Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rebecca's story: What would Charles J. Hynes do in this situation?

Hearing in sex abuse case postponed again

Rally for Sex Abuse Victims
Report by Renee Dials, WALA

CHICKASAW, Ala. -- "We went from here seeing Becca all the time to right here, and we didn't see Becca any time in between that," said Rhonda Wheeleus.

Wheeleus says there was a two year period when the family lost contact with her young cousin.

Prosecutors say during that time Rebecca McEvoy was the victim of sexual abuse.

The suspect

The man accused in the case is Bob Ingle a former Chickasaw Police officer, and Rebecca's stepfather. Ingle is charged with rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse.

Rebecca was killed in a car accident in January, before the case went to trial. That's when the family ran into a legal roadblock.

"Her voice was silence by her death, but we can't allow it to remain silent." said Wheeleus.

Hearing postponed

The family learned Monday night that Tuesday's court hearing had been postponed.

"I just want to know where the victim's rights are for a speedy trial. This is the fifth time that this has been reset." said McEvoy.

Rebecca's Father Aden McEvoy is worried statements his daughter made before her death won't be allowed as evidence in the trial, because of a law that guarantees the defendant’s right to cross examine a witness.

"She told it to legal professionals. She told it to a doctor. She told it to child advocacy. Now they're saying it can't be used, and it's not right." said McEvoy.

The names of alleged sex abuse victims are rarely reported in the media, but Rebecca's tragic story came to light, because of what her family members call their fight for justice. It's a battle they believe could affect many other families.

"Now that I've been doing all the research I see it's such a broad spectrum. There are so many other children that are affected by this." said Wheeleus.

Rally for sex abuse victims

The family hopes Tuesday's rally in downtown Mobile will raise awareness about Rebecca's story. But, no matter how many delays they encounter, the family is determined not to give up.

"If we can't do it here we'll keep going higher and higher, and see what we have to do to get these laws changed for the victims." said her father.

FOX10 News tried to contact the defendant's lawyer about this story. We want to also give his side. We're still waiting to hear back from him.

The court hearing that was scheduled for Tuesday has been reset for June 10th.

Freddie Heard arrested for sex abuse

Freddie Heard
Report by April Douglas
Photojournalist Guy Turnbow

MOBILE, Ala. -- All is quiet on Barretts Lane in Mobile - but neighbors say on Monday police swarmed this street. "I came and sat on my porch and saw all the police cars," said Shirley Smith.

Police were looking for 35-year-old Freddie Heard. He’s charged with four counts of first degree sexual abuse and two counts of enticing a child to commit an immoral act.

The Investigation

"Usually have one or two victims, but four is unusual to have four victims," said Officer Eric Gallichant with the Mobile Police Department. Mobile police got involved in the case after the Department of Human Resources called them to investigate...police say the alleged victims are girls between the ages of 10 and 13. The alleged abuse happened at various locations around mobile...and it spans several years.

Neighbors were shocked

Neighbors say Freddie Heard was very friendly and neighborly. They were very shocked to hear what he's accused of doing. Clara Johnson's lived on Barretts Lane for 35 years - she says heard was rarely home - but when she did see him - he seemed nice.

"Not the type of person you would suspect of this, he was nice when I saw him, like I said very friendly," added Clara Johnson. Freddie Heard wasn't home when we went by - he's in Metro Jail. Mobile Police say this is an ongoing investigation.


Bar Mitzvah Tutor Indicted for Sex Abuse
by Brooklyn Eagle (, published online 05-20-2008

JAY STREET — A 29-year-old Bar Mitzvah tutor from Flatbush was indicted for numerous crimes against children yesterday, the Brooklyn district attorney announced.

Yona Weinberg, a licensed social worker, is charged with sexually abusing four male students. The indictment charges Weinberg with Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree, nine counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, Attempted Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, and six counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

The young victims, who were 12, 13 and 14 years old, were Weinberg’s students at the Khal Beth Abraham synagogue, where Weinberg gave Bar Mitzvah lessons. At least one other victim was Weinberg’s client at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, where Weinberg was a social worker.

If convicted, Weinberg faces up to seven years in prison.

