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    A cache of grisly photographs of monkeys reportedly injured or killed in experiments with Elon Musk's Neuralink brain implant technology may not be publicly released - amid a legal battle to push a California university to do so - as the brain implant company denies animal abuse allegations.  The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) advocacy group says that it learned the University of California, Davis has 371 photos of the monkeys that were experimented upon inside the school's veterinary laboratory facilities.  The prestigious California university is in possession of hundreds of images depicting, among other things, 'necropsies of animals killed' in the experiments, according to PCRM, which has also filed a complaint against Neuralink. Musk's plan is to link the human brain with a micron-sized device that works with 'neural-lace' technology to implant tiny electrodes that could one day read a person's mind. The technology will initially be used to help people suffering from degenerative brain disorders such as ALS, but it could have wider uses as well.  A cache of grisly photographs of monkeys reportedly injured or killed...
    DUBLIN — For the second time in a month, federal prosecutors have added charges against one of the several former law enforcement officials who have been accused of sexually abusing incarcerated women at FCI Dublin, court records show. John Russell Bellhouse, 39, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of sexually abusing two additional women at the prison, bringing his total number of alleged victims to three. Bellhouse now faces two charges of sexual abuse of a ward, which carries a 15-year maximum penalty, and four counts of abusive sexual contact, where he faces up to two years if convicted. Bellhouse is only the latest former FCI Dublin employee to face a superseding indictment in an ongoing sexual abuse scandal that has led to criminal charges against the prison’s former warden, a prison chaplain, and several guards. The former warden, Ray J. Garcia, was hit with his own superseding indictment last month, charging him with additional counts of sexual abuse and lying to investigators. Federal prosecutors put out a news release Thursday that including written statements attributed to a...
    MARTINEZ — The Contra Costa District Attorney has filed three new criminal charges against a Danville middle school teacher and cheerleading coach after authorities identified two new alleged victims, bringing the total number to four, court records show. Nicholas Moseby, 41, of Concord, was charged Tuesday with two misdemeanor counts — annoying or molesting a minor and sexual battery — and one felony count of committing a lewd act upon a child younger than 16. Moseby was already facing three felony counts related to alleged sexual abuse to two other girls. Moseby pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday afternoon. His attorney has requested a hearing to convince a judge to lower Moseby’s bail, which before the new charges was set at $200,000. Moseby has been in Contra Costa jail since his arrest. The charges come as the DA’s office continues to investigate allegations against Moseby, including dozens of tips that came in as news of his arrest two weeks ago has spread. Moseby was employed by the San Ramon Valley Unified School District as a biology teacher, and worked...
    By JIM SALTER | The Associated Press ST. LOUIS  — Within what’s known as the secure transport industry, it’s called “gooning.” Brawny men show up under the cover of darkness and force a teenager into a vehicle, taking them against their will to a boarding school, foster home or treatment center. The process is typically initiated by parents at wit’s end over what to do with a child they perceive as troubled. For the kids, it’s the traumatic first leg of a journey to an unheard-of place, perhaps hundreds of miles away from home. Teens who resist are often told, “We can do this the easy way or the hard way.” They might be restrained with handcuffs or zip ties. They could be blindfolded or hooded. Though a secure transport company operator was indicted last month, criminal charges are rare because the little-known industry is virtually unregulated. In fact, the indictment was for violating a restraining order, not for the transport itself. “Some of these stories are almost out of a Charles Dickens novel,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, a California...
    When it became apparent that Prince Harry was serious about his new girlfriend, Meghan Markle, King Charles’ wife, Camilla, was eager to help the American TV actor become accepted by the royal family and deal with rabid press attention and criticism, according to a new biography of Camilla. “The queen consort knows more than anyone how difficult it is to become accepted into the royal family and wanted to help any newcomer,” author and royal expert Angela Levin writes in an excerpt of her new book, “Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall: From Outcast to Queen Consort.” The excerpt was published in The Telegraph Thursday.  But Meghan didn’t seem interested in Camilla’s help after she moved to London in 2016, according to Levin. “She seemed bored, was unresponsive and preferred to go her own way, with the result that the queen consort’s advice landed on stony ground,” Levin writes in the excerpt. Three days after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the publication of this excerpt of Levin’s book is certain to add fuel to speculation that rifts in the royal family...
    Cesar Lagleva of San Rafael and other demonstrators participate in protest on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, over a bloody arrest in the Canal area. (Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal) Protesters make signs before marching up Bellam Boulevard to San Rafael City Hall on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, to protest plans to hire a former Sonoma County police lieutenant to investigate a bloody arrest in the Canal area. (Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal) Show Caption of Expand Federal investigators have made inquiries in connection with the arrest of a San Rafael man whose face was bloodied by police, a top city official said. City Attorney Rob Epstein said the FBI has requested evidence pertaining to the incident. The FBI’s field office in San Francisco said it could neither confirm nor deny the agency was investigating. The latest news came as dozens of residents marched Friday evening to protest the city’s decision to hire a former Sonoma County police supervisor to look into the violent police arrest in the Canal area on July 27, and...
