Category Archives: Physical Abuse

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.

MI Father Charged With Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Child found to have been abused
Matthew Lee Virgin, 27, was arrested for first degree child abuse.

Baby’s checkup leads to Child Abuse charges against metro Detroit father

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, MI  –  Deputies from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office were called to St. John Hospital in Detroit for a child abuse complain involving a two-month-old from Harrison Township.

The child was originally taken into her doctor’s office for a scheduled visit and then transferred to the hospital after showing possible signs of abuse.

She is currently in stable condition.

Deputies and detectives searched the child’s home and spoke with several people, including the child’s parents.

Her father, 27-year-old Matthew Lee Virgin was taken into custody and lodged at the Macomb County Jail for child abuse.

He was issued a warrant for one count of first degree child abuse by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

Twin PA 5 Week Olds Have Broken Bones

.jpg photo of woman accused of breaking Babies bones
Chelsey Stallard admitted handling the babies roughly.

Mother charged with Child Abuse of twin
infants in Imperial

IMPERIAL, PA  –  An Imperial mother is facing felony child abuse charges after doctors found broken bones in one of her 5-week-old twin boys — then asked to see his brother and found more, according to Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV.

Chelsey Stallard’s preliminary hearing was held Wednesday, and a judge held the charges for court.

North Fayette police were called to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in June for a report of twin 5-week-old boys with signs of child abuse, the news station reported.

According to the criminal complaint, a doctor said each infant had “significant trauma to the lower extremities,” broken bones in their legs in different stages of healing, and one of the boys had a displaced, broken elbow.

Stallard admitted to handling the babies roughly from time to time such as when they cried and during diaper changes, police said.

Stallard admitted to forcefully pulling one infant’s arm while he was still strapped in his car seat and acknowledged that both infants’ injuries were a result of her actions, WPXI reported.

But Stallard’s attorney claims his client is innocent, saying an underlying medical condition may be to blame.

“These charges were filed without a complete medical investigation being conducted into the origin of these injuries,” Chris Eyster told WPXI.  “A group of doctors at the request of the family is now trying to conduct that medical investigation.”