Church Volunteer and School Substitute Teacher Suspected of Sexual Abuse

August 8, 2012

BEFORE READING THIS POST, I URGE PARENTS TO ALWAYS REPORT TO THE POLICE ANY SUSPISIONS THEY MAY HAVE REGARDING POSSIBLE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OF AN ADULT THAT IS IN CONTACT WITH THEIR CHILD.  YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT MAY TURN UP IN AN INVESTIGATION.  ALSO, ONE OF THE MOST DISTURBING ASPECTS OF THIS STORY IS THAT THE CHURCH PAINTED THE CHILD AS UNRULY AND MUST HAVE BEEN LYING.  THE CHURCH SHOULD HAVE BEEN LISTENING AND PROTECTING THE CHILD INSTEAD OF THEMSELVES IN THIS CASE…

Credit:  CBSatlanta.com, By: Mandi Milligan

CANTON, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -

The parents of a young boy have filed a lawsuit against a Baptist church in Canton on claims the church failed to protect him from a church volunteer who sexually assaulted him.

The lawsuit against First Baptist Church of Canton was filed Aug. 1 in the Superior Court of Cherokee County.

The boy’s parents, who are not being identified to protect the child, claim senior pastor George Anderson and church employee Shawn Finch knew of Matthew Brent Sheffield’s history of sexual misconduct with minors.

Sheffield was employed by First Baptist to supervise children in various church services and was also employed by the Cherokee County Board of Education as a substitute teacher.

The parents claim that Anderson and Finch were alerted to Sheffield’s misconduct after meeting with parents of his alleged victims. They reported their male children were receiving sexually explicit text messages from Sheffield.

According to the lawsuit, Anderson and Finch warned Sheffield to stop, but never reported it to the Cherokee County Board of Education.

After complaints from parents to the board of education, Sheffield was terminated as a substitute teacher. Sheffield was also let go from the church for “insubordination” once it was determined he continued to send the text messages.

The parents said the church let Sheffield return to work as a volunteer, running a sound system for the Bible school program.

“It was at that time that defendant Sheffield initiated actions that led to his sexually abusing the plaintiffs’ minor child by sending him text messages and making inappropriate remarks to the minor child,” the parents said in the complaint.

They said the abuse escalated from text messages to physical abuse.

On June 14, 2010, while participating in Bible school at the church, the parents claim Sheffield committed sexual battery upon the child.

The parents said their child refused to return to Bible school, but did not tell them why. Unaware of what happened, his parents said they signed him up for a church beach trip a week later, which Sheffield was on and was allowed to be alone with the children.

The parents said in the lawsuit that Sheffield again assaulted the boy, but the boy reported it to his mother and sister and the father called police.

The parents said Finch refused to tell the police about Sheffield’s history, “but instead attempted to cover for Sheffield by portraying to officers that plaintiffs’ child was an unruly youth, thus not worthy of belief.”

The lawsuit also said, “First Baptist rented defendant a car so he could get away before plaintiffs were able to get to Florida to pick up their child.”

The parents claim that Sheffield sexually abused multiple victims while working for the school district and through his employment and volunteer work with First Baptist.

CBSAtlanta.com will have more information on this story as it becomes available.


Former Bengals Cheerleader Charged with Sexual Abuse Speaks…Video Post

July 18, 2012

Jerry Sandusky trial: Mike McQueary describes witnessing sex act

June 12, 2012
By Michael Muskal, Credit: Los Angeles Times,  June 12, 2012, 1:36 p.m.
 
Mike McQueary, the former Penn State graduate assistant at the heart of the scandal that shook his school’s storied football program, took the witness stand on Tuesday in the child sex-abuse trial of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

McQueary described a  2001 incident in the locker room showers at Penn State University in which he said he saw Sandusky commit a sex act on a naked boy. The boy, identified in court documents as Victim 2, was against a wall with a naked Sandusky behind the child, who appeared to be 10 to 12 years old at the time, McQueary testified.