    Under falling rain on a chilly February day in 2021, 7-year-old Sophia Mason showed off her new clothes and Barbie doll to an Alameda County social worker at Hayward’s San Felipe Park. But something about the way the girl talked about life with her mother, Samantha Johnson, seemed scripted, the worker later noted in documents newly released under court order. Pressed, Sophia finally confirmed what many concerned adults in her life had suspected for weeks. “Someone is hitting me,” the tearful second-grader said quietly. The admission – which the county has not previously acknowledged – highlighted a series of concerns aired to Alameda County Department of Children and Family Services from Sophia’s teacher, a pediatrician, a social services administration worker and the girl’s relatives in early 2021. Yet despite that social worker’s own hesitations about Johnson’s ability to care for her child, the new records show officials responsible for safeguarding the girl repeatedly chose not to intervene. In fact, six weeks after that meeting, DCFS largely ceased contact with Sophia and her family for months. And warnings about Sophia’s situation...
    Sex abuse victims of Jeffrey Epstein are reportedly 'frustrated' that his long-term friend Prince Andrew has been 'rehabilitated' in his public appearances following the Queen's death last week. The Duke of York, 62, has returned to public life during the period of mourning since his mother's death. But a representative of Epstein's victims said Andrew's appearances in honour of the Queen were 'disrespectful' and 'insulting' to those involved, the Independent reported.  He has been accused of trying 'rehabilitate' his public image following the Queen's death.   Yesterday the prince wore his military uniform during a vigil at Westminster Hall for the Queen as she lies in state, after King Charles allowed him to wear it.  Sex abuse victims of Jeffrey Epstein are reportedly 'frustrated' that his long-term friend Prince Andrew has been 'rehabilitated' in his public appearances following the Queen's death last week. Pictured is the prince and Epstein in New York following his prison term in 2011 Yesterday the prince wore his military uniform during a vigil at Westminster Hall for the Queen as she lies in state, after King Charles...
    FRESNO — A former principal was charged in central California with child abuse after being caught on video striking a student with special needs, and his attorney said Tuesday that what the video shows is out of character for the veteran educator. Brian Vollhardt, who was the principal of Wolters Elementary, was charged last week with misdemeanor child abuse after surveillance video captured him shoving the child June 7 in the school’s cafeteria. “My client has been in education for 20-plus years. He’s been a teacher, a special ed teacher and administrator for many years,” Vollhart’s attorney, Roger Wilson, told the Fresno Bee. “The conduct that’s on the video appears to be completely out of character for him.” The newspaper obtained the video, which was released last Wednesday. A day after the video was made public, officials with the Fresno Unified School District and the Fresno Police Department released details on the investigation into Vollhardt, who resigned from his position with the district on Aug. 4. He was hired shortly after that as vice principal of Golden Plains Unified, which...
    OAKLAND — A former Oakland youth swimming coach was charged last month with 30 counts of molesting a then-teenage swimmer during the earlier 2000s, crimes the District Attorney says weren’t thoroughly investigated until the victim began cooperating in 2019. David Teel, 54, of Boston, has been out on $50,000 bail since 2020 when prosecutors charged him with 10 counts of molesting a girl whom he coached with the Oakland Barracudas, a local now-defunct youth swim team that recruited teen swimmers from around the East Bay. But when the alleged victim testified at Teel’s Aug. 9 preliminary hearing that the sexual abuse was daily and lasted more than a year, an Alameda County Superior Court judge allowed prosecutors to file 30 felony child molestation counts against the former coach. Doe testified the abuse started with a forced kiss and escalated for forcible touching and oral copulation that would happen, “constantly.” “Multiple times a day, up to four times a day. At least once a day, but that would be an easy day,” she said on the witness stand. In 2012, USA...
    The grandmother of Sophia Mason — an 8-year-old Hayward girl who was found dead in March after months of abuse and neglect — has filed a legal claim against Alameda County, providing horrifying new details about social workers’ apparent repeated failures to respond to escalating reports about the young girl in the final 15 months of her life. A trove of child-welfare documents obtained by the family revealed that Sophia had twice personally told social workers that her mother had choked and hit her. She also complained of being grabbed by her neck and muffled when she tried to scream. At one point, the internal documents show, a teacher and a Kaiser social worker reported grave concerns over what they considered signs of abuse. The family’s legal claims — which were filed last week and lay the groundwork for a lawsuit against the county — also give new details about what child welfare employees knew regarding the girl’s living situation with her mother, Samantha Johnson. Johnson and her boyfriend, Dhante Jackson, were charged with murder after the discovery March 11...
    An Alameda County jury has convicted a longtime Tri-Valley golf instructor of sexually abusing a minor who was once his student, authorities said. Kwangson Kim was found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a minor  and three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor, according to a statement from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. The jury reached its verdict Monday. According to authorities, Kim sexually abused one of his students from November 2014 through February 2018 when he was her golf instructor. Authorities said the abuse happened as their relationship grew over time and he drove her to practices and provided group and individual lessons. Kim instructed hundreds of students through his employment at courses such as the Tri-Valley Golf Center  in Pleasanton and the Dublin Ranch Golf Course in Dublin. Police arrested Kim on Feb. 14, 2018, after the girl told a school official about the abuse. Kim is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28. Related Articles Crime and Public Safety | Vehicle sought in connection with fatal West Oakland shootings Crime and...
