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Archive for the ‘Abuse’ Category

Faith’s Law, a Law Aimed at Eradicating Sexual Misconduct at Illinois’ Schools

January 5th, 2024   No Comments   Abuse, Sexual Abuse

Faith’s Law is a law named after prevention advocate and child sexual abuse survivor Faith Colson, who was sexually abused by a teacher at her high school in Illinois.  Years later, during the course of legal proceedings related to the abuse, Faith learned that several adults within her high school suspected that the teacher’s relationship with her was inappropriate but did not take appropriate action to report their concerns.  This motivated Faith to push for change to state laws related to educator sexual misconduct in K-12 schools.

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DCF Must Pay $15 Million to a Child for Failing to Protect her From Horrific Abuse, a Jury Decided

January 2nd, 2024   No Comments   Abuse, Court Cases

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) failed to investigate complaints that the mother was using drugs and endangering her child, who suffered “catastrophic” permanent injuries from severe abuse and neglect.  The child, H.H., is now eight years old and completely dependent on others for all aspects of her daily functioning, according to Justice for Kids, which represented her.  The award is among the largest in state history for this kind of case.  The jury’s verdict speaks to “the sheer magnitude and severity” of the girl’s injuries, attorney Stacie Schmerling said.   The Department received a report through its abuse hotline about H.H. and her brother in May 2017, concerning drug activity in the home and poor living conditions.   Moreover, the stepfather, who lived in the home and was a caregiver to H.H., had a criminal history that included arrests for violent crimes, the complaint says.

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Sun-Sentinel: Four relatives face charges in Margate teen’s decade of alleged abuse. Police expect more arrests.

December 22nd, 2023   No Comments   Abuse

As reported by the Sun-Sentinel, “It took one text message to a teacher to uncover years of alleged abuse that a 15-year-old girl said she suffered at the hands of her caregivers.”

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WPLG: Relative who worked at child abuse nonprofit is latest arrest in Margate teen torture case

December 14th, 2023   No Comments   Abuse

As reported by WPLG Local 10, authorities arrested a former worker at a child abuse prevention organization in connection with an investigation into an alleged house of torture. This happened in Margate, FL where multiple family members are accused of brutalizing, caging and starving a 15-year-old girl for years.

WFTS: Citrus County taking over investigation of foster care abuse allegations

December 9th, 2023   No Comments   Abuse, Foster Care

As reported by ABC Action News, a group of individuals is accusing their former foster parents, Jacklyn and Jerold Logemann, of abuse. After nine kids in foster care were removed from their home, a criminal investigation was launched regarding allegations from former foster kids and the current living conditions at the home, according to police records.

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Orlando Sentinel: Jury orders Florida to pay $15 million to Volusia girl tortured by parents

December 9th, 2023   No Comments   Abuse, Court Cases

A young girl has been awarded a $15 million verdict against the Florida Department of Children & Families for negligently investigating abuse reports. Stacie Schmerling and Lisa Elliott, attorneys with the Justice for Kids Division of Kelley Kronenberg, represented the eight-year-old girl, who was tortured and suffered permanent traumatic brain injury and quadriplegia from repeated episodes of abusive head trauma.

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Miami Herald: Teen was tortured in Broward home for a decade, police say. A sex offender lived there, too.

November 8th, 2023   No Comments   Abuse

As reported by the Miami Herald, a 15-year-old girl suffered close to a decade of horrors at a Margate home where new court records reveal that a sex offender also lived. Horace Crawley, 74, was arrested on Sunday and is now charged with failure to register as a sex offender. Days prior, Shankyria Latricia Clayton, the girl’s 20-year-old sister, was charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect with great bodily harm in connection with the teen’s case.

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Miami New Times – Lawsuit: State Agency Ignored Red Flags Before Miami Mother Killed Children

November 2nd, 2023   Comments Off on Miami New Times – Lawsuit: State Agency Ignored Red Flags Before Miami Mother Killed Children   Abuse

A lawsuit has been filed accusing a state agency of ignoring red flags that ultimately led to the tragic deaths of two children. According to a report by Miami New Times, the agency ignored the increasingly dangerous household and signs that the mother was behaving erratically.

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WPLG: Teacher accused of abusing special needs 4-year-old boy at Broward school

October 11th, 2023   No Comments   Abuse

A Broward County, FL teacher has been accused of abusing a special needs pre-kindergarten student. Read more from WPLG Local 10 here.

Trial of Former Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Employees Charged in Connection to Child’s Death will Continue Mid-October

A McHenry County State’s Attorney criminally charged two former Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) child protection specialists with endangering the life of a child and health of a minor.  Before 2019, when 5-year-old AJ Freund was found in a shallow grave, DCFS received at least 10 prior hotline calls concerning the care the child’s parents were giving.

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Jury Awards Father $4.5 Million in Damages in Wrongful Death Case Involving Broward Sheriff’s Office

August 18th, 2023   No Comments   Abuse, Court Cases, Negligence

Christopher Nevarez, the father of Makenzie Nevarez, a 6-month-old baby girl who suffered catastrophic injuries and later passed away from blunt force trauma, has been awarded $4.5 million in damages in a wrongful death case involving the Broward Sheriff’s Office for failure to protect his daughter.

Justin Grosz and Stacie Schmerling, partners with Justice for Kids at Kelley Kronenberg, represented Makenzie’s father and grandmother in the case, which alleged that the child protection investigator, under the auspices of BSO at the time, could have done more to further investigate previous injuries and keep Makenzie safe while in the care of her mother and her mother’s roommate.

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Recent Updates to the Roles and Duties of Guardian ad Litems in Illinois

A guardian ad litem (GAL) is an important advocate for children who may be the victims of child abuse or child neglect.

With the passing of House Bill 1555, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the statute currently governing the roles and duties) has been amended to prevent trial surprises and ensure transparency.   Among the changes are provisions requiring a written report not less than 30 days before final hearing or trial, allowing the GAL to propose an allocation order in addition to the report, and admission of the report into evidence without foundation.  The bill also grants GALs discretionary powers including presence in all proceedings, issuing subpoenas for records and filing pleadings.  Read more here.

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