Tag Archives: Indifference

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.

I Suggest An Auctioneer, 20 Years Do I Hear 30

.jpg photo of child abuse graphic
Kassidy Sump and her boyfriend Axton Chancellor are facing child abuse charges after the brutal assault against her 5-month-old daughter.

Wagoner County Couple In Jail Accused Of Abusing 5-Month-Old Child

WAGONER COUNTY, OK  –  A Wagoner County couple is in Jail tonight accused of child abuse against a 5-month-old girl.

Kassidy Sump and her boyfriend Axton Chancellor are facing child abuse charges.

Investigators say the brutal assault against the 5-month-old baby girl happened at their home in Coweta.

An affidavit says the couple, along with the child’s grandparents took the baby to the hospital.  Sheriff Chris Elliott says the couple originally told doctors the child fell off the bed a month ago.  But he says the baby had injuries consistent with abuse with a broken arm, clavicle, a fractured skull and bruising around the face and mouth.

“This baby was so severely injured they transported the baby by ambulance to the main saint Francis hospital located in Tulsa,” said Sheriff Elliott.

The affidavit goes on to say Chancellor admitted to pulling the baby’s arm until he heard a popping sound, dropping her on the floor, and grabbing her face hard enough to cause the bruising.  He told investigators he did this all because the baby was crying.

“This is a very disturbing case from my investigators.  This is a 5-and-a-half-month-old baby that can’t protect herself.  She can’t tell anybody what’s going on and we’re going to prosecute these two individuals to the fullest extent of the law,” said Sheriff Elliott.

Sheriff Elliott says Sump knew that Chancellor had possibly injured her baby girl but failed to treat her for two days.   The affidavit says Sump sought out medical treatment for the baby after the injuries were discovered by the child’s grandmother.

“Everybody failed this little girl.  We just didn’t know what was going on.  Now that we know what’s going on, we’re going to prosecute,” said Sheriff Elliott.

The baby girl is in the hospital recovering from her injuries.  The Wagoner County Sheriff Office says that child and her older sibling are now in protective custody.

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. 

Bond Reduced After Luring Child From Home?

.jpg photo of man accused of kidnapping Child
Juan Andrade, 30

Bond Reduced For Two Illinois Men Charged
With Kidnapping Olive Branch Teen Lured
Through App

MEMPHIS, TN  –  An Olive Branch, Mississippi judge reduced bonds for two Illinois men accused of kidnapping a teenager earlier this month.

.jpg photo of man accused of kidnapping Child
Jason St. Aubin, 29

30-year-old Juan Andrade and 29-year-old Jason St. Aubin are charged with kidnapping and conspiracy for taking a 14-year-old boy from his home.  They both had $600,000 bonds until Tuesday.  The bond for Jason St. Aubin was reduced to $500,000.  Juan Andrade’s bond is now $300,000.

“That was just an agreement taking into account the appropriate circumstances, under the rules of criminal procedure,” says prosecutor Luke Williamson.

Olive Branch Police say the two Illinois men charged with conspiracy and kidnapping could face additional charges.  Local authorities along with the FBI are still gathering evidence.

Police believe the suspects used a video gaming messaging app to lure an Olive Branch, Mississippi teen from his home earlier this month.  The boy is safe, but the case is far from over.

“This is an ongoing investigation and does involve coordination with other agencies and so it is still in progress,” says Williamson.

The mothers of both suspects were in court Tuesday, but they didn’t talk to the media.

Once the investigation is done, the case will go to the grand jury who will then decide if the two men should be indicted on the charges against them.