    By MICHAEL R. SISAK and MICHAEL BALSAMO | The Associated Press Behind a closed chapel office door inside a federal women’s prison in California, a chaplain forced inmates seeking his spiritual guidance to have sex with him — exploiting their faith and their powerlessness behind bars for his own gratification, prosecutors said. James Theodore Highhouse, who pleaded guilty in February and is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, would tell women he abused at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, that everyone in the Bible had sex and that God wanted them to be together, prosecutors said. Highhouse, an Army veteran, pressured one inmate into having intercourse with him on Veterans Day by telling her she needed to serve her country and on Thanksgiving by telling her she needed to show her gratitude for him, prosecutors said. Prosecutors are seeking a 10-year prison sentence for Highhouse, who’s among five workers at the Bay Area lockup charged in the last 14 months with sexually abusing inmates. In a sentencing memorandum, they implored a judge to deviate from federal guidelines, which...
    A social worker at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino has been charged with multiple felonies alleging the sexual assault of patients who were unable to give consent, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday, Aug. 24. Christopher Lee Smart, 63, of Redlands was charged with nine felony offenses in July, which included five counts of rape of a person incapable of giving consent, two counts of oral copulation of an incompetent person and two counts of sexual penetration of an incompetent person, the DA’s office said in a news release. On Aug. 4, Smart pleaded not guilty to all charges, according to San Bernardino County Superior Court records. The alleged abuse took place between 2014 and 2018, according to a criminal complaint. Many of the victims have been identified as patients at Patton State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital that serves people mandated for treatment by criminal or civil courts, according to the DA’s office. Smart was arrested on Aug. 3 and was being held on $2 million bail, according to county jail records. Smart’s arrest came after...
    OAKLAND — A federal grand jury indicted Tuesday a former warden at an East Bay federal prison already facing accusations of multiple counts of sexual abuse levied last year, the U.S. Justice Department said. According to a statement, the jury issued a superseding indictment against Ray Garcia, 55, of Merced, who worked as a former associate warden before becoming warden for the Federal Correctional Institute, Dublin. The institution has seen multiple staff members face serious accusations of mistreatment of prisoners, including a fifth guard within five years just this March. Last November, Garcia was charged with sexual abuse of a ward, with prosecutors alleging that he sexually abused a prisoner at least twice, telling her there was no point in reporting it as he knew the person tasked with investigated such incidents. Authorities also allege he had nude photographs of other incarcerated women. On Tuesday, the jury’s new indictment charges Garcia with two counts of abusive sexual contact against a second victim between January and July 2021, and a count of violent sexual abuse against a third victim from between...
    Aaron Carter has spoken out against being portrayed as a washed-up drug addict despite turning his life around for the better and marking five years sober.  The former teen heartthrob, 34, revealed his fury about his problematic public image in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, saying he believes his recovery has been ignored and that he should no longer be viewed as a 'train wreck'. The singer also shared revelations about his complicated relationship with his family, including his older brother, former Backstreet Boys star Nick, 42, and the mother of his young son.  Carter found fame as a child star in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but his transition into adolescence and adulthood saw him fall into a 'huffing' addiction and be hit with a $7.8million tax bill that left him broke. But the one-time star said he is now in a much better place and is currently making a musical comeback with his tour that is generating 'millions of dollars.'  'I realized that I was killing myself and everything was being destroyed around me from it,' Carter told...
    SALINAS — Judge Pamela Butler sentenced former Harden Middle School teacher Robert William Dunham, 56, of Salinas to 40 years in state prison for sexually abusing three minors and annoying or molesting two additional minors. According to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, the Salinas Police Department was made aware in September 2021 that Dunham sexually abused John Doe No. 1 between the ages of 12 and 16. Dunham was his former middle school teacher. Dunham was still employed as a teacher at Harden Middle School when the victim disclosed the abuse, which took place during school hours. The Salinas Police Department conducted an investigation, which revealed additional victims. John Doe No. 2 said he sexually abused him. And then John Doe No. 3 came forward and said that Dunham, his former teacher and coach, had forcefully touched him in a sexual way as well. Two female former students of Dunham reported that he had also touched them in an offensive and inappropriate manner while at school, the DA’s Office said. Related Articles Crime and Public Safety |...
    Detectives are asking for the public's help identifying and locating a man in connection to a second-degree child sexual abuse offense in the DC area, authorities say. The incident occurred in the 100 block of District Square, Southwest on Sunday, Aug. 14 around 4:30 p.m., according to Metropolitan police. The suspect is accused of engaging in unwanted sexual contact with the victim before fleeing the scene. Detectives are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the suspect.Anyone who can identify this individual or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department's TEXT TIP LINE at 50411. 
    Alameda County caseworkers routinely fail to respond to referrals of child abuse and neglect with the urgency legally required, a new analysis shows, suggesting systemic deficiencies behind the county’s apparent failure to protect an abused eight-year-old from Hayward who died earlier this year in her mother’s care. Data from the California Child Welfare Indicators Project – a collaboration between UC Berkeley and the California Department of Social Services – reveal that Alameda County lags behind nearly every county in California in responding to reports of abuse and neglect within the legally required time frame, placing hundreds of vulnerable children there at further risk of danger. In addition, an unusually large number of complaints are deemed to need no response at all. The findings come in the wake of a Bay Area News Group investigation published in June about a child abuse case that culminated in the death of 8-year-old Sophia Mason of Hayward. The investigation revealed that seven separate abuse complaints were made to Alameda County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) during the final 15 months of her life,...
