AG Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests Johnson County Man for Promotion of
AUSTIN, TX – Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested 64-year-old David Wynn McClary of Cleburne, Texas on five arrest warrants for Promotion of Child Pornography, which is a second-degree felony.
According to Texas law, he could face up to 20 years in prison per charge.
McClary was arrested after investigators discovered child pornography was shared from an IP address connected to his home.
Several digital storage devices were seized for examination by the Attorney General’s Digital Forensics Unit, which revealed images and videos of child pornography.
McClary was booked at the Johnson County Jail, and his bond is currently set at $250,000.
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 is producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC.
STARKVILLE, MS – It’s a problem that plagues every community, child abuse.
“A child is an innocent person and often times they really can’t be able to help themselves,” said West Point Police Chief Avery Cook.
Law enforcement said they’re seeing a rise in the number of reported child abuse cases.
Sally Kate Winters Family Services reports from 2016 to 2017, the organization saw a 73 percent increase in the number of child abuse interviews they conducted.
The abuse comes in different forms, and Sally Kate Winters is on the front-line in many of these investigations.
“Sally Kate Winters provides forensic interviews for child victims of abuse, so we do felony child abuse investigations and we interview kids who’ve been abused,” said Morgan Colley, Children’s Advocacy Center Advocate at Sally Kate Winters Family Services.
Now the organization is sharing its knowledge.
During a Child Abuse Investigation Training on Monday, law enforcement officers, child protective services, and first responders learned new techniques for spotting signs of mistreatment.
“We’re trying to help provide law enforcement with every tool that they need to investigate child abuse and child sexual crimes especially,” said Steven Woodruff, investigator for the district attorney’s office. “We’re seeing an uptake in that in our community, and we don’t think that it’s just now starting to happen, we think that it’s just beginning to be reported more.”
“We’re doing two different presentations, one on corroborating evidence, so we have a child that discloses something and getting them to think about some of the minor details that a child might bring up in their testimony to make their story come alive,” said Jim Holler, who conducted Monday’s training session. “This afternoon we’re doing one more investigative piece, especially physical abuse investigations and what the investigators can do to help the kids to help make their stories come alive.”
Holler is a former police chief with more than three decades of law enforcement experience.
He said the tools everyone learned during the training session are important and can help prosecutors be more effective.
“Just trying to put all the facts together and making sure that we’ve got the details, so we can bring a strong case to our prosecutors office, and hopefully that case will be strong enough to go proceed without a child having to testify,” said Holler.
Sally Kate Winters and the district attorney’s office co-sponsored the training session.
Davidson County couple charged with
Child Abuse after doctor finds 4-month-old has broken bones
DAVIDSON COUNTY, NC – Two Davidson County parents are facing charges after a baby was discovered to have multiple broken bones.
According to the sheriff’s office, Cruise Wesley Poole and Lorren Adrian Moore, both 28, were each charged with felony child abuse after a doctor allegedly found their 4-month-old baby girl had several broken bones.
WGHP reports the child was seeing her pediatrician for a regularly scheduled checkup when the doctor saw signs of child abuse.
The baby was taken to the hospital and was found to have a broken leg, a broken rib, and two broken vertebrae.
Poole and Moore were taken into custody on Saturday by the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office and placed in the Alleghany County Jail.
Poole is being held under a $15,000 bond and Moore is being held under a $10,000 bond.
Criticism raised over ending Child Abuse prevention program
Lewiston, Maine – The LePage administration is being criticized for its decision to end a statewide program aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect, even as Maine has witnessed its second horrific case of child abuse in three months.
State officials say the $2.2 million Community Partnerships for Protecting Children program duplicates other Maine prevention programs and is not evidence-based.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services officials surprised nonprofit leaders in a meeting a few weeks ago by saying the program that launched more than a decade ago would not be renewed, and did not give clear reasons why, said officials with Opportunity Alliance, the South Portland-based nonprofit that started the program.
“It is our duty to the Maine taxpayers to ensure that programs we fund are not duplicative of one another,” DHHS spokeswoman Emily Spencer said Wednesday in an email response to questions from the Press Herald.
“Their money needs to be spent in the most effective and efficient ways possible.”
The decision by DHHS preceded the death Sunday of a 10-year-old girl in Stockton Springs, who authorities say died of battered child syndrome. It came after a Wiscasset woman was charged with depraved indifference murder in connection with death Dec. 8 of a 4-year-old girl in her care.
Ken Kunin, superintendent of South Portland schools, which works closely with Opportunity Alliance on the program, said DHHS is “wrong” that the program is providing services available elsewhere.
“It doesn’t duplicate. They offer direct help and support for families and communities,” Kunin said. “It’s been a tremendous asset in South Portland. More kids attend school, are healthier and parents have really been connected to services. It’s really been a tremendous program.”
Debra Dunlap, regional director of Community Partnerships for Protecting Children in southern Maine for Opportunity Alliance, said it makes no sense to eliminate prevention programs that can stop family problems from becoming acute.
“It would be like building hospitals with only emergency rooms,” Dunlap said.
