Archive for January, 2011

Second arrest made in child abuse case

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags , , on January 31, 2011 by punauni


A second person has been arrested in connection with the child abuse of a Sevier County toddler, according to information from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office.

Jeremy R. Haroldson, 25, of Sevierville is charged with one count of aggravated child abuse. Officials say Haroldson is the stepfather of the 3-year-old boy who was allegedly abused.

The child’s mother, Sarah M. Haroldson, was charged with child abuse and child neglect Sunday after she brought her son to LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville. He’d sustained severe burns to his buttocks and feet and bruising on his body, officials say.

Doctors alerted authorities, and sheriff’s investigators determined that the child’s injuries were not consistent with a statement given by his mother. She first told authorities that her son was burned by hot water but changed her story several times after officials questioned her, said sheriff’s Capt. Jeff McCarter.

In addition to the stepfather’s arrest, officials Tuesday upgraded the child’s mother’s child abuse charge to aggravated child abuse. Sheriff’s officials say she was arrested again after posting bond on her initial charges.

The couple remained incarcerated at the Sevier County jail.

The child has since been released from the burn unit at Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga. Sheriff’s officials say he has been placed in foster care by the state Department of Children’s Services.


Suspect In Baby’s Death Killed Another Child In 1994

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags , , , on January 31, 2011 by punauni

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. — A man charged in the death of his 5-month-old daughter was previously convicted of homicide by child abuse, according to court

records.The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office charged 42-year-old Daron Duane Davis, of Greer, with homicide by child abuse after the baby, Keris Davis, died on Sunday.  The arrest warrant said that Davis caused injuries to his daughter by using blunt force to her head. He was arrested on Monday.  Spartanburg County court records show that Davis was arrested in connection with the death of another daughter of his in 1994.   He pleaded guilty to the charge homicide by child abuse in 1995 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.  Sondaria Davis died a month before her first birthday.”It’s one of the most atrocious things I can remember while working in law enforcement,” Barry Mallek, former Duncan police chief, told WYFF’s Myra Ruiz. “That poor child was beaten. She had bruises in various stages of healing from the inside out.”The child’s mother, Angela Hunter, was Davis’ girlfriend. She, too, was charged with homicide by child abuse. Records show she received a probationary sentence.Mallek said Hunter worked at a local manufacturing company and Davis waited until she returned home early in the morning before taking their daughter to the hospital.The former chief said Davis initially denied any wrongdoing.Mallek said when Davis pled guilty, he seemed more curious than apologetic.”I remember him asking ‘How did Chief Mallek know that I killed the baby?’ ” Mallek told WYFF.  Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said records show Davis was released from prison in 2006 after serving about 11 years of his sentence.   Wilkins said sentencing laws have stiffened since Davis’ previous homicide by child abuse conviction.  “Now, someone who is convicted of this crime or pleads guilty to this particular crime must pay 85 percent and then they become eligible for parole,” Wilkins said.  “Thank God the law has been changed,” Mallek said.  If the current sentencing laws had existed when Davis was first convicted, he would still be in prison and not eligible for parole until 2012.  Davis is being held at the Greenville County Detention Center Center, awaiting a bond hearing.

Man charged in death of 4-year-old

Posted in News, People Behaving Badly with tags , , , on January 26, 2011 by punauni

MICHIGAN CITY — A La Porte County judge charged a man with two counts of felony neglect Tuesday after a 4-year-old died in his custody Friday.

A Michigan City police detective told Superior Court 1 Judge Kathleen Lang that Jimmy Isbell, 34, 109 W. William St., admitted to punching Julian (Bowen) Hurley in the chest to discipline him.

An autopsy Monday showed Hurley had suffered brain hemorrhaging and other injuries, Detective Andrew Paull said at Isbell’s probable cause hearing.

“Just overall physical abuse on the 4-year-old,” Paull said.

The autopsy showed the manner of Hurley’s death to be homicide. The cause of death was multiple, systemic blunt-force trauma.

Hurley had been living in the basement of the house with Isbell and two other children, Paull said.

Witnesses told police they’d been

worried about Hurley’s welfare recently.

“Jimmy would keep them down in the basement,” Paull said investigators were told.

Paull said that Isbell had been kicked out of the house in recent weeks, but had been allowed to return. Several families lived in the house, Police Chief Mark Swistek said.