    SAN JOSE — A martial-arts studio owner charged in June with sexually assaulting one of his students has since been charged with several more felony counts after three more people came forward to allege they were also assaulted by him, court records show. Ernest Joseph Ramirez, 54, appeared Wednesday in court, where Judge Jose Franco appointed the Santa Clara County Alternate Defender’s Office to represent him. Franco also approved three protective orders barring Ramirez from making any contact with three of the reported victims. Ramirez has not yet entered a plea in the case. On June 13, Ramirez was initially charged with eight felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, based on crimes spanning August 2019 and June 2021. Three days later, the criminal complaint was amended to add 10 more charges related to claims from three more reported victims. Ramirez, who ran Extreme Martial Arts in San Jose, was arrested June 9 after a 14-year-old girl — who now lives in Idaho — told her father Ramirez sexually abused her while she was enrolled in...
    A dirt road leads to what was once the home of Paul Adams and his family on the outskirts of Bisbee, Ariz., Oct. 26, 2021. Adams, a Mormon and U.S. Border Patrol agent living with his wife and six children, admitted he had posted videos on the dark web of him molesting two of his children, a 9-year-old girl and a younger daughter he began raping when she was only 6 months old. Adams committed suicide after his arrest. The revelation that Mormon officials directed an effort to conceal years of abuse in the Adams household sparked a criminal investigation of the church by Cochise County attorney and a civil lawsuit by three of the Adams’ children. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)  By MICHAEL REZENDES | The Associated Press BISBEE, Ariz.  — MJ was a tiny, black-haired girl, just 5 years old, when her father admitted to his bishop that he was sexually abusing her. The father, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an admitted pornography addict, was in counseling with his bishop when he revealed...
    SAN FRANCISCO — A Bay Area man who allegedly continued to look at child pornography even after his home was searched by federal investigators in 2018 was sentenced to three years in prison, court records show. Donald S. Kyle, of Hercules, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar. Kyle was charged last year after a federal investigation linked him to online chatrooms where child sexual abuse material was frequently shared. Among the files accessed by Kyle was an eight-minute video showing a boy younger than 10 “naked and locked in a cage,” and then being molested by a man, according to the criminal complaint. Prosecutors asked for a four-year prison term, describing Kyle as a recidivist offender who continued to search for child pornography even after his laptop was seized in a 2018 investigation when he lived in San Francisco. Kyle subsequently moved to Hercules, where federal authorities say he “was active in online communities where he shared images and links to images of child sexual abuse material in these online communities.” Kyle pleaded guilty to possession of child...
    By Jean Casarez and Christina Maxouris | CNN Six of the 13 Turpin children — who were tortured for years by their biological parents — were then placed in a foster home where they endured a “second bout” of abuse, including sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and their reports were ignored by the foster care agency, an attorney for two of the children told HLN. “One of the things that we’ve learned that this family would force these children to do is relive their past over and over and over again,” attorney Elan Zektser said on Tuesday. “They would force these kids for hours to relive what they went through.” The six children who were in that foster home, and have since been removed, filed two separate lawsuits last week against a foster care service and California’s Riverside County. One lawsuit on behalf of four Turpin siblings includes children who are still minors. Zektser is representing the remaining two siblings in the second lawsuit. Both lawsuits request a jury trial. The complaints allege that foster care agency ChildNet Youth and...
    A 43-year-old Solano man may spend the rest of his life behind state prison bars for child sex crimes. Appearing in Department 23 on Friday, Anthony Maurice Mason heard Solano County Superior Court Judge John B. Ellis order him to serve 50 years to life for two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a minor under 14 years of age. Ellis also required Mason to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life should he ever be paroled. The lengthy sentence came after family members of the victims made “a powerful impact statement to the court” in the Justice Center in Fairfield, Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams said in a press release issued late Friday afternoon. A jury at his trial’s end on June 1 found Mason guilty of both counts and jurors also found to be true that he committed the crimes involving substantial sexual conduct against two children, Abrams added in the prepared statement. Court records showed that from March 6, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2016, Mason began to commit these offenses against the...
    Six Turpin children, already subjected to a lifetime of torture, were sexually and physically abused by foster family members who forced them to eat their own vomit, sit alone for hours, told them they should kill themselves and made them recount details of their parents’ abuse, two new lawsuits allege. The lawsuits, which a lawyer for four of the siblings said were filed Tuesday, July 19, in Riverside County Superior Court, accuse Riverside County and at least one private foster care agency of ignoring red flags and failing to protect the Turpins from Marcelino Olguin, his wife, Rosa, and their daughter, Lennys. The three Olguin family members have pleaded not guilty to about a dozen felony counts alleging they abused nine foster children in their care. The county and ChildNet Youth and Family Services and Foster Family Network “had a duty to protect” the Turpins, the lawsuits state. Instead, the defendants “protected the foster parents by failing to report the abuse and neglect of (the Turpins) to child protective services or to law enforcement and by failing to intervene and...
    MARTINEZ — A former West Contra Costa Unified School District teacher has been arrested and charged with molesting a student throughout 2021, crimes that authorities say are backed up by photographic evidence. Jane Shetterly, 42, of Martinez, was charged with 12 felonies, including three counts of lewd act upon a child, one count of contacting a minor for lewd purposes, and eight counts alleging specific sexual acts on a minor. Shetterly pleaded not guilty at a July 11 arraignment before Judge Rebecca Hardie, court records show. Shetterly was arrested last year after the alleged victim’s mother reported to authorities that she found evidence her daughter was being abused by a teacher. Police say the victim is a special needs student and that Shetterly abused her at private lessons at Shetterly’s home. The charges were filed June 30, and Shetterly turned herself in nearly two weeks later, court records show. She remains in county jail in lieu of $1.1 million bail. In addition to the criminal charges, the alleged victim has sued the WCCUSD in federal court, alleging district officials ignored...
