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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Abuse Numbers Rise For Sacramento Foster Kids

Abuse numbers rise for Sacramento foster kids. County can’t say why:

Sacramento County foster kids are being mistreated at a rate not seen since the recession a decade ago, the latest state data show, but the county has no immediate answers about what’s causing the increase in confirmed cases of abuse of children in its care.

County officials substantiated 85 reports of maltreatment in Sacramento County foster homes between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. That's an increase of 30 cases, or 55 percent, from the same period the prior year, according to state Department of Social Services data maintained by the University of California, Berkeley.

Only five other California counties had a higher rate of substantiated child maltreatment cases per 100,000 days in foster care: San Bernardino, Del Norte, Madera, Siskiyou and Stanislaus.

“We are aware of it,” said Sacramento County Child Protective Services Deputy Director Michelle Callejas. “We are actually digging deeper into that data.”

In a review of substantiated complaints against Sacramento foster placements, The Sacramento Bee found a variety of violations, including physical and sexual abuse in residential foster homes, group settings and other placements.

In one instance, a county social worker investigating a January 2017 claim that a “foster mother starved foster child,” found that there was a lack of food in the house.

A June complaint alleged “unknown males allowed to enter facility and have sex” with foster kids. An investigation subsequently confirmed that men were able to come into the housing at night, and ordered the facility to improve supervision.

In another placement, investigators found that a staff member called “his friends to the group home to fight” in June 2016. The men attacked a foster youth, leaving him with a concussion. That same facility, though using a different name, was subsequently found not to have adequate food for its six foster youths twice during 2017 inspections. Most recently, it was cited by the county for failing to properly report that a resident with a history of arson set a fire in the facility in September.

Callejas said she convened a team in recent weeks to look at the rising numbers, but does not have answers yet. Callejas said the county would need to “do the hard file pull” to review records and examine each case to better understand the circumstances.

“I don’t want to speculate,” said Callejas. “I want to hear from my team.”

Callejas said there was no timeline for how long that review might take.

Sacramento has not seen such high numbers of substantiated child maltreatment in foster care in more than a decade. During 2006, 193 foster care maltreatment allegations were substantiated, but roughly double the number of children were in foster care at the time. In each of the last five years, the number of substantiated complaints generally fell between 40 and 60, state figures show.

State officials said they were also aware of the increase and were working “collaboratively” with Sacramento County to review the rise.

“It’s very typical when you are dealing in child welfare services that understanding what is going on is extremely important vs. doing something very quickly without being informed,” said Mike Weston, Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Outreach with the California Department of Social Services. “Obviously any abuse in care needs to be addressed immediately, but understanding some of the causes of that are important as well, and that’s really where things are right now.”

Trinity Mount Ministries

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Former Foster Carer jailed For 12 Years For Sexually Abusing Children

by David Clarkson

Rex Lawrence Wilson, 64, has been jailed for sexually abusing children.

"I hate you and I hope you burn in hell," a sex abuse victim told former Child, Youth and Family Services (CYF) caregiver Rex Lawrence Wilson before he was jailed for 12 years.

The 64-year-old's two victims – he was found guilty at an eight-day Christchurch District Court jury trial in January – both read emotional victim impact reports at his sentencing in the same court on Wednesday.

Judge Paul Kellar said the two women, now aged in their 20s, had been done "incalculable harm" over six years of his offending.

"I was singularly impressed with both of them during the course of the trial, and even more so today."

He said the offending was "about as serious as it gets".

A jury had found Wilson guilty of 15 charges: two charges of rape, 12 of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault on a child aged under 12.

One complainant said she refused to be a cowering "rape victim" and asked how Wilson felt now that he was a "victim" himself of the criminal justice system. She said she saw no remorse or shame from him.

After his offending, which ended when she was aged 13, she had turned to drugs, alcohol and self-harm and she had tried to kill herself more than once. She was now a mother.

The other complainant, also now a mother, told of turning to drugs and alcohol to try block out what he had done.

"You ruined my life," she told him, but now said she had an amazing partner and beautiful children.

She said she hoped that what she had done in reporting Wilson to police would inspire other victims to speak up and be heard.

"I have no idea when the nightmares will stop and the depression will go away," she said.

At the end of her statement, she abused Wilson across the court room, telling him: "I hate you and hope you burn in hell."

Defence counsel Andrew McKenzie said Wilson faced a long jail term at an advanced age and would not be released until he no longer posed a risk.

"He will have to move a long way from his stance now, for that to be no longer the case."

He told the court Wilson planned to appeal the convictions.

Judge Kellar made an allowance for Wilson having no other relevant convictions, and for his age, which reduced his sentence by four years, to 12 years. He imposed no non-parole term, but said the likelihood was that Wilson would not be eligible for parole unless he showed some significant remorse.

CYF is now known as Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children. Its Canterbury regional manager, Blair McKenzie, said he was "appalled by this situation".

