Category Archives: Physical Abuse

How Can This Be Simple Child Abuse

.jpg photo of mother charged with child abuse
Kaylene Bowenwright, 34, was charged with child abuse.

Texas mother charged with Child Abuse
after son had 323 doctor visits and
13 major surgeries

Dallas County, TX  –  A community in northeast Dallas is reeling over a 34-year-old mother charged with child abuse after spending the past eight years taking her son to 323 doctor visits and putting him through 13 major surgeries.

Kaylene Bowenwright, of Lake Highlands, was arraigned in Dallas County Dec. 6 on a warrant accusing her of injury to a child with serious bodily injury with bail set at $150,000, according to court documents.  Bowenwright was also ordered not to communicate with her son Christopher, 8, and have no contact with other minors.

“Throughout his young life, Christopher has been placed full time on oxygen and, at times, used a wheelchair.  He’s endured invasive procedures and surgeries, including being fitted with a feeding tube that fed directly into his small intestine and led to multiple life-threatening blood infections,” the Star-Telegram reported.

Dr. Suzanne Roper-Dakil of Children’s Medical Center Dallas suspected that Bowenwright may have been trying to make Christopher sick, according to an affidavit included in a Child Protective Services petition for Christopher’s removal from his mother obtained by the Star-Telegram.  This suspicion was raised after Bowenwright recently took Christopher to the center because of a supposed seizure.

“I am very concerned that mother has moved from exaggerating symptoms to inducing symptoms,” Roper-Dakil wrote in the affidavit.  “If mother has given Chris something to induce a seizure, this is potentially fatal.  At this point, I am very concerned for his welfare.”

A request for comment has been placed with Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

Christopher’s father Ryan Crawford tried convincing a Dallas County family court judge that his son was not as sick as his mother claimed and she was just fishing for attention.  Crawford believes Bowenwright may exhibit Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, a disorder in which a person creates or induces symptoms in others to gain attention.

Bowenwright’s claims regarding her son’s poor health even inspired the Dallas community to start a YouCaring campaign two years ago for Christopher that has raised more than $8,000.

“Christopher is battling a severe case of Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in his lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and brain. Diagnosed at the age of two, the congenital condition is slowly taking the wind out of the sails of this bright and active boy.  His sparkling eyes and ready smile belie the fact that his arteries and veins are no longer working as they should to deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout his body,” the YouCaring campaign states.

A GoFundMe campaign called “Christopher’s Beach Bash” was launched in Aug. 2016.  It raised $610 before being shut down.  The campaign appears to have been started by a family friend, according to a preserved version of it on Google.

“Never in your life do u want to hear the dreadful ‘C’ word about anyone but hearing it when it comes to a 7-year-old that you love like your own is what I’m facing right now.  One of my very dear friends, Kaylene, has a son who has been diagnosed with cancer.  Christopher has been given 6 months to love by the doctors but I know the God that I serve and he is more powerful than the words of doctors or attacks from satan,” Lori Hawkins-Sims wrote in the campaign description on GoFundMe.

Doctors determined that Christopher does not have cancer or many of the symptoms that Bowenwright claims and which inspired the YouCaring and GoFundMe campaigns, the Star-Telegram added.

A request for comment has been placed with Bowenwright’s public defender.

WI School Employee Arrested

.jpg photo of WI school employee accused of child sexual abuse
Timothy Schilling, 47

Holmen school worker charged with
sexual, physical Child Abuse

La Crosse, Wisconsin  –  A Holmen school district employee is accused of sexually and physically abusing a child over the course of about six years.

Timothy Schilling, 47, raped the boy, beat him with a belt, slapped his genitals with a fly swatter, and urinated on him, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

The boy told police the abuse began when he was about 6 and recounted several occasions when he was raped, according to the criminal complaint.  The boy described another encounter when he was about 8 when Schilling hit his bare back with a belt.

According to the complaint, Schilling slapped his face, urinated on his leg, and wrung out soiled underwear over his head when the boy struggled with wetting his pants.  He also pulled on the boy’s genitals and hit them with a fly swatter.

Prosecutors charged Schilling with repeated sexual assault of a child, two felony counts of physical abuse of a child and four counts of disorderly conduct.  The most serious charge carries a maximum 60-year sentence.  He is free on a signature bond.

Schilling, an educational assistant who worked in building security, was put on unpaid leave after he was arrested Nov. 27, according to a letter the district sent to parents.

School District Administrator Kristin Mueller said in the letter that Schilling did not work in classrooms and that his employment was under review.

Mueller said Wednesday that he remains on unpaid leave.

AZ Official Charged With Child Abuse In MN

.jpg photo of old Gila County Courthouse
Old Gila County Courthouse

Gila County official charged in MN with Child Abuse shortly after he was rehired

A manager for Gila County’s health and emergency services agency is scheduled to stand trial early next year in Minnesota on charges of abusing his two children, according to court documents.

Joshua Beck, 40, is charged with two counts of assault and two counts of endangering a child, according to court records in Cook County, Minnesota.  His trial is scheduled to start on Jan. 29.

Beck was the Cook County Health and Humans Services director in Minnesota before he resigned on July 21.  His charges were filed in Minnesota about a week later.

Before moving to Minnesota, Beck had worked as manager of Gila County’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness, a program within the department, in Globe.

Gila County hired him back after he left Minnesota, for the same position, a role that helps oversee the county’s 53,000 residents’ safety in event of a public health emergency.

