Category Archives: Child Abuse

Making A Difference For Our Elders

.jpg photo of Texas Attorney General Logo
Texas Attorney General Logo

AG Paxton Issues Consumer Alert on
Social Security Scam

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today warned Texans to beware of calls from scam artists pretending to be with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and attempting to fool unsuspecting people into giving them their Social Security number and money.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received a large number of complaints from consumers targeted by the Social Security scam.  Crooks tell the would-be victim that their Social Security number has been used in a crime and they must pay a fee to reactivate it or to get a new number.  During the call, the person is asked to give out their Social Security number.

In other instances of the scam, individuals are told that their bank accounts have been seized and they should transfer their money to the caller for safe keeping, or that they could lose their Social Security benefits because their Social Security number was used to apply for credit cards.

Attorney General Paxton’s Consumer Protection Division reminds Texans that the Social Security Administration will never call and ask for a person’s Social Security number, request money, or threaten someone’s benefits.  Be sure to follow these tips from the FTC:

  • Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you.  Don’t confirm the last 4 digits.  And don’t give a bank account or credit card number to anybody who contacts you asking for it.
  • Don’t be fooled by caller ID showing the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213).  Computers make it easy for scam artists to show any number on caller ID, a technique called spoofing.
  • Remember that anyone who calls and tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card or send cash is a scammer, no matter who they say they are.

If you get an unsolicited call from someone who claims to be from the SSA, get off the phone.  Then call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213.  Or, if you’ve detected a scam, file an online complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint or with the Texas attorney general’s office at:
https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/file-a-consumer-complaint

HHS-CPS Violating Freedom Of Religion

.jpg photo graphic of HHS violation of freedom of religion
HHS(CPS) is violating Our guaranteed Freedom Of Religion

AG Paxton Urges HHS to Repeal Rule that
Violates the Religious Liberty of Texas’
Faith-Based Foster Care and Adoption
Service Providers

AUSTIN, TX  –  In a letter today to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Attorney General Ken Paxton urged prompt repeal of an Obama-era rule that violates the religious liberty of Texas’ faith-based foster care and adoption service providers by requiring them to abandon their core religious beliefs as a condition of receiving federal funding under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

“People of faith should not be required to forfeit their sincerely held religious beliefs as a condition of helping Texas’ most vulnerable children,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “We’re asking HHS to repeal its unlawful rule on child welfare funding or, alternatively, grant the state of Texas an exemption from the rule.”

Attorney General Paxton, in his letter to Lynn Johnson, the assistant secretary at HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, pointed out that the rule on Title IV-E funding exceeds statutory authority, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and conflicts with Texas law.

Last session, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 3859, which protects the religious liberty of child welfare organizations and prohibits the state from granting or refusing to grant funding to such organizations because of their religious beliefs, including the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Texas’ share of Title IV-E funding is administered by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) through its Child Protective Services, which works with secular and faith-based communities to find loving homes for children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.

Some faith-based providers who receive Title IV-E funding through DFPS require potential foster care or adoptive parents to share a particular religious faith, be a member of a congregation, or agree to the provider’s statement of faith.  But the federal rule requires those organizations to abandon their deeply held religious beliefs as a condition of receiving funding. 

From Bad To Prison Time

.jpg photo of mother accused of Child Abuse
Lindsey Michelle Smith, 38

Police: Mom charged with abuse tried to
have child kidnapped

RALEIGH, NC  –  A North Carolina woman already charged with child abuse is accused of trying to convince someone to abduct her daughter from her foster home and hide her in Florida until she turns 18.

The News & Observer reports 47-year-old Russell Jay Smith and 38-year-old Lindsey Michelle Smith were charged earlier this year with child abuse for inflicting “serious mental injury” on their pre-teen daughter for more than two years.

.jpg photo of father accused of Child Abuse
Russell Jay Smith, 47

They were accused of putting her through “extreme isolation,” forcing her to remain standing for hours, forbidding her from speaking to her siblings and failing to provide her with adequate education.

Lindsey Smith is now charged with soliciting someone to commit a felony and felony obstruction of justice.  She’s been ordered held without bail.

