Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

Complete Absence Of Any Supervision

.jpg photo of Child Pornographer
Deonte Carraway, 22

Serial Child Abuse Alleged at Maryland School

By ROSE BOUBOUSHIAN

UPPER MARLBORO, MD  (CN)  –  A Maryland elementary school choir director persuaded dozens of children to perform sexual acts on camera by telling them they were part of a “club,” a mother claims in a class action.

Jane Doe No. 2 sued the Prince George’s County Board of Education, elementary school principal Michelle Williams, and the alleged molester, teacher assistant Deonte Carraway, on Feb. 11 in Prince George’s County Court.

A second mother, Jane Doe. No. 1, filed a similar complaint, which was not a class action.

Carraway, 22, was arrested on Feb. 6 and charged with 10 counts of felony child pornography and sexual abuse.

He worked for the Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden as a paid teacher’s assistant from November 2014 to September 2015, then as an unpaid volunteer, according to the complaints.

According to the class action, “On multiple occasions, Carraway coerced John Doe No. 2 to engage in sexual acts with him on school property during school hours.”

Carraway also made the boy “engage in sexual acts with him on multiple occasions at the Glenarden Municipal Center” at Friday night choir practice, the mother says.

Carraway scheduled meetings with and sent photos and videos to John Doe 2 through the smartphone app Kik, which allows people to send anonymous photos and messages, Doe’s mother says.

Carraway’s predations began in early 2015 went on until January this year, when another student’s uncle “discovered that Carraway had been communicating with his nephew and other children on Kik,” the complaint states.

“The student’s uncle saw that there were inappropriate pictures of students that were sent through Kik.”

The uncle notified principal Williams on Feb. 4 this year and called police that night, according to the complaint.  County police then found four SIM cards from Carraway’s cellphone.

“On just one of the SIM cards, there were at least 44 recordings of sexual acts involving children,” the complaint states.

It continues: “Upon information and belief, on some of the recordings, Carraway can be seen or heard directing the children to perform certain sexual acts.

“Upon information and belief, one of the recordings is of a child performing a sexual act on Carraway in a school bathroom while he recorded the act on his cellphone.

“The obscene recordings on Carraway’s phone range from 8-second clips to videos running over a minute.”

So brazen was Carraway that he would call students out of class and tell them they “would be participating in a ‘club’ with him to help persuade them to engage in these sexual acts on camera,” the complaint states.

His victims were as young as 9, and “the number of victims is at least 10, but it may be as many as 30,” according to the complaint.

Doe’s mom says that Carraway’s sexual abuse was “common knowledge among the students.”

She says that although parents and teachers “expressed concern” about Carraway’s “predatory behavior,” principal Williams took no action, claiming they had “no proof.”

Doe blames the “complete absence of any supervision and oversight of his conduct.”

Doe seeks class certification and damages for Title IX violations, other civil rights violations, violations of Maryland human rights law, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and battery.

She is represented by Timothy Maloney with Joseph, Greenwald & Laake in Greenbelt, who represents Jane Doe No. 1 in her lawsuit against the same defendants.

Attorney Maloney said the criminal and civil cases are just beginning.

“The shocking events at Sylvania Woods Elementary revealed a profound breach of trust,” Maloney said in an email Sunday.

Almost all of the nearly 700 students at Sylvania Woods are black and Latino and/or qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, according to The Washington Post.

Authorities have identified 17 victims so far, 9 to 13 years old, according to the Post.

Principal Williams is on paid leave, and Carraway is being held on a $1 million bond.

It is far from unusual in complaints such as this for parents to claim that school administrators knew of or had reason to know of a teacher’s abuse, but failed to take action.

“Ruining someone’s career can be actionable,” one attorney with knowledge of such cases told Courthouse News.  “Failing to ruin someone’s career is less actionable.”

CO Statewide Child Abuse Hotline

.jpg photo of Child Abuse Hotline Logo
Colorado Child Abuse Hotline

Calling it in: Statewide Child Abuse Hotline
meets Morgan County

How to call:

To report a suspected case of child abuse or neglect in Morgan County, call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.  All information given out over the hotline is kept confidential.

