Category Archives: StopChildAbuse

Teacher Abused Two Children

.jpg photo of administrator in child abuse coverup
Timothy Wingate, 30

Child Center Administrator Accused Of
Failing To Report Child Abuse

West Palm Beach, Florida  –  An administrator with a child educational center spent Thursday in jail on charges he failed to promptly report allegations of child abuse in 2014 that happened under his watch, authorities say.

Timothy Wingate, 30, of West Palm Beach, is listed as the chief operating officer of Apostolic Child Development Center Inc. of West Palm Beach, according to its website.

The center, whose name was redacted from a report, had a video that showed a teacher abusing two children, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.  But Wingate didn’t provide the video surveillance in the classroom to police until 10 days after their initial visit to the center, sheriff’s deputies said.

Wingate also failed to notify the state Department of Children and Families of the abuse, which he is required to do, deputies said. Wingate was recently held on the charge of failure to report child neglect, which authorities say happened at the center on May 12, 2014.

A number listed for Apostolic Child Development Center was no longer in service.  Wingate could not be reached for comment despite phone calls to numbers listed in his name.

Zully Marilu Ruiz Yapan, the teacher held on the child abuse-related charge in 2014, was listed on the center’s website at the time the abuse allegation was made.  Yapan was sentenced to three years of probation in April 2015, court records show.

According to the arrest report, a child in Yapan’s class told her father her teacher had hit her and she complained she couldn’t eat potato chips and was in pain.

The report states the child’s mother reported the incident to Wingate, who told her he spoke to two teachers who said “nothing happened.”

He told the family he conducted a full investigation into the matter and placed the child back into the care of Yapan, according to the report.  He told someone, whose name was redacted from the arrest report, that he was “not going to allow her drag his school down,” the report said.

Wingate told investigators under oath he didn’t review the video surveillance before giving it to police, the report states.  He was released from Palm Beach County Jail on Thursday after posting $3,000 bail.

Give A Child A Voice Foundation

.jpg photo of Foundation Founder
Cindy Dennis

Springfield Mom Creates Foundation To Fight Child Abuse

Springfield, Missouri – Cindy Dennis, author of child abuse prevention books, is creating the Give A Child A Voice Foundation.

By forming a nonprofit foundation, Dennis said she hopes to reach more children, parents, grandparents, foster parents and educators. As a foundation, she will be in a better position to raise funds and apply for grants.  And she can get cheaper “nonprofit” publishing rates.

The Springfield mom presented her plans Wednesday at the 1 Million Cups meeting, where entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts to an audience.

“Our objective is to reduce and eventually end all forms of child abuse, neglect and molestation,” she told the audience.  “We will achieve this by teaching kids to stand up for themselves, be vigilant and become a crusader for their own well-being.”

“Children will learn that their bodies are sacred and no one has a right to victimize them.  They will learn tactics and strategies that can lead to prevention.”

Dennis said as the foundation raises money, she will be able to create a high-quality video “that is engaging to children with animation and songs.”  Dennis also wants to distribute the book “Friend Manual” to kindergarten through third-grade classes, preschools and churches.  “Friend Manual” teaches kids about safety, the difference between good secrets and bad secrets, and what to do if a stranger approaches or tries to grab them.

Dennis said the foundation will be run by volunteers and the office (in her home) is free.

“Someone asked if I will get burnt out,” she said.  “I’ve been doing this for 15 years, so I really don’t think I’ll be getting burnt out.

“We did have an incident in my family and that is why I’m so devoted to this,” she added.

The Give A Child A Voice Foundation board of directors includes Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, KGBX’s Liz Delany, Erik Dennis, Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky, April Harrell, Stacy James, Sam Sandora, Dawn Schaffer and Lauren O’Reilly.

Dennis said they are working to obtain 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Dennis has said her inspiration for her book series came from a relative who was molested at the age of 3.

Find out more about her books and watch videos featuring local celebrities like Jeff Houghton and Doug Pitt reading her books at cindylubooks.com.

Upcoming Fundraiser

A private concert featuring the band “Members Only” will be on April 30 at the Hotel Vandivort.  The venue was donated by Hotel Vandivort owner John McQueary, Dennis said.  Tickets will be $100 with proceeds going to the foundation’s video project.

Dennis said she is looking for businesses and individuals to sponsor the event.  If interested, email giveachildavoice@att.net.