Bulletin Board v115

Abuse charges – mother off the hook — A young woman accused of ill-treating her four-year-old son, after traces of drugs were found in his blood, stepped out the dock a free woman on Wednesday after the State withdrew the charges. Shantelle Swartz, 22, of Surrey Street, Goodwood, appeared in the Parow Regional Court in Cape Town before Magistrate Kenneth Peters, who told her she was free to go.

‘Boys of the Dark’ an enlightening read — When I studied Sir Philip Sidney’s “Defense of Poesy” in college, I paid particular attention to his statement that poetry is a superior form of literature because it has the capacity to “teach and delight.” Since then, I apply that standard to any work I read, whether it is poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction. However, there are times when I feel compelled to read something that does not delight because it sheds light on the human condition.

Cal. woman in Harford to face rape charge — A California woman accused of raping a 13-year-old Bel Air boy remained jailed in Harford County this week after a judge denied her bail Thursday. Rachel Ann Hicks appeared for a bail review hearing in Harford County District Court following her earlier extradition from California. Hicks, 36, was arrested at her Lake Forest, Calif., home in January on two counts of second-degree rape, third-degree sex offense and sexual solicitation of a minor. Hicks is being held in the Harford County Detention Center in Bel Air. She appeared at the bail hearing on the district court’s closed circuit television system.

Female teacher’s aide, 58, charged with abuse after sexual relationship with student — A teacher’s aide, who had an alleged sexual relationship with a male student, has been arrested and charged, according to police. Deborah J Cox, 58, of Naperville, became involved with the boy while he was at Neuqua Valley High School, police said. She was a teacher’s aide in the Indian Prairie School District of which Neuqua Valley is part of. She had also been the boy’s personal academic tutor for several years.

Inmate, 19, hanged self after ‘grossly inadequate’ care — A 19-year-old inmate at a state prison in Fishkill received “grossly inadequate” mental health care before his suicide and might not have died with appropriate treatment, according to a newly released report by the state Commission of Correction, which investigates prison deaths. Adam Wheeler, who was imprisoned at 17, hanged himself with a shoelace March 4, 2010, at Downstate Correctional Facility, was revived and died eight days later in St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh.

Judge declares man who served 17 years for rape innocent — A Texas man who served 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit was formally declared innocent Friday after DNA tests ruled out his guilt, officials said. State District Judge Belinda Hill granted the Harris County District Attorney General’s Office request for orders that fully exonerate George Rodriguez, according to a statement from the district attorney. Rodriguez was freed in 2004 after an appeals court found that faulty scientific evidence had been used against him in his 1987 trial.

Man Accuses Wife Of Abuse, Calls For More Male Abuse Help — William Smouse, a Fort Smith husband, said police arrested his wife several times for reported domestic violence against him. Now, he’s on a mission to get more help for men abused by women. Smouse said while there are many organizations for women, there’s not enough help for men. Smouse is in the process of divorcing his wife and said the violence started even before their marriage. “On some occasions I didn’t call police because she was pregnant,” Smouse said. Like other abuse victims, Smouse said he made excuses and the violence continued.

Man gets 18 years to life for teen abuse — A Tracy man, who will spend a minimum of 18 years and eight months in state prison for torturing a teenage boy, told the court Monday that he did not do it. Anthony Waiters, 31, who was convicted in November, said he was dumbfounded when a jury found him guilty. He maintained his innocence before San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss pronounced his sentence Monday. He told the court he has love and respect for “Mr. Kyle” and his family. “I’m not a malevolent person,” Waiters said.

Proctor mom pleads no contest to reduced charges in sex case — An Orem proctor parent accused of having sex with one of the boys in her charge pleaded no contest to two obstruction of justice counts Wednesday. Ashley Nicole Cloward, 32, was initially charged with two counts of first-degree felony rape, first-degree felony sodomy, first-degree felony object rape and second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse. Now, instead of facing life in prison, Cloward is facing a maximum of one year in jail on each count. Deputy Utah County Attorney Donna Kelly said her case was hobbled by a missing witness — a boy who was a fugitive from the juvenile justice system.