    By BRIAN MELLEY | The Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge privately told lawyers he would renege on a promise and imprison Roman Polanski for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in 1977, a former prosecutor testified, setting the stage for the renowned director to flee the U.S. as a fugitive. A previously sealed transcript obtained by The Associated Press late Sunday of testimony by retired Deputy District Attorney Roger Gunson supports Polanski’s claim that he fled on the eve of sentencing in 1978 because he didn’t think he was getting a fair deal. Gunson said during closed-door testimony in 2010 that the judge broke a promise to let Polanski go free after state prison officials had determined he shouldn’t serve hard time. “The judge had promised him on two occasions … something that he reneged on,” Gunson said. “So it wasn’t surprising to me that, when he was told he was going to be sent off to state prison … that he could not or would not trust the judge.” Polanski’s victim testified before a grand...
    SAN JOSE — A student who attended Sierramont Middle School in the late 1990s is suing the Berryessa Union School District, claiming no one intervened when he was sexually exploited by an ex-teacher who is currently being prosecuted on allegations he sexually abused two other former students. The lawsuit filed this week alleges that the plaintiff — listed as John Doe — was the victim of grooming by Ronald Gardner, a former teacher who taught science and also coached the track team and chess club at the school before stepping down about two decades ago. Ronald Gardner, a former teacher at Sierramont Middle School in San Jose, is being sued along with the Berryessa Union School District for claims that he sexually abused a student in the late 1990s. Gardner is currently being prosecuted for similar crimes against two other former students. (San Jose Police Department.)  Gardner, 65, has been held without bail in the Elmwood men’s jail in Milpitas since his April 2021 arrest, which was followed by two charges of oral copulation with a minor and two charges...
    In November 2021, a California judge determined the woman before him had demonstrated a reasonable case of fear of continued physical abuse and threats to her life with a firearm. However, the judge wasn’t sure if state law actually gave him the authority to renew her domestic violence restraining order. California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act allowed for protection orders to be renewed for “either” five years or permanently, begging the question: Could domestic violence restraining orders be re-upped multiple times? It wasn’t a unique conundrum posed by the judge, but rather one heard by attorneys and advocates across the state. That lack of judicial consistency — and a legislative recommendation from the UC Irvine School of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic — led to a recent change in the law. “The reality is, abuse survivors often need ongoing protection for their safety,” said Jane Stoever, a UCI Law professor and director of the Domestic Violence Clinic. California State Sen. Dave Min.(Courtesy photo)  “Returning to court and reengaging with an abusive partner or family member, it really is not an easy undertaking for...
    By Hayley Harding | The Detroit News A woman was arrested and charged in connection with child abuse after her 3-year-old daughter shot herself after she was left in the car with a loaded pistol. Flint Police say the mother left the girl with an older sibling in the car while she went into a gas station on Friday evening. The 3-year-old found the gun, which police say was loaded and unholstered, and shot herself in the hand. Related Articles Crime and Public Safety | San Jose man to face trial in Santa Cruz child drug, sex trafficking case Crime and Public Safety | Stepmother sentenced in death of missing 11-year-old Northern California boy found in storage bin Crime and Public Safety | Turpin report calls for stronger oversight of California foster homes Crime and Public Safety | In the wake of 8-year-old’s death, officials and experts ask: Where were Hayward schools? Crime and Public Safety | Vatican defrocks priest who scolded Oakland Diocese over sex abuse She was...
    Bin him, Boris IN five ignominious years running the Met Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe was guilty of two monumental disasters which should have disqualified him from public life, let alone from any further rewards. Under him, Operation Midland probed a bogus “Westminster VIP paedophile” ring, credulously trusting a fantasist spouting a sick internet myth. 2Boris must not abuse his power & give his old pal Hogan-Howe a big-money jobCredit: PA 2In five years running the Met Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe was guilty of two monumental disasters which should have disqualified him from public lifeCredit: PA:Press Association Carl Beech, himself a paedophile, was later jailed for making it all up — but only after Hogan-Howe’s force had destroyed the lives and spotless reputations of innocent veteran Tories. He also presided over the epic disgrace of Operation Elveden, the failed bid to convict Sun journalists over payments for stories in the public interest. Careerwise, Hogan-Howe still has one ace up his sleeve: He’s Boris Johnson’s friend. But he is clearly unsuitable to be head of the National Crime Agency, Britain’s FBI. And...
    The U.S. Marshals Service has arrested 13 of the most wanted sex offenders in Iowa, authorities say. All of the fugitives were non-compliant with Iowa’s Sex Offender Registry, and seven had former convictions for “crimes against children under the age of 13,” U.S. Marshals said in a news release on Friday. “Operation Most Wanted” was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Force. Two guns, ammunition and drugs were seized, the release said. Three new criminal cases were presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshals said. “Much of the success of this operation can be attributed to the vigilant efforts of our community members,” Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Phil Hartung said in the release. “Throughout this operation, tips were received through the Iowa Sex Offender Registry’s tipline and through the United State Marshals tipline.” Cash rewards are being offered to those with information that leads directly to the arrest of sex offenders who are not in compliance with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry, which became law on July 1, 1995. “Ensuring our community’s safety is a continual...
