California State Prosecutor Charged With
A California deputy attorney general has been charged in San Diego with possession of child pornography.
Raymond Joseph Liddy was arrested Tuesday. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bond, according to a complaint. The attorney general’s office said they are aware of the matter and that the 53-year-old Liddy was placed on administrative leave.
According to a complaint filed in federal court, an electronic service provider sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in January that a user had uploaded an image that appeared to be child porn.
A month later another provider sent a similar tip to the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The activity was traced to his home in Coronado, stated the complaint.
Liddy is accused of being in possession of about a dozen illegal photos. He was put on home detention and is wearing an ankle device.
Local and federal authorities said they traced the activity to Liddy’s home. When they questioned him, Liddy said he downloads sexual images and deletes them, according to the complaint.
He also said he may have forwarded some of the images, and some of them may have been of children, possibly.
They searched his home and uncovered disturbing photos on a computer and thumbdrive of minors engaged in sexual conduct.
Defense Attorney Knut Johnson, who has taken Liddy’s case, told NBC 7 that he knows his client is a good person and all his coworkers describe him as an honorable man.
OAG’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests Williamson County Man for
Possession of Child Pornography
AUSTIN, TX – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested 70-year-old Stephen Gordon Holcomb, of Taylor, on three counts of Possession of Child Pornography, a third-degree felony. Holcomb could face up to 10 years in prison per charge if convicted.
Following a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, CEU investigators executed a search warrant at Holcomb’s residence, where child pornography was found on a digital storage device.
Investigators seized several additional digital storage devices that will be examined by the attorney general’s Digital Forensics Unit.
During an interview, Holcomb admitted his involvement in the matter. He was transported to the Williamson County Jail where he will appear before a magistrate.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.
The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources.
Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.
If you suspect someone of producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC or The CyberTipLine
Former Henry County Sheriff honored for
Child Abuse work
CAMBRIDGE, IL – Former Henry County Sheriff Jim Padilla has been named the Hero of Hope award recipient by Braveheart Children’s Advocacy Center in Cambridge.
The award was presented at Mr. Padilla’s retirement event in Kewanee presented by Henry County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Kerry Loncka, acting Henry County Sheriff, and Johanna Hager, forensic interviewer for Braveheart CAC.
“He (Mr. Padilla) was an investigator with the sheriff’s department and became involved with the CAC in the 1990s when we had a series of child abuse deaths that happened in our county and he was deeply saddened by that,” said Capt. Loncka, Captain Loncka, a Braveheart CAC board member. “It was then that he and several other people founded the advocacy center.”
The award honored Mr. Padilla “for going above and beyond in his efforts, dedication and compassion for the fight against child abuse.”
“My heart and soul is in that place,” Mr. Padilla said of Braveheart CAC. “I have received awards and commendations throughout my career, but this one touches my heart the most — the most meaningful and the one I will cherish the most.
“Before the center opened in Cambridge, we were using a backroom in the courthouse and that wasn’t really suited for forensic interviewing,” he said. “When the center opened it was a like a breath of fresh air. It made it so much easier to interview the children because they felt more comfortable. It also provided a comfortable place for families to wait.
“Those people who work daily with abused children, there‘s a special place for them,” he said. “It takes a certain kind of special person to work with children who have been physically or sexually abused.”
Mr. Padilla served on the Kewanee Police Department eight years and the sheriff’s department for 33 years. He was elected Henry County Sheriff in 2010. Experienced in strategic weapons and tactics and FBI sniper training, Mr. Padilla said learning how to interview child crime victims was the most challenging, both physically and mentally draining.
He said in retirement he plans to focus on his family and hobbies of fishing, hunting, competitive shooting, riding his Harley and spending time in his RV.
“Sheriff Padilla was an original member of the Braveheart CAC of Henry County and the Protecting All Children Together (PACT) advisory board,” said Braveheart CAC Case Manager Constance King said. “We want to thank him for over 40 years of service in law enforcement and his ongoing commitment and dedication to children and families.”
