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The Blue Ribbon Project

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The Blue Ribbon Project
Annapolis, MD -- Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that Arthur Antonio Wiggins, 46, was found guilty of sex abuse of a minor by an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court jury.

Grants Awarded to Improve Child Abuse and Neglect Investigations 
Grants are Part of Federal Children’s Justice Act Funds

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) today announced more than $250,000 in funding from the federal Children’s Justice Act (CJAC) grant program. Funding is awarded to organizations and law enforcement agencies to improve the  investigation, prosecution, and judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect, particularly child sexual abuse and exploitation.

“These grants have a tremendous impact in our communities,” said V. Glenn Fueston, Jr., GOCCP Executive Director. “This funding can assist with training or other administrative costs, allowing awardees to focus their funds in more strategic ways to protect children from abuse and neglect.”  

Grants were awarded to the following entities:

  • Anne Arundel County Police Department - $2,143
  • Baltimore Child Abuse Center, Inc. - $4,715
  • Baltimore County Department of Social Services - $3,135
  • Caroline County Department of Social Services - $3,520
  • Carroll County Sheriff's Office - $2,016
  • Center for Children, Inc. - $5,137
  • Community Advocates for Family & Youth - $31,668
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate of Allegany County, Inc. - $23,387
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate Program of Baltimore, Inc. - $17,820
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate of Caroline, Inc. - $7,098
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate of Harford County, Inc. - $7,098
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate of Montgomery County, Inc.- $10,000
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate of Prince George's County, Inc.- $17,778
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County, Inc. - $1,980
  • Howard County Police Department - $6,728
  • Maryland CASA Association, Inc. - $18,425
  • Maryland Children's Alliance- $12,000
  • Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services - $71,696
  • Talbot County Department of Social Services - $3,842
  • The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County MD Inc. - $3,088
  • University of Maryland Baltimore - $23,223

This is the 14th year of the grant. Since the program began in 2004, more than $3 million has been awarded from the program.

Information about the federal CJAC program may be found https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/childrens-justice-act&source=gmail&ust=1543340830476000&usg=AFQjCNECqtr3D8h0ZUZC4qev06Fu5exB2w Information about the state program may be found http://goccp.maryland.gov/grants/programs/cjac/%23documents&source=gmail&ust=1543340830476000&usg=AFQjCNFmHynf6NSQ41xT_Z89K11Qai0S0g.  

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catholic follow upThe explosive report about sexual abuse by Catholic priests unveiled by a Pennsylvania grand jury in August has set off an unprecedented wave of investigations over the last several months, with attorneys general in 14 states and the District of Columbia announcing probes and demanding documents from Catholic officials. Those efforts have been joined by a federal investigation out of Philadelphia that may become national in scope.

The swift and sweeping response by civil authorities contrasts sharply with the Vatican’s comparatively glacial pace. While some U.S. dioceses have published lists of priests they say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse and two cardinals have been ousted, the Vatican this month put on hold a vote by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on measures to hold bishops more accountable until after a global synod in early 2019. In the meantime, Rome has done little to address the crisis.

“The Catholic Church has proven that it cannot police itself,” said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D), whose state is among those investigating. “And civil authorities can’t let the church hide child sexual abuse allegations as personnel matters. They’re crimes. We need a full accounting of the church.”

The new investigations are taking place in a very different climate than existed in 2002, when the Boston Globe exposed decades of abuse and coverups in that city. Many lay Catholics have lost faith in the church’s ability to right itself and are pushing for civil authorities to hold high-ranking church officials accountable. There’s also a greater willingness by law enforcement to do battle with a church that has become a far less formidable local presence. And the graphic grand jury report has spurred widespread public outrage.

However, hope for action won’t be satisfied quickly. Following an initial flurry of news conferences and calls to hotlines set up for the public to report abuse, there is likely to be an extended period of silence while prosecutors gather evidence.

Read The Full Story in the Washington Post

Erin Cole was six months old when her parents divorced caused her life to spiral out of control. Read on to learn how she not only overcame years of abuse and trauma but also used her troubled past to fuel her dreams.

jessup sex abuseAn Upper Marlboro man who coached at a Jessup sports center was accused Tuesday of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl in Howard and Anne Arundel counties, according to police.

Marc Stephen Moore Jr., 46, has been charged by Anne Arundel County police with multiple counts of sex abuse of a minor, solicitation of a minor, fourth-degree sex offenses and distribution and possession of child pornography. Moore faces similar charges in Howard County.

