(Photo credit: Santa Ana Police Department)
The suspect showed up at a home in Santa Ana, south of Los Angeles, Friday afternoon and told the mother she was with Social Services, FOX 11 in LA reported. The suspect said she knew the woman had given birth two weeks ago and she needed to take the baby.
The suspect showed no identification and rejected the mother’s demand to ride along with her baby, saying there wasn’t room in the car.
At that point, the suspect allegedly said she’d return with sheriff’s deputies and have the newborn forcibly removed, KABC-TV reported.
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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – A North Texas woman was arrested after police said she intentionally set her stepdaughter’s face on fire.
Grand Prairie police arrested 20-year-old Dalia Jimenez and charged her with felony injury to a child.
On Monday, officers responded to a report about her 5-year-old stepdaughter needing medical treatment for facial burns.
Jimenez told the officers the little girl was injured when she got too close to a candle. But, police said there were inconsistence in her story.
Jimenez ultimately confessed that she intentionally poured rubbing alcohol on her stepdaughter’s face and used a lighter to set it on fire. She admitted she was trying to punish her for yelling, police said.
Child Protective Services removed the injured girl and her younger sibling from the home. Both are now safe with other family members.
Police said the children’s father was not home at the time. He is not expected to face any charges.
Jimenez was released from the Grand Prairie jail after paying bond.
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ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a roundup operation targeting child pornography suspects resulted in 82 arrests across eight Southeastern states.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Friday that 31 of the arrests occurred in Georgia. Most of them involved charges of possessing or distributing child pornography. The GBI said some were charged after making plans to have sex with people the suspects met online and believed were minors, but were actually law enforcement officers.
Investigators said a total of 82 people were arrested and 17 children were rescued or identified as a result of the operation.
Officials said the suspects range in age from 20 to 70. Some of their occupations included non-profit employee, small business owner, store clerk, mechanic, daycare administrator, youth group leader, former high school band director, freelance photographer, construction worker and painter.
About 170 agencies also took part in the crackdown that also included in Florida, Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
The GBI said Operation Southern Impact III was planned for four months and the arrests came after three days of undercover operations, executing search warrants and other actions.
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A judge sentenced a Carroll County couple to 30 years in prison, stemming from six counts of neglect of their children after authorities found two young children caged in room covered in feces and trash.
Paul Trapani and Melissa Trapani were sentenced to 30 years at the Division of Corrections after being convicted of six counts of neglect of a minor, prosecutors said Friday.
Both defendants had lengthy careers in the Army National Guard, with Paul Trapani retiring as a colonel, prosecutors said. They moved to Westminster in 2008 and lived with their six children ranging in age from 5 to 12, and there were also 11 dogs in the home, officials said.
Child Protective Services investigators and Carroll County Sheriff’s deputies went to the Trapani home on Nov. 7, 2014, after receiving a report that there were two children locked in a room and eating off the floor, according to prosecutors.
Inside the home, there was an overwhelming odor of animal urine and feces mixed with dirt and rotting food. The entire surface of some of the children’s bedroom were covered in trash, rotting food and dirty clothes, according to prosecutors.
Nine of the 11 dogs were inside crates littered with animal feces and urine, officials said. In a room near the kitchen, investigators found two young children, ages 5 and 7, locked inside a room with a half door below wooden bars nailed to the top of the doorway that resembled a cage, officials said.
The two children were peeking through a hole between the door and the bars, officials said. The inside of the door, all the walls, windows and floors of the room were covered in feces, officials said.
There was no furniture in the room and only shreds of blankets and a shriveled hotdog on the floor, officials said. The 7-year-old child was naked with feces matted in her hair, and the 5-year-old boy was wearing only a diaper, according to officials. The children were non-verbal and did not respond to their own names, officials said.
The female child was described to exhibit animal-like behavior, officials said. The children were all removed from the home placed in foster care and some have been adopted by other families, officials said.
At the sentencing hearing, victim impact statements indicated all the children were lacking in basic hygiene and social skills.
“They have been deprived of a substantial portion of their childhood by the actions of their parents (and the children) are trying to learn basic skills like communication,” officials said.
Testimony from the treating child psychologist, Dr. Harper Johnston, said that some of the behavior that she saw of the girl that was confined resembled “animal-like” behavior and resembled that of children that had experienced “institutionalized neglect.”
“I am extremely grateful to our prosecutors, the social workers, medical personnel, and police officers involved with rescuing these six children from such cruel and inhumane conditions,” Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo said. “The conduct uncovered during the investigation shocked the conscience of everyone involved, including the judge. We are grateful that justice has been served, and the children can move forward and live the life they always deserved in a loving home.”
The investigation and prosecution of this case was the combined effort by the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Department of Social Services, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police and Carroll Hospital Center.
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• Amanda Wright, 29, and Besline Joseph, 25, of Maryland, charged with multiple counts of child abuse involving children ages 8, 9 and 10
• Maryland State Police believe since late spring or early summer of 2017, victims endured multiple beatings at the hands of both women
• Joseph and Wright allegedly used their hands, extension cords, belts, sticks and a stun gun-like device to inflict pain on the children
• Victims were reportedly fed a diet of bread, water, oatmeal, and at times forced to eat dog feces, and were locked in closets and a basement
• Wright and Joseph allegedly threatened to kill the children if they told anyone about the abuse
Maryland State Police have arrested a woman and her girlfriend for allegedly beating three young children in their care and force-feeding them dog feces.
