AG Paxton Investigates TikTok for Potential Facilitation of Human Trafficking & Child Privacy Violations
AUSTIN, TX – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued two Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) to TikTok Inc. This investigation focuses on TikTok’s potential facilitation of human trafficking and child privacy violations, as well as other potential unlawful conduct.
“Chinese-owned company TikTok may be complicit in child exploitation, sex trafficking, human trafficking, drug smuggling and other unimaginable horrors,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I will get to the bottom of these concerns and make sure Big Tech doesn’t interfere with the safety and security of Texans.”
AG Paxton to Investigate Promotion of Puberty Blockers in Children
AUSTIN, TX – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and AbbVie Inc. under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. These pharmaceutical companies allegedly advertised and promoted hormone (puberty) blockers for unapproved uses without disclosing the potential risks associated with these drugs to children and their parents.
Medications Supprelin LA and Lupron Depot are approved to treat children with Central Precocious Puberty (CPP), when the puberty process begins prematurely. And Vantas, along with other forms of Lupron, has been prescribed for palliative treatment of prostate cancer. These drugs are now being used to treat gender dysphoria even though they are not approved for such use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Gender dysphoria is a diagnosed mental disorder in which a person experiences significant distress related to a strong desire to be of another biological sex.
“The manufacture, sale, prescription, and use of puberty blockers on young teens and minors is dangerous and reckless,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “These drugs were approved for very different purposes and can have detrimental and even irreversible side effects. I will not allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of Texas children.”
The OAG has the authority to investigate false, misleading, and deceptive conduct by businesses in Texas, and to take legal action to enforce the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The Fugitive Apprehension Unit made several noteworthy arrests last week:
In Dallas County, Jorge Antonio Cervantes was arrested in Dallas on July 21, on an outstanding warrant for Sexual Assault issued by the Waxahachie Police Department.
In Bexar County, Nicole Kristina Clayton was arrested in San Antonio on July 16, on an outstanding warrant for Sex Offense Against Child Fondling – Felony Indecency with a Child/Sexual Contact issued by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. This arrest was made while working in conjunction with the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force out of San Antonio.
In Travis County, Milo Cortez Douglas was arrested in Austin on July 19, on an outstanding warrant for Murder issued by the Austin Police Department. This arrest was made while working in conjunction with the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force out of Austin.
In Dallas County, Facundo Dario Araya was arrested in Irving on July 20, on an outstanding warrant for Sexual Assault of a Child issued by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.
Behind the motto of ‘make good boys better,’ a darker side of New Hampshire’s Camp Tecumseh
Since 1903, Camp Tecumseh has welcomed young male campers to New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee for summers of sports and outdoor adventures to “make good boys better.”
But at least two campers who summered there had a very different experience of life at the camp. They say that at different times between 1999 and 2013 they were sexually abused by Matthew J. Scavitto, 37, a former camper and counselor who has since been convicted of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.
Police in the small, lakeside town of Moultonborough, N.H., are now investigating the accusations, which have cast a pall over the 350-acre camp that draws many boys from the Philadelphia area and boasts of alumni including Prince Albert II of Monaco, the son of actress Grace Kelly; and the late Bert Bell, the first NFL commissioner.
One former camper who said he was molested at the camp by Scavitto during the early 2000s said life at Tecumseh required navigating a maze of demeaning and embarrassing practices.
“It was ‘Lord of the Flies,’ ” said Will Addis, 30, referring to the novel about boys who descend into chaos after being stranded on an uninhabited island. “It has a pervasive culture of toxic masculinity and abusive practices.”
Addis, of Nantucket, sued Camp Tecumseh last fall in New Hampshire, alleging that Scavitto sexually assaulted him repeatedly from 2001 and 2003.
Camp life, Addis alleged, celebrated games that sometimes took on sexual overtones and primitive accommodations like a shared shower area without curtains between campers and “The Widdow,” a bathroom with no privacy doors.
Campers who chafed at Tecumseh’s rituals were vulnerable to being hazed or bullied, Addis said, and the camp also permitted nude swimming, pranking others by twisting nipples, and having campers apply IcyHot to their testicles in a Mercy-style game.
Scavitto, of West Chester, Pa., declined to comment. He has not been charged in the Tecumseh matter, but, in a separate case, pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges of institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors and was sentenced to 11 1/2 months to 1 year and 11 months in prison, records show.
Scavitto was prosecuted after two students at The Phelps School in suburban Philadelphia, accused him of sexually abusing them while he worked there as a teacher, coach, and dorm supervisor, police said.
One of the Phelps students also attended Camp Tecumseh and told investigators that Scavitto sexually abused him at the camp in 2013, a police report said.
Scavitto was at the camp from 1994 to 2014, according to Camp Tecumseh, which cut ties with him after his Pennsylvania arrest in June 2015.
As campers returned Saturday to Camp Tecumseh, Addis said he wants to share his story publicly and highlight aspects of camp culture that he believes facilitated Scavitto’s abuse of boys.
The state of the police investigation is unclear. Moultonborough police Sergeant Jody Baker said the investigation is open and she was not “in a position to comment.”