To find out more about how to recognize the signs of abuse, go to www.childabuse.org or www.co4kids.org.

Morgan County, Colorado  –  Caregivers, law enforcement officers and others in Morgan County are still adjusting to Colorado’s new method for reporting child abuse.

This month is the one-year anniversary of the statewide child abuse and neglect hotline, 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.  The hotline was created by the Colorado Department of Human Services in an effort to give “mandatory reporters”—those who are required by law to report suspected child abuse—and others a single phone number to call whenever they’re concerned about a child, no matter where they are.

In 2015 the hotline received more than 26,000 calls statewide, but many people are still using the old, county-specific numbers, and Morgan County is no different.

Before 2015, people who suspected a case of child abuse would typically call the police or the Morgan County DHS directly.  The new hotline automatically links callers to the appropriate call-taker for their county.  In Morgan County, that’s usually someone in the DHS, who then notifies the police if necessary.

“There are goods and bads to it,” Fort Morgan police chief Darin Sagel said.

The hotline slightly delays police officers’ response time in emergencies, he said.  Sagel also worries that some severe cases aren’t being reported to the police, since individuals who call the hotline are “not always equipped to tell how extensive the abuse is.”

But Jacque Frenier, director of the Morgan County DHS, said the hotline can save callers time by directing them to the right local organization immediately.  It’s also helpful for those who don’t know which county the child lives in, or don’t speak English, she said.

“Initially, there were some hiccups,” she said.  “But they’ve got most of them fixed now… the county’s mandatory reporters were used to calling us directly, but they’re getting used to it.”

The DHS has a few screeners whose job is to take calls about child abuse and determine the cases’ severity.   In about three cases out of four, they then pass it along to the police.  The only exceptions are cases which they determine require more assessment.

Many mandatory reporters, like teachers and medical workers, still call DHS or the police directly because those are the numbers they’re familiar with.  Altogether, Frenier estimated her organization gets about 50 calls a month reporting child abuse or neglect.

Above all, she said it’s important to gather as many details about the situation as possible before calling the hotline.  The more information DHS workers and law enforcement have, the faster they can respond.

“Many of us want to do the right thing, but some are unsure about first steps,” Robert Werthwein of the Colorado Department of Human Services said in a press release about the hotline.  “This hotline can, and in many instances, should be step one.”

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.

WISCONSIN ADOPTS “PARTS” OF CHILD ABUSE PACKAGE

.jpg photo of Wisconsin Law Makers
Wisconsin Law Makers adopt “PARTS” of Child Abuse package.

CORRUPT CPS STILL TRYING TO KEEP LAW ENFORCEMENT OUT OF THE LOOP

Madison, Wisconsin  –  The State Senate on Tuesday passed two bills backed by Attorney General Brad Schimel aimed at protecting child abuse victims.

One of the bills grants an advocate to victims of sexual assault, human trafficking or child abuse and another creates a new felony crime for engaging in repeated acts of child abuse.  Under current law, different acts of child abuse must be prosecuted separately.

The bills were introduced in October as part of a package that included two other bills that have drawn broader opposition, including a resolution opposing them by the Dane County Board.

Those bills, which broaden the definition of child neglect and expand reporting requirements to law enforcement for child abuse and neglect, passed committee on party lines, but have not been scheduled for a full Senate vote.  Opponents worry they will disproportionately affect low-income minorities and widen disparities in the criminal justice system.

Jason Mugnaini, an aide to Sen. Rob Cowles, who authored the bills, said the senator remains hopeful the other two will pass this session.

Wisconsin DHS Sweating New Legislation????

.jpg photo of Wisconsin Lawmakers
Wisconsin DHS and CPS sweating this legislation.

Legislation on child abuse reporting draws concerns from Dane County social workers

NOT IN MY WORLD!!!! believes every call of Child Maltreatment should be reported to Law Enforcement first, and all investigations be made by Law Enforcement only.

Only with Law Enforcement involved in every case will we begin to see an end of the  corruption within CPS.