—Ryan Thompson
Brooklyn Daily Eagle


Man charged with sex abuse
Updated: 05/20/2008 11:54 AM
By: Web Staff

CALCIUM, N.Y. -- A Jefferson County man is arrested for sexual contact with a child. State Police arrested Ronald McElhone, 58, of Calcium on allegations of sexual conduct with a child under the age of 15.

McElhone is charged with four counts of criminal sexual act in the second degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the fourth, two counts of unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

Police say the abuse occurred over the last three months.

McElhone is in jail on $40,000 cash bail.

Program to Combat Sex Abuse in Schools

COLUMBIA - Educators across South Carolina will be trained on how to prevent, identify and report cases of students being abused by adults at school or elsewhere, officials announced Wednesday.

Roughly 10,000 teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, coaches and school nurses will become "Stewards of Children" through a program developed by Darkness to Light, a Charleston-based national nonprofit group that seeks to curtail the number of child sex abuse victims and the crime's impact on their lives.

Anne Lee, the group's chief executive, said South Carolina is the first state to tackle such a statewide initiative. She said the group is seeking federal money to expand what she hopes becomes the national model.

She hopes the training program "closes the cookie jar" for sexual predators in schools. If they know fellow educators are watching and are ready to turn them in, they'll get another job, Ms. Lee said.

State schools Superintendent Jim Rex said incidents of inappropriate behavior between students and teachers are rare, but even one is too many.

"So much of what schools do is based on trust. Not only must kids trust their teachers, but parents have to trust those teachers too," he said. "And schools have to earn that trust each and every day. That's what this initiative is all about."

Mr. Rex said it needed to be a statewide push, because if the agency allowed schools to opt into the program, those that most need it might not participate. Colleges are also incorporating the training in their teacher education programs.

Last fall, a nationwide Associated Press investigation found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 after allegations of sexual misconduct, from bizarre to sadistic; 99 were from South Carolina, according to discipline records.

Experts who track sexual abuse said those cases are representative of a much deeper problem because of underreporting.


WHO GETS THE TRAINING? Beginning this fall, at least one educator from each of the state's 85 school districts will have 6 1/2 hours of training.

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHERS? Those "stewards of children" will train at least 20 percent of educators in their district.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? More than 80 percent of the $162,700 cost of training and materials comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Originally published by Associated Press.


Child abuse expert says society becoming desensitized to sex

Associated Press

2:29 PM CDT, May 20, 2008


A child abuse prevention expert says what was considered outrageous years ago is now the norm.

Cordelia Anderson spoke Tuesday in Milwaukee at the national convention of Prevent Child Abuse America.

Anderson displayed images such as Calvin Klein jeans ads and pictures of JonBenet Ramsey, the child beauty queen who was murdered and then compared them to more recent ads and images.

She says the line of outrageousness is shifting as companies target children with sexier ads. For example, she says popular Halloween costumes for kids include French maid outfits.

Anderson says these ads, products, and even songs teach children how to think and act. And when children act in this new way, adults are more likely to treat them as sexual beings.


On the Net:

Prevent Child Abuse America:


ONLY ON 3: Man Behind "Worst Child Sex Crimes Ever" Going to Prison

ONLY ON 3: Man Behind "Worst Child Sex Crimes Ever" Going to Prison

ONLY ON 3: Man Behind "Worst Child Sex Crimes Ever" Going to Prison

By Nate Eaton

The man behind some of Jefferson County's worst child sex abuse cases is headed to prison and may be there the rest of his life.

58-year-old Michael Nef made headlines last summer when he was arrested and charged with 10 child sex abuse counts.

In a plea deal last September, six of those charges were dropped. Nef pleaded guilty to four and was sent to Cottonwood for 6 months.

Now, Judge Brent Moss has sentenced him to two consecutive prison terms. One term of five to 25 years. The other of five years to life.

Robin Dunn, Jefferson Co. Prosecutor: "In 25 years of sex abuse crimes this is probably the worst."

Michael Nef's crimes shocked an entire community and he will now have at least five years in prison to think about his actions.

Originally charged with six counts of lewd conduct, three counts of rape, and one count of sexual abuse, Judge Brent Moss has ordered Nef to go to prison after he spent 210 days on a rider at Cottonwood and Orofino.

