Chicago mom tried to drown son, 3, days
after posting online that he had died: police
CHICAGO, IL – Authorities in Chicago this week said a South Side mother falsely wrote on social media that her 3-year-old son had died, then tried to drown him in a bathtub days later.
Celeste T. Christian, 21, was charged with attempted murder as her son remained hospitalized in critical condition, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The child was being treated at University of Chicago Medical Center for asphyxiation and water in his lungs. Police said someone had held the toddler underwater.
Christian told police the child had wet himself after the father dropped him off, and gave him a bath. She claimed she left her son by himself for five to 10 minutes to check on her 2-year-old daughter.
She heard splashing and ran back to the bathroom to find the boy limp in the water, with foam coming out his nose and mouth, and called 911.
An hour before the child arrived at the hospital, a doctor received a call from an organ and tissue donor asking if the boy was there yet, police said. The donor did not reveal who told them the toddler would be there.
When police interviewed the child’s father, he told them Christian had earlier announced on social media that their son had died and wanted to make funeral plans, the paper reported.
Christian was arrested and held without bail at Cook County Jail.
Biker Group Condemns Round Rock
Members Charged With Child Abuse
AUSTIN, TX — The Bikers Against Child Abuse organization released a statement Wednesday condemning the alleged actions of two of its former members in Round Rock related to child abuse.
“The B.A.C.A. Nation is deeply saddened and distressed to have learned that two of its former members, individuals licensed by the State of Texas as foster providers, were charged with numerous criminal acts against the children the state entrusted to their care,” read a prepared statement sent to Patch. “The reported actions of these individuals not only violates the core of our organization’s mission, which is to empower abused children to not fear the world in which they live, but it violated the very trust afforded foster providers and caregivers.”
Daniel Rodriguez and Shirley Rodriguez have been charged with two counts of injury to a child, according to Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody. An arrest affidavit details that the woman, 42, slapped one of the three adopted children before force-feeding the child, and is also alleged to have sent the man, 42, videos of the act, according to the report.
Additionally, Shirley Rodriguez was charged with two new counts of indecency with a child, according to the affidavit. She is accused of touching two of the children inappropriately while showering with them while simultaneously participating in a video call with her husband, according to the affidavit.
The woman charged with a total of nine counts of indecency with a child, two counts of injury to a child and aggravated assault, according to jail records. For his part, Daniel Rodriguez was charged with seven counts of indecency with a child and three counts of injury to a child. Both are being held at the Williamson County Jail as of Tuesday, with bail set for the man at $1.45 million and for the woman at $1.82 million, records indicate.
BACA, the nonprofit group to which both belonged, has several regional bases of operation that include one in Central Texas. The group was founded in 1995 by John Paul “Chief” Lilly in Provo, Utah. Chief is a licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapist/supervisor, according to the group’s Wikipedia page. The group is now in 48 states and nine countries, according to the page.
In the press release, BACA described a thorough background check members undergo before joining the group: “Each and every member of the B.A.C.A. organization is thoroughly vetted before they are allowed to be involved with children. This vetting process includes going through criminal background checks on local and federal levels, and strictly adhering to policies, procedures and the code of conduct, which ensures its members are never alone with a child.”
Upon learning of the charges against the Rodriguez’, their membership in BACA was immediately terminated, officials said: “The moment B.A.C.A. became aware of the allegations, local and State Leadership moved swiftly against these individuals and removed them permanently from the organization.”
Carthage Woman Sentenced to 90 Years for Child Pornography Production
Tammy Martin and Co-defendant Clif Seaway Filmed the Abuse of Three Child Victims
SYRACUSE, NY – Tammy M. Martin, age 48, of Carthage, New York, was sentenced today to serve 90 years in prison for her conviction on three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin M. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The sentencing today follows Martin’s earlier plea of guilty during which she admitted that on at least 4 separate occasions in 2002, she and co-defendant Clif Seaway engaged the first of the 3 victims in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions. This criminal conduct resulted in the production of at least 30 separate files depicting the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Martin further admitted to the abuse of a second victim on at least 14 separate occasions from 2001 through 2007, producing at least 104 separate files depicting that abuse.
