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Most recent articles added to the case archives

Yucaipa foster father accused of sexually abusing adopted daughters in Crestline

Date: 2015-07-02

By Beatriz Valenzuela,

YUCAIPA >> A longtime foster father was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing two foster girls he and his wife eventually adopted.

Stephen Darrell Taylor, 68, was arrested at the Loma Linda Veteran’s Administration Hospital Wednesday and booked into West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of oral copulation of a minor, sexual intercourse with force and sexual assault of a child, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s booking records.

Taylor and his wife served as a foster family for the Arrowhead Foster Family Agency, Inc., between the years of 2002 and 2008. During that time, investigators believe Taylor sexually abused two of the girls, ages 5 and 11, placed in their care. It’s unclear if his wife was aware of the alleged abuse.

Taylor allegedly sexually abused the children for several years. The girls were eventually adopted by the Taylors.

The family resided in three different homes during that time frame on Crestline Road, Mile High Road and Fir Lane in the Crestline community.

Longtime foster parent arrested for sexual assault

Date: 2015-07-02

Stephen Darrell Taylor, 68, of Yucaipa and his wife served as a foster family for the Arrowhead Foster Family Agency, Inc. between the years of 2002 and 2008. During that time, Stephen Taylor allegedly sexually abused two of the female foster children placed in his care. Taylor allegedly sexually abused the children for several years. The victims ranged in age from five to eleven and were eventually adopted by the Taylors. The family resided in three different homes during that time frame on Crestline Road, Mile High Road, and Fir Lane in the Crestline community. The sexual abuse continued until the children were removed by the San Bernardino County Children and Family Services in 2008 due to allegations of physical abuse. The sexual abuse was reported to the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station and turned over to the Crimes Against Children Detail because it involved a certified foster family.

Yucaipa Man Suspected Of Sexually Molesting 2 Foster Children

Date: 2015-07-02

YUCAIPA ( — A 68-year-old man remained in custody Thursday on suspicion of sexually assaulting two female foster children.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Stephen Darrell Taylor, of Yucaipa, served as a foster family for the Arrowhead Foster Family Agency, Inc., with his wife between 2002 and 2008.

During this time frame, Taylor is accused of sexually assaulting two female foster children — who were between the ages of 5 and 11-years-old at the time — for several years.

The Taylor family eventually adopted the victims. The family resided at three different homes, located in the 23300 block of Crestline Road, the 160 block of Mile High Road, and Fir Lane in the Crestline Community.

Deputies said the children were removed from the Taylor family home in 2008 by San Bernardino County Children and Family Services due to allegations of physical abuse.

The sexual abuse was then reported to the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station, which was subsequently passed along to Crimes Against Children Detail as the case involved a certified foster family.

Nakia Brice: Mom Claimed Self Defense When She Hit 9-Year-Old Son With Baseball Bat, Cops Say

Date: 2015-07-02

Nakia Brice, a 34-year-old mom of three in Whetstone, Arizona, found herself under arrest Wednesday afternoon after she took her 9-year-old son into the emergency room to be treated for head injuries that the mom said took place when the little boy, who suffers from the severe developmental disability known as Down syndrome, fell out of a tree.

The boy was placed in the intensive car unit at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. But workers with the Arizona Department if Child Services felt that something didn’t add up about Brice’s story, so they started asking her questions.

Suspicions were also raised when doctors found that the little boy had not only experienced severe head injuries, but also displayed several injuries in various stages of healing — injuries that had clearly been somehow inflicted at various earlier points in time.

Those other injuries included fractures to both the boy’s spine and his ribs.

Rep. Harris Says He Won’t Seek Re-election

Date: 2015-06-16

WEST FORK (KFSM) – Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, said on Tuesday (June 16) that he will not seek re-election.

Harris also said he will finish out his current term and doesn’t plan to resign.

In March, a report was released stating that Harris re-homed two adopted girls with Eric Frances of Bella Vista. Court records show Francis later pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting one of them.

After the report came out, Harris’ attorney released a statement on the issue.

“Rep. and Mrs. Harris have suffered a severe injustice. Due to threats of possible abandonment charges, they were unable to reach out to [the Arkansas Department of Human Services] for help with children who presented a serious risk of harm to other children in their home. Upon the advice of both a psychiatrist and a pediatrician, they were forced to move the children to the home of trusted friends, who had a lot of experience with children with reactive attachment disorder. Rep. and Mrs. Harris are devastated about the outcome of that decision, but faced with no good option, they did the best that they knew how.”

