Tag Archives: CoverUp

DCFS (CPS) Knew Of Abuse At Hospital Of Horrors

.jpg photo of hospital in chicago where children were abused repeatedly
Chicago Lakeshore Hospital

Chicago Psychiatric Hospital Under Fire
After Child Abuse Allegations — Again

A new lawsuit calls Chicago Lakeshore a “hospital of horrors,” where children as young as 7 were allegedly sexually abused.

Child Predators Should Be Locked Up

This was posted on our website December 6, 2018.  Chicago Lakeshore Hospital’s 60-bed children’s unit is Uptown.  The hospital faces state and federal scrutiny after a rise in complaints alleging sexual and physical abuse by hospital employees and patients.

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Cook County public guardian alleged that children as young as 7 were sexually abused, while others were injected with sedatives to control them and physically attacked, at a Chicago psychiatric hospital. Child welfare officials, meanwhile, allegedly worked with the hospital to cover up the abuse.

Charles Golbert, the Cook County public guardian, filed the lawsuit on behalf of seven children who are in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and who had been involuntarily admitted to Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in 2017 and 2018.

“These kids are entitled to justice for what happened to them at this facility,” Golbert said in an interview Wednesday.  “DCFS knew perfectly well about all of the problems and dangers at this hospital.”

He added that he hoped the lawsuit sent a strong message to DCFS: “You cannot keep kids at placements once you know the placement is dangerous.”

ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune in separate investigations last year revealed numerous allegations of sexual abuse, assault and patient safety violations at the hospital.  In response, state lawmakers and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which monitors DCFS as part of a federal consent decree, demanded the agency take action.

DCFS’ acting inspector general had previously raised concerns with the agency about the safety of children at Lakeshore.  The ACLU took DCFS to federal court following the news reports, and late last year the agency agreed to stop sending its children to the hospital and removed those who remained there.

“We support this effort to hold responsible those who have done harm to children in the care of DCFS,” the ACLU’s Heidi Dalenberg said on Wednesday.

Chicago Lakeshore Hospital CEO Patricia McClure-Chessier said in a statement that officials “have always placed the health and safety of the children we treat as our top priority.”  She said it was “tragic” that Golbert chose to “malign health care providers instead of addressing the root of this statewide crisis: a lack of state funding which prevents children from getting appropriate care at the right time and in the right place.”

She said she will “vigorously defend Chicago Lakeshore Hospital using facts rather than the egregious distortion that has been portrayed before the press.”

DCFS takes allegations of abuse seriously and has not allowed children to be placed at Lakeshore this year, spokesman Jassen Strokosch said in a statement.  He said the agency, which has a new acting director, has hired more than 300 employees since April and has “begun to make dramatic improvements to overcome the challenges that have plagued the department for decades.”

“DCFS is committed to protecting the children of Illinois and providing the best possible services to the children in our care,” Strokosch said.

The lawsuit detailed abuse at the hands of employees and other patients, alleging children found themselves at a “hospital of horrors” instead of a safe environment where they could focus on their treatment.

One 14-year-old girl, according to the lawsuit, was allegedly sexually assaulted multiple times by a nurse who showed her pornographic videos as well as allowed her and others to fill out their own medical paperwork and to use the nurse’s vaping device.  The girl and others reportedly escaped from the hospital and were missing for several months.

That nurse, according to the lawsuit, was charged this year with attempted murder in an incident involving her housemate.  Her nursing license was revoked.

The lawsuit also claims a male hospital employee entered the room of a 12-year-old girl and forced her hand on his genitals and grabbed her breasts.  A 7-year-old boy was allegedly forced to perform oral sex on his older roomate, who had previously physically abused him.  And the hospital didn’t put precautions in place to protect an 8-year-old girl who also was sexually assaulted by a peer, the lawsuit alleges, despite the hospital knowing the boy had previously sexually assaulted his roommate.

The lawsuit, which seeks monetary compensation for the children, alleges that DCFS relied so heavily on Lakeshore because it “had worn out its welcome” at other psychiatric hospitals in the Chicago area.  Psychiatric hospitals were reluctant to admit DCFS children because state budgetary constraints delayed payments to them, and DCFS routinely kept children in psychiatric hospitals after they had been medically cleared for discharge, according to the lawsuit.

