TX Man Arrested For Child Pornography

.jpg photo of man arrested for Child Pornography
Jarrett Palitza, 22, of Adkins Texas

Texas Attorney General:  Man arrested on 6 counts of child pornography possession

A 22-year-old Adkins man was arrested Thursday for allegedly having multiple images of child pornography, including at least one image of a 10-year-old girl, the Office of the Texas Attorney General said Friday.

Jarrett Ray Dwayne Palitza was formally charged on six counts of possession of child pornography after investigators with the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) conducted a warrant-approved search of his residence in Adkins, which is about 21 miles east of San Antonio.

The CEU became involved initially as assistance to the Sealy Police Department regarding a case of sexual assault of a girl, 10, along with the possibility of a potential possession and distribution of child porn, according to a news release issued Friday.

The search led investigators to Palitza’s home, where child pornography was allegedly discovered.  One of the images was of the 10-year-old girl believed to be involved in the Sealy Police Department case, according to the news release.

“One more dangerous individual is off the streets and behind bars thanks to the efforts of the Child Exploitation Unit and the Sealy Police Department,” Paxton said in a news release.  “My office will remain steadfast in protecting our children and our communities from the heinous acts of these child predators and continue seeking justice against them.”

We Appreciate You Even More Sue

.jpg photo of Mother arrested for Child Abuse
Katrina Flores-Kennedy, 27

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.

NE Toddlers Leg Broken At Unlicensed Daycare

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Toddlers Leg Broken At Unlicensed Daycare

Nebraska Daycare provider charged with
Child Abuse

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.

42,000 PA Child Abuse Calls Unanswered

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42,000 PA Child Abuse Calls Unanswered

Audit blasts Pennsylvania’s Child Abuse
hotline

A scathing report from Pennsylvania‘s auditor general indicates one in every five calls to the state’s child abuse hotline is likely to go unanswered.

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.

Teacher Not Reported For Child Sex Abuse

.jpg photo of School District logo that covered up Child Sex Abuse
Teacher remained in classroom seven years after the investigation.

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.

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