Tag Archives: Child Sex Abuse

Principal Placed On Leave

.jpg photo of school where Children were abused.
School where volunteer videotaped and sexually assaulted Children.

FBI assisting in school volunteer Child Porn
investigation

GLENARDEN, MD  –   On Wednesday, the principal of a school where a volunteer allegedly took videos of children performing sex acts, was placed on administrative leave.

This announcement came a day after the FBI joined in the investigation into 22-year-old Deonte Carraway who faces charges of producing child pornography and child sexual abuse.

Prince George’s County police said Carraway took videos of children performing the sex acts on each other and that it happened during the school day on school grounds.

Police also say Carraway used his phone installed with the Kik messaging app to record children as young as 9 years old.  Some of the videos were filmed at his direction while Carraway is a participant in others.

One of the videos is shot inside a bathroom at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden.

Police have been onto Carraway since last Thursday night and have expanded the investigation to include the FBI.

In a news release, the FBI said:

“The FBI Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force and the Prince George’s County Police Department are investigating an elementary school volunteer and community choir director for producing child pornography and child sexual abuse.  Prince George’s County Police detectives arrested 22-year-old Deonte Carraway on February 5, after a victim’s relative found a nude photo on the child’s phone.  The FBI has set up its hotline 1-800-CALL-FBI for anyone to use if they believe they know a victim, or have any information that may help investigators in this case.

“Investigators say the suspect targeted victims and videotaped sexual acts between minors during the school day at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden.  They believe sex abuse and/or child pornography was also produced at the Glenarden Municipal Center, Theresa Banks Memorial Aquatic Center as well as in private homes.

“If you or anyone you know is concerned about a possible victim in this case, you are asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You may also call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Unit at 301-772-4930.”

“At this point, we know there are at least ten victims,” said Prince George’s County police spokesperson Julie Parker.  “Our concern is that number could grow and could grow by a large amount.  We don’t know that yet.  We are not there yet and that is why there is so much time and resources devoted to this – to figure out how big of an investigation we are dealing with.”

According to a source familiar with the investigation, Carraway came to the city of Glenarden in 2014 and asked if he could start a choir and rehearse inside the Glenarden Municipal Center.  It is a choir made up of young children from 9 to 13 years old.

The 22-year-old also did some work with children across the street at the Theresa Banks Memorial Aquatic Center.  No one at the center would comment on what exactly Carraway did there.

He was also a volunteer at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School and lived in Glenarden with his mother at an apartment on Glenarden Parkway.

“We have received about 20 phone calls from the community, several of them being tips regarding Deonte Carraway,” said Parker.

No one with Prince George’s County Public Schools would go on camera on Tuesday.  But in a statement, the school system said officials are shocked by the allegations and said, “Employees and volunteers go through a proper screening process.”

Police said Carraway used the Kik messaging app to communicate with the kids and others.  A nude photo sent through Kik on a victim’s phone was discovered by a relative of the victim and sparked this investigation.

Of the victims in this case, some of them are students at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School.  Police said videos were also made at the Glenarden Municipal Center and the Theresa Banks Memorial Aquatic Center.

On Tuesday, many in this Prince George’s County school community expressed outrage over this news.  It has also become clear that many parents had been concerned about Carraway’s behavior towards their children.

One parent at the school told us he has had concerns about Carraway acting overly familiar with kids, especially after his son told him that Carraway had been showing students self-made boxing and mixed martial arts videos on his phone as well as videos of his home.

“Always!  You come here around 8 p.m. and he’s always around 7-Eleven, always doing something,” said Neftali Ardueta.  “He’s telling my kid, ‘Oh, you can come to my church,’ and I’m like, ‘You are not going to his church.’

Throughout the day on Tuesday, there was a constant police presence at the elementary school.  A Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson said that the school’s vice principal asked for that added security after the media arrived on school property.

But all of the media got an earful from parents wanting to know how a man in their own child’s school was allegedly able to produce child pornography here without anyone knowing about it until Carraway’s arrest.  They said they are upset, hurt and worried that the ten victims identified so far may just be the start.