In June 2018, ProPublica Illinois first reported on children trapped in psychiatric hospitals because DCFS struggled to find them appropriate placements.  Golbert filed a lawsuit last December on behalf of the hundreds of children who remained in psychiatric hospitals after being cleared for release.  That lawsuit is pending. DCFS said at the time that finding appropriate placement for children is challenging and that the agency was working to reduce the need for hospitalization and build up additional places for children.

DCFS’ desperation for a psychiatric hospital that would accept its children led agency officials and Lakeshore to engage in “concerted efforts to cover-up or discredit the allegations of abuse,” according to the lawsuit, which also alleged the hospital failed to repair broken video cameras and destroyed existing video in an attempt to hide evidence that could corroborate the allegations.

The lawsuit names Lakeshore, its owner Signature Healthcare Services, former hospital CEO David Fletcher-Janzen, a number of hospital employees who worked there at the time of the allegations and several DCFS officials, including former department chief Beverly “B.J.” Walker.

Last December, the hospital was days away from losing federal funding.  Officials said they would terminate Lakeshore’s Medicare agreement because the hospital could not ensure its patients were free from sexual and physical abuse and it did not have sufficient policies to investigate the allegations.

One year later, the hospital finds itself in a similar position. Federal officials notified Lakeshore that they plan to terminate its Medicare agreement on Monday, the latest deadline in a long list of dates that have been extended.  The hospital has filed temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in federal court to fight the termination.  Lakeshore officials have said losing the federal funding could force the hospital to shut down.

An inspection last month by the Illinois Department of Public Health on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found deficiencies that “immediately jeopardize the health and safety of its patients,” federal officials wrote in a letter to the hospital.

In her statement, McClure-Chessier said Chicago Lakeshore Hospital “has always cooperated with regulators in a transparent way and we work diligently to correct any problems that arise while treating the most difficult and troubled populations — populations other hospitals cannot or will not treat because of acuity or inadequate reimbursement.”

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.

We Want Net Neutrality

.jpg photo of Firefighter in California
A firefighter battling the Medocino Complex fire on August 7, 2018 near Lodoga, California.

Verizon throttled fire department’s
“unlimited” data during California wildfire

“Fire department had to pay twice as much to lift throttling during wildfire response.”

Update:  The Santa Clara fire department has responded to Verizon’s claim that the throttling was just a customer service error and “has nothing to do with net neutrality.”  To the contrary, “Verizon’s throttling has everything to do with net neutrality,” a county official said.

Verizon Wireless’ throttling of a fire department that uses its data services has been submitted as evidence in a lawsuit that seeks to reinstate federal net neutrality rules.

“County Fire has experienced throttling by its ISP, Verizon,” Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden wrote in a declaration.  “This throttling has had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services.  Verizon imposed these limitations despite being informed that throttling was actively impeding County Fire’s ability to provide crisis-response and essential emergency services.”

Bowden’s declaration was submitted in an addendum to a brief filed by 22 state attorneys general, the District of Columbia, Santa Clara County, Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, and the California Public Utilities Commission.  The government agencies are seeking to overturn the recent repeal of net neutrality rules in a lawsuit they filed against the Federal Communications Commission in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Throttling affected response to wildfire

“The Internet has become an essential tool in providing fire and emergency response, particularly for events like large fires which require the rapid deployment and organization of thousands of personnel and hundreds of fire engines, aircraft, and bulldozers,” Bowden wrote.

Santa Clara Fire paid Verizon for “unlimited” data but suffered from heavy throttling until the department paid Verizon more, according to Bowden’s declaration and emails between the fire department and Verizon that were submitted as evidence.

The throttling recently affected “OES 5262,” a fire department vehicle that is “deployed to large incidents as a command and control resource” and is used to “track, organize, and prioritize routing of resources from around the state and country to the sites where they are most needed,” Bowden wrote.

“OES 5262 also coordinates all local government resources deployed to the Mendocino Complex Fire,” an ongoing wildfire that is the largest in California’s history, Bowden wrote.