The report didn’t include comment from her.

TX AG CEU Roundsup Another Purveyor Of Child Porn

.jpg photo of Texas Attorney General Logo
Texas Attorney General Logo

AG Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests
McLennan County Man for Possession of
Child Pornography

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested 59-year-old Eddie Dwayne Pratt, of Robinson, on three counts of possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony.

Acting on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® (NCMEC), investigators from the attorney general’s office searched Pratt’s home, where they discovered images of child pornography.

They also confiscated multiple digital storage devices, which will be examined by the Digital Forensics Unit of the attorney general’s office.

During questioning, Pratt admitted to possessing child pornography.

Attorney General Paxton’s office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.

The Child Exploitation Unit proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.

If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC

For more information on cyber safety, please visit:
https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/

The Reason Our Children Have No Rights Now

.jpg photo of military commander arrested in child sex trafficking sting
Lt. Col. Willie Newson, 47, of the Georgia Air National Guard.

High-Ranking Military Commander Busted
in FBI Child Sex Trafficking Sting

COBB COUNTY, GA  –  Earlier this week, the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force held a sting to catch alleged sex traffickers and made multiple arrests in the process.  During the sting, a high-ranking Air Force Colonel was ensnared by federal agents.

The undercover sex bust unfolded Tuesday night at a Cobb County hotel at which Lt. Col. Willie Newson, 47, was arrested.  According to authorities, Newson thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl at the hotel.  He was actually meeting undercover agents pretending to be a child.

Georgia Department of Defense spokeswoman Desiree Bamba told AJC.com that Newson is on the command staff of Maj. Gen. Jesse T. Simmons Jr., who is the commander of the Georgia Air National Guard.  Newson also was formerly the commander of the 165th Communication Flight of the 165th Airlift Wing, according to the official.

“Lt. Col. Newson’s alleged actions do not reflect the values we uphold in the Georgia National Guard,” she said.

As WSB-TV reports, the “undercover officer that Newson spoke with gave him the opportunity to stop communicating several times.”  However, Newson continued to pursue who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

The Air Force Colonel was using a popular dating app to pursue the child.

On Tuesday, Newson was arrested on multiple charges stemming from the child exploitation charges.  After he was taken into custody, he immediately bailed himself out for $20,000.

He is currently on leave pending the outcome of the case.

“It’s upsetting to the safety of our kids, the safety of this community as a whole,” Mark Samuels, who manages the hotel where the bust took place.

As TFTP previously reported, another high-level government agent was arrested under similar circumstances. 41-year-old Donald Baldi, a Navy contractor with top-level security clearance was arrested and charged with second-degree distribution of child pornography and third-degree possession of child pornography.  Baldi was also released on bail.

Just down the road, in Fulton County, GA, a massive sting operation carried out by the FBI in metro Atlanta captured dozens of child traffickers and rescued 160 children who had been forced into sex slavery by their captors.  The operation concluded in June of this year.

Illustrating the massive scope of the sting, called Operation Safe Summer, it was a collaborative effort between the FBI and 38 other law enforcement agencies from six metro counties.

“They are crimes of special concern to the FBI and to law enforcement generally,” Special Agent in Charge Matt Alocke told Channel 2.  “Because the victims are so vulnerable as children and because the offenders could be from just about any walk of life, from a gang member all the way up to someone who is highly successful and wealthy.”

In total, the sting ensnared 150 traffickers.  Approximately 160 children, including some as young as 3-years-old were rescued.  According to Alocke, the sting was specifically timed to catch these predators before summer started as the trade tends to prey on children when they are out of school.

“It’s important for those of us who are responsible for the children, the parents, the guardians, the older siblings, to not let children fall away (from) those strongly centered circles of importance,” Alcoke said.

On multiple occasions, the Free Thought Project has reported interviews of former child sex trafficking victims who’ve all noted that they had nowhere to go as police and high-level politicians all took place in the abuse.

In case after case, the Free Thought Project reports on horrifying instances of child sex rings that were allowed to go on for decades because politicians — including heads of states — policemen, clergy, and others were all in on the sick game.

Article posted with permission from The Free Thought Project.