Tag Archives: Child Abuse

MA Father Snaps Over Snapchat App

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Father simply wanted to see the girl’s phone.

Judge keeps father in custody in Child Abuse case

PEABODY, MA  –  A Peabody father charged with grabbing his 11-year-old daughter by the throat and hitting her with a belt after learning she had the Snapchat app on her phone will remain in custody until trial, a Peabody District Court judge ruled on Friday.

Judge James Barretto made the ruling following a hearing where Sean Nguyen’s sister, Michelle Nguyen, testified that she was misquoted in a police report about the June 17 incident. Michelle Nguyen told the judge Friday that she never saw her brother hitting the child with a belt, despite what it says in a Peabody police report.

Barretto was not convinced, saying he did not find her testimony on Friday to be credible.

Sean Nguyen, 31, of 2 Aborn St., Peabody, has pleaded not guilty to strangulation and assault and battery on a child causing injury.

The incident occurred late Saturday night, while Sean Nguyen’s daughter was visiting him for the weekend.  He learned that the girl had installed the Snapchat application on the phone, and wanted to see if there were any inappropriate photos.

Michelle Nguyen, who was called as a defense witness Friday, testified that she was downstairs in her own apartment when she heard yelling and screaming, and went upstairs, where she found her brother and his daughter in the girl’s room.

“I want the phone,” he said. “I want to see the pictures.”

“Chino, you need to chill,” she said she told her brother.  “That’s when I grabbed her.”

Michelle Nguyen told the judge that she took the girl to her apartment downstairs, and then to her sister Vikki’s home in Salem.

From there, they took the girl to the Salem police station.

Prosecutor Deirdre Foley suggested that the actions of both of the defendant’s sisters that evening show that they were concerned for the girl’s well-being.

“Ms. Nguyen cared enough, and was concerned enough, to take her niece out of the home,” said Foley.  “They were telling him, ‘Calm down, Chino.’  He was angry.  It’s fair to infer that he was out of control.”

Foley said Sean Nguyen’s response to discovering the Snapchat app was “beyond anything that could ever be considered reasonable.”

‘Responsible and loving’

Sean Nguyen’s lawyer, Kevin Chapman, pointed to a Department of Children and Families report that says the girl told investigators it was the first time her father had acted aggressively toward her.

The girl’s mother also expressed surprise at the allegations, Chapman said, citing the DCF report.  She told investigators that Sean Nguyen had “never been abusive” to either her or their child.

“He has always been responsible and loving toward this child,” Chapman said, citing the mother’s statement to DCF.

He noted that the girl’s mother, who has custody of the girl and lives in another county, has not sought a restraining order.  The girl was also described in the DCF report as being “not afraid” of her father, he said.

Chapman argued that police have overcharged his client, noting that while Sean Nguyen is facing a charge of assault and battery on a child causing injury, police found no marks on the girl and there is no evidence she suffered any physical injury.

He told the judge he plans to seek dismissal of that count at the next hearing in the case on July 17.

Sean Nguyen was visibly upset during the hearing, and after the judge’s ruling ordering that he remain in custody, he tried to address the judge directly.

“As a father,” he began, before being cut off by his lawyer and the judge.

Chapman said outside court that he plans to appeal Barretto’s decision to a Superior Court judge.

Because of extensive coverage of the case on local television earlier in the week, Sean Nguyen has been held in an administrative segregation unit at the Middleton Jail, his attorney said.

Sheriff Padilla – The Hero Of Hope

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Former Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla has been named the Hero of Hope award recipient

Former Henry County Sheriff honored for
Child Abuse work

CAMBRIDGE, IL  –  Former Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla has been named the Hero of Hope award recipient by Braveheart Children’s Advocacy Center in Cambridge.

The award was presented at Mr. Padilla’s retirement event in Kewanee presented by Henry County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Kerry Loncka, acting Henry County Sheriff, and Johanna Hager, forensic interviewer for Braveheart CAC.

“He (Mr. Padilla) was an investigator with the sheriff’s department and became involved with the CAC in the 1990s when we had a series of child abuse deaths that happened in our county and he was deeply saddened by that,” said Capt. Loncka,  Captain Loncka, a Braveheart CAC board member.  “It was then that he and several other people founded the advocacy center.”

The award honored Mr. Padilla “for going above and beyond in his efforts, dedication and compassion for the fight against child abuse.”

“My heart and soul is in that place,” Mr. Padilla said of Braveheart CAC.  “I have received awards and commendations throughout my career, but this one touches my heart the most — the most meaningful and the one I will cherish the most.

“Before the center opened in Cambridge, we were using a backroom in the courthouse and that wasn’t really suited for forensic interviewing,” he said.  “When the center opened it was a like a breath of fresh air.  It made it so much easier to interview the children because they felt more comfortable.  It also provided a comfortable place for families to wait.

“Those people who work daily with abused children, there‘s a special place for them,” he said.  “It takes a certain kind of special person to work with children who have been physically or sexually abused.”