Dunn: "The judge does what's called 'flop the rider' which means he's imposing the original sentence."

A judge rarely flops a rider. When it does happen, it's usually because the criminal doesn't keep the rules or misbehaves while at Cottonwood.

Dunn: "This is one of the very few instances I've seen where they just believe that this offender should not be in the public for a period of time."

Nef was arrested almost a year ago after detectives say he sexually abused children numerous times. He was involved in lewd conduct with a three-year-old, videotaped himself having sex with a 13-year-old, and forced a 12-year-old into lewd conduct with a dog.

Dunn: "In the sex arena of sex offenders, this is probably the worst we've ever seen in Jefferson County."

Because Nef's sentence is a minimum of five years, he won't be automatically released at that time.

Depending on his behavior and other factors, he could be behind bars the rest of his life.

clement.jpgA 45 year old Fowler man will be arraigned June 3 on charges that he sexually abused two girls.

A St. Lawrence County grand jury handed up a 37 count indictment against Marshall Clement of Popple Hill Road.
The indictment includes:

  • 13 counts of second-degree rape
  • 10 counts of unlawfully dealing with a child
  • 8 counts of second-degree sexual act
  • 3 counts of third-degree sexual abuse
  • second-degree attempted rape
  • first-degree sexual abuse
  • endangering the welfare of a child

The indictment says Clement gave a 14 year old girl alcohol on several occasions.

Clement also is alleged to have had sexual intercourse and oral sex with a 14 year old girl in June, July and August of 2006 in the Town of Fowler.

He also allegedly had sexual contact with the same teenager in May 2006 in Harrisville and with an 11 year old girl while she was sleeping in December 2005.


Duane and Patricia Tackett

Duane and Patricia Tackett

May 21, 2008

Couple face more charges in sex abuse case


MUNCIE -- A Muncie couple accused of sexually abusing a woman in their care for years face additional charges of rape in a case that Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney calls disturbing.

Patricia Ann Tackett, 47, and her husband, Duane R. Tackett, 48, told Delaware Circuit Court 5 Judge Chris Teagle they had no jobs and survived on disability when seeking public defenders to represent them.

This week, Teagle set Sept. 16 trials for the Tacketts, who face felony charges of rape, sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation. Duane Tackett has an additional charge of criminal deviate conduct. The Tacketts could face a maximum 20-year prison sentence on each felony charge.

Muncie police arrested the Tacketts two weeks ago after the alleged victim, who is mentally disabled, told an aunt about how Duane Tackett has had sex with her over the past 13 years, since she was a teenager.

Police say that Patricia Tackett was willing to give up the alleged victim to her husband for sex.

The Tacketts remain in jail with Duane Tackett held on a $65,000 bond and Patricia Tackett's bond at $45,000.

Another high-profile abuse case involving an 85-year-old woman allegedly battered by her daughter also saw a preliminary hearing this week.

Terrie L. Moore, 54, appeared before Delaware Circuit Court 4 Judge John Feick and pled not guilty to felony charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, battery resulting in bodily injury, and neglect of a dependent and also a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief.

Police accuse Moore of refusing to feed her mother along with battering her, hiding her hearing aid and false teeth and locking her in her room.

Feick set Moore's trial for Oct. 6, and the defendant has been out on bond since her arrest.

McKinney said a great majority of abuse cases, whether child or elder, are committed by someone close to the victim.

"It seems all the more disturbing when it is a close relation like parent-child particularly because those are the people we all expect to take care of each other," he said.

The prosecutor's office has seen an increase in child- and elder-abuse cases for several reasons.

A rapidly growing population of elders has caused those cases to increase, McKinney said. More child pornography available online also is impacting child-abuse cases.

"Confidence in the system and a better-educated populace who have some idea what to look for and who to report abuse to leads to more reports," McKinney added.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The ignominies and obloquies by DA Charles Hynes discredits and shames the judicial system!

Hynes likes the ladies. Justice for the victims of Rabbinical abuse is not on his agenda!

DA Struggles To Explain Kolko Plea Deal

Contradictions riddle Hynes’ account of how yeshiva teacher skirted child sexual abuse charges

by Hella Winston and Larry Cohler-Esses

It’s the case they can’t keep straight.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes’ shifting explanations of a widely criticized plea deal earlier this month for alleged child sex molester Rabbi Yehuda Kolko took several dizzying turns this week.

