Woman In Video That Went Viral Faces More Serious Child Abuse Charge
LOCHBUIE, CO – A Denver woman who allegedly abused her child in an incident that was captured on home video appeared in court on Friday.
Weld County officials announced the arrest of Katerina Kennedy-Flores, 27, early Thursday afternoon. She was originally charged with two counts of child abuse, a Class 2 misdemeanor, however one of the charges was increased to child abuse causing injury, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Police arrested Kennedy-Flores in Denver on Wednesday, more than two weeks after the video was allegedly made in the Weld County town of Lochbuie, about 30 miles northeast of Denver.
The 16-minute-long video, which was shot by Kennedy-Flores’ roommate while she still lived in Lochbuie last month, spread across social media. It shows a young boy screaming and crying while the alleged abuse took place. Kennedy-Flores is seen shouting obscenities at and acting aggressively towards the child.
Court documents indicate the boy was left with multiple bruises from his mother’s attacks. The mother hits the child and throws things at him in the video.
Her bond was set at $3,000 and a protection order says she can’t have any contact with the boy or anyone under 18.
Nebraska Daycare provider charged with
ASHLAND, NE – An Ashland woman running an in-home daycare could be facing jail time after an incident that left a baby with a broken leg. According to authorities that daycare was not licensed.
A 4-month-old baby was inside a car seat, not buckled in when that car seat fell to the ground.
That baby is expected be OK, but the daycare provider, Sabrina Cowsky, is now charged with felony child abuse.
Aside from child abuse, Cowsky is being charged with false reporting and operating a daycare without a license. Per state law, once a daycare exceeds three children a license is required.
Authorities estimate, Cowsky was caring for roughly a dozen kids at the time of the incident. Ashland Chief of Police Joe Baudler said he is still trying to understand why a parent might take their kids to an unlicensed daycare.
“You know, with kids, myself, I’ve taken them to daycare, you know, I was concerned about the person watching the kid, than I was whether they had a license or not,” said Baudler.
WOWT 6 News was unable to contact Cowsky, but did speak with family and neighbors. Everyone WOWT 6 News talked to, spoke very fondly of not only Cowsky, but the victim’s parents as well. They said they think this boils down to just a really unfortunate accident.
The accident left a child with a broken leg and according to the Saunders County Attorney Steven Twohig the accident is exactly why state oversight exists.
“It’s not the controlling factor, I mean, things still happen in licensed daycare, as well, that are sad and unfortunate, but at the same time, it’s the more regulation, the less likelihood that something will occur,” said Twohig.
Sabrina Cowsky’s first appearance in court will be June 16th at 9 a.m. in Saunders County. If she’s found guilty of all child abuse, operating without a license and false reporting, she could be facing up to 4 years in jail and almost $12,000 in fines.
Thousands of children across the commonwealth could have been left in dangerous situations because of severe deficiencies at ChildLine, the state hotline for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, according to Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.
ChildLine, which is operated by the Department of Human Services, began in 1975. In the past few years, sweeping changes to the Child Protective Services Law have meant increased call volumes at ChildLine, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Among the findings of an audit conducted by DePasquale’s office:
22 percent of all calls in 2015 went unanswered.
ChildLine was constantly understaffed in 2015.
Nearly one-third of all calls received in 2014 and 2015 were not tracked or documented.
Supervisors monitored an extremely small number of calls — only seven, or 0.005 percent — in 2015.
DePasquale didn’t even wait until the audit was finished to release his report.
“While strengthening laws to combat child abuse was a critical achievement, not providing the funding to enforce those laws was a disturbing failure,” DePasquale said in a news release. “Our report shows the results of that failure — 42,000 unanswered calls in 2015.
The critical problems our audit team has found so far simply cannot wait even another few months until this audit is finished.
“I’m sounding the alarm as early as I can on these issues, because even one unanswered phone call means there could be a child in a life-threatening situation who needs help,” he said. “The ChildLine system hasn’t been functioning in a way that leaves me any confidence that a child can get help when it is needed.”
Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas responded to the audit report by outlining steps his agency is taking to fix the high rate of unanswered calls.