“Some of the interviews that we’ve conducted have led us to believe that Jimmy was in fact living there with this young child and that some sort of abuse was going on for a period of time,” he said.

Isbell could face additional charges after further investigation, he said.

“That child had his whole life ahead of him,” Swistek said. “Very unfortunate at the hands of somebody that’s (34-years-old).”

Hurley’s grandmother Brenda Hurley remembers a “sweet little guy” whom she used to baby sit.

“He always looked in my cupboard for cookies, candy or whatever he wanted to eat,” she said.

She hadn’t seen her grandson since fall. Hurley did not feel comfortable speaking about why her grandson was living with Isbell.

Hanging on the walls of her apartment were pictures of Julian smiling with his brothers.

“When it’s your grandkid, or your kid, it don’t matter,” she said. “You love them kids.”

Isbell was in custody Tuesday afternoon on a $100,000 bond, according to a Police Department press release.

La Porte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi said Isbell referred to Julian Hurley as his step-son. Isbell also had custody of a 7-year-old boy and his biological 3-year-old son, Szilagyi said.

Paull said at the hearing that the other two children had been taken into foster care.

“We consider it a very serious case, obviously,” Szilagyi said.

Child Porn On Facebook

Posted in People Behaving Badly, Sad with tags , on January 26, 2011 by punauni

The exploitation of children is not something that’s happening in the shadows.

It’s happening at a place used by some 500 million people.

It’s happening on Facebook and it’s a growing problem

FOX23’s Abbie Alford investigates the plague of child porn on Facebook and what’s being done to stop it.

Graphic photos are found on Facebook, “These are underage girls. She can’t be more than 10 years old,” says Tulsa’s Chapter Director for Stop Child Trafficking Now, Jason Weis. “That looks like a little tiny girl tied up.”

Weis then finds a little girl partially naked that doesn’t look older than eight years old. He finds another little girl posing without her pants.

Then he clicks on the users friends and finds a whole network of potential child predators.

“It’s obvious, what he’s into,” Weis points out a cartoon that’s posted on the users Facebook page and the caption in child’s bubble. ‘”Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone, Daddy. I promise. It’s our secret. What do you think that means?”

You discover it’s a world where pedophiles are lurking and talking in code.

“Look here, ‘13,14,15,16,17’, a taste for women. That’s his ages,” says Weis. “What I am surprised is that it is here and it is blatant, graphic, full color photos to see with no age restrictions. It’s blatant right there in your face. Literally a mouse click away,” says Weis.

Weis says it’s becoming easier for potential predators to show up on Facebook under a new name.

“Pedophiles have made child pornography, rape, bestiality, incest, mainstream on Facebook,” says Weis.

In his brief investigation Weis says he found hundreds of disturbing pictures of children and potential predators on Facebook.

“This is more sinister, this is child pornography this child exploitation,” says Weis.

In an e-mail Facebook released this statement,

“We have devoted significant resources to keeping offensive content off of Facebook — we have a robust reporting infrastructure and a large team of professional reviewers who remove thousands of photos a day from the site that violate our policies,” says Facebook Public Policy Communication Manager, Andrew Noyes.

However, advocates against child predators say ask if it’s enough.

“They are not policing this to the degree that they should,” says Weis.

Facebook says it does not tolerate child porn, “…Facebook takes down illegal material as soon as it is reported to us. In the rare case where we believe content may constitute child pornography, we take down the content immediately, use a sophisticated system to block any further sharing of that content, and actually pull it back from any users who received the content. More importantly, we share the content with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and then report the user to law enforcement. “

Still parents need to know this appears on Facebook everyday.

“You need to be proactive because if you are not this is going to come knocking on your door,” says Weis.

He says parents need to be more aware and recommends programs such as Social Shield that monitors your child’s activity on social sites. It’s a program that will also send you alerts of potential predators who are child’s friend.

“Being your friend on Facebook isn’t going to be enough to monitor what your child is doing. You need to go deeper, you need to get Social Shield or some type of software that digs into the friends, finds out who they are chatting with who their friends are,” says Weis. “Call me old fashion but my child will not have a Facebook page as long as that is going to be on there.”

Facebook relies on legitimate users reporting child porn. Some of the Facebook profiles FOX23 News reports have already been removed.

