Volunteer charged with videotaping sexual
acts between kids at elementary school
PALMER PARK, MD – Prince George’s County police have arrested a 22-year-old elementary school volunteer for producing videos of young victims performing sex acts on school grounds during the school day.
Deonte Carraway was arrested Friday and is facing 10 counts of felony child pornography, sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree sexual offense.
Police said there are ten known victims discovered so far-ranging from 9 to 13 years old. Detectives found Carraway had about 40 videos showing the victims performing sex acts on each other or alone under his direction. Police also believe Carraway abused some of his victims.
Carraway was a volunteer teacher’s assistant at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden. In the previous 2014-2015 school year, he was also a paid assistant at the school. He was also the director of the Glenarden Voices of Youth Choir.
According to police, the videos were produced at the elementary school as well as the Glenarden Municipal Center, Theresa Banks Memorial Aquatic Center and in private homes.
Police said the arrest was sparked last Thursday by an uncle of a student who discovered a nude photo on his nephew’s cell phone and it had been sent to Carraway through the Kik messaging app.
Carraway has admitted his involvement in the manufacturing and production of child pornography, according to police. They said additional charges are likely as this investigation will likely last several months.
Police are urging other possible victims of this crime to contact their Child and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Unit at 301-772-4930.
Carraway is being held on $1 million bond.
Statement on Deonte Carraway from Prince George’s County Public Schools:
“Prince George’s County Public Schools is shocked by the recent allegations. We will cooperate fully with law enforcement in this investigation. It’s important to note that every PGCPS employee goes through a proper screening process before they are hired. The safety of our students is a top priority for PGCPS. We will have counselors available to help victims in their recovery process.”
The fight to end modern-day slavery must happen every day
By Rep. Ann Wagner, Rep. Renee Ellmers
Kimberly Ritter, an anti-sex trafficking advocate, describes the horror: “They take little girls and walk them from truck to truck, they call them lot lizards. The pimp needs to keep control of the girls, that pimp can sell her up to 20 times a day, 7 days a week.” The girls can be 12 and 15 years old; they are our neighbors, nieces, sometimes our daughters or sisters. Take a moment; picture the pain, the torment, the hopelessness and anguish. The stories are real. Modern day slavery is happening right here in the United States of America…hiding in plain sight.
Sunday night, Americans across the country will tune into what is arguably the biggest sporting event of the year – the National Football League’s Super Bowl 50. As Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos fans stream to California for the big game, innocent children and women will be forced into modern-day sexual slavery rings right there in Santa Clara.
According to the McCain Institute, a non-profit organization focused on advancing democracy and human rights, large sporting events in concentrated urban areas become prime locations for traffickers to exploit victims.
While conversations about human trafficking escalate around Super Bowl Sunday, we also know that this heinous practice happens every single day in nearly every city and town across the country.
According to Polaris, a non-profit organization recognized as the global leader in the fight against this modern-day slavery, tens of thousands of women, girls, and boys are trafficked each year in the United States, with millions more falling victim worldwide.
Over the years, we have increasingly seen sex trafficking transactions made through online sites and advertisements. Now, predators can browse websites and have child prostitutes sent to their hotel rooms or homes as easily as ordering pizza.
As mothers, as sisters, and as lawmakers, it is our duty to raise awareness and work to eradicate this horrific practice that generates billions of dollars for pimps and criminals annually in the United States and beyond.
In May, for the first time in 13 years, Congress passed, and the President signed, legislation to address human trafficking. An issue that for too long festered in the shadows, this legislation included many individual bills we authored and supported that aim to better identify and protect victims while also cracking down on this cruel exploitation of women, girls, and boys.
The laws we passed will increase penalties for predators and provide resources for law enforcement to better investigate sex crime rings, also allowing them to prosecute those who knowingly profit from online advertisements that exploit the victims of sex trafficking. It improves law enforcement’s collection of trafficking data, and provides for much-needed training to federal employees and health professionals, all while allocating more resources to survivor shelters. Most importantly, this new law will increase the identification of victims and provide support for survivors as they heal and rebuild their lives.
As legislators, we believe these new laws are a step in the right direction, however more can and must be done. Without awareness and education, many of these victims will never be freed and will be forced to endure a life of endless abuse.
We are thankful that so many organizations across the country are willing to speak out and educate others. Public and private partnerships are crucial to breaking this heinous cycle of exploitation and victimization and we applaud the NFL for their efforts to raise awareness around Super Bowl Sunday.
While our work on this issue has revealed the most depraved and evil segments of our society, it has also shed light on the bravest and most courageous among us.