A Wednesday news release says investigators determined the victims lived with 29-year-old Amanda Wright and her partner, 25-year-old Besline Joseph, in Mardela Springs.
Police say the victims were reportedly fed a diet of bread, water, oatmeal, and at times forced to eat dog waste.
An investigation revealed the children, ages eight, nine, and 10, also endured physical beatings, were assaulted with an electronic control device similar to a stun gun and that they were reportedly locked in closets and a basement.
State Police launched an investigation into the couple on January 26 after receiving a tip about allegations of child abuse in Wright and Joseph’s household.
Based on the allegations, Child Protective Services officials removed the three children from the couple’s home in the 11000 block of Norris Twilley Road, Mardela Springs.
According to State Police, since late spring or early summer of 2017, the three children in the women’s care endured beatings on multiple occasions from both Joseph and Wright, who used their hands, extension cords, belts, sticks and other objects to inflict pain on the children.
‘The children sustained bloody noses, bruises and cuts,’ the press release stated.
Investigators have learned the children were reportedly locked in closets and a basement for most of the time, and they were said to have been threatened with death if they told anyone about the abuse.
The two women were arrested at their Wicomico County home on Wednesday following a search of the residence, which reportedly turned up a stun gun-like device and other corroborating evidence.
Wright and Joseph were charged with three counts each of first-degree child abuse; second-degree child abuse; first-degree assault; second-degree assault; reckless endangerment; neglect of a minor; stalking; use of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure; false imprisonment and one count each of causing ingestion of a bodily fluid; preventing/interfering with report of suspected child abuse or neglect, and conspiracy to commit first-degree child abuse.
Police are not releasing information on the nature of the suspects’ relationship with the victims to protect the children’s privacy.
This case comes less than three weeks after authorities in California rescued 13 children from the filthy home of their parents, Louise and David Turpin, who are accused of starving the siblings and keeping them chained to their beds.
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Questions raised about the tragedy after reports Jennifer and Sarah Hart were reported to Child Protective Services.
At least five members of a family have been killed after their SUV drove over a cliff on the Pacific Coast Highway in Mendocino County, California.
Jennifer Jean Hart and Sarah Margaret Hart, both 38, were killed, as were three of their six adopted children: Markis, 19, Abigail, 14, and Jeremiah, also 14. Three children remain unaccounted for, but are also presumed to have been killed in the crash: Hannah, 16, Devonte, 15, and Sierra, 12.
Police are still trying to determine the exact nature of the accident, including why the Harts were in California, hundreds of miles from their family home in Woodland, Washington.
“We know that an entire family vanished and perished during this tragedy,” Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said in a statement. “There were no skid marks. There were no brake marks. There was no indication of why this vehicle traversed approximately over 75 feet off a dirt pullout and went into the Pacific Ocean.”
Allman added that there was “no evidence and no reason to believe this was an intentional act. If this was an intentional act, I truly believe that both between the highway patrol and the sheriff’s office, we are going to come to that conclusion.”
However, the investigation into the crash has resulted in more questions than answers, particularly after reports that the Harts had recently been referred to Child Protective Services.
Portland’s KGW8 news confirmed that the Harts’ children had been identified as “potential victims of abuse or neglect” on March 23. CPS tried to make contact on multiple occasions between the referral and the family’s crash on March 28.
Bruce and Dana DeKalb, neighbors of the family, told KGW8 that they contacted CPS after one of the children told them his mothers were withholding food as punishment. It came after other accusations of abuse, including that the Harts had hit another child.
Dana DeKalb told KGW8 that a CPS official came to the Harts’ door, but was unable to make contact with the family. The following day, the Harts left in their SUV.
“The next morning when we saw that the vehicle was gone, and then Sunday morning when it still wasn’t there, we figured something was off,” said Bruce DeKalb, adding, “We figured that they saw the business card and loaded up the kids as quick as they could and took off.”
Another neighbor, Bill Groener described the Harts’ children as “wonderful,” but told CNN he “thought it was strange that I didn’t see the kids a lot. The weird thing was that the kids kind of seemed repressed and not communicative.” It is understood that the children were being home-schooled.
Sarah Hart also pleaded guilty to domestic assault and malicious punishment of a child in 2011, after admitting that she had struck one of her daughters, leaving visible bruising. Hard claimed she was spanking the child and got carried away.
However, friends of the couple painted a picture of a happy, loving family.
“They were really radiant, warm, adventurous inspiring people. They were always on some grand adventure, and the kids were living this life that was kind of like this dream,” Zippy Lomax, a photographer in Portland, told The Associated Press. “The family was this very self-supporting unit that was impossible to miss. When they showed up to an event, they made an impression. They shattered a lot of norms and they did not shy away from controversy or adversity.”
Max Ribner, who has known the family since 2012, told the AP that Jennifer and Sarah Hart were “beautiful examples of opening arms to strangers, helping youth, supporting racial equality. They brought so much joy to the world. They represented a legacy of love.”
The Harts gained infamy in 2014 for a viral photo in which Devonte Hart, then 12, was photographed hugging a white police officer at a Portland rally in support of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Harts apparently moved from Oregon to Washington to escape the fame that the photo had generated, which had allegedly led to hate mail being directed towards them and their children, including alt-right accusations that Devonte was a “crisis actor.”
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