Charges dropped against woman accused in rape of neighbor boy — The case against a 30-year-old Salt Lake County woman accused of raping a 13-year-old neighbor boy came to an abrupt halt Monday after a witness gave prosecutors additional information that did not support the boy’s story. The dismissal came after attorneys and 3rd District Judge Vernice Trease spent the morning selecting a jury to hear the evidence against Catherine Cates, who was charged with four counts of first-degree felony rape of a child and one count of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child. But after a lunch break, prosecutor Cristina Ortega told the judge that a state’s witness — Cates’ roommate who allegedly had walked in on one of the sexual encounters — had provided new information that made obtaining a conviction unlikely.
Child abuse in our schools: Restraint and seclusion in boy’s special education classroom — When the Government Office of Accountability reported their findings to congress concerning use of restraints and isolation in special education classrooms, they testified using very little identifying information. The facts needed to be heard, and those facts were given. Sometimes, however, to get a complete grasp of events, one needs more than just the barest facts. The abused here are real children, just like the ones you and I hug every day as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, and friends. They are part of real families and their stories, their whole stories, deserve to be heard.
Detectives: Woman accused of killing expectant mother may have contacted other pregnant women — The new details emerged as prosecutors awaited autopsy results to determine if the child ever drew a breath, the legal threshold in Oregon to determine whether murder charges can be brought against 27-year-old Korena Roberts in the baby’s death. Prosecutors will have to decide by Monday, the deadline for a grand jury indictment and Roberts’ next scheduled court appearance. Roberts already faces a murder charge in the death of the child’s mother, 21-year-old Heather Snively. She has not yet entered a plea.
School Founder Raped Boy, Police Say — Police arrested a 55-year-old woman who is accused of having sex with a 10-year-old boy about five years ago. Melissa Stephens was taken into custody at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Willow Cottage Arts and Academics, a school she founded. Police said they are investigating Stephens on suspicion of having sex with a 10-year-old boy for more than a year beginning about five years ago. They said they found out about the alleged abuse on Monday. Stephens was arrested on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree sex abuse.
Woman’s Rape Charge Proves False — A Tippah County woman could face jail time for crying rape when it never really happened. The initial report put law officers in at least two counties on alert and ran up huge investigative bills, until the victim recanted. Investigators won’t identify the woman but they have a lot to say about the seriousness of the false claim. The rape report, a few weeks ago, put every law officer in Tippah County, and a few from out out of town on the streets to look for suspects. Crimestoppers offered a $6,000 reward. Investigators had just one problem, the report was a lie. “Just a classic case of the shepherd boy crying wolf. Everybody came to the rescue,” said District Attorney Ben Creekmore.