Posts Tagged ‘ child abuse ’

‘Modern Family’ Star Alleges Abuse; Mom Denies Charges

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The mother of a 14-year-old star of the hit ABC sitcom “Modern Family” is denying allegations that she abused her daughter, actress Ariel Winter (real name Ariel Workman) by hitting her, insulting her weight, and depriving her of food. Instead, says mother Chris Workman, the allegations are falsified because Ariel, who plays Alex Dunphy on the show, wants to continue a romantic relationship with an 18-year-old man. CNN.com has more on the allegations and the guardianship proceedings that are resulting:

“Since I have asked Ariel to end her relationship … she has been bad-mouthing me and spreading rumors and lies about me to substantiate this Guardianship proceeding,” the mother said in documents filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court. “Ariel is young and does not understand the severity of the consequences of her actions….”

Last month, a Los Angeles judge ordered the young actress to be placed in temporary guardianship of her older sister, Shanelle Gray….

“Ariel is upset and is using her sister’s vulnerabilities to her advantage so she can see her boyfriend,” Workman said in the court documents. “I caught Ariel and (the teen) engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior, which is when I became adamant that she end her relationship with him. Out of concern for Ariel, I notified the police since Ariel is a minor.”

Image: Ariel Winter, via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

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Boy Scouts Release Secret Abuse Files

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Following a ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has released the secret files that tracked accusations of child sexual abuse against Scout leaders and volunteers.  The files are referred to as “ineligible volunteer” files, which is a change from their previous name “perversion files,” and they detail more than 1,200 cases between the years 1965 and 1985.  Late last month, the BSA admitted in an open letter that it had made an “insufficient response” to the abuse charges over the years.

Attorney Kelly Clark has published the files on his website in .pdf format.  Victims’ names and the names of those who reported the abuse have been redacted from the documents, and abusers’ names are only listed if they were employees of the BSA.

NBC News has more:

People will see in the files “over and over again where there is a concern that this material not get out … this will make Scouting look bad,” Clark said. Alleged offenders were also being “given second chances,” he added.

“In too many of these individual situations what happened was a de facto cover-up. I don’t believe that anybody woke up and conspired and said, ‘How do we create a system that would cover up child abuse?’ But when they put the interest of the organization ahead of the safety of kids, pretty soon they were engaged in a de facto cover-up of abuse,” Clark said….

Some of the findings included:

– 486 of the men identified in the files as suspects were arrested at some time for a sex crime. It may have occurred before they got involved with Scouting, as a result of the incident noted in their file or after they left the organization.
–  In 531 of the cases, there was information indicating alleged inappropriate sexual behavior with multiple youths.
–  In 252 of the cases, the available information indicated alleged inappropriate sexual behavior with only a single victim.
– 128 of the men in the files had their registration revoked within a year of signing up.
– Police were involved in the investigation of 523 cases.

Image: Vintage Boy Scout badge, via Shutterstock

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Jerry Sandusky Sentenced to 30-60 Years for Child Sexual Abuse

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach, was sentenced Tuesday to between 30 and 60 years in prison for his sexual abuse of boys who were enrolled in a football program he led.  From CNN.com:

During Tuesday’s hearing, some of Sandusky’s victims addressed the court, while others had statements read by prosecutors, all in an effort to persuade the judge to impose a harsh sentence.

“The pain is real and it will be inside me forever,” said a man identified as Victim No. 5.

He added that he will never forget the image of Sandusky “forcing himself on me and forcing my hand on him.”

Another victim, No. 6., described the “deep wounds” that left him praying for help. “It’s time for you to admit your sins,” he said.

But Sandusky did the opposite.

“I did not do these disgusting acts,” he told the court several times, calling his situation “the worst loss of my life.”

“I will cherish the opportunity to be a candle for others,” he said, adding that “somehow, some way, something good will come out of this.”

Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Image: Football, via Shutterstock

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Boy Scouts Acknowledges ‘Insufficient’ Response to Sex Abuse

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has admitted in an open letter that the organization’s response to allegations of sexual abuse by troop leaders has been “plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong.”  The letter comes as the BSA prepares for a court-ordered release of documents related to the allegations.  MSNBC.com has more:

The letter comes after the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Boy Scouts to release “ineligible volunteer” files from 1965 to 1985 that chronicle suspected or confirmed instances of child sex abuse. Media organizations had sued for the release of the files, part of a 2010 case in which a jury decided that the Scouts were negligent for allowing a former assistant scoutmaster to associate with the organization’s youth after he admitted molesting 17 boys in 1983, court records show, according to The Associated Press.

Some 829 of the files from that time period (Jan. 1, 1965 to June 30, 1984) involve suspicions or confirmations of inappropriate sexual behavior with 1,622 youth, according to a report by Dr. Janet Warren, a professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia, for the Boy Scouts. The report, released Tuesday, was completed in 2011.

“Dr. Warren’s report shows that, as part of our broader Youth Protection program, the BSA’s system of ineligible volunteer files functions to help protect Scouts,” Wayne Perry, national president, Tico Perez, national commissioner, and Wayne Brock, chief Scout executive, said Tuesday in an open letter to the Scouting community. “However, we also know that in some instances we failed to defend Scouts from those who would do them harm. There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong.

Image: Boy Scouts, via spirit of america / Shutterstock.com

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Mom Not Sorry She ‘Smooshed’ Her Son’s Bully

Friday, September 21st, 2012

A Florida mother is saying she has no regrets for accosting a child who was bullying her son, even though the incident was caught on camera and the mom is facing child abuse charges as a result.  NBC News has more:

“I mean, I really, honestly can’t say I won’t do it again,” Felecia Phillips, 35, of Bunnell, Fla., told NBC Orlando affiliate WESH.com of Wednesday morning’s fight. ”I just wanted him to leave my son alone, you know? What’s the problem?”

The trouble began on Tuesday, according to Phillips, when her 15-year-old son, Terez Smith, got beat up at Flagler Palm Coast School by a friend of the teen she confronted on the bus, 17-year-old Justin Mickens.

Worried about her son’s safety, Phillips decided to accompany Smith on Wednesday to the bus stop. Before the students even got on the bus, Phillips and Mickens began to argue, and Phillips pushed the teen, witnesses told deputies. Phillips believes Mickens was behind the attack on her son.

“Words kept going back and forth or whatever, and he called me out,” Phillips said. “And I smooshed him in his face or whatever.”

Mickens slammed Phillips to the ground as the bus arrived, deputies said. Phillips then allegedly followed him onto the bus, grabbing his hair as the bus driver yelled that she needed to get off the bus and other students tried to stop the brawl.

Image: School bus, via Shutterstock

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