Police in Howard County said they got a report from the girl, who claimed she had been sexually abused by Moore at the Maryland Junior Sports Center in Jessup, where police said he was a volleyball coach.

READ THE FULL STORY IN CAPITAL GAZETTE

 

For Immediate Release
2018-029
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 9:00am

“Backpacks of Love” to Assist Victims of Child Abuse and Neglect

During the month of February, Charles County Government, in partnership with the La Plata Police Department, is supporting The Blue Ribbon Project’s Backpacks of Love program with several Charles County drop-off locations. The Backpacks of Love program supports victims of child abuse and neglect by providing children with a backpack of essential necessities to assist them the first 24 to 48 hours when they enter foster care at a moment’s notice. 

Backpacks are filled with age and gender specific items. If you are interested in building a backpack to donate or donating individual items, visit www.blueribbonproject.org/how-to-help/build-a-backpack-of-love.html for a full list of items. 

County drop-off locations:
Charles County Government (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata)
Mattawoman Utilities Office (5310 Hawthorne Road, La Plata) 
Department of Public Works/ Department of Emergency Services (10430 Audie Lane, La Plata)
Department of Community Services (8190 Port Tobacco Road, Port Tobacco)
La Plata Police Department (101 La Grange Avenue, La Plata)

Those who would like to support the Backpacks of Love program with monetary donations, visit www.blueribbonproject.org/how-to-help/donate.html to learn more. If you would like to donate items from the comfort of your home, visit www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2QNS0JI0VESCX. For more information about The Blue Ribbon Project, visit www.blueribbonproject.org

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Source: Capital Gazette Annapolis, MD

Aziah is one of the lucky ones.

The 11-year-old who spent the last six years in 11 foster homes will share Christmas morning with his new family — his forever family that adopted him last month.

He is one of nine siblings placed in foster care to remove them from a neglectful and abusive home. He was adopted Nov. 16, National Adoption Day, along with 11 other children in ceremonies at the county courthouse.

christmas photoBut now Aziah has found a safe grounding place.

“I feel excited, not having to move again. I hated moving,” the sixth-grader said. “ ’Tis the season to be jolly … I am happy.”

“It has been a journey, but we made it … Happily ever after,” he said, singing the last part.

The “we” means not only his family — mom and dad, Wendy and Chris Newcomb, and a baby sister the couple is adopting as well — but a team from Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, counselors and his court-appointed special advocate case worker, Caryn Weaver.

There were still 142 children in foster care in the county at the end of November, nearly half the number of children who were in the foster system in 2005 when numbers peaked at 266.

A statewide effort to reduce the number of children in foster care, Place Matters, launched in 2007. The lives of children caught up in the foster system — bouncing from home to home, changing schools, social workers and families — become more chaotic the longer they are in the system.

Foster care and other rules preclude the Newcombs or anyone else from providing details about the environment from which Aziah was saved. One would only say it was heartbreaking..

See The Full Story about Aziah and his family in The Capital Gazette Newspaper

A former Bible study instructor at an Annapolis church was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a child.

Erick Ernesto Granados-Zeledon, 39, of Edgewater, was arrested in June and charged with sex abuse of a minor and several related crimes. A 10-year-old child told investigators that Granados-Zeledon sexually abused him.

On Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Michael Wachs sentenced him to 10 years in prison with five years probation. Granados-Zeledon is required to register as a tier three sex offender for the rest of his life and has been barred from any unsupervised contact with minors.

READ MORE IN THE CAPITAL

APD genericAn Edgewater man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for sexual abuse of a minor, according to the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s office.

Gabriel Morales, 31, pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of a minor on Oct. 4. On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Michele Jaklitsch sentenced him to 25 years, suspended all but 10 years of active incarceration, and 5 years of supervised probation upon release. Morales is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the State’s Attorney’s office.

READ MORE IN CAPITAL GAZETTE

59931F9E 0FED 425A 9688 72A459770FABA former Maryland City youth soccer coach received an 18-year prison sentence after he was convicted of sexually abusing a player earlier this year.

Eris Murray, 56, of Hanover was sentenced Wednesday by Circuit Court Judge Cathy Vitale after he was found guilty of sexual abuse of a minor, second degree sex offense and sodomy.

The player, now a teenager, told investigators last year Murray sexually assaulted him while he was staying at Murray's home on two occasions between 2008 and 2012.

He was between 8 and 12 years old during that period.

Read The Full Story In The Capital Newspaper

 

 

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