The vehicle has a device that uses a Verizon SIM card for Internet access.

“In the midst of our response to the Mendocino Complex Fire, County Fire discovered the data connection for OES 5262 was being throttled by Verizon, and data rates had been reduced to 1/200, or less, than the previous speeds,” Bowden wrote.  “These reduced speeds severely interfered with the OES 5262’s ability to function effectively.  My Information Technology staff communicated directly with Verizon via email about the throttling, requesting it be immediately lifted for public safety purposes.”

Verizon did not immediately restore full speeds to the device, however.

 “Verizon representatives confirmed the throttling, but rather than restoring us to an essential data transfer speed, they indicated that County Fire would have to switch to a new data plan at more than twice the cost, and they would only remove throttling after we contacted the Department that handles billing and switched to the new data plan,” Bowden wrote.

Verizon “risking harm to public safety”

Because the throttling continued until the department was able to upgrade its subscription, “County Fire personnel were forced to use other agencies’ Internet Service Providers and their own personal devices to provide the necessary connectivity and data transfer capability required by OES 5262,” Bowden wrote.

Verizon throttling also affected the department in a response to previous fires in December and June, emails show.

Bowden argued that Verizon is likely to keep taking advantage of emergencies in order to push public safety agencies onto more expensive plans.

“In light of our experience, County Fire believes it is likely that Verizon will continue to use the exigent nature of public safety emergencies and catastrophic events to coerce public agencies into higher-cost plans, ultimately paying significantly more for mission-critical service—even if that means risking harm to public safety during negotiations,” Bowden wrote.

Update:  In a statement to Ars three hours after this article was published, Verizon acknowledged that it shouldn’t have continued throttling the fire department’s data service after the department asked Verizon to lift the throttling restrictions.

“Regardless of the plan emergency responders choose, we have a practice to remove data speed restrictions when contacted in emergency situations,” Verizon’s statement said.  “We have done that many times, including for emergency personnel responding to these tragic fires.  In this situation, we should have lifted the speed restriction when our customer reached out to us.  This was a customer support mistake.  We are reviewing the situation and will fix any issues going forward.”

Verizon also noted that the fire department purchased a data service plan that is slowed down after a data usage threshold is reached.  But Verizon said it “made a mistake” in communicating with the department about the terms of the plan.

“We made a mistake in how we communicated with our customer about the terms of its plan,” Verizon said.  “Like all customers, fire departments choose service plans that are best for them.  This customer purchased a government contract plan for a high-speed wireless data allotment at a set monthly cost.  Under this plan, users get an unlimited amount of data but speeds are reduced when they exceed their allotment until the next billing cycle.”

Verizon also said that the Santa Clara “situation has nothing to do with net neutrality or the current proceeding in court.”

Throttling happened after net neutrality repeal

Verizon’s throttling was described in fire department emails beginning June 29 of this year, just weeks after the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules took effect.

Even when net neutrality rules were in place, all major carriers imposed some form of throttling on unlimited plans when customers used more than a certain amount of data.  They argued that it was allowed under the rules’ exception for “reasonable network management.”  But while such throttling is generally applied only during times of network congestion, the Santa Clara Fire Department says it was throttled at all times once the device in question went over a 25GB monthly threshold.

Even if Verizon’s throttling didn’t technically violate the no-throttling rule, Santa Clara could have complained to the FCC under the now-removed net neutrality system, which allowed Internet users to file complaints about any unjust or unreasonable prices and practices.  FCC Chairman Ajit   decision to deregulate the broadband industry eliminated that complaint option and also limited consumers’ rights to sue Internet providers over unjust or unreasonable behavior.

Emails between fire department and Verizon

On June 29, Fire Captain Justin Stockman wrote an email to Verizon, noting that download speeds for an essential device used during large disasters had been throttled from 50Mbps to about 30kbps.

A Verizon government accounts manager named Silas Buss responded, saying that the fire department would have to move from a $37.99 plan to a $39.99 plan “to get the data speeds restored on this device.”  Later, Buss suggested that the department switch to a plan that cost at least $99.99 a month.

