Tag Archives: Special Needs

Three People Accused Of Abuse At MD School For Disabled

.jpg photo of employee at special needs school accused of child sex abuse
Jermaine Thomas, 35

Employees for Private Special Education School Arrested on Child Abuse,
Sex Assault Charges

FREDERICK COUNTY, MD  –  Three employees at a private special education school in Frederick County, Maryland, were arrested Wednesday on child abuse and sexual assault charges.

.jpg photo of employee at special needs school accused of child sex abuse
Ariel Eppard, 27

A grand jury indicted 35-year-old Jermaine Thomas, 27-year-old Ariel Eppard and 32-year-old Wesley Dean in late August.

.jpg photo of employee at special needs school accused of child sex abuse
Wesley Dean, 32

They worked at The Jefferson School, a day school and residential treatment center for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities.

Frederick County prosecutors say the suspects abused a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman who were students at the school.

A spokesperson for the school said administrators took immediate action and notified police and Child Protective Services when they heard of allegations against the employees.

Thomas was charged with three counts of sex abuse of a minor and seven counts of child pornography/filming a sex act.

Eppard faces two counts of sex abuse of a minor, two counts of fourth-degree sex offense (person in position of authority) and two counts of a court-ordered provider engaging in a sex act.

Dean was charged with sex abuse of a minor, fourth-degree sex offense (person in position of authority) and two counts of court-ordered provider engaging in a sex act.

Dean, Eppard and Thomas were placed on leave and later fired, the spokesperson for the school said.

TN Special Needs Child Roughed Up And Abused

.jpg photo of teacher charged with Child Abuse
Bonnie Conn, 49

Former Clarksville kindergarten teacher
arrested on Child Abuse charges

Clarksville, TN  –  A former kindergarten teacher in Clarksville has been arrested on child abuse charges.

Bonnie Conn, 49, who taught kindergarten at St. Bethlehem Elementary School, is charged with two counts of child abuse.

According to the sheriff’s office, Conn was arrested Wednesday and was being held on $15,000 bond.

Earlier this month, the mother of a student filed a federal lawsuit against the Clarksville-Montgomery County Board of Education and Conn claiming that her autistic son was mistreated by Conn after a video surfaced which showed Conn dragging the boy out of her classroom by the arm on two occasions.

A Montgomery County grand jury returned an indictment this month, charging Conn with two counts of child abuse.  According to the indictment, Conn abused a child under the age of 8 “so as to adversely affect the child’s health and welfare” on Jan. 23 and Jan. 27.

The indictment does not identify the child or mother in the criminal case, but the dates correspond with those involving the autistic child.

According to the federal lawsuit, Feltonas Wells is the mother of a 6-year-old student who was placed in Conn’s classroom at the school in the fall of 2016.

The lawsuit alleges that the child’s Constitutional rights were violated among other issues.

The child is diagnosed with severe Autism syndrome and qualified as a student with “developmental delay” based on Tennessee Department of Education guidelines.

Wells first became concerned about the “sad faces” her son was receiving on his daily chart reportedly for poor behavior in class.

On Feb. 2, 2017, Wells went to the school to drop off another child and found that her son was being punished by being forced to lay on a cot isolated from the classroom and facing away from the teacher and other students.

She removed the boy and took him home.

The next day her son begged his mother not to make him go to school because “he didn’t want to be bad anymore,” according to the lawsuit.

A principal called and said he would be assigned to a new teacher so his mother returned him to school.

On Feb. 9, Wells received a phone call from Principal Melisse Williams, who seemed to be crying as she told the mother that she witnessed video footage of her son being pushed by Conn and had reported the abuse to the Department of Children Services, according to the lawsuit.

On Feb. 10, Wells went to the school and was allowed to view a surveillance camera outside Conn’s classroom.

“To Ms. Wells’ shock and surprise, the video revealed Ms. Conn violently dragging (the boy) out of the classroom by one arm and then pushing him with her foot to get him out of the doorway,” the lawsuit said.  “She then shut the door causing it to strike (the boy) on his head.  Ms. Conn left (the boy) alone in the hallway and returned to her classroom.  (The boy) is shown holding his head and crying following the physical assault.”

When Wells asked why her son was put back in Conn’s classroom, she was told that Conn was undergoing anger management counseling and the number of students had been reduced so she would not become overwhelmed, the lawsuit said.

Wells removed the boy from the school and enrolled him in another local school.

According to Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools Spokeswoman Elise Shelton, Conn was hired in 2005, placed on alternative work site on Feb. 10 and resigned Feb. 16.

No Better Than Sewer Rats

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Mandated reporters of Child Abuse ignored the sexual abuse of a Child.

Police: 4 failed to report Child Sexual Abuse

LITTLESTOWN, PA  –  Four employees of a residential treatment program for children in Adams County are charged after police say they failed to report the sexual abuse of a child.

The employees of Hoffman Homes for Youth in Littlestown also failed to seek medical attention for the boy after he was sexually assaulted by another resident in November, state police said in charging documents.

Glenn Nace, 27, of Hanover; Antonio Hill, 23, of Chambersburg; Guy Joseph, 52; and Timothy Speelman, 31, both of Gettysburg, are each charged with failure to report child abuse, a second-degree misdemeanor, and endangering the welfare of children, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Adams County Assistant District Attorney Megan Zei said the four were all mandated reporters of child abuse.

Your Children Need You

.jpg photo of Child taken in Amber Alert
Iridian Perez

Child Abuse, trespassing charges for 2 who
caused Amber Alert in Denver Sunday

DENVER, CO  –  The woman accused of kidnapping her biological daughter with another man Sunday, setting off an Amber Alert, faces child abuse and trespassing charges after the incident.

Meshelle Jasmine Branch, 21, is accused of breaking into and taking her 22-month-old daughter from the girl’s grandmother’s home on East 104th Avenue in Thornton around 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

The grandmother had an active protection order against Branch that prohibits her from being at the grandmother’s home or having contact with the child, which Branch is also charged with violating, in addition to the child abuse and first-degree criminal trespassing charges.

Branch, along with 28-year-old Robert Owens, allegedly took the toddler, who has a severe heart condition that requires close monitoring, though it’s still unclear why.

The Amber Alert was issued around 12:45 p.m. Sunday — nearly four hours after the kidnapping.  Branch and Owens turned themselves in at the Lone Tree Police Department around 1:30, along with the child, who was cleared medically at a nearby hospital and returned to her grandmother.

Branch and Owens, both of Lakewood, remain in custody Monday. Thornton police say the investigation into the case remains ongoing.

FL School Edits Video Of Special Needs Child Abuse

Assistant principal at Cape school accused
of dragging boy with autism

CAPE CORAL, FL  –  A video showing an assistant principal dragging a 6-year-old boy with autism down a hallway in nothing but his boxer shorts sparked an investigation by the Department of Children and Families and the Lee County School District’s internal affairs department.

The video, which captured the Child Abuse of the Autistic Student with Special Needs, was edited by school employees, who edited out 20 minutes of the incident.

Assistant principal at Cape school accused of dragging boy with autism