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News Items (54)

To help raise awareness about Child Abuse in our communities, The Blue Ribbon Project regularly shares articles and news stories related to Child Abuse and Foster Care. All articles shared in this section are from other news sources and do not necessarily reflect the views and thoughts of members of The Blue Ribbon Project.

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that Juan T. Torres,64, of Annapolis was sentenced by the Honorable Mark Crooks to 110 years suspending all but 50 years in prison for sexually abusing his two step-granddaughters. Torres, a former Anne Arundel County police officer, left the force in 2000, had worked in the Crime Exploitation Unit investigating the same types of crimes he was later convicted of committing against his own family members.

A Pulaski woman pleaded guilty to felony child abuse of a 6-month-old Tuesday despite the prosecutor’s refusal to offer a plea agreement for acts he termed, “supreme evil.”

“The innocence of a child is cherished, and we all know children lose their innocence at different times,” Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Griffith told the court. Referring to photos of the injured child, he added, “We know the exact moment this baby lost his. You can see the innocence leave his face in these photos.”

The Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County has been receiving more reports of abuse recently.

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, “there has been a lot of talk about the cases going down, but the reality is, now that school is back (in session), we’ve started to see a sharp spike in the referrals and the cases that we’re getting,” said Susan Meehan during the Rotary Club of Aiken’s meeting Monday at Newberry Hall.  

BLOOMSBURY, N.J. -- "This is my brother," said Bill Cordes to his long lost brother, Robert Wilson.

That's something he hasn't been able to say for nearly 80 years. It's also how long it's been since Bill held his younger brother, Robert in his arms. In fact, it was those same arms where Bill had his baby brother taken from when he was just 8 years old. Officials at the time deemed their mother unfit to take care of them. At just four months old, Robert was put into foster care. It's a moment Bill hasn't forgotten about.

A system designed to respond to emergencies can never completely pause, even during a global pandemic.

When Jessica started to experience intense chest pain in March, she was terrified that she might have the coronavirus. Then her foster son started to experience symptoms too.

The high school in western New York State where she taught had just closed. She couldn’t get a test to confirm that her respiratory illness was indeed COVID-19, and she was confused about whether she should go to the emergency room or just stay home. She is single, and was her foster son’s only guardian. (He has since turned 18.) Caring for him while they were both so sick overwhelmed her. He was afraid

Former homeless youth who have spent an extensive period of time in foster care or experienced disruptions in their foster youth placements are at a significantly higher risk of engaging in detrimental risk-taking behaviors according to a study conducted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work faculty Amanda Yoshioka-Maxwell. Both homeless youth and former foster youth face increased risk, but this study in particular takes into consideration youth who have experienced both homelessness and foster care.

Between 2010-2014, Black children were overrepresented in suspected child abuse reporting, despite having less severe injuries, a researcher reported.

Among 4,288 suspected child abuse victims reported to the National Trauma Data Bank, those classified as Black represented 32.3% of cases despite accounting for 13% of the U.S. population in the period the study was conducted, reported Modupeola Diyaolu, MD, of Stanford University.

SPRING HILL — When Pasco County sheriff’s deputies and fire rescue crews answered an arson call just south of the Hernando County line Monday afternoon, they found more than a burning mattress.

The door to the room where the fire started had two exterior locks, deputies said. A board had been screwed over it. The only window was covered, the ceiling fan was broken and electricity to the room had been cut off. They found feces on the wall and urine on the floor.

Lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr (R) last week imploring that he expand protections for Maryland youths who will age out of the foster care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dramatic disparities in access to health care and social services for Marylanders and among our most vulnerable are our foster youth,” said Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles). “We ask Governor Hogan to follow the lead of other states in preventing these young people from the increased risk of homelessness, unemployment, food insecurity, and exacerbated mental illness if discharged from the child welfare system.”

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (Florida) has charged a Merritt Island woman with child abuse and child neglect.

Deputies received a call for a verbal disturbance on Sept. 28 when deputies arrived they found an infant with multiple bruises and swelling on their head and face while also not being responsive.

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Authorities say an eight-year-old Mesa girl has died after suffering critical injuries in a case of alleged child abuse.

The girl's mother, 28-year-old Chaimara Washington, and the mom's ex-boyfriend, 31-year-old Brandon Cooper, have been arrested. Washington's 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son both had severe injuries, police say. The little girl, named Marlai, has died, according to Mesa police.

SYLVA, N.C. (WLOS) — An incident caught during a virtual learning class has lead to charges against a Jackson County man. Michael Huffman now faces child abuse charges. News 13 spoke with a district attorney who says there are important lessons for everyone from this incident.

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