Stockman didn’t have authority to upgrade the plan, so he sent an email to Deputy Chief Steve Prziborowski that same day.  Stockman wrote:

Verizon is currently throttling OES 5262 so severely that it’s hampering operations for the assigned crew.  This is not the first time we have had this issue.  In December of 2017 while deployed to the Prado Mobilization Center supporting a series of large wildfires, we had the same device with the same SIM card also throttled.  I was able to work through [Fire Department IT executive] Eric Prosser at the time to have service to the device restored, and Eric communicated that Verizon had properly re-categorized the device as truly “unlimited”.

Prziborowski expressed concern about the throttling in an email to Buss.  “Before I give you my approval to do the $2.00 a month upgrade, the bigger question is why our public safety data usage is getting throttled down?”  Prziborowski wrote. “Our understanding from Eric Prosser, our former Information Technology Officer, was that he had received approval from Verizon that public safety should never be gated down because of our critical infrastructure need for these devices.”

While fire department personnel thought they were already paying for “truly” unlimited data, Verizon said they weren’t.

“The short of it is, public safety customers have access to plans that do not have data throughput limitations,” Buss told Prziborowski.  “However, the current plan set for all of SCCFD’s lines does have data throttling limitations.  We will need to talk about making some plan changes to all lines or a selection of lines to address the data throttling limitation of the current plan.”

The emails started up again on July 5 and 6.  “Can confirm that after using 25GB of data, our service drops to zero.  This is unacceptable and needs to be fixed,” fire department IT officer Daniel Farrelly wrote.

Buss clarified that “data throughput is limited to 200kbps or 600kbps” after 25GB of use.  Buss also told fire officials that all Verizon plans have some sort of throttling and that the department would have to pay by the gigabyte to avoid throttling entirely.

Buss wrote:

Verizon has always reserved the right to limit data throughput on unlimited plans. All unlimited data plans offered by Verizon have some sort of data throttling built-in, including the $39.99 plan.  Verizon does offer plans with no data throughput limitations;  these plans require that the customer pay by the GB for use beyond a certain set allotment.

The Mendocino fire began on July 27.  On the night of Sunday, July 29, Stockman sent an email to Bowden:

OES 5262 is deployed again, now to the Mendocino Complex, and is still experiencing the same throttling.  As I understood it from our previous exchange regarding this device, the billing cycle was set to end July 23, which should have alleviated the throttling.  In a side-by-side comparison, a crew member’s personal phone using Verizon was seeing speeds of 20Mbps/7Mbps.  The department Verizon device is experiencing speeds of 0.2Mbps/0.6Mbps, meaning it has no meaningful functionality.

Farrelly wrote a brief email to Buss that night, telling him to “Remove any data throttling on OES5262 effective immediately.”  Farrelly emailed Buss again the next morning, saying, “Please work with us.  All we need is a plan that does not offer throttling or caps of any kind.”

Buss responded that afternoon, suggesting a plan that costs $99.99 for the first 20GB and $8 per gigabyte thereafter.  “To get the plan changed immediately, I would suggest calling in the plan change to our customer service team,” Buss wrote.

That was the last email submitted in the court exhibit.

Santa Clara apparently switched to the $99.99 plan, more than doubling its bill. “While Verizon ultimately did lift the throttling, it was only after County Fire subscribed to a new, more expensive plan,” Bowden wrote in his declaration.

Why Not Call It Battered Child Syndrome

.jpg photo of man found guilty of child abuse
Alan Farley was initially accused of sexually abusing a child.

Man convicted of Child Abuse avoids prison as part of plea deal

BILLINGS, MT  –  A judge Friday sentenced a Casper area man to probation and a suspended prison sentence for felony child abuse.

Alan Farley was initially accused of sexually abusing a child.  But he pleaded to lesser charges, including the child abuse, as part of a deal that could keep him out of prison.

Natrona County District Judge Daniel Forgey handed down seven-to-10 year suspended prison sentence that would potentially go into effect if Farley violates his five years of probation.

Farley, who frequently conferred with his lawyer during Friday’s hearing, did not speak when Forgey offered him the opportunity.

The victim of the crime addressed the court before sentencing.