Months after the rehoming of their adopted daughters was made public, Justin and Marsha Harris have yet to face consequences

Date: 2015-05-28

Despite public outrage, Justin Harris' status as legislator remains unchanged.

By Benjamin Hardy

On March 24, three weeks after the news first broke that state Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) and his wife, Marsha, gave their two adopted daughters in 2013 to a family where one of them was later sexually assaulted, Rep. Harris returned to Twitter. Normally an active presence on social media, Harris had shuttered his feed the first week of March in response to an onslaught of unwanted attention as the Arkansas Times report revealing the "rehoming" of the girls, ages 3 and 5 at the time, was picked up by national and international media outlets. But by the last week of the month, the media spotlight was already beginning to dim, and Harris resumed tweeting, albeit with his account now visible only to his followers. He broadcast two verses from Psalms (37:12-13) that seemed intended to signal defiance rather than contrition:

The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him

Attorneys of Habersham Co. couple say children fabricated abuse

Date: 2015-05-20

By Valerie Hoff

HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. -- Defense attorneys are painting a vastly different picture of what happened to four adopted children in the home of former Mt. Airy Police chief Richard Burton.

The children, who now range in age from 13 to 19, were removed the home of Burton and his wife Cheryle in 2012 after telling authorities they had been confined to a bedroom, beaten and underfed for seven years.

Burton was arrested and charged with child molestation. Both he and his wife were indicted on 28 counts of child cruelty.

Monday, they pleaded guilty to one count of second degree child cruelty for failing to feed the children proper nutrition and were sentenced to 25 consecutive weekends in jail, a sentence many in Clarkesville complained was too lenient.

But defense attorneys for the couple deny any abuse took place, including molestation.

"Just because someone is charged with something doesn't mean they did it, and doesn't mean the state could prove it," said Chief Public Defender Drew Powell, who represented Richard Burton.

Habersham couple pleads, sentenced in child molestation case

Date: 2015-05-19

CLARKESVILLE - Habersham County Superior Court on Monday disposed of child cruelty charges against a Habersham County couple.

In a negotiated plea, Richard Scott Burton was sentenced to 10 years each after pleading guilty to four counts second-degree cruelty to children. The sentences will be served concurrently.

The first 25 weekends of the sentence must be served in confinement at the Habersham County Detention Center, with the balance of the sentence served on felony probation.

Two counts of aggravated child molestation, one count of child molestation, and 24 counts of first-degree cruelty to children against Richard Burton were nolle prossed, meaning they will not be pursued for prosecution.

Cheryle Lynn Burton entered a guilty plea to four counts of second-degree cruelty to children.

She was sentenced to 10 years for each, to be served concurrently. The first 25 weekends of the sentence are to be served in confinement at the Habersham County Detention Center, with the balance to be served on felony probation.

Nineteen additional charges of first-degree cruelty to children against Cheryle Burton were nolle prossed.

Couple sentenced in child abuse case

Date: 2015-05-19

HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. -- A former Mt. Airy, Ga. police chief and his wife have pleaded guilty to child cruelty charges.

Richard and Cheryle Burton were facing 28 counts of child cruelty. Richard Burton was also charged with child molestation. They were set to go on trial in Habersham County on Monday, but negotiated a plea deal.

The charges centered around alleged abuse of their four adopted children. They were accused of keeping the children confined to a room for years with little food.

They pleaded guilty to three of those child cruelty charges. In exchange, all the other counts, including child molestation, were dropped.

They received sentences of 10 years each. They'll serve 25 consecutive weekends in the county jail; the rest will be served on probation. They also must pay a $10,000 fine.

Because the child molestation charges were dropped in the plea agreement, Richard Burton is not required to register as a sex offender.


Russian children’s rights ombudsman to testify in US child sex abuse case

Date: 2015-05-15

MOSCOW, May 15 (RAPSI) – Russia's children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov wrote Friday via Instagram that he had been summoned as a witness in a child abuse case heard by a US court.