"I want to acknowledge the bravery of [Wilson's] victims, who have taken great steps to ensure this offender has been held accountable for his crimes."

An allegation was made against Wilson in 2007 and the child was removed from his care as soon as CYF was made of aware it from police. No further children were placed in Wilson's care.

Before the allegation, about 15 children had been in the care of Wilson and his wife.

CYF worked with police to assess whether there was further need for criminal investigations, and no charges were laid at the time.

McKenzie said Oranga Tamariki's caregivers underwent an extensive vetting process, which included assessment by trained social workers, personal and professional character references, and the usual police checks.

"I don't believe someone like Mr Wilson would pass the Oranga Tamariki assessment process."

Trinity Mount Ministries

Child Abuse Neglect Data 2018

Child abuse, neglect data released
February 1, 2018  27th edition of the Child Maltreatment Report
TOPICS: Children & Youth, Communities, Families

Newly released federal data on child abuse and neglect shows an increase from Fiscal Year 2015 to 2016 in three key metrics: referrals to child protective services (CPS) agencies alleging maltreatment (3.6 percent), referrals CPS agencies accepted for investigation or alternative response (4.0 percent) and the number of children who were the subject of an investigation or alternative response (3.3 percent).

The Children’s Bureau at HHS' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) published the 27th edition of the Child Maltreatment Report, which analyzes data collected by state CPS agencies. The report is based on Fiscal Year 2016 data, which is the latest data available.

Of the 3.5 million children who were the subject of an investigation or alternative response in Fiscal Year 2016, a national estimate of 676,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect, representing a 1.0 percent decrease from Fiscal Year 2015. In total, 74.8 percent of victims suffered neglect either by itself or in combination with any maltreatment type.

The number of children experiencing neglect decreased from Fiscal Year 2015 to Fiscal Year 2016, while victims experiencing physical or sexual abuse have increased. 49 states reported 1,700 fatalities as a result of child maltreatment in Fiscal Year 2016, which is an increase from the 1,589 fatalities reported by 49 states in 2015.

“Helping state child welfare agencies prevent and address child abuse and neglect is one of our top priorities this year,” said Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary for children and families at ACF. “Collaborating with state child protective services helps us collect case-level data to better understand what’s occurring in a home when a child is neglected or abused.”

When states submit their data, they also are afforded the opportunity to submit commentary that may provide context to the data published in the report. States’ commentaries suggest the implementation of alternative response, increased public awareness of child maltreatment and staff training in screening and assessment of child maltreatment referrals, led to the changes noted in the 2016 metrics.

“To be effective in reducing the incidence of child abuse and neglect, service providers need access to a range of support services that help to strengthen the protective capacities of families and increase flexibility of providers to tailor child welfare intervention to the needs of individual children,” said Jerry Milner, acting commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) and associate commissioner at the Children’s Bureau.

The child maltreatment report is from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). NCANDS is a voluntary national data collection and analysis program of state child abuse and neglect information based upon data received from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Administration for Children and Families

Trinity Mount Ministries

Police: Maryland Man Arrested On Child Pornography Charges

Police: Maryland man arrested on child pornography charges, was developing websites to sell it

by Stephen Pimpo Jr.

Monrovia Md. -

Police said they arrested a Frederick County man Wednesday on charges for child pornography and trying to create host websites to sell it.

Maryland State Police said they identified 35-year-old Joshua Scalera as a suspect as part of an investigation that began after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children gave them a tip in 2016 about someone uploading child pornography to a website. Through their investigation, police said they discovered Scalera tried to create the websites to sell pornography "on several different occasions."

According to police, they continued to receive information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and their investigation led them to get a search warrant for Scalera's Monrovia home. Maryland State Police, Homeland Security and Frederick Police all searched the home Wednesday, where authorities said they found multiple child pornography files.

Scalera has been charged with three counts of distribution of child pornography and six counts of possession of child pornography. He is being held without bond.

Trinity Mount Ministries

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Union Cabinet Clears Ordinance on Death Penalty to Child Rapists

Updated: Apr 21, 2018, 15:24 IST

HIGHLIGHTS

The ordinance comes in the wake of outrage over the brutal rape and murder of a minor in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir
It will now be sent to the President for approval.

NEW DELHI: In the wake of outrage over the brutal rape and murder of a minor in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday approved an ordinance to allow courts to pronounce the death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.
The criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes to death.

Today's ordinance approved by the Cabinet also prescribes the minimum punishment in case of rape of women to increase from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means imprisonment till that person’s natural life.
For speedy trial of rape cases, new fast track courts will be set up in consultation with States/UTs and High Courts.

The ordinance also prescribes that there will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
The ordinance is being initiated to enforce the amendment immediately before a bill is introduced and passed by Parliament. After the case of the eight-year-old Kathua victim, other instances, such as in Surat where a nine-year-old was raped and killed, have added urgency to the government’s actions.

The ordinance would be now sent to the President for his approval.
Existing provisions of the POCSO Act provide for life imprisonment, though after the Nirbhaya case in 2012 the Centre had introduced the death penalty in cases where a woman either dies or is left in a vegetative state after rape.

Recently, four states passed laws making the rape of a minor punishable by death.

The Cabinet meet follows the Centre informing the Supreme Court on Friday that it proposed to amend POCSO to provide for the death penalty for aggravated sexual assaults on children below 12.
(With inputs from agencies)

Original Article

Trinity Mount Ministries

Friday, April 20, 2018

Child Sex Tourism: Florida Man Who Traveled to the Philippines to Exploit Children Sentenced to 330 Years in Prison

A 56-year-old Florida man who frequently traveled to the Philippines to have sex with children—and make video recordings of the abuse—will be spending the rest of his life behind bars for his crimes related to child sex tourism.

David Paul Lynch was convicted on multiple counts of producing and receiving child pornography and traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. A federal judge recently sentenced the Venice, Florida resident to 330 years in prison.

Evidence in the case revealed that for more than a decade beginning in 2005, Lynch made regular trips to the Philippines to have sex with children. Prior to traveling, he facilitated his illegal activity through online communication with individuals in the Philippines—in one case the mother of one of his victims.

“He used an online messaging platform to send and receive pictures and to arrange travel,” said Special Agent Daniel Ward, who supervises the FBI’s Fort Myers Child Exploitation Task Force in the Bureau’s Tampa Division. “Some of his victims were as young as 6 or seven years old.”

Lynch produced child pornography of at least three Filipino children on his visits and also solicited child pornography via e-mail from a fourth victim. The FBI was contacted about Lynch’s suspicious online behavior as a result of a longstanding partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which had received a tip from security personnel at the Internet sites where Lynch had posted pornographic images of children.

“He had no history of being a sexual offender,” Ward said, “but the child pornography he was sending and receiving online caught the attention of officials at the social media platform he was using. There was no question that these were little kids.”

The FBI opened an investigation, and in December 2016, Lynch was arrested in San Francisco attempting to board a flight to the Philippines. A simultaneous search of his home in Florida uncovered dozens of self-produced images and videos of child pornography from his previous trips abroad.

“He used an online messaging platform to send and receive pictures and to arrange travel. Some of his victims were as young as 6 or 7 years old.”
Daniel Ward, special agent, FBI Tampa

Megan Buck, a Sarasota Police Department detective and member of the Fort Myers Child Exploitation Task Force, investigated the case and arrested Lynch at the airport. “The Internet has made it relatively easy for people like Lynch to exploit children overseas,” she said.

A member of the multi-agency task force since 2013, Buck also worked the investigation with other federal law enforcement agencies—including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations—as well as international authorities. Florida police departments who are members of the task force, including the Cape Coral Police Department, the Bradenton Police Department, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, also assisted the investigation.

Lynch was convicted by a federal jury in October 2017 on eight counts related to child sex tourism, and a judge sentenced him in January 2018 to 330 years in prison. “The sentence he received sets a precedent and really sends a message,” Buck said. “The community is not going to tolerate this kind of exploitation of children anymore.”

Child Sex Tourism: It’s a Crime
Some people might think that what they do overseas can stay overseas, but child sex tourism—when people travel to another country specifically to engage in sexual conduct with children—is illegal, and it’s a serious crime.

The FBI, in conjunction with domestic and international law enforcement partners, investigates U.S. citizens and permanent residents who travel overseas to engage in illegal sexual conduct with children under the age of 18. Since 2008, the Bureau’s child sex tourism initiative has employed proactive strategies to address the crime, including aggressive investigations and prosecutions of individuals engaging in child sex tourism and working with foreign law enforcement and non-governmental organizations to provide child victims with resources and support services.

These crimes are exacerbated by the relative ease of international travel and the Internet being a platform for individuals exchanging information about how and where to find child victims in foreign locations.

More information about the FBI’s efforts to stop child sex tourism

Trinity Mount Ministries

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Virginia Man Indicted for Production and Distribution of Child Pornography

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Virginia Man Indicted for Production and Distribution of Child Pornography

A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia returned a nine-count indictment today charging a Manassas Park, Virginia man with seven counts of production of child pornography in addition to counts of distribution and possession of child pornography.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick of the Eastern District of Virginia, and Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement.

According to the indictment, Michael Gerald Moody, 44, among other things, used, employed, and coerced a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing images of that conduct.  He also distributed those images to others through the use of the mobile messaging application Kik Messenger.

The case is being investigated by the FBI with the assistance of the Manassas Park Police Department.  Trial Attorney Kyle P. Reynolds of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay V. Prabhu of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Trinity Mount Ministries