Contrary to earlier statements from Hynes’ office, Sex Bureau Chief Rhonnie Jaus disclosed Tuesday that parents from two families whose children Rabbi Kolko allegedly molested had been willing to let their children testify. Hynes’ spokespersons had earlier said otherwise.

But Jaus stressed that in the end, both families had signed affidavits agreeing to the deal after Rabbi Kolko had offered to plead guilty to a non-sex-related misdemeanor and receive a sentence of three years’ probation.

“These were very small children,” said Jaus. “Both parents were trying to be good parents.

[But] nobody was rushing in to have their child in a courtroom. We felt the plea was in the best interest of the case.”

Jaus said that both families had consented to the agreement “verbally and in writing,” and that at one family’s insistence, she had spoken with their attorneys in a related civil case as well. Hynes said that without their consent, he would not have allowed Rabbi Kolko to plead his charges radically downward.

But in a letter to Jaus obtained by The Jewish Week, one father indicated he had been pressured into signing his consent statement.

The letter, dated one day after the father signed the affidavit, said, “I understand what the district attorney wants from me and I will sign the letter,” referring to the consent affidavit.

But the father added, “I feel justice was not served because I see the damage Kolko caused to our son.” The Jewish Week is withholding the name of the family because of the alleged victim’s age.

This father emphasized, “My son was ready to go to trial and we feel he would have done an excellent job and I am sorry to hear that [the case against] Joel Kolko will not proceed further.”

“That’s a letter just telling the judge about how one kid suffered,” said Jaus. She voiced distress that The Jewish Week had obtained the letter from court case files, saying, “I’m not sure how you got those files. They’re not supposed to be publicly available.”

Looking For A Way Out?

In an interview, the father, asked if he had felt pressured to “sign or else” made a motion of his fingers across his neck.

“I believe they were looking for angles out,” he said.

The father added that the prosecutors had led him to believe they had plans to pursue Rabbi Kolko by some other routes, with heavier penalties for him down the road. Alternatively, he said, he thought they hoped to use Rabbi Kolko to prosecute the administrators of the school he taught at, Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Flatbush, on charges of knowingly allowing him to molest children.

“If there’s no deal involved, and this is what they gave him, shame on them!” he said.

The new disclosures are the latest in a series of often contradictory explanations Hynes’ office has offered over the last two weeks for the Kolko plea deal, which has attracted censure both in Brooklyn’s Orthodox community and from legal experts. A series of previous actions perceived by some as lenient towards prominent Orthodox institutions or individuals accused of wrongdoing have led to criticism — dismissed by Hynes — of his close relationship with the community’s leadership.

Rabbi Kolko, 62, a teacher at Torah Temimah for about four decades, faced felony charges of touching two first-graders in their sexual areas and of forcing an adult former student to touch him during a visit to the school. Under the plea agreement, Rabbi Kolko, made no admission of sexual wrongdoing. He will not have to register as a sex offender and pleaded guilty only to a misdemeanor.

Outside the case, others — many of them now beyond the legal statute of limitations — have given accounts of being molested by Rabbi Kolko as long as nearly four decades ago. Five former students have filed a civil suit against Torah Temimah, alleging school administrators knew about Rabbi Kolko’s molestation of themselves and other students over many years but sought to conceal it and intimidate students who spoke out.

A Hynes spokesperson said right after the plea deal was reached that Hynes had agreed to it because the families of the two children alleging the rabbi had molested them would not let their sons testify. Hynes has since offered a series of revised accounts. In the first revision, soon after, Hynes said through a spokesman that one of the families had, in fact, agreed to let their son testify, but only via closed-circuit TV, and the other not at all.

Since then, Hynes or his aides have put out further, often inconsistent, accounts:

- Last week, via a spokesman, Hynes acknowledged he had applied for judicial permission for one of the alleged child victims to testify via closed circuit TV — but had withdrawn this motion before the judge could rule on it. Spokesman Jerry Schmetterer said his boss did so because “the bureau chief of the sex crimes unit did not have confidence the approval would be obtained and therefore made the decision to settle on the reduced charges.”

