Tag Archives: Child Sex Abuse

NY Doctor Accused Of Child Sex Abuse

.jpg photo of Doctor accused of abusing his patients
Dr. Reginald Archibald

An Esteemed Doctor, Child Sexual Abuse
Claims and a Hospital That Knew for Years

For almost 30 years, parents sought out Dr. Reginald Archibald when their children would not grow.  They came to his clinic at The Rockefeller University Hospital, a prominent New York research institution, where he treated and studied children who were small for their age.

He also may have sexually abused many of them.

The hospital sent a letter last month to former patients of Dr. Archibald asking about their contact with him.  Ten days later, on Oct. 5, it posted a statement online saying it had evidence of the doctor’s “inappropriate” behavior with some patients and that it first had learned of credible allegations against him in 2004.  The letter went out to as many as 1,000 people, said a former patient who spoke with a hospital administrator.

Dr. Archibald, an endocrinologist who spent most of his career at Rockefeller, died in 2007.  His son, Larry, declined to comment.  “This doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said.

The New York Times spoke with 17 people, most of them men, who said they were abused by Dr. Archibald when they were young boys or adolescents.  Most of them learned of the possibility of other victims for the first time when they received the letter.  A few, however, said they had filed complaints with the hospital or authorities in the past, but their allegations were not investigated.

“To know that they knew about this in 2004 and didn’t reach out to people, it’s absolutely outrageous,” said Matt Harris, now 58, a former patient of Dr. Archibald.

The men all described similar experiences with Dr. Archibald, who would tell them to disrobe when they were alone in his examination room.  He would masturbate them or ask them to masturbate, sometimes to ejaculation.

The doctor took pictures of them, while they were naked, with a Polaroid camera, and measured their penises both flaccid and erect, the men said.

Some of the former patients said they saw Dr. Archibald only once and some went back annually for many years as subjects in his studies.

Their stories paint a picture of an esteemed doctor who wielded great authority with parents desperate to help their children and patients too young to know the difference between legitimate medical practice and molestation.  The alleged abuse would have occurred in an era in which few safeguards existed for those patients.

“You are robbed of knowing what’s real and what’s not real.  That’s the real cost of this thing,” said Mr. Harris, who, like many of the patients who spoke with The Times, has talked to a lawyer.

In response to questions from The Times, the hospital said in a statement Thursday that after the letters were sent, it heard from many former patients alleging abuse. The hospital said it has set up a fund to provide counseling for the victims.

“We are appalled to hear those accounts of Dr. Archibald’s reprehensible behavior. We deeply regret pain and suffering caused to any of Dr. Archibald’s former patients,” the statement read.

A hospital spokesman declined to answer questions about when the hospital first learned of the allegations and why it did not try to contact a wider array of former patients earlier.

In its earlier statement, the hospital said that in 2004, it received an allegation of “impropriety” during Dr. Archibald’s physical examinations, which it did not specify.

The hospital said it informed the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the state office that oversees medical conduct and a federal research agency.  It also hired Debevoise & Plimpton, a law firm, to investigate.  The inquiry turned up two additional reports dating to the 1990s.

The hospital did not say where the allegations from the 1990s were filed and what the response to them had been.  A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., could not immediately confirm whether the office had received the allegation from the hospital in 2004.

Earlier this year, separate allegations against Dr. Archibald were reported to the hospital, which again hired Debevoise & Plimpton.

Based on its investigation, the law firm concluded that some of Dr. Archibald’s behaviors involving these patients were inappropriate,” the statement said.

The hospital said it has scrubbed Dr. Archibald’s name from its web pages and rescinded his emeritus status.

The possibility of a large number of victims could pose a serious financial threat to the research institution.  Under current New York law, the statute of limitations for victims to sue the hospital has long passed.

But a proposed change to the law, supported by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, would lengthen the statute of limitations for filing criminal charges and civil suits in child sexual abuse cases, and crucially, create a one-year window in which all victims could sue, regardless of when the abuse happened.  The legislation has been held up in the State Senate and is vigorously opposed by institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church, which has argued that the one-year window could lead to catastrophic financial damage.

Dr. Archibald worked as a doctor, researcher and professor at The Rockefeller University Hospital from 1941 to 1946 and again from 1948 to 1980. He kept his affiliation with the institution, as an emeritus, until 1987.