“I had to talk to my child to make sure that my children understand that if something were to happen to them, make sure they tell,” said Riva Thomas.  “And that’s not a conversation I don’t think we are supposed to have in school.”

“It’s sad and heartbreaking that kids have to keep going through this,” said another parent.  “And as parents, we have to step up and be more aware of what our kids are doing.”

Children Sexually Abused And Videotaped At School

.jpg photo of Child Pornographer
Deonte Carraway

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.”

Child Abuse That “Shocks The Soul”

.jpg photo of Child Abuse suspects
Mayra Solis and her friend, Fransisco Javier Rios-Covarrubias

Suspects arrested in Child Abuse case that “shocks the soul”

MESA, AZ  –  Two people have been arrested in connection to a severe child abuse case that police say “shocks the soul.”

The Mesa Police Department says a 3-year-old girl was found in a trash bag, covered in feces, duct-taped and hidden in a closet.  The girl’s mother, Mayra Solis and her friend, Fransisco Javier Rios-Covarrubias, have been arrested.

According to police, Solis would leave the girl with Covarrubias at his home while she was at work, and he would put the girl in a closet for hours, and possibly days at a time.  The child was found by police after a man, who Covarrubias met online, went to the suspect’s home and was offered the girl for sexual activities.

“@mesapd says mother of 3yo found bound in closet had shaved head of daughter to pander for money, claiming she had cancer.  Mom is homeless.” — Liz Kotalik (@LizKotalik) January 19, 2016

Police also say the girl’s head was shaved because Solis pandered her for money and claimed she had cancer.

Covarrubias has been charged with sex trafficking, kidnapping, sexual conduct with a minor and child abuse.  Solis is facing child abuse charges.

Child Abuse Growing Problem In NY

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Child Abuse growing in NY

Child Abuse growing problem in CNY, center saw over 700 cases this year

SYRACUSE, NY  –  Several recent high-profile cases have brought attention to the problem of child abuse in Central New York.

We’re learning more details about the abuse suffered by Eli MacDowell.  The 9-year-old was allegedly slammed to the ground by Corey Pilcher last month, causing him to suffer severe brain trauma that put him into a coma.

Pilcher is also accused of abusing Eli’s sister.  According to the Auburn Citizen, court documents show Pilcher poured hot sauce into the girl’s mouth and taped it shut after he says she was too loud while watching television.

Eli is now recovering after several surgeries, including one to remove a portion of his skull.

The boy’s tragedy is not the only case of child abuse to make the headlines this week.

On Thursday, Stephen Howells and Nicole Vaisey were sentenced in what the U.S. Attorney’s Office described as one of the most horrific cases of child abuse they have ever seen.

Howells and Vaisey received a total of 880 years in prison after admitting they sexually assaulted six children, including two Amish girls they kidnapped from a roadside farm stand in St. Lawrence County in 2014.

Before the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher said more cases are expected to come forward.  Adding Howells and Vaisey are not the first in the area to sexually exploit children and they would not be last.

Every year, more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the U.S., according to a non-profit group called ChildHelp.

In 2010, more than 79,000 children in New York were abused or neglected, according to the State’s Central register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.

The McMahon Child Advocacy Center saw more than 700 kids this year in their center for child abuse and had 6,500 hotline calls.

At the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Syracuse believe one child is too many when it comes to child abuse.

Jami Ryan, who represents the center, says it is shocking how many victims from Central New York walk through their door.

She said:  In the year 2014, the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center saw over 700 kids. We had 6,500 hotline calls, so, absolutely the numbers are there.

Ryan explained that over 90 percent of the cases they see at the center involve a child who has been sexually abused by someone they know, love and trust.

She said:  A lot of times when we see these kids, it can kind of be a confusing situation.  Maybe they know what has happened is not right, it might have made them feel uncomfortable, but at the same time, it can be a little confusing because it is usually happening by someone who they know.

How can we combat this growing issues?

Ryan says it starts with awareness — Knowing the signs and symptoms of child abuse and reporting it is critical.