Mr. Padilla served on the Kewanee Police Department eight years and the sheriff’s department for 33 years.  He was elected Henry County Sheriff in 2010.  Experienced in strategic weapons and tactics and FBI sniper training, Mr. Padilla said learning how to interview child crime victims was the most challenging, both physically and mentally draining.

He said in retirement he plans to focus on his family and hobbies of fishing, hunting, competitive shooting, riding his Harley and spending time in his RV.

“Sheriff Padilla was an original member of the Braveheart CAC of Henry County and the Protecting All Children Together (PACT) advisory board,” said Braveheart CAC Case Manager Constance King said.  “We want to thank him for over 40 years of service in law enforcement and his ongoing commitment and dedication to children and families.”

The center’s name represents the courage it takes for children to share their experiences, the education of the center’s team and “the innocence at the heart of every child and the heart of the community to speak up in partnership with us,” Ms. King said.

The name became official in 2007 when the Henry County center added services to children in Marshall, Putnam, Stark and Bureau counties.

“I was at the center one afternoon and the name ‘Braveheart’ popped into my mind,” he said.  “It’s all about the kids, and it takes a lot of guts for a child to be able to tell the story of what happened to them.

He said he would feel badly if he’d lost one of the cases involving a child victim, which was an incentive to work hard.  His most difficult case, he said, was in the 1990s when five children died at the hands of their mother’s boyfriends.  He said those were the only autopsies he ever attended, for the children.

“If there was something about my job that I didn’t like, it was that,” Mr. Padilla said.

CA Mother On Trial For Failing To Protect Son

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How can any human being ignore the abuse of a Child….

Doctors testify in trial of South Valley
mother, accused of Child Abuse

VISALIA, CA  –  In the South Valley, a trial is underway for a mother charged with child abuse for failing to protect her son.

It’s been more than three years since Jimmy Horton died at the age of four, and more than four years since he was first brought to Kaweah Delta Urgent Care, unresponsive.

His mother, 33-year-old Desie Horton, is charged with felony child abuse with a special allegation of willful harm or injury resulting in jimmy’s death in February of 2014.  Her then boyfriend, Trevor Bishop, has already been convicted of second-degree murder and assault on Jimmy causing his death.

Thursday, a couple of familiar faces from Bishop’s trial took the witness stand again.

Dr. Gary Walter performed Jimmy’s autopsy, and examined his brain.

“It showed swelling, it showed evidence of an old subarachnoid hemorrhage, and it also showed a larger area of concave pressing in of the brain tissue itself where an old subdural hemorrhage had been,” Walter said.

Dr. Walter concluded the child’s cause of death to be anoxic encephalopathy due to blunt force trauma to the head.

In April, testimony revealed Trevor Bishop provided police with two explanations for Jimmy’s injuries-a slip in the bathtub, and falling after bishop tossed him in the air.

At the time, child abuse expert Dr. Frederic Bruhn said those stories would not account for Jimmy’s subdural hematoma.

“There was no evidence that Jimmy had a bleeding problem to account for either his bruises or his subdural hematoma,” Bruhn said.

Thursday, Bruhn reviewed numerous photos of Jimmy’s bruises both before and after he was hospitalized.  Some he called pattern bruises-those that conform to the shape of an object, such as a hand. He described many as unusual, suspicious, or non-accidental.

“I think there’s no question that many of these injuries are inflicted,” Bruhn said.

Horton’s trial will resume Friday afternoon.  She faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

Waco TX Day Care Owner And Worker Arrested

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“..victims were all between 10 months and 2-years-old.”

Arrest affidavits describe daycare workers pulling hair, ears and knocking
children down

WACO, TX  –  One local daycare worker and her employee have been arrested on allegations of child abuse.

Pepper Jones, who owns Miss Pepper’s Place in Waco, was arrested and charged with six counts of endangering a child and one count of injury to a child.

The daycare is located on 3800 Lasker Avenue.  Jones was arrested at 6:20 p.m. Thursday by Waco police.

Brittany “Starr” Hale was also arrested and charged with six counts of injury to a child.

According to the Waco Police Department, the victims in these cases were all children between the ages of 10 months and 2-years-old.

“You put your children in care of others as a necessity and unfortunately things like this can occur.  Again this is a shock this community,” Sgt. Patrick Swanton said.

Jones’ bond was set at $21,000, but bonded out.  Hale was held on a $24,000 bond before bonding out.

The investigation is still on-going, and Jones and Hale could face additional charges.

Jones is also the co-founder of No Limitations Athletics, a ministry of the Central United Methodist Church in Waco.  No Limitations Athletics provides the special needs community a chance to play sports.

News Channel 25 obtained 12 arrest affidavits, warrants and complaints related to the incident.

One affidavit said that Jones called one child’s mother saying something was wrong with the child’s shoulder.  She said the child had been injured during a wrestling incident with another child.

However, after reviewing the video, police said that the child was not injured during the wresting incident.  The affidavit said after a nine minute window where the child is not seen, the child returns holding his arm, and his demeanor had changed.