“What you did to me was the worst decision you could possibly make,” the child said in a calm, measured tone.

“I want other kids to know they’re not alone and they can stick up for themselves too,” she said.

The plea agreement prevented prosecutors from seeking prison time.

Prosecutor Kevin Taheri asked Forgey for an eight-to-10 year suspended sentence and seven years of supervised probation.  Public defender Curtis Cheney asked for a three-to-five year suspended sentence with probation.

Forgey, in handing down his sentence, did not explain why he imposed the stiffer penalty.

Although Farley was charged in April with two felony sex crimes including second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, he pleaded to lesser charges: felony child abuse and misdemeanor sexual battery.

The girl, who was born in 2006, first told her guardian that she did not like it when Farley cuddled with her, according to court documents.  After the girl told her counselor more details, the guardian decided to report the girl’s allegations to police.

In a later interview, the girl said that Farley grabbed her butt under her pants while they were sitting in a recliner.  She said that he stopped briefly when someone else walked into the room and she moved to a nearby bed.  Farley then followed her to the bed, the April affidavit states.

The girl said she didn’t remember much after that, except that at some point she was completely naked and he was on top of her.  She said she was scared and that she froze, according to the affidavit.

She said that Farley later told her that he would hurt her loved ones if she told anybody about what happened.

Farley was couch surfing at the time of the report, the girl’s family told police.

Can Your Children Talk To You

.jpg photo of man accused of Child Abuse
Arnold Cowen, 85

Perry principal, teacher resign after
accusations of hiding Child Abuse

PERRY, OK  –  A Perry school principal and a teacher have resigned after allegations they both failed to report child abuse or neglect.

The Perry Public School Board of Education met Monday night to vote on whether or not to accept the resignations of 5th grade math teacher Jeffrey Sullins and Upper Elementary School Principal Kendra Miller.

The board approved the resignation agreements, KFOR crews confirmed.

Miller and Sullins each face misdemeanor counts after failing to report accusations of sexual abuse against their students.

Police arrested 85-year-old teaching assistant Arnold Cowen earlier this year on accusations he inappropriately touched at least seven girls.

The assistant chief told NewsChannel 4 at least 20 children may have been victims, likely over the course of several years.

At least 10 students may have been victimized in 2017, according to court documents, when Perry Upper Elementary School Principal Miller dismissed past allegations and failed to notify police or the victim’s parents.

Students as young as 10 complained Cowen fondled them and touched their breasts, according to arrest affidavits, sometimes during “lengthy hugs and inappropriate touches.”

According to court documents, Miller fielded multiple complaints from students but told them they had to be accidental.

“Principal Kendra Miller tells her that it’s possible, that Cowen has long arms and, when he reaches around to hug her, his long arms touch her boobs,” one student told police, according to the affidavit. “Principal Kendra Miller tells her to refrain from hugging Cowen and to only ‘fist bump’ him.”

As a result, students told police they were afraid to tell their parents about the interactions and often would cry in the bathroom.

During interviews with other teachers, police were told “Cowen was definitely the victim of false accusations and he was a model instructor and of great help to the school.”

Miller told police, according to court documents, police were not told of the complaints because they were “deemed to be false by her staff and herself.  Stating, ‘we have had these allegations on Cowen before, but we determined they were fabricated by the students.’”

In interviews with police, Miller said Cowen’s of “great moral character and was a very ‘nice guy.”

Police said, when Sullins was told of inappropriate touching, he told the student she was “making stuff up,” at one point taking her into the hallway and calling her a liar, documents show.

“[The student] was escorted to the office to see Principal Kendra Miller, but since she was not available, [the student] was sent back to class, where she continued to work with Cowen,” according to the affidavit.  “Sullins did allude to the fact that a majority of the teachers were aware of the incident/accusations.”

Cowen faces more than 20 counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child as well as child pornography possession charges.

Miller was charged with one misdemeanor count for failing to report child abuse or neglect.  Her court hearing is scheduled for April 27.

Sullins has been charged with two counts of failure to report child abuse or neglect.  He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Both Miller and Sullins had their teaching license revoked by the State Board of Education last month under emergency orders.