    The former president of USA Softball is suspected of sexually abusing a child, authorities said. Investigators arrested John Gouveia, 61, of Castro Valley, on April 14th on suspicion of eight felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, according to a statement from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. Gouveia posted $250,000 bail and was released after being booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, the sheriff’s office said. No other details on his arrest of the status of Gouveia’s case were available immediately Wednesday. The sheriff’s office did not return messages early Wednesday and has not said why it delayed in announcing Gouveia’s arrest. Gouveia worked with USA Softball from 1991-2019. Part of that stint was spent as president of USA Softball. “USA Softball has become aware of allegations against a former volunteer officer,” USA Softball said in a statement. “The individual has resigned from all positions with USA Softball and currently holds no role or responsibility within the organization. After learning of these allegations for the first time through local media outlets, USA...
    A 22-year-old Riverside man was arrested after it was determined he caused his infant to fatally suffocate in December, police said Wednesday, June 29. In late December, Riverside police responded to a Sycamore Highland neighborhood about a baby who was found not breathing in her crib, the Police Department said in a news release. A 3-month-old girl was pronounced dead by the Riverside Fire Department, police said. Related Articles Crime and Public Safety | 3-year-old’s death in Georgia is at least the 6th heat-related car death of a US child this year, group says Crime and Public Safety | ‘It’s really effed up’: 2 Alameda supervisors vow to investigate handling of Sophia’s child welfare case Crime and Public Safety | Grieving mothers unite with California legislators to advocate for change in courts’ handling of abuse Crime and Public Safety | East Bay man who allegedly called his stash of child sex abuse videos ‘victimless crime’ gets 9 years in federal prison Crime and Public Safety | Judge upholds $102.5 million...
    Two Alameda County supervisors have vowed to investigate the failure of county social workers to intervene in a child abuse case that culminated in the death of 8-year-old Sophia Mason of Hayward — and raised questions about the county’s refusal to release documents that could shed light on social workers’ decision-making in the case. “It’s really effed up what happened to this young Sophia,” said Supervisor Nate Miley, responding to a Bay Area News Group investigation of the case published Sunday. “I definitely want to pursue looking into the details of what happened, where the failures were and what can be done to address this situation.” “The facts,” he added, “will determine culpability.” Supervisor David Haubert said he was particularly worried about the county Department of Child and Family Services’ apparent decision to keep secret the details of its response to the eight allegations of abuse and neglect made during Sophia’s short life. Alameda County’s lack of transparency thwarts the intent of a California law meant to enable public scrutiny of government agencies tasked with keeping children such as Sophia...
    State court judges would be required to take training that proponents say would help them recognize and respond to child abuse, domestic violence and trauma when they look to make custody decisions amid parental legal disputes, under a bill written by a San Gabriel Valley legislator, set for a key hearing on Tuesday, June 28. Backers say state Sen. Susan Rubio’s SB 616 will save lives and begin reforming the state’s family court system. But there is pushback from critics who fear that such training would skew jurists’ judgment. The bill is set for a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, which could determine its path. That prospect prompted a news conference on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento, where Rubio, D-West Covina, led a mix of Democratic and Republican legislators touting the legislation. During the event, mothers, still mourning for children whose lives were cut short amid domestic abuse and violence, shared tearful memories and implored the Legislature to pass the bill — known as “Piqui’s Law.” RELATED: ‘Her blood is on their hands.’ Bay Area...
    OAKLAND — A Pittsburg man who allegedly collected thousands of child pornography images and videos over a 12-year period was sentenced this month to a little more than nine years in federal prison, court records show. Steven Reed, 50, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on June 21, the same day he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White. The charges were related to an August 2020 search of Reed’s home where authorities allegedly found 7,481 images and 421 videos of child pornography on thumb drives and other electronic devices. Police believe that Reed downloaded the material over a 12-year period, starting in 2008. When interviewed by authorities he said he believed it was a “victimless crime,” according to a prosecution sentencing memo. As part of the sentencing, White ordered Reed to pay a to-be-determined restitution amount to boys and girls who were depicted in the material Reed downloaded. Prosecutors have asked for a baseline of $90,000 to be distributed to 16 people. Related Articles Crime and Public Safety | Social workers were repeatedly told Sophia...
    SAN JOSE — A judge has upheld a civil jury’s $102.5 million judgment for two women who were groomed and sexually abused by a now-imprisoned South San Jose music teacher, rejecting a school district’s arguments that the jurors’ findings were unfair and excessive. In March, the jury found that the Union School District should absorb the majority of civil liability for the actions of Samuel Neipp, a former teacher at Dartmouth Middle School. Neipp is serving a 56-year prison sentence after his 2019 no-contest plea to sexually exploiting two girls under his tutelage between 2009 and 2014. Jurors found the district to be 80% liable for the abuse suffered by one plaintiff referred in court as Jane Doe 1, and 55% liable for the second plaintiff, Jane Doe 2. Those percentages, and the sheer amount of the award — one of the largest school-neglect payouts in county history — prompted the district to file a motion for a new trial and challenge the judgment. On Friday, Superior Court Judge Eric Geffon denied both actions. When accounting for the liability shares,...
