Category Archives: Illicit Drugs

FL Man Charged With Child Sex Abuse

.jpg photo of Child Predator
Behzad Izadi, 57

Sheriff: Palmetto man could face additional Child Abuse charges

SARASOTA COUNTY, FL  –  Behzad Izadi, 57, of Palmetto has been charged with sexual abuse in Sarasota and Manatee counties after three children disclosed he abused them during parties at his home in 2013, and at a condo he was renting on Siesta Key last year, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said.

Izadi was charged May 26 with three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious battery with regard to the now 14-year-old victim in Sarasota County.  He had been previously charged May 17 with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly supplying drugs and alcohol to two other teens.

Detectives began investigating Izadi when the 14-year-old Sarasota child told a counselor in April that she was sexually battered at a July 4, 2016 party on Siesta Key.  The alleged victim said that she was invited to the July 4 overnight party with a group of her girlfriends.  Izadi rented the condo on Siesta Beach for the party and was the only adult present.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report:

Izadi bought alcohol for the minors and encouraged them to drink. The victim stated that she had also attended other parties with Izadi where he was “handing out Xanax” to her 13 and 14-year-old girlfriends.

On the night of the incident, the victim said she recalls Izadi touching her twice sexually while she slept on a living room couch, and once after she moved to a bedroom where her friends were sleeping.  Scared and “in shock” over the incident, she called her mother in the morning who came immediately and picked her up.

The victim said she noticed other friends had suddenly stopped hanging out around Izadi and learned of similar incidents.  A second 14-year-old victim reported being touched by Izadi while staying the night at his home.  A third 14-year-old victim said that Izadi would give her two to three Xanax at a time and supplied her with marijuana.  She said she would forget what happened to her those nights about an hour after she took the pills.

The third victim said she would recall some of the events from video snippets taken she discovered on her phone, but did not remember she and her friends “partying.”

A fourth 14-year-old teen was interviewed on May 25 and additional charges could be filed, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Izadi posted bonds totaling $27,500 in Manatee County, and was released May 17.  He was arrested May 28 in Sarasota County and remains in custody on bonds totaling $600,000.

Detectives believe there may be more victims and ask anyone with information regarding Izadi or his actions to contact them the Criminal Investigations Section at 941-861-4916.

AR Infant Nearly Eaten By Rats

.jpg photo of Parents of Rat Bitten Baby
Erica Shyrock, 19, and Charles Elliott, 18.

Baby found with nearly 100 rat bites,
parents charged

MAGNOLIA, AR  –  An Arkansas couple were arrested after their newborn baby was found to have between 75 and 100 rat bites.

Police were called to Magnolia Regional Medical Center after the baby girl was taken to the emergency room for treatment for the bites.

A nurse said the 15-day-old child weighed five pounds and had been bitten at least 100 times.

Police said that the baby had bites on her arms, fingers and face, with one bite on the baby’s forehead measuring about an inch wide with the skull visible.

Police identified the child’s parents as Erica Shyrock, 19, and Charles Elliott, 18.

Elliott’s mother said that her son told her that the child had been bitten by a mouse, but said he told her he was afraid the child would be taken away if he took the baby to the hospital.

Shyrock told police that she put the baby to sleep at 5:30 a.m. Sunday.  The baby woke her up screaming at 7:30 a.m. and she found the baby covered in blood.

Shyrock told police that both she and Elliott knew that there were rats in the home, but did nothing to get rid of them.

Elliott told police that he and Shyrock woke up at 5 a.m. to the baby crying and saw blood everywhere and rat footprints in the crib.   But he and Shyrock waited to take the baby to he hospital until his mother arrived around 9 a.m.

Both Elliott and Shyrock were arrested, charged with endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree.

A Columbia County deputy prosecuting attorney said that new charges of permitting abuse of a minor with serious physical injury will be filed against the pair.  The new charge is a felony.

When police searched the home, they said they found the baby’s bassinet with rat footprints in blood, the baby’s hat covered in blood and rodent droppings on a nearby table.

Monday, the baby had facial reconstruction to repair the forehead injury.

Tuesday, doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital told police that the injuries were so severe that the bites would have taken hours and the baby would have been in distress during the time. 

The doctor told police that he believes that the parents were either not at the home or were so incapacitated that they were not able to respond. The doctor said he found 75 to 100 bites covering the child.

Father Gets Light Turned Out For OK Law Maker

.jpg photo of Oklahoma Law Maker arrested for Child Prostitution
Shortey also introduced a bill in 2012 banning the use of aborted human fetuses in food.