The center’s name represents the courage it takes for children to share their experiences, the education of the center’s team and “the innocence at the heart of every child and the heart of the community to speak up in partnership with us,” Ms. King said.
The name became official in 2007 when the Henry County center added services to children in Marshall, Putnam, Stark and Bureau counties.
“I was at the center one afternoon and the name ‘Braveheart’ popped into my mind,” he said. “It’s all about the kids, and it takes a lot of guts for a child to be able to tell the story of what happened to them.
He said he would feel badly if he’d lost one of the cases involving a child victim, which was an incentive to work hard. His most difficult case, he said, was in the 1990s when five children died at the hands of their mother’s boyfriends. He said those were the only autopsies he ever attended, for the children.
“If there was something about my job that I didn’t like, it was that,” Mr. Padilla said.
Florida swim instructor sentenced to life for
molesting three 6-year-old girls
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – A former swim instructor was handed four life sentences in a Florida court on Friday after being convicted of molesting three of his students in his class at the Deerfield Beach Aquatics Center in 2015.
The three victims, all just 6 years old at the time, testified to have been groped inappropriately by Francisco de Aragón underneath their swim clothes. Lawyers for De Aragón defended this as a technique and he later testified that there was possibly “accidental contact” and that his actions may have been misinterpreted.
After a three-day trial and four hours of deliberations this past week, de Aragón, 28, was found guilty of all five criminal counts against him – including sexual battery of a child, which comes with an automatic sentence of life imprisonment.
However, de Aragón – who rejected a plea deal that would have resulted in a 25 years behind bars – remains adamant that he is innocent.
“This is not me. There is no justice in this sentence. There is no justice in putting a life sentence on a man who is innocent,” he protested. “The facts in this case show innocence, not guilty, not that I am some monster, not that I am some sort of molester, some secret pedophile.”
It is likely he and his family will appeal the conviction.
“This is a case where they got it wrong,” his father, Frank de Aragón, told local station CBS4. “An innocent man, who is trying to help people learn and save themselves, is now in prison for life.”
Francisco’s wife, Savannah de Aragón, who is reported to have fled the courtroom in tears, expressed concern for her husband’s safety given his child sex offender status.
“I’m scared and terrified he is going to get hurt in there,” she said.
Doctors testify in trial of South Valley
mother, accused of Child Abuse
VISALIA, CA – In the South Valley, a trial is underway for a mother charged with child abuse for failing to protect her son.
It’s been more than three years since Jimmy Horton died at the age of four, and more than four years since he was first brought to Kaweah Delta Urgent Care, unresponsive.
His mother, 33-year-old Desie Horton, is charged with felony child abuse with a special allegation of willful harm or injury resulting in jimmy’s death in February of 2014. Her then boyfriend, Trevor Bishop, has already been convicted of second-degree murder and assault on Jimmy causing his death.
Thursday, a couple of familiar faces from Bishop’s trial took the witness stand again.
Dr. Gary Walter performed Jimmy’s autopsy, and examined his brain.
“It showed swelling, it showed evidence of an old subarachnoid hemorrhage, and it also showed a larger area of concave pressing in of the brain tissue itself where an old subdural hemorrhage had been,” Walter said.
Dr. Walter concluded the child’s cause of death to be anoxic encephalopathy due to blunt force trauma to the head.
In April, testimony revealed Trevor Bishop provided police with two explanations for Jimmy’s injuries-a slip in the bathtub, and falling after bishop tossed him in the air.
At the time, child abuse expert Dr. Frederic Bruhn said those stories would not account for Jimmy’s subdural hematoma.
“There was no evidence that Jimmy had a bleeding problem to account for either his bruises or his subdural hematoma,” Bruhn said.
Thursday, Bruhn reviewed numerous photos of Jimmy’s bruises both before and after he was hospitalized. Some he called pattern bruises-those that conform to the shape of an object, such as a hand. He described many as unusual, suspicious, or non-accidental.
“I think there’s no question that many of these injuries are inflicted,” Bruhn said.
Horton’s trial will resume Friday afternoon. She faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted of all the charges.