    Inside the bathroom of the modest two-story home in north Merced, a tiny, 55-pound body lay decomposing in a tub. The roaring exhaust fan and burned incense failed to mask the putrid smell. In the backyard, soiled sheets, candy wrappers, and other food packaging littered a locked metal shed – used for punishment, police were later told. The outline of a small handprint blemished a dusty brown nightstand inside. This is how police found Sophia Mason, an eight-year-old Hayward girl who had lived through so much cruelty in the months before her death but never received the protection she needed from Alameda County’s Department of Children and Family Services. Now, a three-month investigation by the Bay Area News Group is raising critical concerns about the county agency that left Sophia under the care of a mother who had a history of mental illness and neglecting her, until she died. “It was probably the most disturbing thing I’ve seen in my career,” said Merced police Sgt. Kalvin Haygood of the scene he encountered March 11. “I just can’t begin to imagine...
    SANTA ROSA  — A chiropractor in Northern California was sentenced to 10 years in state prison after being convicted of sexually abusing eight women and underage girls, authorities said Wednesday. Darius Bunyad, 41, owned a sports medicine practice in Santa Rosa where he abused the women and girls between 2012 and 2015, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “Bunyad improperly touched his victims’ breasts and other parts of their bodies, all while under the guise that it was for the purposes of legitimate chiropractic treatment,” it said. A jury in 2017 found Bunyad guilty of committing six counts of felony sexual battery by fraud, and multiple additional misdemeanor offenses against the victims, including some who worked at his practice, prosecutors said. Related Articles Crime and Public Safety | Civil jury finds Bill Cosby sexually abused teen in 1975 Crime and Public Safety | 20 of the 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits against Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson have settled, lawyer says Crime and Public Safety | Feds say Bay Area child...
    OAKLAND — A Walnut Creek man was sentenced to six years in federal prison for sending videos depicting child sexual abuse to undercover agents who infiltrated an online pornography chatroom, court records show. Jeffrey Phillips, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar. The sentence was handed down in April but hasn’t been previously reported. The sentence is roughly half of what prosecutors asked for in a sentencing memorandum, and even lower than the eight-year prison term requested by Phillips’ lawyer. Phillips was charged in early 2020, after he joined a Kik messenger chat that authorities say was known for hosting child pornography. He allegedly talked to two undercover agents, including one who posed as a nanny, about how he’d molested a girl in a hot tub, and sent the agent videos depicting a prepubescent girl being raped by a man. He also asked the “nanny” to molest a 9-year-old girl purportedly in her care, and “please make a video,” according to prosecutors. “In the course of his offense conduct, not satisfied with simply possessing, viewing and sharing images...
    Nearly 50 years later, it remains the most pivotal moment of a life full of heartache and emptiness. It was the spring of 1976 and a 13-year-old eighth-grade boy was taking an entrance exam at Servite High School, the Catholic all-boys school in Anaheim. The boy was caught cheating off a friend during the math part of the exam. “I couldn’t stop crying,” the man, now 60, recalled in a recent interview. “That was the most important thing to me. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents.” The man paused. “I don’t know how different my life would have become,” he said, “if I had just been thrown out of that test.” Instead he was told pick up his things and go out into the hallway. It was there he first encountered Father Kevin Fitzpatrick, the school’s swimming and water polo coach, and an algebra and religion teacher. “He literally grabbed me and said ‘you’re going to be fine,’” the man recalled. Fitzpatrick took the boy to his office in an annex between the school’s main building and its athletic...
    OAKLAND — A Fairfax man allegedly solicited help a plot to “rape and murder multiple women,” including an ex-girlfriend, without knowing the person he was talking to was an undercover federal agent, prosecutors revealed in court records. Ryan Michael Kannett, 36, was charged in federal court with child porn possession. (Megan’s Law)  Ryan Kannett, 38, is a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty last March to possessing and distributing child pornography. Kannett faces a minimum of 15 years in prison, but prosecutors say this defendant’s actions went well beyond the typical case involving child sexual abuse material. Kannett allegedly told an agent with Homeland Security Investigations, a branch of ICE, of a chance to torture his ex-girlfriend to death and “benefit monetarily from the films we sell of the event afterwards.” Authorities say that in addition to videos depicting child rape and physical abuse, depictions of “violent deaths, mutilated human bodies, and animal cruelty” were found on Kannett’s electronic devices. “I’m offering the opportunity to both enjoy the experience of helping me to brutally rape, torture, mutilate and snuff my...
    Deborah Netburn | Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — More than 8,000 Southern Baptists will descend on Anaheim next week for the annual meeting of the largest Protestant denomination in the United States — the first time in 41 years that the two-day meeting has been held in California. The gathering comes just weeks after the release of an explosive 288-page report commissioned by the Southern Baptist Convention that found allegations of sexual abuse were ignored or covered up for nearly 20 years by senior members of the SBC’s executive committee. In painstaking detail, the third-party investigators at Guidepost Solutions describe how leaders minimized or disregarded survivors’ reports of abuse, appeared more concerned with protecting abusers than victims, denigrated survivors as “opportunists” or worse, and made avoiding any risk of legal liability for the SBC the top priority. “The survivors with whom we spoke perceived the totality of these actions as a pattern of intimidation,” the authors wrote. “Moreover, this poor treatment likely had a chilling effect on other survivors coming forward to report abuse.” The report was commissioned by...