You can also report child porn to the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Former Chief Accused Of Trading Drugs, Money For Sex

Posted in massachusetts, News, Police Behaving Badly with tags , , , on January 26, 2011 by punauni

SEABROOK, N.H. — A former Massachusetts police chief who lives in Seabrook has been accused of trading drugs and cash for sex with women accused of crimes.  David L’Esperance, 50, resigned as chief of police in Salisbury, Mass., last week after he was placed on paid leave in early December.  Salisbury called in an independent investigator to look into allegations of illegal activity that surfaced while police on the Seacoast were investigating a series of burglaries. One of the burglary suspects accused L’Esperance of illegal activity unconnected to the burglaries.When the investigator tried to interview L’Esperance on Jan. 18, he abruptly resigned, the town said.The investigator submitted a 31-page report to the town that alleges, among other things, that L’Esperance had sex with women charged with crimes, provided them with illegal drugs and cash, interfered with arrests and falsified police reports.”We will be forwarding the report to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for whatever action they may deem necessary, whatever prosecution, if any, they feel is necessary,” said Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington.L’Esperance could not be reached for comment. A neighbor, Richard Janvrin, called L’Esperance “an excellent guy” who would go out of his way to be helpful.”Like, the other day, I needed an egg to make something,” Janvrin said. “He said, ‘I don’t have any, but I’ll give you a ride up the store.’ I mean, he didn’t have to do that. But it’s just that if he can, he will.”Neighbors said they don’t believe the allegations against him, pointing out that many of his accusers are known criminals.

Father Sentenced After Getting Daughter Pregnant

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad on January 25, 2011 by punauni

CHARLESTON, W.Va.    A family has been torn apart after a father got his daughter pregnant and she had the baby.

Larry Darby was sentenced to 15 to 35 years in jail for incest and sexual assault by a parent.

“I don’t ever want to lie to my child,” Aleena Jones said. “I’m scared to tell him the truth because I don’t want him to hate me for what happened.”

Openly angry about his sentence, Darby was escorted from the courtroom, while his daughter deals with an emotional sentence that will last a lifetime.

It is a broken family bond, as Darby was not only having sex with his daughter, Aleea — he also got her pregnant.

Now their son is 18 months old.

“When I look at him, (I) see him as my baby brother and when I also look at him I see my father in him everyday,” Jones said. “It kills me knowing that my child might grow up and have problems in school and everything.”

Darby pleaded guilty and asked for the minimum sentence, but the judge didn’t buy it.

“I knew it was wrong and I’m sorry it happened,” Larry Darby said. “I am asking that you do give me this chance to do this 10 years to get my head straight.”

The family says this isn’t the first time he has had sexual contact with young girls.

“He was glaring at me the whole time I was up on the stand,” Jones said. “It just made me feel even nastier.”

The family says he’s fondled another victim and has served time for it.

“My second daughter was involved in all of this, too, and he tried to do stuff to her, too,” Kimberly Jones said. “It’s really hard because up until now, I’ve been able to pick up the pieces but it’s kind of hard to pick up these.”

Now, Darby will spend more than a decade in a cell, but with the possibility of parole.

“I’m not willing to take a chance on these types of people who engage in these types of crimes,” Prosecutor Mark Plants said.

If  Darby gets out, he will have to spend the next 50 years on supervised release.

Murder charges expected in Arizona baby death

Posted in News, People Behaving Badly, Sad on January 25, 2011 by punauni


A Kingman, Ariz., man is in jail in connection with the abuse and assault of a baby who died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Kingman police said 13-month-old Adriana Sweeney died of brain-related injuries at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday after being flown to Las Vegas that morning.

Kingman Police Sgt. Bob Fisk said Dustin Colpitts, 21, admitted slapping and shaking the infant. Sweeney was the daughter of Colpitts’ girlfriend.

Detective Brian Zach said Colpitts was released from the Oregon Department of Juvenile Corrections in September. Zach said Colpitts served six years after sexually offending six children .

The case is under review by the Mohave County attorney’s office. Kingman police said 13-month-old Adriana Sweeney died of brain-related injuries at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday after she had been flown to Las Vegas that morning.

Kingman Police Sergeant Bob Fisk said Dustin Colpitts, 21, admitted slapping and shaking the infant. Sweeney was the daughter of Colpitts’ girlfriend.

Detective Brian Zach said Colpitts was released from the Oregon Department of Juvenile Corrections last September. Zach said Colpitts served six years after sexually offending six children, including his nine-year-old brother.

The case is under review by the Mohave County attorney’s office, but police said they expect Colpitts will be charged with murder.