Thirty-three years after the lifeless body of a 6-year-old California boy was found at a construction site, authorities have arrested a convicted sex offender for the child’s murder. Jeffrey Vargo was last seen alive on July 2, 1981. He left his home on his bike to go to a fireworks stand in the city of Anaheim. His parents found his bike abandoned in an alley a few hours after he was last seen. The next day, two construction workers found his body at a construction site in the city of Pomona.
Within weeks of a Sydney mother starting a relationship with a Christian hip-hop producer, her seven-year-old son was allegedly being punished. He was forced to wear his soiled underpants on his head, stand on a coffee tin for hours and undergo “boot-camp” style punishment. Three months later, she believed the devil was working through him. A month after that, he was dead.
Perpetrators of child sexual abuse (CSA) may gain the trust of potential child victims and their caregivers by methodically “grooming” them. This process begins with identifying potential victims, gaining their trust, and breaking down their defenses. These grooming tactics are often directed at potential youth victims as well as the adult caregivers—parents, other youth-serving professionals, and the community-at-large. After gaining access to children and youth by achieving this trust, the perpetrator initiates some kind of contact that s/he finds sexually gratifying. This sexual contact may range from voyeurism to rape and other forms of child sexual abuse. Grooming helps the offender gain access to the victim, and sets up a relationship grounded in secrecy so that the crime is less likely to be discovered.
The cold hard fact is that far too many of us are going through pain. I know, I’ve spoken to enough of you about it. But if you know me, even after you’ve seen my documentary and read my book about it and heard me speak – you know that I am all about moving on. Yes, life is hard and the worst nightmare – child sexual abuse – is so prevalent it can make you ill. But I believe that the more survivors and loved ones of survivors heal and move forward, the more we will end the epidemic by not repeating it.
The majority of people who read my blog and know me from speaking gigs have told me that me speaking about moving on (and doing it with cursing and laughter) is way they love me. Ah, I love you too! Those who hate what I talk about will always be haters and should read this list too. A DM from a Twitter friend promoted this list by asking me, surprised, if I really had moved on from my story and how in the world I did it. Here you go!
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cleveland man accused of raping a child was arrested Monday evening on the city’s East Side. U.S. marshals arrested Percy James Jr., 21, at about 6 p.m. at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and and East 140th Street, a spokesperson with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. He had been featured as the “Fugitive of the Week” earlier Monday. Law-enforcement officials say James raped his victim while awaiting sentencing in a separate rape case.
A Gentilly man was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to 14 counts of forcible rape and nine counts of child pornography involving a juvenile — a small fraction of the nearly 900 counts he faced for raping girls and recording the acts as a self-styled pornographer. A bespectacled Edward Bush, 48, stood silently as Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson sentenced him to a pair of consecutive 25-year terms on two counts of forcible rape; concurrent 40-year sentences on another dozen rape counts; and 20 years each on nine counts of pornography involving juveniles.
A California teacher has been arrested for alleged child abuse. Thelmo Garcia, a fourth grade teacher at Rosewood Elementary School on Croft Avenue in Los Angeles, was arrested on Wednesday, March 11, and is being held on $100,000 bail. The Los Angeles Unified School District released a statement on Thursday, stating that Garcia had been arrested off campus on suspicion of abuse towards his students. Details regarding his arrest have been limited, however it was reported that he was removed from campus last month.
BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. —A little boy who was allegedly the victim of child abuse has died. 14-month-old Issac Arevalos was rushed to UNMH Wednesday after he sustained injures. Authorities haven’t decided if new charges will be filed against the suspected abusers. Investigators said Issac was a victim of child abuse after doctors found “bruising to the face and chest.”
A man sent to prison for 25 years for sexually assaulting a child has been sentenced to another 40 for hiring a hit man to kill the prosecutor in his case. Edward Carreon, 32, of Chicago, was convicted earlier this year for solicitation of murder for hire after he planned to kill the pregnant lawyer who has handling the child molestation case against him. Carreon, who planned to pay hit man ‘Marcus’ when he got out of prison, had received the name of an alleged assassin from a fellow prison inmate while awaiting sentencing for his 2011 assault.
Since 1985, April has been nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year, there are nearly 3 million reports of child abuse and neglect. And we know that child abuse cases are vastly under-reported, as adults often fail to recognize or respond to warning signs of child abuse, and abused children suffer in fear and silence. National Child Abuse Prevention Month offers a powerful opportunity to highlight child abuse facts, explain the importance of reporting child abuse, encourage community involvement, and support abused children.
Readers, the first step to curbing child abuse is recognizing it. If you see, or suspect, any form of child abuse PLEASE report it! Take action – it could save a child’s life. Report child abuse to your local or state child protective service agency, or to your neighborhood police precinct.You can become aware of child abuse by recognizing the signs. Here are 10 signs that can help:
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A 19-year-old Kansas City mother has been charged with abuse and assault of her one-year-old daughter. Donniesha Lasha Lee was charged with child abuse and domestic assault in the first degree today by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. Lee is accused of repeatedly hitting her child in the chest, asking the child to be quiet. Multiple individuals who witnessed it requested Lee to stop and give them the child. Court records also say at least one witness attempted to physically take the child away from Lee.
VIRGINIA – Questions surrounding the death of 5-year-old Noah Thomas continue. After a search that began Sunday morning, the boy was found Thursday afternoon in a septic tank behind the family home on Highland Road in Dublin. Noah’s autopsy is complete. But the medical examiner is not releasing results at this time. Police say they got a hard and credible tip that they needed to look inside the 1,000-gallon septic tank behind the family home.
