Tag Archives: Indifference

Not Funday For TX Teacher

.jpg photo of men accused of Soliciting a Child
Jarrod Cook, 29,(Top Left) teaches science at North Crowley High School.

Ft Worth Teacher Busted In OnlIne
Predator Sting

FT WORTH, TX   –  A Fort Worth high school teacher was arrested on suspicion of online solicitation of a minor after a sting operation caught the 29-year-old man trying to meet with a person he believed to be a teenage girl for sex, police said.  Six other men also were arrested.

Jarrod Cook, who teaches science at North Crowley High School, has been placed on administrative leave pending the result of an investigation, the district said.  He was hired in August 2016.

.jpg photo of men accused of Soliciting a Child
Men accused of On-Line Solicitation of a Child.

The sting involved investigators posing as girls and boys ages 13 to 15, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  The seven suspects went to an agreed location to have sexual contact with a person they believed to be a teenage girl.

Cook responded to a post on the Whisper app titled “Sunday funday?” that he thought was a 15-year-old girl.  Cook told the poster,” “I think it’s kinda hot that you’re young and inexperienced,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the newspaper.

Cook continued to communicate with the “girl” in a sexual nature, including sending a photo of himself and a photo of a penis before asking to meet with her, the affidavit said.

Six others arrested were Douglas Hammonds, 63; Gary Gibson, 55; Donny Stringer, 59; James Marshall, 26; Zachary Blakley, 20; and Geronimo Farias, 32.

Arlington police, the Tarrant County sheriff’s office, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division in Hurst and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations assisted Fort Worth police in the sting.

OK Parent Of The Year In Prison Instead

.jpg photo of woman recognized as DHS Adoptive Parent of the Year in NE OK
Deidre Matthews, 50

Oklahoma woman formerly named DHS Adoptive Parent of the Year gets prison time in Child Abuse case

JAY, OK  –  An Oklahoma woman who was formerly named DHS Adoptive Parent of the Year received prison time in connection to a child abuse case.

In 2006, Deidre Matthews, 50, and her former husband, Jerry Matthews, were recognized as Department of Human Services Adoptive Parents of the Year for northeast Oklahoma, the Tulsa World reports.

While the two were married, they reportedly lived with nine children, ages 4 through 17, in an animal feces-infested mobile home in Jay, Oklahoma.

The couple also owned more than 50 animals, including three spider monkeys and 11 lemurs.

According to the Tulsa World, court records show that under the care of Deidre Matthews, the oldest teen was forced to kill her pet kitten by bashing its head into a tree; another child was handcuffed and placed in a dog cage; children were made to stand outside or walk around the house naked; and children were kept home from school to avoid detection of bruises, welts and wounds.

Matthews is also accused of beating the children, allowing pet monkeys to bite the two teen daughters, and withholding food and water as punishment.

Her husband, Jerry, pleaded no contest to two counts of child neglect in 2016.  He received a suspend life sentence in exchange for testifying against his former wife.

This week, Deidre Matthews pleaded no contest to 12 counts of child abuse, child neglect and child endangerment.

According to the Tulsa World, Matthews received a life sentence, all but four years of which was suspended.

The local assistant district attorney said Matthews will receive credit for the year she spent in county jail and that she will only have to serve 85 percent of her sentence.

Higher Numbers Of Child Abuse, Neglect In NC

.jpg photo of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
North Carolina seeing increased numbers of Child Abuse and Neglect.

121,000 reported cases of Child Abuse,
neglect in NC: 600 reported cases
in McDowell

McDowell, NC  –  Early data shows there were over 121,000 investigated cases of child abuse and neglect in North Carolina during fiscal year July 2016 through June 2017.  State law requires individuals or institutions suspecting child abuse or neglect to report cases to the Division of Social Services (DSS) for investigation.

“The high number of children impacted by neglect or abuse indicates too many families are struggling and under severe stress,” said Rebecca Starnes, vice president of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina.  “Abuse and neglect can be the product of a number of issues facing families, including poverty, working multiple jobs to make ends meet, high levels of stress, unrealistic expectations of children, mental health challenges, or substance abuse.”

In McDowell alone, there were 600 reported cases of abuse in neglect in the 2016-17 year, with over 75 percent found to be true and put into case management services.

“The majority of our reports have been methamphetamine-related,” said McDowell Department of Social Services Director Lisa Sprouse. “Just last week, we received multiple reports of babies being born in McDowell County that tested positive for polysubstance abuse.”

When asked about the uptick in referrals across the state, Sprouse says that the biggest contributor has been substance abuse.