    OAKLAND — The alleged teenaged sex abuse victim of a teacher who was arrested last year has filed a federal lawsuit against the West Contra Costa Unified School District, charging the district with ignoring flagrant warning signs of sex abuse. The suit alleges that ex-WCCUSD teacher Jane Shetterly “groomed” the girl for sexual abuse starting when she was 15 and ended up continuously sexually abusing her, including at the girl’s home during lessons. The alleged victim was a special needs student with an individualized education plan and Shetterly was her teacher. Shetterly was arrested in June 2021 on suspicion of sexually abusing the girl, but a year later she has not been charged. A spokesman for the District Attorney said the case is still “under review.” Police investigators wrote in court records they started investigating Shetterly after the girl’s mother reported finding videos and pictures depicting Shetterly and the girl engaged in various sex acts. A spokesman for the WCCUSD declined to comment on pending litigation. The suit alleges that Shetterly “ritualistically groomed” the girl by providing “material gifts, extra...
    Jonathan Wright’s chest heaved and he began to sob uncontrollably Thursday, June 9, while clutching a tiny white T-shirt emblazoned with the name of the MacLaren Children’s Center, a notorious and now closed foster care facility in El Monte at the center of a new lawsuit alleging decades of horrific child abuse by staff members. Wright, 39, stood in the shadow of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse flanked by well-known civil rights attorney Ben Crump and co-counsel Adam P. Slater, and began to describe the abuse he suffered at MacLaren. Quickly he was overcome by emotion and found it impossible to continue. “I was at MacLaren three times, when I was 8, when I was 9, when I was 11,” he told reporters during a news conference to announce the lawsuit. “I fought as hard as I could. Till this day I can’t be near doctors because I was molested by the doctor. … But I fought. I swear, I fought.” Jonathan Wright 39, flanked by his attorneys sobs as he describes the horrific sex abuse he endured as a child...
    PALO ALTO — A San Jose physician facing prosecution on allegations he sexually abused two underage girls in the late 2000s has now been charged with sexually assaulting a former employee at their workplace, prompting investigators to seek other potential unreported victims, authorities said. Naeem Ul Islam Hashmi, a San Jose physician who lives in Palo Alto, has been charged with sexually assaulting a former employee, adding to current charges of child sexual assault that authorities filed against him in December. (Palo Alto Police Dept.)  Naeem Ul Islam Hashmi, 61, of Palo Alto, was charged earlier this month with one felony count of sexual penetration by force involving an allegation in 2016. That assault was reported by a woman who once worked for Hashmi, according to Palo Alto police and court records. The new charge is in addition to four felony charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, based on allegations that in and around 2007, he sexually abused two girls who investigators say he knew “through community and family connections.” One of the charged assaults allegedly...
    A Solano County Superior Court jury on Wednesday convicted a 43-year-old Vallejo man of sex crimes against two minors, The Reporter has learned. In a verdict rendered in Department 11, jurors found Anthony Maurice Mason guilty on two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a minor under 14 years of age. The jury also found that the defendant committed the crimes involving “substantial sexual conduct” with the children, District Attorney Krishna Abrams said in a press release issued Thursday. Court records show that from March 6, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2016, Mason began to commit the offenses against the children when they were 10 years old. The victims were afraid to disclose the crimes initially because the defendant was an amateur boxer and had physically disciplined them and made threats, Abrams noted in the prepared statement. Eventually, the children disclosed the abuse to each other. The older child came forward to a teacher on Jan. 9, 2017, the first day back from winter break. Both victims “courageously testified” at trial, said Abrams. Mason, who remains in Solano County Jail in...
    SAN JOSE — A man serving a lengthy prison term for grooming and sexually abusing a South Bay girl two decades ago will stay incarcerated for the foreseeable future after he was sentenced for earlier abuse against a group of underage sisters in Palo Alto, allegations that resurfaced five years ago in part because of the #MeToo movement. David Schwenke Tupou, 64, has been in state prison since 2001, when he was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and given a 63-year sentence. In 2017, three sisters whose mother hired Tupou as their au pair in the 1990s came forward to allege they were methodically and repeatedly abused by Tupou when they were under his care. The women in the recent case first brought up their accusations nearly 30 years ago, but say they were silenced by their mother and her supporters who didn’t want to cause a scandal, which effectively stymied a police investigation and any prosecution of Tupou. At Tupou’s sentencing Friday, the women laid out in heartbreaking detail how his abuse affected...
    A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned a three-count indictment Thursday against a former University of California, Davis, water polo coach, charging him with distribution of visual depictions of minors engaging in explicit sex acts, a U.S. Attorney said. In a press statement, Phillip A. Talbert, the U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice’s Eastern District of California, said jurors indicted Daniel Joseph Noble, 26, of Davis. Court documents show that, while working as the assistant water polo coach for UC Davis men’s team and the associated youth team, Noble joined a Canadian instant messaging mobile app, Kik, where users exchanged videos and images depicting the sexual abuse of children, Talbert said. On multiple dates in 2022, Noble reportedly sent the Kik group different videos showing children being sexually abused. Noble was arrested after being served with a search warrant at his residence in Davis on May 19, added Talbert. Noble has been released on a $100,000 bond, with special conditions, including no-contact with minors and home confinement with electronic location monitoring. Related Articles Crime and Public Safety...