- In an interview Tuesday, Hynes said that “the victim’s family wanted the case resolved the way it was” — and denied that he had ever applied to the court for permission to use a camera for one of the children.

- He called back shortly afterward and said he had misspoken — that, in fact, he had applied to the court for CCTV testimony but withdrew the motion because such judicial permission “has never been granted in the history of the world.” Hynes emphasized that families for both of the alleged child victims had signed affidavits consenting to the plea deal.

- Jaus, the Sex Crimes bureau chief, told The Jewish Week Tuesday that the same father willing to allow his son to testify in open court for the original sexual molestation charges was “adamant” that he did not want Rabbi Kolko to be sentenced to prison. Yet the trial at which he was willing to testify, if it had taken place and led to a conviction, would almost certainly have meant a jail sentence for Rabbi Kolko.

Avoiding A Court Appearance

Nevertheless, Jaus appeared to offer the most coherent account of what happened. One family, she said, was prepared to let their 10-year-old son testify against Rabbi Kolko only via CCTV, under a law that allows minors in sexual abuse trials who are judged “vulnerable” by the court to do so in a quiet, separate room, out of the presence of prosecutors, defense attorneys, the accused molester and courtroom onlookers. The provision is intended to minimize “mental or emotional harm” to such children from the testifying experience.

The court scheduled a hearing on Jaus’ motion for March 31. But she withdrew her motion before this could take place because Rabbi Kolko’s attorney offered to plead guilty to the reduced charges.

In deciding to accept the offer, Jaus said, the wish of one family not to see Rabbi Kolko do prison time was a factor, along with the rabbi’s advanced age, poor health and lack of a prior record.

Another factor, she said, was deep uncertainty over whether the judge would grant her motion to allow testimony via CCTV for the other child, as his family required.

“It’s an extraordinary step to have it granted,” she said. “In my experience, we have not had it granted in my bureau. I think it was used once before I came.”

This was a revelation to the boy’s father, who stated vehemently that prosecutor Marc Fliedner told him in a late March phone call that the court had, in fact, approved the CCTV motion. “He said, ‘We got it,’” the father insisted. “He said, ‘Great news; the judge granted it.’”

Jaus stressed that only a hearing had been granted for late March. A message left for Fliedner was not returned.

The State Division of Criminal Justice Services, which provides media equipment for such cases, reports that courts statewide have employed their cameras 17 times since 1998 for children judged vulnerable. Legal scholars say judges are often reluctant to grant this motion out of concern that it undermines the constitutional right of a defendant to confront his accuser.

Still, case law has found this alternative acceptable when judged necessary. And if any case might be seen to meet the bar, it could well be this one.

As Dr. Simcha Y. Cohen, a psychologist and rabbi counseling the alleged victim, noted in an affidavit in support of the motion, “Within the Orthodox community ... confrontation or challenge of rabbinic leaders is strongly discouraged. This dynamic comes more intensely into play when the rabbinical leader is a teacher in a yeshiva setting, and the member who is being required to communicate such confrontations is a child.”

Jaus nevertheless defended her decision to abandon this effort once Rabbi Kolko’s lawyer put the plea bargain opportunity before her.

“I thought it was an opportunity for the children to be spared having to testify in court,” she said. “Getting approval for CCTV was iffy.” And even if it came, she said, “The case rested solely on the two kids. There was no other corroborating evidence. It’s their words standing alone.”

Professor Marci Hamilton of Yeshiva University, an expert in child abuse cases, voiced dismay at this assessment. “If you have just one child, you have a tough case,” she said. “But if you have two, you have corroboration.

“This has all the earmarks of the usual prosecutors’ deference to religious groups,” she said. “I think it’s hard to explain.”

But Jaus said that thanks to TV shows like “CSI,” “Many people expect to see corroborating evidence such as medical evidence, fingerprints. DNA. We just had the word of these children.”

Asked about the possibility her deal could now allow Rabbi Kolko, in the absence of a sex charge conviction, to go back to working with children, she replied, “He’s now pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child; two counts with two separate children. I’d imagine most schools would not want someone who’s been convicted of something like that.”

About Me

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!