Dallas said added staff has reduced the unanswered call rate to 12 percent, and he said he expects to lower that to 4 percent in the coming weeks.
District wastes $369,000 fighting
Child Abuse disclosure
East Bay Times, California – Let the case of Bay Area News Group vs. Mt. Diablo Unified School District serve as a reminder to all government officials that compliance with the state Public Records Act is not optional.
They have a responsibility to provide public documents, and there are consequences if they don’t. If officials don’t understand the importance of transparency, they should quit.
At issue in the Mt. Diablo case was reporter Matthias Gafni’s request in 2013 for a 2006 investigation report pertaining to teacher Joseph Martin.
The report raised the issue of child abuse, but police were never notified. Martin remained in the classroom another seven years after the investigation, before he was arrested and later convicted of molesting students.
For 2 1/2 years, the district fought release of the document. Finally, in January, a judge ordered it made public, and the district was threatened with a contempt motion if it didn’t comply.
After losing the litigation, the district this month had to send our lawyer, Duffy Carolan, a $225,000 check to cover our legal expenses. In addition, the district spent $134,000 for its attorney, Kevin Gilbert.
Mt. Diablo school Trustees Linda Mayo, Cheryl Hansen, Brian Lawrence, Barbara Oaks and Debra Mason owe taxpayers, parents, teachers, students and voters an explanation of why they wasted $369,000 of public money in a futile attempt to keep the report hidden. That money could have funded four classroom teachers for a year.
For his part, Gilbert managed to supplement his billable hours, first at the Meyers Nave law firm and later at Lozano Smith. He, too, owes an explanation of why he pursued such a misguided and costly legal strategy.
He will undoubtedly try to hide behind attorney-client privilege to avoid explaining the logic. But trustees can, and should, waive that privilege.
The public is entitled to see reports that find employee wrongdoing.
In the 2006 findings, investigator Mark S. Williams, an attorney hired by the district, warned that “this report would not be honest and its conclusions not fully supported if I did not report that the circumstances surrounding these allegations did not at least suggest the subject matter of potential child abuse.”
The district’s leading argument for secrecy was that the report was legal advice protected by attorney-client privilege. But that privilege doesn’t apply if Williams was acting as an investigator, which he was, and any privilege would be waived if the district shared the report with others, which it did.
Then, there’s the big question of why, after the investigator warned of potential child abuse, no one called police as the law requires. For that, we still haven’t received a good answer.
LOCHBUIE, Colorado – A child seen being abused in a video shared widely on social media is now in protective custody and his mother in jail.
A Lochbuie woman identifying herself only as Sue, said she reported the abuse to police nine days after recording Katrina Flores-Kennedy on April 30.
The dark, cell phone video is disturbing. The screams of who Lochbuie police believe is Flores-Kennedy can be heard yelling at her toddler son about a lost phone charger.
The boy, wearing a t-shirt and diaper, can be seen crying as his mother yells at him and hits him.
Sue did not want to appear on camera or give her full name, fearing for her safety after posting the video.
“I was only trying to help. I know everybody’s seen (it), and everybody’s making it like I’m a monster for recording it, but they don’t understand the situation and the circumstances,” she said.
Sue explained she didn’t step in to help the child out of fear and did what she thought was best.
“She was still in my home. I was scared. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do,” she said.
Flores-Kennedy and her son were temporarily staying in Sue’s home at the time. Now, the boy is in protective custody but only after Sue said she posted the video online when she didn’t think police were taking action to protect the child.
Sue’s sister said the family is getting death threats.
“It’s extremely hard. People don’t know the emotional effects that we’re going through being the ones who put it out there. But nobody wanted to see that baby hurt anymore and if this is what it takes, so what if the world hates us. At least that baby is saved,” her sister said.
The 27-year-old mother is charged with three counts of child abuse.
She appeared in court by jailhouse video Thursday afternoon. A judge ordered a $3,000 bond, and is keeping Flores-Kennedy from contacting her son or anyone under the age of 18. She will be back in court next Friday.
The woman who recorded the video was also cited for child abuse. Late Wednesday night around 10:40 p.m., Lochbuie police officers wrote Sue a citation. She said she will fight those charges.