AG Paxton Sues Biden Administration for Silencing Parents, Labeling Them “Terrorists”
AUSTIN, TX – Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined Indiana in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to force the Biden Administration to release documents that will shed light on its labeling parents domestic terrorists for voicing their opinions at school board meetings across the country. The complaint focuses on the actions of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), reportedly committed in tandem with the White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ), when they accused parents across the United States of domestic terrorism last fall.
In a letter written to Attorney General Garland, the NSBA asked DOJ to invoke the Patriot Act to stifle parents from speaking up at school board meetings challenging their children’s indoctrination through liberal texts and racially charged, anti-white lessons, as well as the continuation of school mask mandates and remote learning.
“There is no way the NSBA can justify why they referred to concerned parents across the country as ‘domestic terrorists’ when it is obvious that they are being targeted for their political beliefs,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The Biden Administration cannot silence parents for exercising their constitutional rights and treat them like terrorists simply for having concerns about what their children are being taught. I will not back down in this fight to preserve our kids’ hearts and minds, to protect the rights of parents to engage with their schools, and to prevent the Biden Administration’s oppressive actions.”
AG Paxton Investigates TikTok for Potential Facilitation of Human Trafficking & Child Privacy Violations
AUSTIN, TX – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued two Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) to TikTok Inc. This investigation focuses on TikTok’s potential facilitation of human trafficking and child privacy violations, as well as other potential unlawful conduct.
“Chinese-owned company TikTok may be complicit in child exploitation, sex trafficking, human trafficking, drug smuggling and other unimaginable horrors,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I will get to the bottom of these concerns and make sure Big Tech doesn’t interfere with the safety and security of Texans.”
AG Paxton to Investigate Promotion of Puberty Blockers in Children
AUSTIN, TX – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and AbbVie Inc. under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. These pharmaceutical companies allegedly advertised and promoted hormone (puberty) blockers for unapproved uses without disclosing the potential risks associated with these drugs to children and their parents.
Medications Supprelin LA and Lupron Depot are approved to treat children with Central Precocious Puberty (CPP), when the puberty process begins prematurely. And Vantas, along with other forms of Lupron, has been prescribed for palliative treatment of prostate cancer. These drugs are now being used to treat gender dysphoria even though they are not approved for such use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Gender dysphoria is a diagnosed mental disorder in which a person experiences significant distress related to a strong desire to be of another biological sex.
“The manufacture, sale, prescription, and use of puberty blockers on young teens and minors is dangerous and reckless,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “These drugs were approved for very different purposes and can have detrimental and even irreversible side effects. I will not allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of Texas children.”
The OAG has the authority to investigate false, misleading, and deceptive conduct by businesses in Texas, and to take legal action to enforce the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Paxton’s Human Trafficking Division Announces 99-Year Sentence in Hunt County Human Trafficking Trial
AUSTIN, TX – Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that Barbara Barrett, of Greenville, has been found guilty of Continuous Trafficking of a Child in Hunt County and received a sentence of 99 years in jail.
Barrett and her husband, Jeffery Barrett, are accused of abusing and neglecting their adopted children while forcing them to work in a puppy mill attached to their home.
Both were charged with Continuous Trafficking of Persons. Paxton’s Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime Division assisted the Hunt County District Attorney in prosecution of Barrett.
“It is heartbreaking to know this horrid abuse was happening in our state, and it is unfathomable that a person could be so heartless to abuse the foster care system and use children in need of a loving, safe home as slave labor,” Attorney General Paxton said. “There is no excuse for this evil behavior, and it will not be tolerated in our state. We can only hope this successful prosecution will bring some degree of justice to the children that were robbed of the love and care they deserved. I will never stop fighting against human trafficking.”
Parents sent to prison in 2015 Fayetteville slaying, sex assault of 3-year-old daughter
Cumberland County, NC – A Fayetteville mother and father were sent to prison Monday for the 2015 sexual abuse and death of their malnourished 3-year-old daughter.
After a week of testimony and just over four hours of deliberation, a Cumberland County jury found Jamarkus Smith, 31, guilty of first-degree murder, taking indecent liberties with a child, intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, felonious child abuse and two counts of sex offense with a child by an adult in the death of his daughter, Jourdin A’Legacy Smith.
Jourdin’s mother and Smith’s wife, Octavia Bennett-Smith, 32, a former Fort Bragg Army sergeant, pleaded guilty in December 2019.
Testimony in Smith’s trial began July 19, with closing arguments on Friday.
Following the jury verdict, Smith professed his innocence when he addressed the court before sentencing.
“I showed them I was innocent,” he said. “They know I’m innocent, and you know I’m innocent. Everybody here knows. How is that right? At what point is the legal system about justice?”
No statements were made on behalf of Jourdin before Judge Claire Hill sentenced Smith to life imprisonment for the murder and a combined 25 to 35 years for the other charges. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Smith’s attorney, Kris Poppe, said his client plans to appeal the verdict.
As Smith was escorted from the courtroom Monday, he turned to two women in the gallery who appeared to be there on his behalf and said, “I didn’t do it.”
“I know you didn’t baby,” one of the women said. “He didn’t do that. I don’t care what nobody says. He didn’t do it.”
According to the child’s autopsy report, the cause of death was pneumonia in the setting of malnutrition, neglect and sexual abuse. She weighed just 28 pounds at the time of her death, and her body and genitals were riddled with lacerations and contusions, the report said.
Bennett-Smith’s sentencing came some 30 minutes after her husband’s.
Her defense attorney, Antonio Gerald, called Jourdin’s death a tragedy.
Gerald said that Bennett-Smith accepted responsibility for her role in Jourdin’s death and “agreed to testify and assist in any way to help bring justice for Jourdin.”
Bennett-Smith did not speak during the hearing but cried as she was sentenced to a minimum term 10 years, five months, and a maximum of 13 years, six months for the second-degree murder charge.
The judge declined Gerald’s request for a consolidated sentence and instead stacked the sentence for the other charges.
For the child abuse and sexual assault charges, she received a consecutive minimum sentence of four years, four months, and a maximum of more than 10 years in prison. She will be required to register as a sex offender for 30 years after release.
The judge also recommended a psychological evaluation for Bennett-Smith.
Gerald said that the court heard during her testimony at Smith’s trial that she was also a victim of assault as a child.
“These are not excuses for her actions of what she has pled guilty to, but only to shed some light as to what may have led her to be in this courtroom today,” he said.