We draw inspiration from law enforcement professionals who are on the front lines every day protecting our nation’s children from pimps and traffickers. We are filled with hope by those who work in victims’ services and grateful for their tireless efforts to help survivors recover, heal, and establish new lives following the horrors of sexual enslavement.
Most importantly, we are inspired by survivors themselves whom we have met in our hometowns. Their courage and strength to speak out, refusing to let their past experiences define them, is nothing short of heroic. They work each and every day to help educate, raise awareness and speak the truth of this evil underbelly within our society.
We are dedicated to this work, legislatively and beyond, to provide a voice for these victims until human trafficking is eradicated in the United States. We urge you to contact your members of Congress, state and local officials to learn how you can become more involved in educating your community about the evil of modern-day sex slavery.
Congresswoman Ann Wagner, R-Missouri, has served the Second District of Missouri, just outside of St. Louis, since 2013. Wagner is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and holds positions on the Elected Leadership Committee and the GOP Whip Team, serving as Senior Deputy Whip. Prior to her time in Congress, Wagner spent four years as the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., represents the Second District of North Carolina. She has served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee since 2012, and she currently sits on the Health, Communications & Technology, and Energy & Power subcommittees. Prior to running for office, Rep. Ellmers served as a registered nurse for over twenty-one years and owned a General Surgery practice with her husband in Dunn, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana – Angie Garza stood in front of lawmakers on Wednesday with a tearful plea. She asked them to prevent another child from dying as her 19-month grandson did.
Those lawmakers responded.
With a unanimous vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee took the first step toward creating what may be the nation’s first public registry of people convicted of child abuse and neglect.
The bill, authored by Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, requires the state to create a publicly searchable website that lists all persons convicted of crimes against children, akin to the sex offender registry.
Such information exists but access is limited to police and employers doing background checks for workers in licensed child care facilities.
The origins of the proposal lie in the tragedy of Garza’s family.
Her grandson, Kirk Coleman, died in October 2014 while in the care of an Elkhart County woman whom Garza later learned was previously charged with battering a toddler and temporarily barred from caring for children.
While the woman told Garza that her grandson accidentally choked while eating, a pathologist later ruled his death a homicide caused by blunt-force injuries to the head.
“We’ve been trying to get justice ever since, not only for him, but for all children,” Garza said during emotional testimony.
Yoder said he was approached by Garza last fall, after Jackie Rolsten of New Paris, Ind., was charged in Kirk Coleman’s death.
Garza said her family had known Rolsten for many years, but they had no knowledge of her criminal history. In 2006, Rolsten was arrested on a felony child-battery charge involving a 2-year-old. She later pleaded to child neglect.
Though her prison term was suspended, Rolsten was ordered by a judge to stop her in-home childcare business while on probation. That order expired before she started taking care of Kirk.
“We had no idea,” Garza said.
Rolsten, now awaiting trial in Elkhart County on a charge of felony-battery resulting in death, didn’t need a state license to care for Kirk. Because she never cared for more than five children in her home, she fell outside of state licensing requirements.
Officials say thousands of such unlicensed childcare providers operate across the state.
Yoder said a registry will fill a gap by giving parents a place to see if someone coming into contact with their children has any prior child-abuse convictions.
“If there’s any good that can come from this, this may be it,” he said.
Still, the bill faces hurdles.
On Wednesday, a State Police official estimated it may cost up $300,000 a year to create and maintain such a registry. At this point, Yoder’s bill comes with no funding.
Supporters of the idea – including Senate Judiciary Chairman Brent Steele, R-Bedford – promised to find it a way to pay for it.
“I don’t care about the fiscal impact,” said Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis. “When it comes to the safety of children, I don’t care if we have to spend a million dollars.”
Other states have child abuse registries, but public access is limited.
Michigan lawmakers debated creating a public registry like the one Yoder wants after lawmakers there heard testimony from a family with a story similar to Garza’s.
That measure stalled when the American Civil Liberties Union raised concerns that the registry could have an unintended consequence: Someone may be less willing to report a spouse or family member suspected of abuse because they know the individual will be placed on the registry.
The ACLU also argued the registry is a kind of perpetual punishment, not allowing for people who’ve been rehabilitated to get off the list.
Larry Landers, head of the Indiana Public Defender Council, said a public child-abuse registry may face similar challenges. He noted that Indiana’s sex offender registry, a public website that lists the names and addresses of persons accused of sex crimes, has faced multiple court challenges.
Those issues matter little for Kirk’s mother, Anissa Garza, who wept quietly Wednesday as she sat with a dozen family members to watch the hearing.
The measure must still pass the Senate, then move to the House for a hearing, but Garza said she is relieved that it is gaining support.
“I wouldn’t want to see this ever happen to any other parent,” she said.