FLORIDA – It was the last resort of a hard-working single mother-of-four who, by her own admission, had ‘never asked for anything from anyone’. On Tuesday Helen Campochiaro, 38, of Hudson, Florida, set up an account on Go Fund Me, appealing for support for her family after she was left injured and financially drained by a recent car crash and needed to find a new place to live within two weeks. However on Wednesday night, her 12-year-old son, Kevin Pimental, shot dead his six-year-old brother inside the mobile home he shared with his mother and three siblings, wounded his older brother in the leg, and then turned the gun on himself. Campchiaro was working one of her two jobs at the time. ‘The mother’s going through an absolute living hell right now,’ Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Thursday.
Crime victims often are asked to testify in court or make a statement under oath in order to help prosecutors convict the perpetrator, and occasionally may receive restitution. Additionally, victims may claim monetary damages in civil court. But crime victims may also require assistance outside of the justice system, such as counseling; shelter; and other such needs. The following is a list of crime victim resources, including non-profit organizations and government agencies.
BROOKNEAL, Virginia – Just as you enter the town of Brookneal on Route 501, there’s a bright yellow billboard that’s hard to miss. Tamara Martin paid for the advertisement, to share a message about her estranged father. The sign reads: “Earl Pillow of Brookneal has multiple convictions for sex crimes against children.” “I had to do something positive with this to keep it from just chewing me up,” explained Martin. Court documents list Martin and her sister as victims of sexual assault. Their father, Earl Pillow, pleaded guilty to the crime. Because the offenses happened in the mid-1970s, Pillow is not listed in the Virginia sex offender registry. You also won’t find his conviction posted in online court records.
APRIL is Child Abuse Awareness month!! We are joining forces with THE MAMA BEAR EFFECT to help bring attention to child sexual abuse. We are petitioning the White House to have this ribbon nationally recognized. We need 100,000 signatures in 30 days. Could you help us spread the world and recruit friends to sign? Please click the link below!!
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Officers responded to a call on Joe Lewis road around midnight Monday morning on a report of a sexual assault on a child. According to investigators, the mother of the child along with another witness came home and found the man sexually assaulting the child. Officers say the suspect left the apartment on foot. According to investigators, the man was babysitting the victim along with two of the victim’s siblings, as well as two other small children.
An Oswego man was arrested Tuesday on charges of raping and sexually abusing multiple children and one adult, police said. Richard Graham Jr., 33, of Furniss Station Road was charged with 20 felonies and two misdemeanors after he raped and sexually abuse children, and raped one adult, Oswego County sheriff’s deputies said. The charges were predatory sexual assault against a child, first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri – Two Independence women were charged Tuesday with child abuse after prosecutors say a 10-year-old was beaten, neglected and locked in the basement. Chianna Hendrix, 25, and LaTrecia Hendrix, 36, were arrested on suspicion of abuse or neglect of a child, a Class B felony, according to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. They are being held in the Jackson County Detention Center on $100,000 bond each.
OHIO – Authorities say a mother allegedly traded her 11-year-old daughter to a drug dealer for sex in exchange for heroin. According to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, this occurred multiple times between February and June 2014. The girl’s mother, 30-year-old April Corcoran, allegedly gave her daughter to 41-year-old Shandell Willingham, who had sex with the girl and occasionally videotaped the incidents, according to prosecutor Joseph T. Deters, who detailed the charges in a news release. Corcoran is also accused of giving her daughter heroin, authorities said.
MICHIGAN – The mother of two Detroit children whose bodies were found in a deep freezer in their home was charged with child abuse Wednesday and could face more serious charges once investigators determine how the boy and girl died. Mitchelle Blair, 35, was arrested Tuesday after court officers serving an eviction notice at her home opened the freezer and found the bodies of her daughter Stoni Ann Blair and her son Stephen Gage Berry. The county medical examiner was hoping to conduct autopsies on the children’s bodies Wednesday but had to wait until they had fully thawed. The police, meanwhile, weren’t saying much about their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the children’s deaths and the conditions in the home near downtown Detroit, where Blair’s other two children had also been living.
CHAUVIN, La. – A 26-year old Chauvin man charged with raping a girl multiple times between ages 6 and 9 was sentenced to 60 years in prison, the Terrebonne District Attorney’s Office said. Ronny Anthony Goubert, of 5912 Joyce St., pleaded guilty Monday to sexual battery in state District Court in Houma as part of a plea agreement, Assistant District Attorney Bud Barnes said. Goubert, who could have received up to 99 years in prison, is required to serve up to 85 percent of his sentence, or about 50 years, before he becomes eligible for parole, Barnes said.
TEXAS – U.S. Marshals are searching for a fugitive last seen in Williamson County. He’s a wanted man accused of sexually assaulting a child. That child says the abuse started when she was seven and continued until she was 13. Shortly after the outcry, police in Taylor interviewed 76-year-old Donald Kleen. “During that time he admits to having some type of sexual intercourse with this young victim,” says Deputy U.S. Marshal Brandon Filla. The Taylor Police Department then filed a warrant for Kleen’s arrest in February 2015. Filla says officers searched for Kleen but his whereabouts have been unknown. Now officers need your help finding him. Kleen has lived in Taylor, Georgetown and Hawaii.
WILMINGTON, Delaware – A former Delaware deputy attorney general has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy. Thirty-five-year-old Daniel Simmons of Pike Creek pleaded guilty Monday morning in New Castle County Superior Court to one count of fourth-degree rape. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 16 and must register as a Tier II (medium-risk) sex offender. He remains free on bail pending sentencing.
OUR MISSION: To educate the public on child abuse signs & symptoms, statistics, intervention, reporting, prevention & assist victims & survivors in locating the proper resources necessary to enable & achieve a full recovery.