple charged with aggravated Child Abuse, assault of six children
HARRIMAN, TN – A couple in Harriman, Tennessee face a slew of aggravated abuse charges of six children, according to a grand jury indictment.
Randall Ridenour, 54, and Michelle Ridenour, 48, of Harriman have been charged with 17 counts of aggravated child abuse, seven counts of aggravated child neglect and five counts of aggravated assault.
The two plead not guilty in an arraignment hearing on Monday, October 26.
The alleged abuses involve six children, ages 6-14, and occurred between Jan. 1, 2018, and June 13 of this year.
According to the list of charges in the indictment, the victims sustained severe bruising from being whipped by a belt.
The charges also allege the couple knowingly treated and neglected the victims, “in such a manner as to inflict injury, and the abuse was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel or involved the infliction of torture to the victim.”
The five counts of aggravated assault listed involve both strangulation or attempted strangulation and the use or display of a deadly weapon, according to court documents.
They are set to appear in court on Friday, Dec. 18.
This was posted on our website December 6, 2018. Chicago Lakeshore Hospital’s 60-bed children’s unit is Uptown. The hospital faces state and federal scrutiny after a rise in complaints alleging sexual and physical abuse by hospital employees and patients.
A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Cook County public guardian alleged that children as young as 7 were sexually abused, while others were injected with sedatives to control them and physically attacked, at a Chicago psychiatric hospital. Child welfare officials, meanwhile, allegedly worked with the hospital to cover up the abuse.
Charles Golbert, the Cook County public guardian, filed the lawsuit on behalf of seven children who are in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and who had been involuntarily admitted to Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in 2017 and 2018.
“These kids are entitled to justice for what happened to them at this facility,” Golbert said in an interview Wednesday. “DCFS knew perfectly well about all of the problems and dangers at this hospital.”
He added that he hoped the lawsuit sent a strong message to DCFS: “You cannot keep kids at placements once you know the placement is dangerous.”
ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune in separate investigations last year revealed numerous allegations of sexual abuse, assault and patient safety violations at the hospital. In response, state lawmakers and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which monitors DCFS as part of a federal consent decree, demanded the agency take action.
DCFS’ acting inspector general had previously raised concerns with the agency about the safety of children at Lakeshore. The ACLU took DCFS to federal court following the news reports, and late last year the agency agreed to stop sending its children to the hospital and removed those who remained there.
“We support this effort to hold responsible those who have done harm to children in the care of DCFS,” the ACLU’s Heidi Dalenberg said on Wednesday.
Chicago Lakeshore Hospital CEO Patricia McClure-Chessier said in a statement that officials “have always placed the health and safety of the children we treat as our top priority.” She said it was “tragic” that Golbert chose to “malign health care providers instead of addressing the root of this statewide crisis: a lack of state funding which prevents children from getting appropriate care at the right time and in the right place.”
She said she will “vigorously defend Chicago Lakeshore Hospital using facts rather than the egregious distortion that has been portrayed before the press.”
DCFS takes allegations of abuse seriously and has not allowed children to be placed at Lakeshore this year, spokesman Jassen Strokosch said in a statement. He said the agency, which has a new acting director, has hired more than 300 employees since April and has “begun to make dramatic improvements to overcome the challenges that have plagued the department for decades.”
“DCFS is committed to protecting the children of Illinois and providing the best possible services to the children in our care,” Strokosch said.
The lawsuit detailed abuse at the hands of employees and other patients, alleging children found themselves at a “hospital of horrors” instead of a safe environment where they could focus on their treatment.
One 14-year-old girl, according to the lawsuit, was allegedly sexually assaulted multiple times by a nurse who showed her pornographic videos as well as allowed her and others to fill out their own medical paperwork and to use the nurse’s vaping device. The girl and others reportedly escaped from the hospital and were missing for several months.
That nurse, according to the lawsuit, was charged this year with attempted murder in an incident involving her housemate. Her nursing license was revoked.
The lawsuit also claims a male hospital employee entered the room of a 12-year-old girl and forced her hand on his genitals and grabbed her breasts. A 7-year-old boy was allegedly forced to perform oral sex on his older roomate, who had previously physically abused him. And the hospital didn’t put precautions in place to protect an 8-year-old girl who also was sexually assaulted by a peer, the lawsuit alleges, despite the hospital knowing the boy had previously sexually assaulted his roommate.
The lawsuit, which seeks monetary compensation for the children, alleges that DCFS relied so heavily on Lakeshore because it “had worn out its welcome” at other psychiatric hospitals in the Chicago area. Psychiatric hospitals were reluctant to admit DCFS children because state budgetary constraints delayed payments to them, and DCFS routinely kept children in psychiatric hospitals after they had been medically cleared for discharge, according to the lawsuit.
In June 2018, ProPublica Illinois first reported on children trapped in psychiatric hospitals because DCFS struggled to find them appropriate placements. Golbert filed a lawsuit last December on behalf of the hundreds of children who remained in psychiatric hospitals after being cleared for release. That lawsuit is pending. DCFS said at the time that finding appropriate placement for children is challenging and that the agency was working to reduce the need for hospitalization and build up additional places for children.
DCFS’ desperation for a psychiatric hospital that would accept its children led agency officials and Lakeshore to engage in “concerted efforts to cover-up or discredit the allegations of abuse,” according to the lawsuit, which also alleged the hospital failed to repair broken video cameras and destroyed existing video in an attempt to hide evidence that could corroborate the allegations.