Addis and the camp said they reached an out-of-court settlement earlier this year.
Photos and videos posted on a camp alumni website and YouTube show some of the practices and old-school, rough-edged play that concern Addis.
One photo of a game called “Buck Buck” shows a chain of kneeling campers clutching the waist of the person in front of them as an adult man straddles the back of one participant. One set of players tries to build a pile as large as possible on top of a second group of players who are linked together.
The camp said it stopped sanctioning nude swimming in the early 1990s and built a dividing wall in the bathroom in the early 2000s. The bathroom and showers were renovated this year to enclose toilets and install curtains around each shower.
The camp didn’t directly address specific games or pranks, but said it has “recognized that what once may have been considered adolescent humor or physical pranks of innocent intent have no place at Camp.”
“While bullying and hazing have never been permitted or tolerated, we have recognized that even well-intended or seemingly innocent jokes and pranks were no longer appropriate or supportive of Camp’s values and mission,” the camp wrote in response to questions from the Globe. “These changes were part of our concerted effort to create an environment where minors feel safe and are protected by clear boundaries, guidelines, and expectations and multiple levels of oversight.”
The camp said it created a new senior-level position, director of camper safety and wellness, to oversee the protection of minors, and retained outside experts to train staff. Tuition for this summer’s seven-week session is $7,700, and scholarships are available from the nonprofit camp.
A 3 1/2 page camp statement said it is “committed to an environment where minors and adults feel empowered to report incidents and have a clear understanding of what to look for and how to prevent and stop abuse.”
“Nothing that we do now can undo the harm caused to our former campers, both those who were directly impacted, as well as the many other campers, counselors, and senior leaders whose sense of safety and security were shaken by these events. We are deeply sorry to the former campers who were abused by Scavitto, and so very grateful for their courage in speaking up and standing strong.”
On Thursday, the camp issued a letter informing the Tecumseh community that the Globe was preparing a story about Addis and described its efforts to address his concerns.
Being close to Scavitto, Addis said, shielded him from hazing and bullying.
In the last year, Addis said, he learned that in 2003 a counselor came upon him and Scavitto in bed together in their cabin, and reported it to his father, also a camp employee. The counselor and his father in turn, Addis said, approached the camp director.
“Nothing happened,” Addis said. “This was incredibly public. People knew what was going on but they didn’t do anything.”
Reached by the Globe, the former counselor said he couldn’t speak and hung up. His father didn’t respond to e-mails.
Camp Tecumseh said that an internal investigation launched after Scavitto’s Pennsylvania arrest revealed that the counselor and his father approached the camp director during the early 2000s with a “concern about boundaries, rather than about abuse.” The camp said it shared the information with New Hampshire police after learning about it in 2015.
James Talbot, the camp director in 2003, said he has no recollection of being approached.
“Nor did I have any other information that any of this behavior took place while I was camp director,” Talbot wrote in an e-mail. “Had I known, I would have put an immediate stop to it and notified the authorities.”
Addis’s lawyer, Eric MacLeish, said the camp missed an opportunity to stop Scavitto years before he was accused of molesting boys in Pennsylvania.
“By the time Will was molested, the mandatory abuse reporting laws had been in effect in New Hampshire for decades,” said MacLeish, a New Hampshire attorney who has represented many child sex abuse victims. “It is impossible to understand why the Camp failed to investigate, report, or fire Scavitto when it learned that he was in bed at 10: 30 at night with a [10-]year-old child.”
After Scavitto’s 2015 arrest, the camp said it hired the law firm Cozen O’Connor to investigate, contacted the families of current and former campers, alerted police and child protective services in New Hampshire, and added staff to ensure individual campers are never alone with a counselor.
It was unclear whether state officials in New Hampshire were informed about the alleged abuse. A spokesman for the state’s child welfare division said state and federal laws require it to protect the privacy of any individuals involved in the agency.
Responding to a records request, the state’s health and human services agency produced one document from Scavitto’s tenure as a counselor, a 2014 report that noted beds were too close together in the cabin visited by the inspector. A department spokesman said other files were purged after five years, and that the agency had only been authorized in 2020 to oversee camps.
At Tecumseh in 2001, Addis was assigned to a cabin of 18 campers, where Scavitto had arranged for him to sleep next to him, Addis recalled. At night and during the daytime rest period, Addis said Scavitto sexually assaulted him.
Around camp, Addis said Scavitto held his hand, played with his hair, and put his arm around him.
“He told me he loved me,” Addis said. “He told me not tell anybody this is our little secret.”
He added: “I almost felt that I had better treatment than any other camper and some counselors. I felt like I had such privilege at that camp.”
Last March, Addis said, the closing of the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic set off a change in him. He said childhood memories of Camp Tecumseh and Scavitto filled his mind and he took action.
Up until then, Addis said, he feared what happened to him at camp.
“I thought I would take this to the grave,” he said.
CHICAGO, IL – Contrary to what many peddlers of disinformation will lead you to believe, child sex abuse is not reserved to the Deep State, Democratic party, and Hollywood, Republicans are regularly caught committing the same acts. What’s more, while elite politicians are caught committing these child sex crimes like former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, the scope of the problem is far greater. Child sex abuse is rife no matter political or socioeconomic status.
