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Archive for the ‘Sexual Abuse’ Category

As a result of the pandemic, internet child abuse and sexual exploitation is on the rise, and law enforcement is finding it difficult to keep up with the overwhelming caseload.

February 8th, 2021   No Comments   Sexual Abuse

Amidst one of the worst shootings in FBI history, which left two agents dead and three injured, reveals an overwhelming influx of internet child sexual abuse cases.

Broward Sheriff’s Office, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, reports initiation of over 200 cases and 40 arrests for offenses related to child exploitation in 2019 alone. It is estimated that cases have likely doubled in 2020, as the pandemic has driven more children, who are vulnerable to predator solicitation, online. Florida is not the only state to see an influx in cyber predator tips. Many states, including Georgia, report an overwhelming and strenuous caseload where agents “feel as though they will never reach all the children that need help.”

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WTSP Tampa Bay: Pasco County man indicted on federal human trafficking charges

January 22nd, 2021   No Comments   Sexual Abuse

A Pasco County man could face life in prison after being indicted on federal human trafficking charges. A recent DOJ release reveals the 49-year-old man recruited people, including children, to engage in prostitution through misrepresentation and violent tactics such as sexual assault and physical violence. Prosecutors allege the man trafficked children, foreign nationals, and others across the United States to work in prostitution, forcing them to turn over the money they earned or ask for his permission to spend it.

Florida is one of the top states in the country for the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. Far too often, children are recruited out of the foster care system and lured into prostitution, where they are exploited for commercial sex, resulting in severe physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

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After years of ignoring red flags, DCF secretary finally recognizes department’s failures in stopping child sexual abuse

After years of protestation by families, children, and advocacy groups that sexual abuse is rampant in state foster homes, DCF secretary Chad Poppell recognizes DCF’s failure in stopping children placed in state-licensed foster care from being sexually abused.

The Miami Herald recently disclosed that during this past year, ninety-two children in Florida reported being sexually abused by state-licensed foster parents. However, only six allegations of sexual abuse were verified by the state, leaving eighty-six children left alone in the dark, many forced to remain with their alleged abusers.

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The Ledger: Florida foster child sexually abused for 4 years, private agency misses multiple red flags

When Florida’s child welfare system fails, the child pays the ultimate price. Far too often, warning signs are overlooked by the private agencies entrusted to care for our kids. In the case of one young boy in Osceola county, they were ignored for four years. This tragic lack of oversight led to the child’s repeated sexual abuse, battery, and continuous exploitation by his relative caregiver/adopted parent.

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Stacie Schmerling Interviewed by USA Today

October 15th, 2020   No Comments   Sexual Abuse

Kelley Kronenberg‘s Justice for Kids Division Partner Stacie Schmerling recently sat down with USA TODAY to discuss a lawsuit filed last week in Marion County regarding the outrageous story of a three-week-old foster child who was sexually assaulted by another child in her foster home.

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39 Missing, Trafficked Children Found Now Need Extraordinary Help

September 23rd, 2020   No Comments   Sexual Abuse

Recent news that US Marshals in Georgia rescued 39 children who had gone missing might seem like a miraculous ending to a sordid tale of children kidnapped and exploited for child sex trafficking and sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.

The truth is, while their rescue by federal, state, and local authorities was a blessing and an incredible law enforcement accomplishment, their recovery begins now.

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Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Victims Have Only A Few Weeks Left to Bring Claims Forward

September 18th, 2020   No Comments   Sexual Abuse

The Boy Scouts of America was intended as an outlet for young men and women to learn character development and values-based leadership training. The nationwide program has had more than 130 million participants in its 100+ year history. Sadly, the idyllic images of youth coming together for a greater purpose have been tarnished by claims of childhood sexual abuse.

Earlier this year, the Boys Scouts filed for bankruptcy, thus suspending all civil litigation against the organization – including hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits. As reported by CNN, several of the lawsuits allege repeated fondling, exposure to pornography, and forced anal or oral sex.

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Statewide Human Trafficking Summit Reminds Us that More Progress, Prevention is Needed

October 1st, 2019   No Comments   Advocacy, Sexual Abuse

On Monday, hundreds of individuals involved in criminal justice, social services, health and mental health, and others gathered in Orlando for Florida’s first statewide Human Trafficking Summit. As reported by Florida Politics, “So much more attention and effort is being paid to the scourge of human trafficking now than 20 years ago. Yet there remains so little visible progress, especially in prevention…”

We must continue to shine a bright light on the places where these heinous crimes are committed, and work to educate the employees of hotels, massage parlors, and adult theaters on how to spot the signs of trafficking and common practices. While there is now more attention on human trafficking, there is still much more that needs to be done in order to address and prevent some of Florida’s worst and most vile crimes.

Read more about the Human Trafficking Summit in the article “Human trafficking summit opens with concern that prevention still lags” from Florida Politics here.

Daily Business Review: Web Outreach on Sex Trafficking Connects Accusers to Attorneys, But Raises Questions

August 21st, 2019   No Comments   Sexual Abuse

Child advocates warn about the issues with attorneys advertising to attract victims of sex trafficking. Our own Howard Talenfeld discusses how these advertisements may actually put victims in danger in this article from the Daily Business Review.

According to Howard, “These kids are living in fear of their captors, and so we are highly concerned.”

Read more from the Daily Business Review here.

Daily Business Review: Exposés Explore Child Sex Abuse by Celebs and Complicit Family Members

March 18th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse, Sexual Abuse

“Leaving Neverland” is the heart-wrenching story of two now-adult men who claim they were victims of sexual and psychological abuse as teens by Michael Jackson. Sadly, it’s only one of two such exposés out now. “Surviving R. Kelly” explores similar allegations against former R&B superstar Robert Sylvester Kelly, or R. Kelly. Together, they shed light on a horrible modern reality: children allegedly groomed by their star-struck parents, then handed over to sexual predators.

Read the entire commentary piece from Talenfeld Law Founder Howard Talenfeld by clicking here.

WFLA: Florida child therapist charged with 50 counts of possession of child pornography

March 4th, 2019   No Comments   Sexual Abuse

It’s devastating to learn when someone who was supposed to be protecting our children is actually exploiting them. According to this WFLA news report, a licensed clinical social worker in the Tampa Bay area was recently arrested and is facing 50 counts of child porn possession. The report states that the Tampa Police Department Cyber Crimes Squad uncovered “multiple items of evidence” inside the suspect’s Temple Terrace home and his clinic.

Read more here.

Educators Face Charges of Physical Abuse of Autistic Children, Failure to Report Sex Abuse

February 4th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Special Needs

For children, especially those with developmental disabilities, neurological disorders, and other special needs, school should be a safe place. For several children with autism in North Florida, school became a place of physical, emotional, and for one autistic child, sexual abuse that went unreported.

New reports this week revealed allegations that teachers of special needs students in an Okaloosa County school subjected children in their care to horrible physical and emotional abuse. In another charge, a guidance counselor failed to report to authorities an allegation of sexual abuse.

The story revealed allegations that the special education teacher and two aides had been charged by Okaloosa County sheriff’s investigators for abusing the children with autism. It was alleged that the teacher and aides blew whistles in one child’s ears and locked several in darkened bathrooms.

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