Finally, Martin admitted that on at least 26 occasions from 2004 through 2008, she and Seaway engaged the third of their victims in sexually explicit conduct, producing at least 211 separate files of that abuse.
Martin was sentenced to serve the maximum sentence allowable under federal law, consisting of 30 years of imprisonment on each count of conviction to be served consecutively to one another. If Martin is ever released from prison, she is sentenced to a term of supervised release for life, and required to register as a sex offender.
“Over a seven year period, Tammy Martin and Clif Seaway sexually exploited three children, and the 90-year sentence imposed reflects the depravity and gravity of those crimes,” said United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith. “Our commitment to prosecutions to protect children and secure just punishment for their predators is unwavering, and we continue to seek sentences which ensure that those predators will never harm another child.”
“Today’s sentence clearly demonstrates the serious nature with which the law enforcement community views crimes committed against children,” said Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in charge of HSI Buffalo. “HSI and our partners will continue to be relentless in the aggressive pursuit of these cases, and the significant prison term handed down is an appropriate one and should serve as a stark warning about the consequences awaiting those involved in these acts.”
For his part in the abuse of these and other children, Clif Seaway was sentenced on May 3, 2018 to serve 360 years in prison.
Martin’s case was investigated by the New York State Police, and the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Fletcher, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the Northern District of New York, and Carina Schoenberger.
Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
10 children taken from Fairfield home, Dad charged with torture
FAIRFIELD, CA – Fairfield police said they rescued ten children found living in squalor and arrested their parents.
Jonathan Allen, a father of eight of the children, was charged with seven counts of torture and nine counts of felony child abuse, by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office. Police believe more charges could be filed as the investigation continues.
Fairfield Police Department Lt. Greg Hurlbut said the children were living in unsafe living conditions. Responding officers found spoiled food, as well as animal and human feces on the floor. There was so much debris that some areas of the home were inaccessible, according to Hurlbut.
Investigators believe nine of the 10 children were abused. In interviews the children described incidents of intentional abuse resulting in puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot with a BB gun or pellet gun.
“I have not had a case where we charge someone with torture of their own children if that tells you something. I’ve been in law enforcement since… well… more than 30 years ago,” said Hurlbut.
The Solano County District Attorney’s Office described this type of crime of torture as inflicting pain with the intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering, and in this instance, for a sadistic purpose.
But the children’s mother said it’s all a big misunderstanding.
Officers responded to the home and discovered the apparent abuse when the children’s mother, Ina Rogers, called 911 on March 31.
Rogers told KTVU she called 911 after her 12-year-old son went for a walk and didn’t return home. She said her son was upset when she took his iPad away because he didn’t do one of his chores.
Fairfield police located the boy asleep under a bush and returned him to the family home in the 2200 block of Fieldstone Court. Officers said they conducted a search of the home due to concerns for the safety and health of the child and the child’s siblings.
During the search officers located nine more children, ranging in age from 4 months to 11-years-old. Officers said the children were living in squalor and unsafe conditions.
Rogers said the home’s condition was a result of her “tearing up” the house because her son was missing. “I was afraid that I could not find him. Once that fear sets in, you don’t know what to do so in that moment,” she said. “I tore up my house, I lifted up beds, I ripped things out of the closet, I completely tore up everything to make sure that he really wasn’t here.”
Rogers, a 30-year-old Fairfield resident, was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail for child neglect. All ten children were taken into protective custody by Solano County Child Welfare Services. According to Rogers, the children are now staying with family members.
Investigators from Child Welfare Services, Solano County District Attorney’s Office, Fairfield Police Department’s Family Violence Unit allege there has been a long and continuous history of severe physical and emotional abuse of the children.
Rogers denies any abuse, neglect or torture by her or her husband Jonathan Allen. “I am 30-years-old and I have 11 children and also homeschool all of my children and people don’t agree with that lifestyle. And so I’ve had many people question my right to parent and I feel this whole situation has exploded.”