Another affidavit said one victim was sitting on the floor, and Hale forcibly grabbed the victim by the head and pulled the victim forward on the floor.

Another affidavit said that the another victim was playing, and Hale grabbed her by her pigtail to move her.  The victim fell to her knees in this incident, so Hale held on to her hair until the girl put a toy away.

Katie Van Antwerp, the aunt of the toddler in question, said this week, the mother learned about the incident involving her child, which she said surfaced after detectives reviewed additional footage from the daycare.

“She was team Pepper all the way.  Finding out the news, it was shocking and devastating to her because you would’ve never thought it,” Van Antwerp said.

She added this daycare had a waiting list because parents trusted Jones.

“The parents will not forget.  The kids have a chance of not knowing what happened here but the parents are going to live with it forever and I hate that for them.  No parent deserves that,” Van Antwerp said.

Another incident described another child playing with a toy when Hale grabbed the victim by the ear and brought her to the opposite side of the room to put the toy away.  The affidavit said video shows the victim wincing in pain.

Another separate incident describes Hale hitting the same victim that dislocated his shoulder on the butt.  The victim goes to return a toy and sits down next to the toy bin.  Before the victim can put the toy away, Hale grabs him on both sides of his head, pulling him off the floor to make him stand.

One incident said Hale knocked a child off a bench and onto the floor.  The affidavit said Hale used enough force to cause the victim’s head to snap back as she falls to the floor.

One affidavit said Hale grabbed the 10-month-old victim by the arm from the floor and forcefully sat her down.  In the video, the 10 month old falls backwards, and Hale forcefully grabs the victim’s left hand to snap the child’s head back up with force.

According to the Department of Family Protective Services, a representative from Miss Pepper’s Place told the Childcare Licensing, the daycare will not reopen and will return its license.  At this point, DFPS has not received confirmation whether it was returned.  The daycare has been licensed since 2013 and it had a capacity of serving 12 children, according to DPFS.

Jones’ attorney, Seth Sutton, sent out this statement:

“Pepper Jones has a long history of serving the kids of the Waco community, especially those with disabilities.  We take any allegation of child injury very seriously and have already begun working with authorities to ensure a proper outcome to this situation.  I ask that you respect the family’s privacy.  We won’t have any further comment until after I’ve had an opportunity to review the relevant evidence in the case.”

No Limitations Athletics released a statement Friday evening:

“No Limitations Athletics is aware of the allegations against one of our co-founders who, in addition to being a founder, has been one of the most active volunteers and most ardent advocates for our community.  She has, in the best interest of our organization, resigned effective immediately.  She will have no involvement with No Limitations Athletics pending the resolution of this matter.”

Child Starved To Death Fed To Pigs

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Adrian Jones in 2012

Adrian Jones’s stepmom describes Child Abuse on Facebook, claims 7-year-old was
psychopath

A year before Adrian was found, Heather made a reference about feeding a person to pigs.

The stepmother who pled guilty to murdering Adrian Jones frequently posted Facebook updates complaining about the child, calling him a “psychopath,” and posting photos of the severe, abusive punishments she and her husband gave the boy.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Kansas City Star, Heather Jones was a member of a private Facebook group where she repeatedly made reference to fantasies about killing the boy, and once specifically spoke of feeding someone to pigs — which is exactly how Heather and her husband Michael Jones disposed of seven-year-old Adrian’s dead body after they starved him to death in 2015.

In late December 2014, Heather Jones reportedly wrote on Facebook: “might be the next [redacted] and have to feed some pigs a body.”

A few days earlier, on Christmas Day, Heather posted a message that was a reference to a Walking Dead episode in which a child is shot in the back of the head while looking at flowers.

That same day, Heather posted a message calling the child a psychopath:

“I have a psychopath I’m giving away for free today,” she wrote.  “He broke out last night and (expletive) my kitchen and everything I had baked up!!!  I’m beyond pissed and he’s running laps around my pool and doing push ups till I’m tired unless someone wants him!!!”

As Crime Online previously reported, Heather and Michael Jones subjected the little boy, who came to live with them in 2012, to increasingly extreme punishments, and documented much of the abuse with photos that Heather’s landlord found after accessing her computer, with Heather’s permission, after her arrest.

The little boy was forced to stand outside in the cold, stand in neck-deep dirty pool water overnight, and repeatedly restrained for extended periods of time.  According to the arrest affidavit, Heather posted photos of the abuse to the private Facebook group, including one of Aidan handcuffed to an inversion table.  Other photos showed injuries from the abuse.

The Kansas City Star report does not indicate if or how other members of the group responded to the admissions of abuse and the threats to further hurt the child.

Adrian’s body was found in November 2015, after Heather called police to report a domestic incident.  After police arrived, she told them Adrian had died and Michael Jones had fed his remains to pigs on the property.  Michael reportedly led police to the remains.

Both Heather and Michael Jones pled guilty to murder charges, and were sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.