A potential reason this problem has reached epidemic proportions in this county could be the lack of punishment these monsters face after hurting children.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are currently incarcerated in the land of the free for “crimes” which have no victims. Innocent people, whose only crime was getting caught with small amounts of a plant or who are unable to pay for a suspended license are serving years behind bars, yet child predators routinely receive insultingly low sentences or none at all.
In the following case out of Chicago, this horrifying problem is compounded by the fact that multiple alleged child sex abusers are walking free — while their 10-year-old victim is rotting away in an institution. This month, CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini revealed a despicable problem among police and child services that is facilitating this scenario.
A 10-year-old girl, still in elementary school, was abused for the first time by a 47-year-old man from her neighborhood when she was just 7. She was brought to the motel where she was horribly abused for the first of many times by several abusers.
Brenda Myers-Powell is an advocate for children like the one mentioned above and as co-founder of The Dreamcatcher Foundation, she has been fighting for victims like her.
“We have no idea what type of ugly things he did to her in that room,” Myers-Powell told CBS 2, describing the type of person she believes does something like this as “a dog; a predator; a very, very sick person.”
SICK???? YEAH RIGHT, this and all the rest like these are nothing but pieces of DUNG, and the lowest form of SEWER RATS on this earth!!!! Robert StrongBow
According to the report, while the man was in the motel with the girl, staff called 911 to report it. They even told authorities his name, yet he has never been arrested.
“Why wasn’t he locked up? That needs to be answered. Why did they not lock that man up?” said Myers-Powell. “It just made me sick.”
According to their own reports, the police department knows that the girl has at least five different abusers. She was abused from age 7 to 10 by these men — including men in their 40s and 50s.
Police and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) were told about this abuse as far back as 2016. They received multiple reports from the motel where the abuse was happening as well as school officials who had found out about it.
Despite all the reports to DCFS, the police, and a record of the abuse, not a single person — whose job it is to protect children — lifted a finger to help the little girl.
Even when police responded to the motel and found her inside with one of the abusers, no arrests were made. As CBS 2 reports:
The DCFS refused to say anything about the pattern of abuse this child endured. CBS 2 Investigators used Chicago Police reports, obtained through a public records request, to piece together a tale of systemic failures that let her down – how her abusers were never charged, and how child protective services failed to get her the help she needed to escape a horrifying world of child exploitation.
In fact, just days before she ended up at the Grand Motel, police had their grasp on another one of her alleged abusers. He too is accused of taking her to a motel, and he also was never arrested.
Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert has spent 30 years working to protect abused children. It is his job to challenge the DCFS when they fail.
He said the girl should have received protective services when she was first assaulted at age 7. He also wants to know why the accused men have not been arrested.
“I’ve seen a lot. This has to be one of the very worst cases,” said Golbert. “It’s just, it’s disgusting.”
Disgusting indeed. Given the fact that Chicago police routinely raid the homes of innocent families looking for non-existent substances deemed illegal by the state, the idea of allowing child rapists to walk free shocks the conscience. However, according to Golbert, this is par for the course.
“DCFS commonly leaves kids in very dangerous situations, where they continue to be abused, instead of bringing cases to court and rescuing children,” Golbert said. “This case illustrates that.”
Now, because police and DCFS never stepped in when the abuse originally began, this 10-year-old little girl is now severely psychologically damaged and this heartbreaking tale gets worse.
After DCFS and police allowed this girl’s abuse to persist for nearly half her life, instead of giving her help, she was then locked away in a psychiatric facility in December — where she remains to this day.
“It’s horrible,” Golbert said. “You’re locked up indoors all day. They get about one hour of outdoor recreation every day. They lose schooling.”
What’s more, as this little girl remains locked up in a de facto prison, her abusers — some of whom were caught in the act — are all walking free.
“That says: ‘I’m the garbage that the man who abused me said I was,’” said Myers-Powell. “That says that I don’t matter, and the world showed me I don’t matter because I’m locked in a box.”
What’s more, according to CBS 2, during their investigation they discovered that when police found the girl at the motel in October, instead of bringing her to the hospital or getting her help, they brought her home to allow the abuse to continue. Only after CBS 2 aired their investigative story did the Chicago police department respond, claiming they are now launching a review.
Chicago Police issued the following statement:
“Protecting the lives and wellbeing of children is the highest priority of the Chicago Police Department. We have initiated a thorough review of how this disturbing series of allegations of abuse and neglect was handled by CPD. While the criminal investigations are ongoing, CPD is taking a close look at our policies around missing youth and we are committed to strengthening our guidelines, training, and protocols. We are also working with our partners in social services, education, and healthcare to be more extensive and trauma informed to better support youth and families. We are all committed to ensuring the safety of Chicago’s children.”
This statement is laughable and insulting given the fact that DCFS and the police department knew about the abuse of the little girl for years yet took no action to stop it. It also rings hollow knowing that all of her abusers are still walking free as this little girl rots in a box.