Ina Rogers denies any abuse, neglect or torture by her or her husband Jonathan Allen. @FairfieldPolice say 10 of her 11 kids were living in squalor & unsafe conditions. The couple have 8 biological children together. 5,6p @KTVU pic.twitter.com/qQMwiWDar0— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) May 14, 2018
On May 11, detectives with the Fairfield Police Department arrested Jonathan Allen, a 29-year-old Fairfield resident. He was booked into the Solano County Jail for nine counts of felony torture and six counts of felony child abuse. Eight of the ten children are Rogers’ and Allen’s biological children. Rogers has 3 older children from a previous relationship. Her oldest child, who is 14, does not live in the home and was not taken by Child Welfare Services.
“This is absolutely appalling to me. I strive and I pride myself on being a good parent to my children, My husband has a lot of tattoos. He looks like a scary individual and that’s why people are so quick to judge him. My husband is an amazing person and I am an amazing mother. I am not going to allow this to break us and I am not going to stop fighting,” Rogers said.
Allen is due back in court May 24th.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Fairfield Police Department.
Santa Clara County Launches New
Child Abuse Hotline
Santa Clara County, CA officials declared April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, timing the announcement with the launch of a new 24-hour hotline for people to report suspected child abuse.
What they failed to mention, however, is why the county needed a new hotline in the first place: to fix a system that, until recently, was so woefully broken that it left an untold number of children in danger.
In 2013, the county’s Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) came under fire for dropping up to half the calls some months to its child abuse hotline. From July 2012 to the following year, call center operators answered an average of just 62 percent of calls. Only a third of the 18 percent of calls that went to voicemail were ever returned. About one in every five people hung up, frustrated by the hourlong holds.
It’s impossible to say how many valid abuse cases went unreported.
After San Jose Inside’s parent publication Metro Silicon Valley reported on the scathing 2013 audit, the county hired more call center employees and improve its hotline metrics.
“In years past … there was a problem with the phone being answered,” county Child Abuse Prevention Council Vice Chair Steve Baron said in an interview earlier this week. “That problem has been largely rectified.”
Under new leadership, DFCS has since seen a considerable increase in the number of calls answered, Baron said. People reported about 3.5 million child abuse cases each year in the U.S., about 58,000 in the Bay Area and more than 1,800 verified cases in this county alone. In 2017, the county hotline logged some 30,000 calls—virtually of which were answered.
“They’re capturing and answering, I believe, over 98 percent of every call that comes in now,” he told San Jose Inside. “Sometimes people just hang up or they change their mind so that accounts for the 2 percent. But now there’s a human being answering the phone and they’re capturing those calls.”
Gilbert Murillo, who oversaw the child abuse reporting center during the time it was dropping half its calls, said the county had reduced wait times to 16 seconds by last year.
For people who would rather not speak to anyone, there’s also an option to go straight to voicemail—a feature included for the newly launched hotline as well. And according to DFCS Director Francesca LeRúe, every single one of those voicemails gets returned.
The county’s newly announced hotline—833-SCC-KIDS (833-722-5437)—will field calls around the clock and will eventually replace the current system, which consists of multiple phone numbers.
“We have three different numbers in Santa Clara County, so it’s very confusing for people,” LeRúe said. “We just thought it was important to streamline the process, to have one number, and then decided it was important that it should be, in fact, toll-free.”
Funding will remain unchanged with the new streamlined system, she said, and may eventually save money.
But those three existing hotline numbers will stay in place for another year to give the county time to inform people about the new one.
The first big push in promoting the hotline comes as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, LeRúe said. The county encourages the community to wear blue on Friday to call attention to the cause, and to attend the 36th annual Child Abuse Prevention Council Symposium on April 27 in Campbell.
“There’s still a lot of awareness that needs to come to the community to let people know some facts about what child abuse is, what child neglect is,” LeRúe said. “Everybody in Santa Clara County plays a big role in protecting children, it’s everybody’s responsibility.”
County social workers, executives and @SupCindyChavez raise awareness about protecting children from abuse. #ChildAbusePreventionMonth event highlights new toll-free number to Report Child Abuse in #SantaClaraCounty. Call (833) SCC-KIDS (833-722-5437) 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week pic.twitter.com/uL4yzMArpr
— Santa Clara County (@SCCgov) April 4, 2018