Prosecutors: Teen chained to dryer and beaten by father — Cook County, Illinois, prosecutors are claiming that a man regularly chained his 13-year-old son to a clothes dryer and beat him with a variety of objects. They claim that Hugo Dominguez, 38, and his girlfriend, Mary Ramirez, 38, used “everything from bamboo scratchers to yardsticks to a broken ax handle” to abuse the boy, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The young teen’s school, Brookwood Junior High School, called police on Tuesday when he showed up at school with various injuries including “lash marks.”

The Rape of Men — To the Editor: Re “The Hidden Victims of Wartime Rape” (Op-Ed, March 2): Lara Stemple exposes the danger to society of ignoring the sexual victimization of men. Yet the Federal Bureau of Investigation still adheres to its 1927 definition of rape: “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” This excludes from consideration the rape of any man under any circumstances.

Redwood City woman gets probation after having sex with 16-year-old boy — A 26-year-old Redwood City woman who had a sexual relationship with the 16-year-old son of her day care employer pleaded no contest Tuesday to reduced charges of trespassing, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. In return for her plea, Vanessa Craighead will be placed on probation and prohibited from working with minors in the future. Craighead worked as a preschool teacher at a day care operated by the mother of her teenage victim.

Relatives: Missing boy’s mom brainwashed by polygamist boyfriend — Teller County authorities believe a religious group that moved into a home near Woodland Park after being accused of child abuse in North Carolina has left the area and may be headed back to the East Coast. Teller County Sheriff’s Sgt. Nick Olmsted said Wednesday a U-Haul dealer in Colorado Springs told him the group left for Durham, N.C., on Sunday. The group, a home-based church known as the Black Hebrews, is being investigated by Durham police after a former member reported seeing “horrific” abuse of children, investigators said Tuesday.

Safe haven turned into nightmare for 2 Mpls. kids — The girl and her brother weren’t yet of school age when their mother died in 2003. They had nowhere to go until an aunt took them into her Minneapolis home and raised them as her own. But the house on Dupont Avenue N. turned out to be anything but a safe haven for the siblings, authorities said. Instead, it was where they endured five years of horrific sexual abuse on a near-daily basis, according to charges filed Wednesday. The alleged abuser was an adult cousin who, according to the charges, bribed them for their silence with candy — sometimes in the middle of the acts.

Sexual abuse at Richmond foster home raises concerns — The B.C. NDP is demanding to know how a former male prostitute became an overnight careworker in a Richmond foster home and then ended up sexually abusing a disabled teen, without the government stepping in. In October Kevin Fanning, 51, pleaded guilty to the 2009 sexual assault of the disabled teen in his care and eventually served a 60-day sentence for the crime. The court heard how Fanning smoked marijuana and watched pornographic films, sometimes naked, while alone with the 17-year-old ward of the court. At one point they engaged in a sex act.

Teen boys’ abuser guilty, absent — A jury convicted Keith Butler of all five charges against him, but he did not return for the second day of his trial Wednesday, missing the verdict returned in Allen Superior Court. After the verdict was read, Judge John Surbeck revoked Butler’s bond and issued a warrant for his arrest. Sentencing will be scheduled after Butler is found and brought back to court. The jury deliberated 75 minutes before convicting Butler of sexually abusing two teen boys whom he had befriended, had sleep over at his house and to whom he had given expensive gifts, such as computer gaming systems.

We’ll Call Him Richard: A Story Of Foster Child Abuse — Foster families do some wonderful work in Oregon. But every now and then abusive parents get into the system. This is the story of a nine-year-old boy, we’ll call him Richard. The state only identifies him as RH. His story shows the state failed to act on a series of reports that he was being abused by the foster parents who adopted him. Richard was placed at the home of Alona and Roger Hartwig when he was about five. They lived outside Eugene and were certified to care for up to five children.

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