The trial of Michael Grismore, who was indicted on five counts involving the beating and sexual abuse of a child, his Russian-born adoptive daughter Ksenia Antonova, will be held at the Cherokee County Court in Georgia, United States, on May 18-21.

Ksenia was adopted by Marta Blanford in 2001, who gave up her parental rights in 2009. The child was then adopted by the woman’s sister and her husband, Michael Grismore.

Astakhov said after the tragedy that had Russian officials been informed of the second adoption, they could have objected or at least requested home-study reports on her new family.

Woman Stands By Husband After He Confessed to Raping Her Daughters

Date: 2015-05-15

Stacy and Travis Yates adopted 6 children through the foster care system over the past 10 years. Travis was a Sergeant in the Air Force and Stacy is a stay at home mom. Stacy currently resides in Nixon, TX where she lives with the 3 remaining children ages 16, 14, and 11. Travis was convicted last week on multiple counts of sexual assault on a child and rape. He was sentenced to 37 years in military prison. The victims of his crimes are non other than his own adopted children. The two victims have since moved out of the home and are now 18 and 20 years old.

Air Force sergeant admits to sexually abusing two young girls

Date: 2015-05-12

By Barry Davis

Air Force sergeant Travis Yates will spend the next 37 years behind bars.

This comes after Yates admitted last year to sexually molesting two young girls, one only 15 years old at the time.

Along with the prison term, Yates has also forfeited any pay and allowances, was reduced to grade E-1 and dishonorably discharged.

According to reports, the allegations surfaced after the youngest of the two girls moved out to California to live with her grandmother. One girl said her grandmother was talking about how one of her other grandchildren had been sexually molested, when she confessed to her grandmother that Yates had molested her and another family member.

From there, the young woman, who is now 20 years old, said they called Yates' wife and told her about it.

She said the wife was upset, but believed her. They then called Yates, who was in Florida at the time. When Yates returned to his home base, the Air Force OIG was called in.

One member of the biological family said it took way too long for the Air Force to prosecute and sentence Yates.

Md. Politician Sexually Abused As Child Wants To Change The Law

Date: 2015-05-11

by Mary Bubala

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A Charles County delegate has kept a dark secret for most of his life, but he finally shared it to help others.

Sexually abused by his adopted father, he tells Mary Bubala why the law must be changed to give victims the gift of time.

Charles County Delegate C.T. Wilson is a man with a painful past. He was sexually abused as a child by his adopted father.

“I can’t sit here and describe for you the pain of being beaten, sodomized and molested for years,” said Wilson.

He courageously testifies in Annapolis before the very lawmakers he works alongside every day in an effort to help victims of child sex abuse fight back, giving them more time to come forward and sue their abusers.

Bubala: “You had been in foster care, you were telling me, since you were four. You landed with this family, you had a father figure. When did you know something was really, really wrong?”

Trial underway for Ohio guardsman facing sex-abuse charges

Date: 2015-05-11

Associated Press

MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio National Guardsman who has said he wanted to adopt a girl from Africa to protect her from rape went on trial Monday on charges he sexually abused three adopted daughters and his stepdaughter.

A prosecutor portrayed the defendant as a man who betrayed the responsibility a father has for protecting his daughter in the worst way possible, while the man’s attorney said the rapes never happened and pointed the finger instead at the man’s stepson, who has never been implicated.

The defendant, 42, of Marysville in central Ohio, was originally charged in 2013, and the charges were updated last year. The charges include rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, intimidation and tampering with evidence. He has pleaded not guilty.

Tucson couple indicted on federal kidnapping charges

Date: 2015-05-07

An Illinois couple living in Tucson who were accused of misrepresenting themselves to gain custody of another couple's adopted child face federal kidnapping charges.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that a federal grand jury in Illinois indicted 37-year-old Nicole Eason of Danville and 46-year-old Calvin Eason of Westville on charges of kidnapping and transporting a child across state lines.

Prosecutors allege the Easons participated in an online discussion board with adoptive parents seeking new homes for children they no longer wanted or couldn't care for. The Easons allegedly lied about their background, and one couple brought their adopted child to Illinois in 2007.

Prosecutors say the Easons allegedly sexually abused that child while they had custody.

Authorities allege they kidnapped a second child in the same manner in 2008, allegedly transporting that child across state lines.

The Easons were living in Tucson when they were arrested in early April.

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