McQueary, who was 28 at the time of the incident, then slammed his locker door loudly “in an attempt to say ‘someone’s here, break it up,”’ he testified, according to media reports from the Bellefonte, Pa., courtroom. He then called his father, who is also expected to testify for the prosecution.

McQueary is an important prosecution witness because he’s an adult testifying to an alleged sex act by Sandusky. Two of the witnesses so far have been alleged victims recounting what they said happened to them when they were children years ago.  In cross-examination, the defense has questioned their memory and their motives.

Sandusky was charged in November with 52 criminal counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. Some of the abuse is alleged to have taken place at Sandusky’s home, and some is alleged to have occurred at the university,  where the former coach took boys on field trips.

McQueary is also the most important witness in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal at Penn State. The fallout from the scandal has shaken the school’s nationally ranked athletic program and led to the dismissal of iconic head football coach Joe Paterno and university President Graham Spanier. Paterno died in January of cancer.

Two other former college administrators face criminal charges, including perjury, for how they dealt with reports of Sandusky’s abuse. McQueary testified at their preliminary hearing, the only other time he has recounted the events publicly.

The biggest difference in his current recitation was that he said the incident took place in 2001; originally he said it was 2002. The change of date is expected to figure in the defense’s cross-examination and its effort to undermine McQueary’s credibility.

On Tuesday, defense attorney Karl Rominger asked about the change of dates and pressed McQueary about the different angles from which he said he’d seen Sandusky.

During the direct testimony phase, McQueary said he entered the locker room at the school’s Lasch Football Building. He has said he was going to put some newly purchased sneakers in his locker and get some recruiting tapes.

It was then he said he heard a noise.  “Very much skin-on-skin smacking sound,” McQueary testified. “I immediately became alert and was kind of embarrassed that I was walking in on something.”

McQueary said he looked in a mirror and saw Sandusky standing behind the boy whose “hands [were] up on the wall. The glance would have taken only one or two seconds. I immediately turned back to my locker to make sure I saw what I saw.”

He said he then slammed the locker door and went up to his office.

“It was more than my brain could handle,” he said. “I was making decisions on the fly. I picked up the phone and called my father to get advice from the person I trusted most in my life, because I just saw something ridiculous.”

McQueary said he went to Paterno and testified that he made it very clear to the coach what he saw.

“I told him and I want to make sure I’m clear. I made sure he knew it was sexual and wrong. There was no doubt,” McQueary testified, according to reports from the courthouse.
 
When asked about Paterno’s response, McQueary started to respond but the defense objected. Judge John Cleland upheld the objection, keeping the focus clearly on Sandusky, rather than the aftermath at the university.

More than half of the jurors have admitted some ties to the university, about 10 miles from the courtroom, but insisted that it would not have an impact on their objectivity.

To View the Original Article Click Here


Florida heralds nation’s toughest child abuse reporting law in wake of Sandusky scandal

April 30, 2012

Source: NewsCore

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State prompted officials in Florida to tighten the state’s laws on reporting child sex abuse.The new measures, which take effect Oct. 1 after being signed into law Friday by Florida governor Rick Scott, represent the toughest in the nation.A fine of up to $1 million per incident will be imposed, along with criminal charges on any public or private college or university that fails to inform authorities of abuse claims on campus or at events sponsored by the institution.

Any individual failing to report any known or suspected abuse will be charged with a third-degree felony under the new law, which will replace the current misdemeanor penalty.

Previously, it only was mandatory under Florida law to report abuse when the suspect was a parent or caregiver of a child.

The changes came in light of the child molestation cover-up scandal at Penn State, which has seen former defensive coordinator Sandusky accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He denies the charges and is still to stand trial.

Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz stood down from their positions for failing to report the allegations against Sandusky. Both are accused of perjury and failing to report suspected child abuse.

Penn State also controversially fired longtime coach Joe Paterno, now deceased, along with president Graham Spanier as it cleaned house amid the scandal.