Oklahoma lawmaker arrested on
Child Prostitution charges

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  –   An Oklahoma state senator was booked Thursday on child prostitution charges for allegedly hiring a 17-year-old boy for sex, leading to calls for his resignation and a separate internal investigation into his years of work with a youth program.

Shortey was perhaps best known for introducing a bill in 2012 that would have banned the use of aborted human fetuses in food…

Ralph Shortey, a 35-year-old conservative Republican who has a wife and three young daughters, surrendered to authorities on charges of engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church.  He was released after about two hours on a $100,000 bond.

“I have no comment at this time, but I will soon,” he told reporters outside of the jail.

Court records didn’t show if he had retained an attorney, and Shortey didn’t reply to texts and voicemails seeking comment.

The allegations led to Shortey’s removal from his volunteer position with the Oklahoma City YMCA’s Youth and Government program, in which he has been active for 17 years and served as a chaperone on several out-of-state trips, YMCA spokeswoman Brenda Bennett said.  She said she was unaware of any allegations of wrongdoing involving Shortey’s work for the program, but that the agency is conducting an internal investigation due to the nature of the criminal case.

Acting on a tip from the teen’s father, police went to the Super 8 Hotel in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore last week to check on the boy, who was seen going into a room with a man, according to a police report.  The officers were told the boy had solicited sex through Craigslist on other occasions and had a history of drug abuse.

The officers smelled marijuana smoke coming from the room and found Shortey and the teen alone inside.

A search of the teen’s tablet uncovered a series of sexually explicit exchanges in which Shortey referred to the teen as “baby boy” and offered him cash in exchange for “sexual stuff,” according to a police report.  The conversation had started with the teen messaging Shortey that he needed “money for spring break,” police wrote. Officers also found lotion and an open box of condoms inside backpacks in the room.

Shortey and the teen both told the officers that they had known each other for about a year, having met through Craigslist and later communicating via the messenger application Kik, which has been criticized as being unsafe for minors.

The age of consent in Oklahoma is 16, but Oklahoma’s child prostitution statute applies to any person under 18 years old.  It’s unclear from the police report or charging documents if Shortey and the teen actually had sex.  But prosecutor Susan Caswell said her office wouldn’t have to prove they did.

 “Soliciting refers to offering money in exchange for sex,” Caswell said.  “You don’t have to perform the act.”

The state Senate imposed sanctions Wednesday on Shortey, voting 43-0 for a resolution that accused him of “disorderly behavior” and stripped him of much of his power and many perks.  After his arrest Thursday, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and the chamber’s top Republican and Democrat called for Shortey’s immediate resignation, saying he couldn’t adequately serve his Oklahoma City district given the circumstances.

If he doesn’t resign, Shortey, who was a county coordinator and early supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, could be expelled with a two-thirds vote, or 32 members in the 48-member body.

During his seven years in the state Senate, Shortey built a name for himself by pushing bills targeting those living in the country illegally and expanding gun rights.  He routinely voted with his Republican colleagues on bills targeting gay and transgendered people, including a measure passed earlier this year that would allow business owners to discriminate against gay people.

“He was never vitriolic about it, but he would make the bad votes,” said Troy Stevenson, director of Freedom Oklahoma, a gay rights advocacy group.

Shortey faced fierce public criticism earlier this year when he sponsored a bill to stiffen the penalties for drug possession within 1,000 feet of a school or church, even after Oklahoma voters in November voted to make such crimes misdemeanors.

Before his arrest, Shortey was perhaps best known for introducing a bill in 2012 that would have banned the use of aborted human fetuses in food — a measure that drew widespread ridicule and was never granted a hearing in a Senate committee.

Parts Of IN Seeing Rise In Child Maltreatment

.jpg photo of Child Abuse seminar
sIndiana eminar focused on youth issues in Vermillion and Parke counties.

Vermillion sees ‘huge increase’ in
Child Abuse, Neglect

Indiana  –  Vigo County isn’t the only Wabash Valley community with a high rate of abuse and neglect, according to a recent study.

In 2015, Vermillion County ranked 11th highest among Indiana’s 92 counties, with an abuse/neglect rate of nearly 36 per 1,000 children under age 18, according to the recently released Kids Count in Indiana 2017.  The state average was about 17 children per 1,000 children.

Parke County ranked 50th among 92 counties, with an abuse/neglect rate of nearly 17 per 1,000 children.

