Mobile County Metro Jail
A Mobile pastor was arrested Wednesday on first-degree sodomy, first-degree rape and sex abuse of a child charges.
Alvin Norman McNeil, 54, of Prichard, was booked into Mobile County Metro Jail on grand jury indictments. McNeil is a pastor of Open Door True Worship Apostolic Church in Mobile, according to court records. Whether he is still with the church is unknown at this time.
Additional details were not made immediately available.
A former Las Vegas-area church pastor has been sentenced to at least 60 years in state prison for sexually assaulting three young girls in his congregation before fleeing to Mexico.
A judge sentenced Otis Holland on Wednesday to 15 life terms. He will serve at least 60 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Holland was known to his United Faith Church congregation as ‘Reverend Otis’, and became a fugitive after he fled to Mexico following his initial arrest in December 2010.
Holland was convicted in January of child sexual assault and lewdness, conspiracy to destroy evidence and bribing a witness.
Defense lawyer John Parris says Holland will appeal his conviction and the sentence.
Holland faces similar charges in a separate case in a neighbouring city involving five other alleged victims.
A district judge on Tuesday refused to issue a personal-recognizance bond to a Grand Junction woman facing parallel federal and state prosecution in connection with accusations that she took explicit photos of a 2-year-old girl as part of a “sexting” conversation with an adult man.
Samantha Groff, 23, will be held in the Mesa County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 surety-only bond, according to Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn, who addressed the issue in a Tuesday hearing. Groff has been charged with sex assault on a child as a pattern of abuse, sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust, sexual exploitation of a child and other counts in district court.
Federal investigators who opened the case have alleged that the photos Groff is accused of taking were eventually shared on a Russia-based peer-to-peer website.
Authorities have also alleged that the child who was photographed was later physically abused by Joseph Alan Smith, the 32-year-old man Groff is accused of sending the photos to. Smith, who was arrested Aug. 8, is also facing potential criminal charges.
State Deputy Public Defender Maeve Goodbody on Tuesday asked that Groff be issued a personal-recognizance bond as she had in her federal case, pointing out that Groff knew about the investigation before her arrest but cooperated with law enforcement.
The father of the child victim also addressed Flynn, asking that Groff stay in jail.
“(Groff is) a person who can be manipulated really easily,” the man said, adding that he believes Groff could flee if released. “I don’t feel safe (with) my daughter with her out.”
Chief Deputy District Attorney Dave Waite asked for a cash bond for what he said were “egregious” allegations.
“I think she’s a public safety risk,” Waite said. “I think she’s perhaps a risk to herself as well.”
Flynn said he wouldn’t issue a cash bond because then someone else could pay the bond and Groff wouldn’t have an incentive to show up to court, especially considering that, if she were convicted of her charges, she could face a possible life sentence in prison.
Groff came to law enforcement’s attention when a special agent with federal Homeland Security Investigations connected with Smith on a Russia-based sharing website frequented by individuals interested in sharing child pornography. Smith is alleged to have sent the pictures involving Groff and the child victim to the undercover agent.
Groff is accused of willingly agreeing to a request for photos and took the pictures intending to distribute them to Smith, according to the affidavit.
Weeks after sending the pictures, Groff said an incident took place in which the sexual abuse became physical between Smith and the child victim. She denied participating in the alleged abuse, although Smith reportedly claimed she was involved during that episode, according to the report.
The state is conducting prosecutions of both Groff and Smith for the sexual conduct alleged in the case, while at the same time federal cases against the two will be prosecuted by the local U.S. Attorney’s Office, related to the dissemination of the images. Gordon Gallagher, a magistrate with the U.S. District Court, issued Groff a $50,000 personal-recognizance bond in connection with her federal charges.
Smith is listed as an inmate at the Mesa County Jail, but no information was available about his potential pending charges.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) - The search for a suspect in an 18 year old child sex abuse case came to an end Wednesday night when 47 year old Ward Allen Bushman turned himself in.
Sgt. Brandon Shearer of the SLCPD told ABC4 Utah News that the alleged abuse took place at Bushman's former residence on Commonwealth Avenue in Salt Lake City. The girl, now 23, shared her memories with investigators who spent two years corroborating the details of her story.
Another Daycare pedophile - good grief
"At the time this occurred Mr. Bushman and his wife were running a home daycare so Mr. Bushman did have access to other children," Sgt. Shearer said. "We're concerned right now there could be other victims out there."
Brian Ahlers lives two blocks away and 16 years ago he and his wife hired the Bushmans to care for their baby son.
"They watched him for us. We were both working and he was an infant, six months," Ahlers said. "His wife watched him for a period of time until she couldn't anymore."
Ahlers never suspected anything happened to his child.
The Bushmans moved to a house in the Daybreak area of South Jordan where neighbor Michelle Macievic said they continued to watch over several neighborhood kids in their home. Michelle's son used to be one of them.
"I think it's sick. I mean I just think it's sick that there's been this daycare there the whole entire time," Macievic said. "I'm so sick for the parents that trusted this if something happened."
You and me both, Michelle. I'm sick of reporting daycare perverts. If there is a man or boy associated with your daycare - find another one, now.
Earlier Wednesday Sgt. Shearer said police were actively looking for Bushman.
"We've tried to make contact at his home and place of employment today," Sgt. Shearer said. "It's our understanding that he's aware we're looking for him and he might be trying to avoid us at this time."
"Crazy. That means he did something wrong," Macievic said. "Why would you run if you didn't do anything wrong?"
If you or your child may be a possible victim, call the Salt Lake City Police Department at 801-799-3000 or you can text an anonymous tip to 274637 with the keyword TIPSLCPD, which routes it to the police department.