Tallahassee lobbyist Ron Book proposed and pushed for Florida’s “Protection of Vulnerable Persons” bill with his daughter Lauren.

He told The Miami Herald, “This law will break the culture we have learned so much about in the wake of the Penn State [and other] child abuse scandals, where institutions seemed to think the names of their institutions were more important than protecting children.”

Virginia, Washington and West Virginia also passed laws in the past month that added universityofficials to the list of “mandated reporters” of suspected child abuse.

View Original Article: Florida heralds nation’s toughest child abuse reporting law in wake of Sandusky scandal

Posted:Apr 28, 2012 5:05 AM PDT

Updated:Apr 28, 2012 5:05 AM PDT


In 2011 Naomi and Wynonna Judd admitted that they were sexually abused too…

April 4, 2012
April 8, 2011 AT 12:59PM By UsWeekly Staff
 
In her headline grabbing memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet, Ashley Judd talks about being sexually abused as a child by an older man. Now her famous mother and older sister — a.k.a. the singing duo The Judds — are admitting to similar experiences.

On The View Thursday, Ashley’s mom Naomi said that as a three-year-old, she was forced to fend off unwanted advances of an older male relative.

“I rebuffed him, and it happened twice more,” said the singer, 65. “I knocked him away. I never said anything to anybody.”

Naomi, who discusses the incident in her OWN Network series The Judds (debuting Sunday), said she kept the story secret until two years ago, when in a therapy session, her psychologist asked about her first memory.

“I told him, well, being sexually abused was my first memory, and he about fell off his seat,” said Judd, who adds she “fell apart” after the discovery. “I realized I didn’t trust my mother.”

Naomi’s oldest daughter and singing partner, Wynonna, 46, said that she only heard her mother’s story recently when they were touring.

“I was a little resentful that the cameras were on,” said Wynonna. “But we’re willing to step out on faith and hope that it helps someone else to tell someone because there is a lot of shame and secrecy.”

Asked if she’d also been a victim of sexual abuse, Wynonna said she had been and talks about it in her own memoir Coming Home to Myself.

“I haven’t faced him yet,” she said. “I’m a work in progress.”

Wynonna also put to rest rumors that Ashley’s book has caused familial strife.

“People are trying to pit us against each other,” she said. “We agree to disagree in this family.”

Added Naomi, “I support Ashley. We all have three different realities of the same car ride of the nightmares we were in, it’s her turn to tell her side of the story.”

Read more: http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/naomi-wynonna-judd-we-were-sexually-abused-too-201184#ixzz1r0zqpwpP


Age Appropriate Sexual Abuse Preventative Plan

January 29, 2010

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, child sexual abuse is reported up to 80,000 times per year which is staggering.  As alarming as that number is, the thought that many sexual abuse cases go unreported only increases the need for parents to talk to their children about sexual assault/abuse.  Many children fear what will happen to them if they tell and therefore remain silent.  The psychological toll that their silence creates can be devastating to a child.

Parents should be proactive and make sure that their child understands what a good touch or bad touch is and make sure to develop open communication when it comes to their bodies.  Prevent Child Abuse America has developed an age-appropriate Preventative Plan that goes as follows:

18 months- Teach child proper names for body parts.

3 Years Old- Use coloring/reading books to teach child about private parts; explain to child how to scream “NO” if he/she feels uncomfortable when touched a certain way.

5 – 8 Years Old- Make sure the child understands the difference between being touched on their private parts and other areas of their body; Begin talking about outdoor safety to prevent molestation and/or abduction; create open dialogue to discuss uncomfortable situations.

At 8 Years Old- Stress personal safety outside the home; discuss appropriate sexual conduct.

12 – 18 Years Old- Parents should begin discussing STD’s, date rape, pregnancy prevention and the effects of drugs and alcohol.

Click Here to Read: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse: How Parents Can Talk to Their Children http://child-abuse.suite101.com/article.cfm/preventing_child_sexual_abuse#ixzz0e2qd030m


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