“Vermillion has seen a huge increase … and definitely outpaced the rate of the state and Parke County,” said Katie Kincaid, one of the presenters during a seminar in Clinton hosted by the Indiana Youth Institute and Valley Professionals Community Health Center.

The seminar focused on youth issues in Vermillion and Parke counties.  In 2010, Vermillion’s child abuse/neglect rate was 19.2 per 1,000 children; the 2015 rate represented a decline from 2014, when it was 43.8 per 1,000 children.

Kincaid asked the audience, which consisted of about 30 people who work for youth-serving agencies, about possible reasons for the high rate of abuse/neglect.  “We see a lot of drug use,” said Andrea Williams, local office director for the Indiana Department of Child Services in Vermillion and Parke counties.

The drugs being abused include meth, heroin and prescription pills, according to audience members.

“I think you hit the nail on the head.  Drugs are a big player here,” Kincaid said, not only in Vermillion County, but statewide.

When DCS removes a child from a home, it records the reason, and “in more and more cases, drugs and alcohol abuse on the part of the parents are being cited,” Kincaid said.  In 2013, it accounted for less than a third of cases, while in 2016, it represented more than half of the cases.

Williams said drug use often tends to be generational, which creates challenges when trying to place a child with another family member; those family members — aunts, uncles or even grandparents — may have substance abuse issues as well.

“It continues to cycle through the family, making it difficult to find those stable care-givers who kids are familiar with,” Williams said.

Kincaid cited other parent risk factors for abuse, including lack of understanding of child development; stress; isolation; and personal history of abuse or neglect.

She noted that statewide, reports of neglect and abuse to DCS have increased from 155,867 in 2012 to 202,493 in 2015.  While that likely is due in part to increased cases, “It can also reflect increased awareness and more people being aware of the fact they should report and how to report,” she said.

Anyone over age 18 in Indiana is a “mandatory reporter” if they “have reason to believe” a child is a victim of abuse or neglect, Kincaid said.  Those reporting don’t need to “know for sure” or be able to prove it, she said.  If they suspect abuse/neglect, they should call the DCS hotline at 1-800-800-5556 or text [SMS]: 741741.

Also, citizens or those reporting should not attempt to investigate, which is the job of the Department of Child Services.  “It’s our role to report, and let DCS take it from there,” Kincaid said.

Broc Leslie, principal at Ernie Pyle Elementary, praised the DCS office for creating awareness and educating school personnel, and the public, about the reporting process.  He also noted that local schools have hosted a program called Strengthening Families, offered by Hamilton Center.

Vigo County had the third highest child abuse/neglect rate among 92 counties, at nearly 42 per 1,000 children under age 18.

During the seminar, those attending also discussed data related to education, poverty, mental health and violent relationships.

VA Father And Child Shot With Same Bullet

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Maurice Anthony Jones, 30, was arrested after failing to seek medical attention for his 6-year-old Daughter after a gun discharged, hitting both he and the Child.

Police: Newport News man charged with
Child Abuse/Neglect after 6-year-old shot

Newport News, VA  –  A 30-year-old Newport News man was arrested Sunday after he was accused of treating his 6-year-old daughter’s gunshot wound with a first aid kit himself, police said.

Officers responded just before 8:30 p.m. Sunday to a residence in the 700 block of Waterfront Circle for a request to check on the welfare of a child, according to Master Police Officer Brandon Maynard.

There, police met with the child’s father, identified as 30-year-old Maurice Anthony Jones.  While speaking with him, a woman entered the residence and appeared to be very upset, Maynard said.

The woman told officers a child had been shot inside the residence the afternoon of Feb. 26.

Jones told police his daughters were running around the house after they got home from school, and the 6-year-old accidentally knocked a handgun off the bed.  The impact with the floor caused the gun to discharge a round, which struck Jones in the leg and then hit his daughter in her right leg, Maynard said.

Jones did not call 911 or take his daughter to the hospital, but treated his daughter’s wound with a first aid kit, Maynard said.

Police checked the girl’s leg and found a healing wound consistent with a gunshot wound.  Jones also appeared to have a scar on his leg consistent with a gunshot wound, according to Maynard.

Officers seized the firearm from the residence and also located a marijuana grinder, plastic baggies and cigarillos on a table in the living room, according to Maynard.  Jones said he had marijuana on him.

Child Protective Services was notified.  The child was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment to the gunshot wound, according to Maynard.

Jones was arrested and charged with PWID marijuana, reckless handling of a firearm and child abuse/neglect causing serious injury.