Gila County Manager James Menlove said he was aware of Beck’s pending criminal court case.  He said Beck had applied for the job and was hired before the charges were filed.

“Gila County takes the charges against Beck very seriously, but as is the case with anyone in the criminal justice system who has yet to be convicted, Beck is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty,” according to an emailed statement.  “Gila County remains steadfastly committed to the safety of its employees and the residents it serves.”

Beck was rehired on July 18, before the charges were filed on Aug. 1 in Cook County, the statement says.  He had two previous stints with the county from November 2012 to May 2013 and again from March 2014 to September 2016.

His current annual salary in Gila County is $62,042.

‘We believe this is a witch hunt’

Through his lawyers, Beck denied the allegations.  He said the false claims of abuse are at the center of a custody dispute involving his stepson and stepdaughter and other family members.

“He adamantly disputes the allegations and is taking the steps to defend himself in court,” said Tyson Smith, a lawyer for Beck, in a phone interview.

Christa Jacqueline Groshek, another Minnesota lawyer for Beck, said in a phone interview Beck is innocent and the children’s grandmother has been seeking custody.

Groshek said Beck has three biological children with his wife and none of them have alleged they’ve been abused.  She added that Beck has worked in public health policy for a long time and he cares for families and children “so he wouldn’t hurt children.”

“We feel like he’s been wrongfully accused,” she said.  “We believe this is a witch hunt that started with the maternal grandmother.”

Groshek made these arguments on Monday to a judge in Cook County at a hearing seeking to dismiss the prosecutor’s evidence. She said she expects the judge to make a decision whether to dismiss the charges or not in the next couple of weeks.

Allegations of abuse

According to a probable-cause statement, the 10-year-old girl told a staff member at First Witness, a child well-being advocacy organization in Minnesota, Beck had abused her since before moving from Arizona.

“She indicated that the defendant calls her names, pulls her hair, throws objects at her, forcibly wakes her up, and takes away her cochlear implants so she cannot hear,” the complaint said.

In one instance, the girl told the staff member Beck grabbed her neck and choked her until she couldn’t breathe, the court document says.  The girl said the choking gave her a bruise and affected her sense of smell, the document says.

In another instance, she said Beck pulled her hair, slapped and threw toys at her face, the document says.

Both children also told the staff member, according to the court document, that while they lived in Arizona, Beck threw them both to the ground.  The boy’s head hit some rocks and his head began to bleed and one of the girl’s ankles was injured, the document says.
The children said they didn’t receive medical attention for their injuries and the girl couldn’t walk on the ankle for a few days, the probable cause statement says.

The boy also said Beck “likes to cause him pain,” the court document states.

Both children said Beck encourages the three younger children to mistreat them, too, by hurting them physically or calling them derogatory names, according to the court document.

TX Child Abuse Suspect Takes Own Life

.jpg photo of location police attempted to serve warrants
Daryl Elliott, 56, barricaded himself inside an apartment.

Child Abuse suspect kills himself as deputies try to arrest him in Dallas

A child abuse suspect killed himself during a standoff with authorities trying to arrest him Tuesday night at a northeast Dallas apartment.

Two warrant officers were attempting to serve a felony warrant about 9 p.m. when Daryl Elliott, 56, barricaded himself inside an apartment in the 7500 block of Holly Hill Drive, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Melinda Urbina said.

Officers attempted to negotiate with Elliott, but he did not surrender.  Hours later, they heard a gunshot inside the apartment, Urbina said.

They entered to find Elliott had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officers didn’t fire their weapons during the incident, Urbina said.

He was convicted for two charges of injury to a child or elderly person.

He faced two charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child, which were eventually dismissed. 

OK Parent Of The Year In Prison Instead

.jpg photo of woman recognized as DHS Adoptive Parent of the Year in NE OK
Deidre Matthews, 50

Oklahoma woman formerly named DHS Adoptive Parent of the Year gets prison time in Child Abuse case

JAY, OK  –  An Oklahoma woman who was formerly named DHS Adoptive Parent of the Year received prison time in connection to a child abuse case.

In 2006, Deidre Matthews, 50, and her former husband, Jerry Matthews, were recognized as Department of Human Services Adoptive Parents of the Year for northeast Oklahoma, the Tulsa World reports.

While the two were married, they reportedly lived with nine children, ages 4 through 17, in an animal feces-infested mobile home in Jay, Oklahoma.

The couple also owned more than 50 animals, including three spider monkeys and 11 lemurs.

According to the Tulsa World, court records show that under the care of Deidre Matthews, the oldest teen was forced to kill her pet kitten by bashing its head into a tree; another child was handcuffed and placed in a dog cage; children were made to stand outside or walk around the house naked; and children were kept home from school to avoid detection of bruises, welts and wounds.

Matthews is also accused of beating the children, allowing pet monkeys to bite the two teen daughters, and withholding food and water as punishment.

Her husband, Jerry, pleaded no contest to two counts of child neglect in 2016.  He received a suspend life sentence in exchange for testifying against his former wife.

This week, Deidre Matthews pleaded no contest to 12 counts of child abuse, child neglect and child endangerment.

According to the Tulsa World, Matthews received a life sentence, all but four years of which was suspended.

The local assistant district attorney said Matthews will receive credit for the year she spent in county jail and that she will only have to serve 85 percent of her sentence.