In southern Maine, where the program has been established for about a decade, CPPC partners with about 60 groups, including schools, nonprofits, law enforcement, local governments, churches and others to identify and help families at risk of abuse and neglect.
Opportunity Alliance officials argue the program has saved children from difficult circumstances, although they acknowledge that like many prevention programs, the benefits are difficult to measure. Just two years ago, the state expanded the program to other communities, such as Bangor and Belfast, which makes the move to end the program all the more puzzling.
“The safety of kids in Maine is in jeopardy, and supportive services for families who need help will be vanishing,” said Mike Tarpinian, executive director of Opportunity Alliance.
Child abuse has been in the spotlight in Maine recently with some high-profile cases, most recently in Stockton Springs, where Sharon Carrillo, 33, and Julio Carrillo, 51, were charged in the beating death of Marissa Kennedy. She was Sharon Carillo’s daughter and Julio Carrillo’s stepdaughter.
Police reported the 10-year-old received daily beatings from the Carrillos for months before dying on Sunday. The Office of Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy and determined that Marissa died of battered child syndrome.
The Carrillos have been charged with murder, and made a court appearance in Belfast on Wednesday.
Neighbors from when the family lived in Bangor said they called police and Maine DHHS over concerns about child abuse, but it’s not clear why Marissa was allowed to continue to live with the Carillos. The couple moved from Bangor to Stockton Springs last fall.
Tarpinian said it doesn’t make any sense to end a program that had been helping to reduce the number of abuse cases in the state over the past decade. In Cumberland County, where CPPC has been established the longest — for about a decade — substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect plummeted from 445 in 2008 to 261 in 2016, the most recent year available, despite DHHS launching more child abuse investigations during that decade.
Opportunity Alliance officials say because so many factors go into the trends, including state policies, cultural trends, overall declining crime numbers, demographics and other issues, it’s impossible to know exactly how much the prevention program helped.
“We know we played a really critical role,” Dunlap said. “We know more kids are living safely with their families because of this program.”
By the numbers
Statewide, substantiated abuse and neglect cases dropped from 2,521 to 2,268 from 2008 to 2016, although most of the CPPC programs outside of Greater Portland are much more recent — starting after 2015.
The $800,000 per year state contract with Opportunity Alliance is slated to end Sept. 30, as are contracts with four other nonprofits, including Penquis in Bangor, Community Concepts in Augusta and Broadreach Family and Community Services in Belfast, either in September or this summer.
The state spends a total of $2.2 million per year on the prevention program, Tarpinian said, and a quality prevention program will save the state money as fewer children end up in crisis and need Child Protective Services and in foster care. The state announced on Wednesday that it was operating with a $128 million surplus.
The CPPC program began as a pilot program in Portland by the Opportunity Alliance in the mid-2000s, and a comprehensive program launched in 2008 in South Portland’s Redbank Village and Brickhill apartments. The program has since expanded to all of southern Maine, Lewiston, Augusta, Bangor and Belfast.
Spencer said the programs duplicated the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Councils, which are entities created by the Maine Legislature to prevent child abuse and neglect.
“Maine’s (Child Abuse and Neglect) Councils serve the same families that the CPPCs were intended to serve,” Spencer said.
Dunlap said the Child Abuse and Neglect Councils do not have the resources to conduct community-based programs like CPPC does, and the programs do not duplicate each others.
Spencer said the program is not “evidence-based” and that there was also a question of funding.
“When originally established, DHHS believed that the CPPCs were an evidenced-based program,” Spencer said. “Upon further research as we considered renewing and expanding, it has been determined that they are not evidenced based, but are seen as a method for engaging communities with the goal of preventing child abuse.
“This is the same goal of Maine’s statutorily established CAN Councils.”
‘Best that’s available’
But Dunlap said that CPPC, while not meeting the rigorous scientific standard of evidence-based, is the best that is available. There are no community-based prevention programs that meet the evidence-based standard DHHS is seeking, she said.
“Every aspect of the model we are using is based on research that shows what families need to keep kids safe from abuse,” Dunlap said.
“It’s not a simple recipe where you can put the ingredients in and get a cake. How do you prove something that didn’t happen?”
It is difficult to count how many people are served by the community-based programs, Dunlap said, but in South Portland, at least 1,630 individuals are helped per year.
The community-based prevention programs provide many services and are difficult to explain, Dunlap said, but one example is the Neighborhood Resource Hub on Westbrook Street, between Redbank and Brickhill in South Portland. The hub is a combination food pantry, and a place where people can connect to social services that they may not be aware of, such as signing up for federal heating assistance, Medicaid or Affordable Care Act insurance. Employers will post job listings looking for workers.
Becky Morse, a volunteer at the Neighborhood Resource Hub, said she has seen how the service benefits families.
“It’s a safe place, and it gives people a sense of security where people can go and get their questions answered, find out where to get help. They can be instantly directed,” Morse said.
She said the food pantry is also a great resource to have within walking distance, as people can pick up bread and fresh vegetables.