For example:  Maybe an adult that they used to pick them up from school that they were happy to see, they’re not really wanting to go home with anymore.

Being aware of any changes or behavior can really make all the difference.

The center has an outreach program where members from the center go out to schools across Onondaga County talking to children on how to be safe and how to alert someone they trust if something is not right.

Federal Judge Finds Texas Has Broken System

.jpg photo of Child Protective Services graphic
CPS is a “broken” system.

Federal judge finds Texas has “broken” foster care system, says she’ll order changes

AUSTIN, TX  –  Long-term foster care in Texas is “broken” and routinely does grave harm to children already dealt a tough hand, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack of Corpus Christi said the state violated the Constitution by keeping about 12,000 youngsters for years in an underfunded and poorly run system “where rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm.”

Defendants John Specia and his staff at the state Department of Family and Protective Services have “the best intentions, she wrote. ” But the system, despite 20 years of reports and attempted fixes, keeps harming the children it’s supposed to help”, the stinging opinion reads.

Jack, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, ruled in favor of nine children who sued the state in 2011 on behalf of all Texas children in long-term foster care.

Their lawyers, who included members of the Dallas-based Haynes and Boone firm, said Texas’ foster care system forces thousands of youngsters to live in poorly supervised institutions.  The department frequently moves the children from one place to another and often splits up siblings, plaintiffs said.

Jack agreed, saying Texas routinely violates the children’s 14th Amendment rights to be free from harm while in state custody.

Julie Moody, a spokeswoman for the protective-services department, said it’s disappointed with Jack’s ruling.  The state has insisted that plaintiffs’ lawyers have ignored recent improvements that followed the Legislature’s sweeping changes to Child Protective Services in 2005, along with an overhaul of foster care two years later.  They also repeatedly boosted the agency’s budget — Texas current spends $1.4 billion a year on Child Protective Services.

“Texas performs comparably with other states in this area, and has steadily improved,” she said.

While Texas fiercely contested the suit, officials didn’t immediately say whether they would appeal Jack’s ruling.

The case centers on children removed from their birth homes by Child Protective Services who then linger for at least a year, sometimes 18 months, in foster care.  Because CPS and its contractors have been unable to reunite them with their birth families or find a lasting home with relatives or an adoptive parent, the youngsters are in limbo.

Even though judges work to try to avoid it, many children then enter CPS’ “permanent managing conservatorship.”  At that point, the state often drops the ball because the law does not require that the children have their own lawyer and another adult advocating for them, plaintiffs argued – and Jack agreed.

She found that CPS has too few conservatorship caseworkers, so their huge caseloads cause them to fail to pay enough attention to their charges.

“Texas’ foster care system is broken, and it has been that way for decades,” Jack wrote.  “It is broken for all stakeholders, including DFPS employees who are tasked with impossible workloads.  Most importantly, though, it is broken for Texas’ [permanent managing conservatorship] children, who almost uniformly leave state custody more damaged than when they entered.”

Jack said that within 30 days, she would appoint a special master to develop a sweeping plan for improvements.

The cost to the state is uncertain but likely to be in the millions.  CPS has authority to employ more than 9,200 people, though turnover is a chronic problem, as the judge noted.

Jack said she’ll ask the special master to recommend how many more CPS workers should be hired and how many more child-care licensing inspectors should be added.

She’s requiring each child in long-term care to have an attorney ad litem as well as a court-appointed special advocate.

The judge also said the special master will study “child-on-child abuse” at group homes and treatment centers.  The master will push for the state to move children who do not have severe physical or behavioral impairments into the least restrictive settings possible.

CPS also would have to improve case files it keeps on the children – including annual photos, to help in identifying runaways.  The state also will have to stop placing certain foster children in unsafe placements like “foster group homes that lack 24-hour awake-night supervision,” Jack said.

Marcia Robinson Lowry, the founder of New York-based Children’s Rights, which led the effort and has filed similar suits in more than a dozen states, called Jacks’ decision “stunning” and painstakingly researched.

“Texas certainly has one of the worse foster care systems in the country,” Lowry said.