The lawsuit names Lakeshore, its owner Signature Healthcare Services, former hospital CEO David Fletcher-Janzen, a number of hospital employees who worked there at the time of the allegations and several DCFS officials, including former department chief Beverly “B.J.” Walker.
Last December, the hospital was days away from losing federal funding. Officials said they would terminate Lakeshore’s Medicare agreement because the hospital could not ensure its patients were free from sexual and physical abuse and it did not have sufficient policies to investigate the allegations.
One year later, the hospital finds itself in a similar position. Federal officials notified Lakeshore that they plan to terminate its Medicare agreement on Monday, the latest deadline in a long list of dates that have been extended. The hospital has filed temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in federal court to fight the termination. Lakeshore officials have said losing the federal funding could force the hospital to shut down.
An inspection last month by the Illinois Department of Public Health on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found deficiencies that “immediately jeopardize the health and safety of its patients,” federal officials wrote in a letter to the hospital.
In her statement, McClure-Chessier said Chicago Lakeshore Hospital “has always cooperated with regulators in a transparent way and we work diligently to correct any problems that arise while treating the most difficult and troubled populations — populations other hospitals cannot or will not treat because of acuity or inadequate reimbursement.”
Father charged with homicide, Child Abuse after emaciated teen son found dead
MERCER COUNTY, PA – A Pennsylvania father is facing charges after his 14-year-old son who only weighed 70 pounds was found dead.
The emaciated teen was discovered outside of the family’s home Thursday morning.
Police say his father Antonio Juan Gonzalez is the one who called 911.
The teen was homeschooled and lived in the home with his father and his 4-year-old sister.
Police say their mother died years ago.
The little girl was average weight and seemed to be in good health.
She’s now in state custody.
Police say they can’t believe the conditions the children had to live in.
Lt. Dan Ekis/state police crime section commander:
“It was squalor conditions. It was in a country setting. The victim was found just inside the trailer,” said Lt. Dan Ekis, the state police crime section commander. “We couldn’t begin to understand what this child went through in fourteen short years, but obviously the way he died, especially at the hands of his father, is especially disturbing.”
Paul Bacorn, a friend of the father, is also facing charges for endangering the welfare of a child and criminal conspiracy.
Meanwhile, authorities are waiting for an autopsy to confirm the teen’s cause of death.
YORK, NE – A York County jury has found a McCool Junction woman not guilty of child abuse.
Ashley A. Eckard, 29, was charged with committing child abuse intentionally/no injury, a Class 3A felony.
Now that she has been found not guilty, the charge has been dismissed.
According to court documents, it was alleged that she burned an 8-year-old child on the hand with a lit cigarette.
According to the affidavit filed with the court, the child told investigators with Health and Human Services and the York County Sheriff’s Department that Eckard intentionally burned her three times.
The child said when she told Eckard she was going to tell other adults what happened, Eckard allegedly grabbed her by the ear and instructed her to say she had gotten hurt sliding down a slide on a bouncy house – according to the court documents.
The sheriff’s department’s investigator said he observed three burns on the child’s hand that were approximately the same size as a cigarette, in his reporting for the affidavit.
The jury was convened, a trial was held and the jury came back with the verdict of not guilty.
Too Far: 8-Year-Old Girls Now Given
Testosterone Through ‘Government Funded Research’
A research grant from the National Institutes of Health is funding research into the impact of “early medical treatment” in “transgender” children as young as 8 years old.
Endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw talked about the devastating effects of hormone therapy on “transgender children” at a panel for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, last Thursday.
Laidlaw explained that children as young as 13 years old are receiving “medical treatment” in the form of hormone therapy and puberty blockers, which disrupts normal development.
The puberty-blocking drugs given to “transgender youth” harms bone development, stops normal sexual development and puts the children at risk of osteoporosis.
Laidlaw also noted that transgender children report greater self-harm, greater mental health problems and greater dissatisfaction with their bodies after taking puberty-blocking drugs.
“Now, you’d think if you had these side effects of these medications, wouldn’t you want to stop?” Laidlaw asked.
Laidlaw brought up the government funded research of Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who has received $5.7 million to administer “early medical treatment” to “transgender” children as young as 8 years old.
Olson-Kennedy gives “cross-sex hormones” to her subjects, which means that girls as young as 8 are given testosterone.
Laidlaw also played a clip of Olson-Kennedy defending mastectomies, breast surgery, for teenage girls.
“People make life-altering decisions in adolescence all the time, and honestly, most of them are good,” Olson-Kennedy said.
“And here’s the other thing about chest surgery: If you want breasts at a later point in your life, you can go and get them,” she said.
This is absolutely sickening. Children struggle with their basic math homework, and people such as Olson-Kennedy expect them to make decisions that will change their lives in ways they cannot comprehend.
The scary part is that lunatics like Olson-Kennedy are given millions of dollars to test their “transgender” delusions on children.
“This whole thing is an experiment on children,” Laidlaw said. “We are ignoring the voices of desisters and people who have come out of this and recognize their sex. And the NIH is allowing unethical research to be conducted on adolescents, in my opinion.”
Not long ago, conservatives warned that liberals would try pushing their transgender agenda on children — and now the United States government is funding it.