Bowling Green Daily News
A Bowling Green teenager admitted to sexually abusing a younger relative in a case in which he was prosecuted as an adult.
Roman Eduardo Lopez-Ramirez, 18, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Warren Circuit Court to one count of first-degree sexual abuse (victim younger than 12), accepting an agreement that recommends a five-year prison sentence.
As part of the plea deal, Lopez-Ramirez will have to register as a sex offender for 20 years, though the Mexican national will likely be subject to deportation after completing his prison sentence.
Two counts of first-degree rape (victim younger than 12), two counts of incest and an additional count of first-degree sexual abuse (victim younger than 12) were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, court records show.
The accusations against Lopez-Ramirez date back to July 2014, and were brought to the attention of authorities after an adult relative of Lopez-Ramirez sought help for the teen from a therapist, according to a Bowling Green Police Department report.
Lopez-Ramirez told city police in 2014 that he had been grounded at home and considered himself "locked up" – unable to play video games, use his phone or participate in after-school activities, court records show.
With nothing to occupy his time, Lopez-Ramirez told police he began to feel "bored."
He told police that he would wait for the juvenile identified in police records as the victim to fall asleep before sneaking into the child's room at night and engage in sexual contact with her. Lopez-Ramirez told police the child never woke up during the encounter, according to a BGPD incident report.
"(Lopez-Ramirez) stated that 'I did what I did, something I intentionally did and should not have done,' " the city police report states.
Authorities interviewed the victim, who said she had been touched inappropriately while she was in bed, according to police records.
Lopez-Ramirez was 16 at the time of the abuse, according to court records.
The case was transferred in 2015 from Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken, whose office handles juvenile prosecutions, to Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron, whose office prosecuted Lopez-Ramirez as an adult.
A grand jury indicted Lopez-Ramirez in December when he was 17.
State law allows minors to be tried as adults if they are accused of committing a certain classification of crime, particularly for offenses that include murder, first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree robbery and offenses involving a firearm.
If he had been convicted as charged on all counts, Lopez-Ramirez faced up to 50 years in prison or life with no chance at parole for 20 years.
He will be formally sentenced Oct. 24 by Warren Circuit Judge Steve Wilson.
Catherine Pegram, WABI TV5
A former youth pastor in Canaan accused of sexually abusing a young girl has pleaded not guilty.
Savage was the director of ministries for the Youth Haven Ministry when he was arrested in March.
According to court documents, the abuse took place at his home, sometimes with his wife in the house.
Savage was indicted in July after the District Attorney says he rejected a plea deal.
Savage is free on bail.
He’s not allowed to have contact with children under the age of 16, with the exception of his own children and under supervision.
COQUILLE — In Coos County Circuit Court, Jason Calhoun, 43, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.
Calhoun molested two girls under the age of 14 between 2011 and 2014.
He was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison with 45 months of probation after. Calhoun is required to register as a sex offender.
FOX 5's Anjali Hemphill reports.
ROCKVILLE, Md. - A Montgomery County youth minister has been charged with sexually abusing a teenage girl who attended his church.
Brian Werth worked at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Rockville, but was terminated from his duties. However, investigators worry he could have had other victims who have not yet come forward.
Police said they were contacted last month by Child Protective Services about Werth having inappropriate sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl in May at an event held at the Rockville church.
Police believe that the 32-year-old had also been texting the girl graphic and sexual content since the summer of 2014.
Werth has been charged with one count of fourth-degree sexual offense, one count of sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree assault.
According to the Archdiocese of Washington, they reported the alleged abuse to police after they were contacted by a pastor of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. They also released a statement regarding Werth's arrest that said:
"Recently, the pastor of St. Elizabeth's parish in Rockville received a complaint regarding a case of alleged child sex abuse by Mr. Brian P. Werth, the parish's youth minister. The pastor immediately contacted the Archdiocese of Washington's Child and Youth Protection Office, which reported the case to Montgomery County law enforcement.
"Additionally, in compliance with the Archdiocese of Washington's Child Protection Policy, Mr. Werth was immediately suspended from his duties at the parish and school; his employment has since been terminated. After an investigation, law enforcement authorities charged Mr. Werth and he was arrested this morning.
"Meetings have been scheduled with parish and school staff, and letters are being sent to the parish and school families to brief them on this matter. All have been asked that if anyone has relevant information regarding this matter to please contact the Montgomery County Department of Police Special Victims Investigation Division at 240-773-5400.
"The Archdiocese of Washington takes seriously its responsibility to the children entrusted to its care. The Child Protection Policy of the Archdiocese of Washington mandates criminal background checks, applications and education for all employees and volunteers who work with young people. Mr. Werth had cleared the background check and accompanying requirements. The policy also mandates immediate reporting of suspected abuse to the authorities and an employee's/volunteer's immediate removal from work or ministry following a credible allegation. This requirement was also met in Mr. Werth's case.
"If at any time you become aware of improper conduct by a person involved in archdiocesan ministry, please contact the director of the archdiocese's Office of Child and Youth Protection, Courtney Chase, at 301-853-5302.
"The archdiocese's Child Protection Policy, which has been in place since 1986, is publicly available online at www.adw.org."
FOX 5 asked the Archdiocese of Washington why they were notified by the pastor of the alleged abuse first before the police were called. They explained that because it was a second party who made the report and not the actual victim, it is policy to go to the archdiocese first.
Church officials did not say who that reporting party was. They also did not confirm the exact timeline of when the Archdiocese of Washington was first notified of the alleged abuse and when they contacted police.
FOX 5 went to Werth's home on Wednesday for comment, but no one answered the door.