His former patients remembered him as avuncular and authoritative, with white hair as he grew older.  They also remembered his strange methods.  Their allegations suggest a pattern of sexual abuse from the 1950s through the 1970s among patients as young as 6 and as old as 17.

Michael Manfre, now 57, recalled Dr. Archibald asking him to masturbate when he was about 12 years old and then doing it himself.  “Keep trying,” Mr. Manfre, of Massapequa, N.Y., remembered Dr. Archibald saying, encouraging him to ejaculate.

Mr. Harris, who now lives in Port Washington, N.Y., said that during a visit in the 1970s, the doctor massaged the area between his testes and anus, asking if it felt good.

Many of Dr. Archibald’s patients were short for their age, and their parents worried about the teasing and shame they might experience in school if they hit puberty years behind their peers.

Dr. Archibald was known as a growth specialist who administered hormones, such as testosterone, which he hypothesized could help spur puberty and increase the height children would reach.  To better understand children’s growth and create a control group, he often had siblings come to the clinic, former patients said.

Taking measurements of boys’ genitals when doctors were concerned about delayed puberty was considered normal until the 1980s or 1990s, said Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of medical history at the University of Michigan.  But doing so when they were erect, asking them to masturbate, particularly while the doctor was present, was not considered acceptable, even at that time, he said.

Nearly every victim remembered having to strip naked, stand against a wall and hold their palms out facing forward while Dr. Archibald took photographs.  One patient provided a copy of a release signed by that person’s mother giving Rockefeller permission to photograph her child “for the advancement of medical science.”

At least two articles published by Dr. Archibald contain pictures of naked boys in the stance described by these victims.  One of those articles also contains close-ups of the boys’ genitals.

While almost every alleged victim said the abuse occurred in the doctor’s examination room, one described a dark encounter far away from the hospital.  A 58-year-old Brooklyn man said he believed Dr. Archibald raped him on a trip to the doctor’s Canadian summer home.

The former patient, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John, because of the nature of the alleged assault, said Dr. Archibald watched him masturbate during examinations at the hospital.  But one summer, when he was about 13, the doctor convinced his parents to let John accompany him to the house.

One of Dr. Archibald’s former neighbors in Pelham, N.Y., who visited the lake, recalled that every year Dr. Archibald would take a young boy to help prepare the wooden cabins for his family’s visit.
John said Dr. Archibald tried to shower with him at a motel on the two-day trip to the house but he ran out of the bathroom.  Once they arrived, John said, he believed Dr. Archibald drugged and raped him.  He angrily insisted on being taken home, he said.

Dr. Archibald spent only two years of his career away from Rockefeller when, in 1946, he took a job at Johns Hopkins University.

It is unknown how many children participated in Dr. Archibald’s studies.

He maintained records of an estimated 9,000 patients who visited him and other doctors at Rockefeller, according to one victim who said she met with a hospital official and three attorneys representing the hospital in September.

That victim said those attorneys and Dr. Barry Coller, the hospital’s physician in chief, told her that the hospital sent letters to more than 1,000 former patients they were able to identify and locate.

The hospital would not comment on how many former patients received a letter.

Where Is Justice For 12, 6, And 2 Year Old?

Cottondale Child Sex Abuse suspect faces
Child Porn charge

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James Robert Pendley, 48, on five felony counts of first-degree sodomy against victims who were 12, 6, and 2 at the time of his arrest.

TUSCALOOSA, AL  –  A Cottondale man with pending child sexual abuse charges has been arrested for disseminating child porn.

Agents with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s Special Victims Unit arrested James Robert Pendley, 48, on Friday.  Pendley is facing one count of dissemination of child exploitation material and could face further charges, according to Lt. Brooke Walker, commander of ALEA’s Special Victims Unit and the Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Pendley is currently awaiting trial on a charge of first-degree sodomy and domestic violence.  He was arrested on May 10, 2017, and charged with first-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree domestic violence/assault, a misdemeanor.

According to court records, Pendley is accused of shoving and pushing a family member who caught him abusing a 6-year-old boy in the bathroom of his residence on North Davis Road on May 4, 2017.  A grand jury later indicted Pendley on five felony counts of first-degree sodomy against victims who were 12, 6 and 2 at the time of his arrest.

Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court Judge Al May revoked Pendley’s bond Friday, at the request of the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office.

