Boy, 13, faces murder trial in Florida — Protests continue to build over a plan to try 13-year-old Cristian Fernandez for first-degree murder, making him the youngest person in Florida ever to face such charges. Fernandez was 12 when a Florida grand jury indicted him last year for murder in the beating to death of his two-year-old half brother, David Gallariago. His case, scheduled for trial later this year, has raised opposition from around the world claiming that he should be tried as a juvenile and not as an adult, which could result in him facing life in prison without parole if convicted.
Children whose minds wander ‘have sharper brains’ — A study has found that people who appear to be constantly distracted have more “working memory”, giving them the ability to hold a lot of information in their heads and manipulate it mentally. Children at school need this type of memory on a daily basis for a variety of tasks, such as following teachers’ instructions or remembering dictated sentences. During the study, volunteers were asked to perform one of two simple tasks during which researchers checked to ask if the participants’ minds were wandering. At the end, participants measured their working memory capacity by their ability to remember a series of letters interspersed with simple maths questions.
Colorado mom locked up son and fed him four times a week — A woman who admitted locking up her 14-year-old son in a squalid trailer and feeding him just a few times a week before abandoning him was sentenced on Tuesday to three years in prison. Amanda Jolliff, 37, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and child abuse after police found the boy living in a rodent-infested mobile home in Erie, Colorado, northwest of Denver, said Meghan Swella, spokeswoman for the Weld County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Thomas Quammen rejected a defense request for a non-prison sentence.
Man recants allegations of stepdad’s sex abuse — A special commission is now hearing evidence in an Edmonton court in a case of a man who served eight years in prison for sexually abusing a boy who later recanted. The rarely held procedure was ordered by the Court of Appeal of Alberta after Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson wrote a letter seeking an “opinion” following the convicted sex offender filing an application for a ministerial review relating to a miscarriage of justice.
Mississippi State students forced to “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” — On Monday, March 5th, hundreds of male students donned high heel shoes and marched on the campus of Mississippi State University in the second annual Walk a Mile In Her Shoes event sponsored by MSU’s Sexual Assault Services Office. Billed as an event in which men march to end sexual assault, the event is only one of many such events held around the world which are promoted by Venture Humanity Inc., a California nonprofit organization. “Each year, an ever-increasing number of men, women and their families are joining the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.
More boys than girls facing sexual abuse! — IT WAS in the beginning of this month, a 10-year-old boy was sexually abused by a hawildar in Kerala Police Academy, Ramavarmapuram. The hawildar was a colleague of the boy’s father. Incidents in past years show that more boys than girls face various forms of sexual abuse – ranging from inappropriate touch, exposure to pornography or violent sexual assault. Sexual abuse makes immediate and long-term impacts in the child, from emotional and behavioural problems to abnormal sexual behaviour and psychiatric disorders. Suicide tendency is a common long-term effect.
Oregon House Passes Bill Making False Allegations of Child Abuse a Crime — The Oregon House of Representatives has passed House Bill 2183 by a 37-23 margin. The bill would make accusations of child abuse that are known to be false when made a crime punishable by a fine of up to $720. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Police: Two arrested after boy found caged in home — Investigators in Brevard County say they are still piecing together details about one of the most disturbing local cases of child abuse in recent memory. A 13-year-old boy was found in a home where he had been caged and starving for weeks at a time. Police said the boy was emaciated, weighing only 40 pounds when they found him locked in a bathroom lying on the floor at a home on Barna Avenue in Titusville on Thursday night.
UN peacekeepers in Haiti jailed over rape of teenage boy — UN spokeswoman Sylvie Van Den Wildenberg said judges from a Pakistani military tribunal came to the impoverished Caribbean nation to hold the trial that resulted in the conviction last week of the peacekeepers. They were found guilty in the rape of the boy in the northern city of Gonaives on Jan 20. The two soldiers, who have not been identified by name, were summarily discharged from the military and sentenced to a year behind bars in their homeland, the UN spokeswoman said.
Understanding sexual abuse of boys and men — Boys who have been sexually abused can’t imagine that what they have experienced has happened to anyone else they know. That’s why very early in my work with boys I ask how many boys are in their class at school. I draw a square for each of their desks on a sheet of paper. Then I ask the boy to count the desks of their classmates. When a boy reaches the sixth chair I tell him, “That one was abused like you.” I stop him again when he comes to the 12th chair. One of six boys is sexually abused. An average classroom has at least two or three boys (and twice as many girls) who have experienced sexual abuse.