“I looked at those numbers and they don’t include foster care, but foster care has greatly increased due to the rise of opioid addictions and, primarily here in this county, methamphetamine addiction,” said Sprouse.  “In the month of July in this agency alone, we placed 18 children in foster care, probably 80 percent of those due to substance abuse from parents, and right now it is IV drug use.”

DSS staff investigates and assesses all suspected cases of child abuse and neglect; diagnoses the problem with the family; provides in-home services to help keep families together; coordinates community and agency services; or, petitions the court for removal of the child from the home, if necessary.

To treat instances like these and other child-related cases, McDowell DSS has a collaborative relationship with a number of organizations like the McDowell Sheriff’s Office, the county school system, Lily’s Place – the local subsidiary of Southmountain Children and Family Services – Freedom Life Ministries, and equine and agricultural therapy at Hope 29:11 for older children not living with their biological parents, as well as local events like this Sunday’s Unity Service at East Middle School and Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

“We try to utilize conventional collaborations as well as unconventional,” said Sprouse.  “Sometimes in this day and time, the conventional methods with going to an office for mental health services is not really what works for our families, so we try to meet them where we are and provide services that can help them from point A to point B and help them make their family whole again and allow their children to come home.”

For more information on McDowell DSS’ Children and Family Services, visit http://www.mcdowellcountyncdss.org/children-family-services.

MI Father Charged With Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Child found to have been abused
Matthew Lee Virgin, 27, was arrested for first degree child abuse.

Baby’s checkup leads to Child Abuse charges against metro Detroit father

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, MI  –  Deputies from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office were called to St. John Hospital in Detroit for a child abuse complain involving a two-month-old from Harrison Township.

The child was originally taken into her doctor’s office for a scheduled visit and then transferred to the hospital after showing possible signs of abuse.

She is currently in stable condition.

Deputies and detectives searched the child’s home and spoke with several people, including the child’s parents.

Her father, 27-year-old Matthew Lee Virgin was taken into custody and lodged at the Macomb County Jail for child abuse.

He was issued a warrant for one count of first degree child abuse by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

TX Woman Faces 5 To 99

.jpg photo of woman convicted of torture of Children
Sara Anne Woody, 25, is facing five to 99 years.

Woody found guilty on 16 counts of
Child Abuse

Wichita Falls, TX  –  The Burkburnett stepmother accused of child abuse and child torture was found guilty on 16 counts of injury to a child, including three first degree felony charges.

Sara Anne Woody, 25, is facing five to 99 years, or life in prison, after six men and six women determined she caused serious mental deficiency, impairment or injury for “engaging in pattern of child abuse and/or torture” with her two stepsons and her oldest daughter.

It took more than 11 hours of deliberations for the jury to reach its verdict, which was announced by 30th District Court Judge Bob Brotherton just after noon Wednesday.

In addition to the first degree felonies, jurors found Woody guilty on 10 total counts that included striking her oldest stepson on the lip with a metal spoon and on the shoulders and face with a tent pole.

The other three counts involved her younger stepson.  She was found guilty of striking him on the tooth with a metal spoon, holding a lighter under his tongue for lying and hitting his genitals with a belt for wetting the bed.

She was found not guilty on 10 counts of injury to a child.

The abuse came to light when the oldest stepson was taken to the United Regional Health Care System emergency room on March 30, 2016, with a severely bruised upper lip.

Despite being told by the boy and his father, Jonathan Darrell Woody, that the boy had fallen while roughhousing with his brothers, Dr. Jeremy Sautner told jurors about two weeks ago that he believed other signs were missing from an injury that was caused by a fall.

Sautner said the boy would have also injured his chin or nose, which would have hit the concrete also during a normal fall.  The bruising around the eyes was also alarming to the medical professional.

To a physician, Sautner said, it was the “classic definition of a red flag for child abuse.”  By law, he is a mandatory reporter of suspected abuse.  He filed a report with local law enforcement.

During closing arguments Tuesday, Woody’s defense attorney Reggie Wilson told jurors his client was a loving, Christian mother who “picked up these kids when no one else wanted them.”

“Those four children need and deserve a mother like Sara in their lives,” Wilson said, speaking of Woody’s four biological kids.  “…You’re the ones who can save these children from a life without their mother.”

Prosecuting attorney John Gillespie argued Tuesday that it was time for the jurors to “face evil” and believe that people like Woody exist in the world who will abuse children.

Gillespie said Woody only cried for herself and not her victims while on the stand.  The rest of her testimony, he said, felt “very rehearsed and she had an excuse for everything.”

The punishment phase of the trial began at Wednesday after lunch and is scheduled to continue at 9 a.m. Thursday.