The Special Victims Unit was assisted by the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Northport Police, the Joint Electronic Crimes Task Force, Alabama State Troopers, ALEA Tactical team and members of the SBI’s Alcohol and Narcotics division while conducting the child pornography investigation.

Plano TX Babysitter Caught Molesting Toddler

.jpg photo of man accused of Child sexual abuse
James De La Vega was arrested Wednesday, accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl, police say.

Moms walked in on baby sitter molesting
3-year-old girl at Collin County home,
police say

PLANO, TX  –  A Plano man was arrested Wednesday after two women whose children he was baby-sitting walked in on him sexually assaulting one of the children, police said.

James De La Vega, 50, faces an enhanced charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.  His bail has not yet been set, and he remains in the Collin County jail.

The crime happened in the 200 block of Pagoda Drive in Anna, where De La Vega was baby-sitting three children whose mothers had gone out Tuesday night, Anna police said.

When they returned, they found De La Vega performing a sex act on a 3-year-old girl, Chief Jeff Caponera said.

De La Vega has no apparent previous criminal record in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

If convicted, he would face a prison sentence of 25 years to life because of a 2007 Texas law that increased minimum penalties in sexual-assault cases with very young victims.

Detectives from the Collin County Child Advocacy Center and the Anna Police Department are investigating the case.

Michigan Woman Should Have Drawn Life Sentence

.jpg photo of woman sentenced to prison for child abuse
Mary Burkemo will spend five to 20 years in prison.

Woman Sentenced to Prison for Child Abuse

Cadillac, MI  –  The woman who allowed one of her underage family members to have a sexual relationship with a registered sex offender is heading to prison.

Mary Burkemo will spend five to 20 years in prison.

She admitted to child abusive activity and third-degree child abuse.

In exchange, charges like second-degree child abuse were dropped.

Burkemo was dating Kyle Donkers, a registered sex offender who was on parole for a previous sex crime conviction.

Donkers became obsessed with a relative of Burkemo’s.

He is currently serving 13 to 20 in prison for child abusive activity. 

TX State And County “Posse” Roundup And Put Away Sex Trafficker

.jpg photo of Texas Attorney General Office Logo
Texas Attorney General’s Office Logo

AG’s Office, Jefferson County DA Bob Wortham Obtain Conviction, 60-Year Prison Sentence in Sex Trafficking Case Involving Women and Underage Victims

AUSTIN, TX  –  As a result of a joint effort by his office and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that a jury found Johnny Ray Matlock guilty on charges of continuous trafficking of persons, a first-degree felony.  Matlock waived his right to appeal and accepted a 60-year prison sentence, which is the equivalent of a life sentence in Texas.

 Attorney General Paxton’s Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime section, led by Deputy Criminal Chief Kirsta Melton, was invited by District Attorney Wortham to partner with his office on Jefferson County’s first human trafficking case.  Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Pipkin worked with Melton on the trial.

“This collaboration between my office and the district attorney’s office in Jefferson County is an outstanding example of how we’re fighting to ensure that justice is served upon those who commit the despicable crime of sex trafficking,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “I want to thank the prosecutors and law enforcement agents for their efforts on this investigation to put away a despicable human trafficker.”

Last March, a grand jury indicted Matlock, of Silsbee, on charges he used social media and apps to recruit two underage girls and two women, causing them to be victims of sex trafficking.  In court today, Matlock also agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of possession of a firearm.  A 10-year sentence for that will run concurrently with his sentence on human trafficking.

In July, a joint effort by the attorney general’s human trafficking unit, the Travis County District Attorney’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety culminated in a 40-year prison sentence for the trafficker of a 14-year-old girl.

Attorney General Paxton has made combating human trafficking a top priority.  Two years ago, he launched his office’s Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime section, which prosecutes human traffickers across the state.  In April, the section’s prosecution of Backpage.com resulted in the company pleading guilty to human trafficking in Texas and its CEO, Carl Ferrer, pleading guilty to money laundering.  The attorney general’s office also assisted the U.S. Department of Justice with permanently shutting down the website, which was considered the largest online sex trafficking marketplace in the world.

Earlier this year, Attorney General Paxton unveiled a powerful training video to teach Texans how to spot and report suspected human trafficking activity. “Be the One in the Fight Against Human Trafficking” is available for viewing online at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/human-trafficking