Wisconsin legislation that would change how child abuse and neglect cases are handled is drawing sharp disagreement between Dane County prosecutors, law enforcement officials and social services providers about what is best for children.

Introduced by Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, in October, and garnering bipartisan support since, the package of bills would clarify the definition of child neglect, designate a specific crime of repeated acts of neglect or physical abuse of the same child and require social services agencies to report all allegations of child abuse or neglect to law enforcement, among other components.

Legislators, prosecutors and law enforcement officials pushing for the changes say they do not currently have enough tools to charge adults for certain situations of child neglect or abuse, including cases where children are exposed to the dealing or manufacturing of illegal narcotics.

Social services providers conversely argue the changes — particularly requirements involving reports to law enforcement — could have a chilling effect on cases reported, lead to increased trauma for families and create an unfunded burden on law enforcement.

“We have a wonderful system in Dane County by which we protect kids, but we try to keep the situation from re-traumatizing kids and families,” said Dane County Human Services director Lynn Green, who was a social worker in Child Protective Services early in her career.  “A lot of what we try to do is reach out, help people make the parenting changes they need to make, educate them while we keep the kids safe.”

Currently, there is a memorandum of understanding in place between Dane County Human Services and county law enforcement agencies that lays out which cases will be reported to law enforcement.  In addition to cases of sexual abuse, which providers are required to report under state law, the agreement includes reporting cases of physical abuse, emotional abuse and threat of harm.

Right now, Green said, about 40 percent of cases the department receives get referred to law enforcement and they work together on the case.

“If there is a feeling that some of the cases that should go aren’t going, we can amend that,” said Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan.  “But to send all cases to law enforcement I’m concerned will have an unintended consequence.”

Some reporters call the county when they feel there’s a family in need.  They are not mandated to report and can remain anonymous. If law enforcement gets involved, Green said, their name will have to go on a police report.  She said callers may also hesitate to report concerns if they know a law enforcement official will knock on the door.

“We’re concerned it’s actually going to stem the number of calls we get and our possibility of intervening with families and being able to serve them,” Green said.

Green said they are also concerned about the trauma inflicted when law enforcement gets involved with families — especially of color and in high-risk neighborhoods.

In Dane County, a black parent is at least seven times more likely to be referred to Child Protective Services than a white parent, raising concerns about the legislation disproportionately affecting communities of color.

“Many of the parents that come into the Child Protective Services system have themselves been impacted by trauma in their own childhoods, and that trauma has affected their functioning, their brain development, to the point where when they’re confronted with authority or people trying to impose rules on them, they can come across as sounding very oppositional,” said Dane County Child Protective Services manager Julie Ahnen.  “The idea that we’re going to change their behavior by increasing their involvement in the criminal justice system is just backward.”

The Dane County Board Executive Committee passed a resolution on a voice vote Thursday evening opposing the state legislation with those concerns in mind, as well as the concern that it will create additional case burden on law enforcement agencies without funding it.

Unlike this legislation, a series of child protection reforms in Minnesota recently signed into law also allocated $52 million to hire more workers and expand services for abused children.

“I recognize that some of these changes might be difficult to implement, but I don’t want to see cases of child neglect continue to go to unreported or unaddressed in our community,” said Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, who introduced similar legislation last session and is a sponsor of this package.

Shilling said she doesn’t want there to be an unintended consequence or chilling effect but wants prosecutors to be able to address issues like child exposure to the dealing or manufacturing of illegal narcotics.

“So how do we make sure the process and definitions are something that, again, help prosecutors have the tools they need to properly charge adults with the situation that innocent children are placed in,” Shilling said.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has testified at hearings in support of the legislation. He did not respond to a request for comment.  Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney declined a request for comment.  The Madison Police Department emailed a statement calling the actions of the bill’s sponsors “laudable” in working to protect children but also acknowledging the concerns of social workers.

The Association of State Prosecutors, the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association all have registered in support of the bill on required reporting.

Dane County, the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families and the Wisconsin Association of Family and Children’s Agencies all oppose it.

Multiple Dane County legislators who initially signed on as cosponsors for the legislation have since withdrawn their support for the bill requiring reporting to law enforcement, including Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, and Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison.