Missouri couple caged 4 children in tiny cells & had prison uniforms tailored for them
By ROBERT SALONGA | firstname.lastname@example.org | Bay Area News Group
SAN JOSE — A former Presentation High School student has filed the first lawsuit against the renowned Catholic girls school in continued fallout from a scandal where a score of other past students alleged that administrators chronically ignored their sexual harassment and abuse complaints against faculty and staff.
The lawsuit, filed Friday on the victim’s behalf by San Diego-based attorney Ken Turek, names as defendants the school, current principal Mary Miller and Jefferey Hicks, who once served as the school’s theater director.
The lawsuit claims Hicks molested a 15-year-old sophomore on campus in 2003 and then again in 2004 during a theater trip to New York City, and had been grooming her for a sexual relationship.
“When the student herself tried to put an end to the molestation, Hicks told her he would kill himself or have her arrested, and these types of threats and grooming behavior continued,” Turek said during a Friday news conference in San Jose. “Miller’s actions in not following the mandatory reporting laws allowed Hicks to have a clean teaching record when he left employment at Presentation.”
Presentation has been battling allegations since last fall of mishandling student complaints of sexual harassment and inappropriate advances by teachers, coaches and other staff. Since former student Kathryn Leehane wrote in the Washington Post about her own experience at the San Jose Catholic school in the 1990s, a number of other former students have come forward with their own accounts, which they have detailed on a website.
Turek said his client — this news organization does not identify victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly — has since become a successful therapist in New York.
“She is very accomplished outside, but you don’t see the inside struggles and challenges that she goes through every day because of what happened to her at Presentation,” he said. “We have filed this suit in large part to get justice for her.”
Sam Singer, a public relations consultant hired by Presentation, issued a statement in response to the lawsuit. “The school has not been served nor seen the lawsuit, so we cannot comment on the specifics of the allegations. Presentation welcomes the opportunity to tell the school’s side of the story in a courtroom, rather than having to respond to misleading, and in a number of cases false, allegations posted on social media,” the statement reads.
The statement continues: “Presentation High School is no place for abuse. As educators and fierce advocates of women’s rights, Presentation takes any allegation of abuse extremely seriously. Presentation condemns any instance of sexual abuse or misconduct. Presentation is proud of its efforts to educate and protect the students who attend our high school from sexual misconduct.”
The school has said that it responded appropriately to reports of sexual harassment or abuse, and that some of the accusations from the former students are different now than what was reported to the school at the time.
The lawsuit might appear to some as curiously timed, given that it was filed on the same day of an annual alumnae reunion at the Willow Glen-area campus, and before a fundraising gala set for Saturday.
Leehane, who has become the most prominent critic of Presentation amid this scandal, lauded the plaintiff’s courage. “She’s extremely brave given what she’s gone through,” Leehane said. “I really hope it’s the beginning of dozens of survivors getting justice finally. Hopefully the board of directors and Sisters will finally hold enablers of sex abuse and Mary Miller accountable for their crimes and decades of violating reporting laws.”
California law requires school officials to report any suspected abuse of children to either police or a county child protective services agency. The accusers have detailed online at least 11 cases in which they say they reported specific abuse to school officials who did not report it to authorities for investigation as required.
The school and its critics have met with a mediator, and Presentation has since implemented new staff training in the law requiring school officials to report child abuse and created a new Office of Prevention of Student Bullying, Harassment, and Abuse to deal with complaints.
The accusations date back more than 30 years, some by women who have publicly identified themselves, while others remain anonymous. Leehane and at least three other women identified their alleged abuser as a former teacher who has since died who remained at the school until he retired.
At least three women, one of whom fully identified herself, complained of unwanted advances by a former math teacher. Other alleged abusers included a coach and a community involvement staffer. A couple of allegations involved reported off-campus abuse by others not affiliated with the school that the women said they told a school official about, but their complaints were never forwarded to police.
“The keeping of (Miller) as an administrator after they’ve been put on notice about these allegations is a continuing ratification of the wrong acts that took place in the past,” Turek said.
A Mayville man accused of making videos showing himself sexually assaulting two young children is entering an insanity plea. The suspect, who we will not identify – is facing four felony counts including First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child under the Age of 12, Incest with a Child, Child Sexual Exploitation, and Possession of Child Pornography.
He is pleading “Not Guilty” by reason of mental disease or defect. A judge is now ordering a mental evaluation, with the suspect set to return to court in October. He faces up to 165 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
There may be reason to believe that all pedophiles are mentally ill, but that doesn't excuse their behavior, especially incest!
A Covington man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography.
A press release from the U.S. Department of Justice says Brock molested a child and used a computer tablet to take pictures and videos of the sexual abuse.
Under federal law, Brock must serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence.
The investigation was conducted by the Covington Police Department and federal Homeland Security Investigations.
LEBANON — A convicted sex offender using an online chat room to trade child pornography has been arrested, police said.
In July, police received information from the FBI that a man in the city was trading child sexual assault images and video.
Officers found videos of very graphic child sex abuse images involving young children, some under the age of 5, that belonged to John Laybourne, 56, of Hanover Street, police said. Police arrested Laybourne on Thursday and charged him with 10 counts of possession of child sexual abuse images, all class A felony charges.
Laybourne is a registered Tier III sex offender and is required to register for life. He was convicted in 1996 of aggravated felonious sexual assault on a victim younger than 13. He also was convicted of a drug charge in 2008.
Laybourne refused the services of a bail commissioner and was scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Grafton County Superior Court. Police expect to file additional charges.
AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - A former West Genesee school board member has been sentenced to six months in prison for attempting to have a sexual encounter with a child.
The Cayuga County District Attorney's Office says he purchased orange soda for the "girl" and sent her inappropriate pictures. He was a school board member at West Genesee at the time of his arrest.
Soper will spend six months in jail and will be on probation for 10 years when he is released.
His sex offender registration assessment will take place before his release in about three to four months, the Cayuga County DA's Office tells NewsChannel 9.
He pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted criminal sexual act, a felony, in May.
MADISON COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — A Madison County man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of two counts of sexual offense by a custodian.
Further interviews led to Wills being charged and placed under arrest by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
“Through the work of my office and law enforcement justice was secured for the victim in this case,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “This case sends a clear message that the mere passage of time will not provide immunity from prosecution for these types of heinous crimes (unless you live in New York). I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney John Honeycutt, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hot Springs Police Department for their tireless work in bringing Loyd Ronald Wills to justice.”
In addition to the active twenty-year prison sentence, the judge imposed a $5,000.00 fine and also recommended that Wills undergo psychiatric and psychological evaluations and treatment while in custody.
Which treatment he will get for free! What about the victim; will she get free treatment she so badly needs? Our perpetrator-centered justice system needs to me more victim friendly!
RALEIGH, N.C. — An 87-year-old Wake County man was arrested Friday on a single sex charge, one that dates back six years.
Meaning she was between 7 and 10 years old when he molested her.
Stell was being held Friday night in the Wake County jail under a $1 million bond.
In hearing his charge explained Friday, Stell was told that he was prohibited from contact with his alleged victim and with anyone under the age of 17 unless he had supervision.
A San Antonio woman is accused of sexually assaulting two girls at their home, and couching the alleged abuse in a game.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by KSAT, Aleman started the game she called “lesbian truth or dare” with the girls, 12 and 14, in a backyard swimming pool.
Aleman “said it would be weird for the two sisters to do ‘things’ to each other,” according to court documents obtained by the San Antonio Express-News. So, police say, Aleman dared them to touch her inappropriately, and dared the sisters to allow her to touch them as well.
The game took place at about 2 a.m. Wednesday, the newspaper reported.
But the lurid game didn’t end in the pool, according to the affidavit. The girls told police that Aleman continued to touch them when all three went in the shower, WOAI reported. The affidavit says that Aleman confirmed the girls’ accounts of the alleged assault.
She was booked into the Bexar County Jail later Wednesday, with bond set at $100,000, according to jail records. Aleman posted the bond and was released on the same day.
Both charges are felonies. The victims’ identities have not been released by authorities because of their ages.
A Muskogee man convicted of child sexual abuse was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison.
Judge Norman D. Thygesen followed the sentencing recommendation of the jury who convicted Billie Wayne Byrd, 55, after a June 5 trial. Jurors deliberated three hours before rendering their verdict, finding Byrd guilty of performing sexual acts with a 7-year-old.
Prosecutors say the sexual abuse occurred during the span of a year between January 2015 and December 2015.
Byrd will receive credit for time already served. Upon his release, Byrd will remain under post-imprisonment supervision by the Department of Corrections for three years.
According to documents filed with the case, he is alleged to have touched the body of a nine-year-old girl “in a lewd or lascivious manner” on May 24 of this year. He kissed the girl on the neck, an affidavit with the case alleges, then touched her buttocks with his hands, and finally rubbed his penis on her stomach.
He was arrested the next day.
MONROE COUNTY, Fla. - A 41-year-old woman was arrested and accused for sexual battery on a minor and child abuse Friday, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
Jennifer Renee Franklin of Key Largo was charged with sexual battery by a person older than 18, in which the victim was under 12, and cruelty toward a child, deputies said.
“This is a sad and disturbing case, but thanks to the willingness of a community member to get involved, the courage of the victim, and the cooperation with our partners in law enforcement, the child is now safe and the suspects will face justice,” Sheriff Rick Ramsay said.
The case began on Monday when Randell John Howell, 36, was charged with child abuse after it was learned he punched, kicked and beat an 11-year-old boy with a belt, according to deputies.
A woman renting a vacation residence nearby called the Sheriff’s Office when the boy stated he was afraid to go home due to the beatings, deputies said. The boy told investigators, who found bruises on his body as well as scrapes on his knees and hands, that he was afraid of Howell and Franklin, according to deputies.
The boy stated that Franklin often laughed when Howell beat him, and that he wasn’t allowed to eat breakfast or lunch, only dinner, deputies said.
The boy also described punishments such as cleaning the toilet with his personal toothbrush. Howell was arrested, but the Sheriff’s Office and Department of Children and Family Services continued to investigate the case, according to deputies.
On Wednesday, detectives spoke to counselors who have been talking with the boy. They told the Sheriff’s Office that during those talks, the boy stated, that, three weeks ago, Franklin forced him to perform a graphic sexual act upon her using terminology he didn’t understand.
She also ordered him to masturbate, but he didn’t understand her directions and ran to his room shortly thereafter, deputies said. The victim told counselors that Franklin told him to never tell anyone what happened, according to deputies.
MCSO detectives and DCF investigators determined that the boy has been sexually abused and neglected by Franklin as well as physically abused by Howell.
Franklin remained in jail Friday on $800,000 bail, while Howell was released from jail on Thursday after posting $25,000 bail, deputies said.
The boy remains in the care of DCF.