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Former nanny of adopted children at center of abuse case: What took so long?

Date: 2014-03-14

By BEN BOTKIN

A former nanny for three adopted children Las Vegas police say were subjected to years of abuse and neglect can’t understand what took so long for authorities to intervene.

“They did nothing for a year,” Jan Finnegan said Monday of the Clark County Department of Family Services. “…They did nothing. The system is a disgrace.”

The adoptive parents of the three girls, Dwight Solander, 50, and Janet Solander, 53, face child abuse and neglect charges in a 23-count indictment that also charges Danielle Hinton, 21, Janet Solander’s biological daughter. The Solanders were initially the girls’ foster parents. Police arrested the three adults on March 20 after the children told authorities they were beaten with paint sticks, forced to take cold showers and regularly prevented from using the bathroom.

However, Finnegan reported her concerns about the way the children were being treated to Family Services early last year. She was hired to care for the girls, who ranged in age from about 9 to 12 at the time of the alleged abuse, for several weeks in January and February 2013.

Supreme Court rejects ex-York County man's appeal in adopted Russian son's death

Date: 2014-03-13

Supreme Court rejects ex-York County man's appeal in adopted Russian son's death
By Matt Miller | mmiller@pennlive.com
on March 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

The state Supreme Court has refused to hear a former York County man's appeal of his involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy and child endangerment convictions in the death of his adopted Russian son.

The state's highest court issued that decision Wednesday, effectively ending 49-year-old Michael J. Craver's legal effort to clear his name in the August 2009 death of his 7-year-old son Nathaniel.

Craver's wife, Nanette, 58, was convicted on identical charges by a York County jury during the couple's trial in 2011. The jury acquitted the former Carroll Township couple of murder charges.

Both Cravers, who now live in Carbon County, were sentenced to 16 months to 4 years in prison, plus 5 years of probation. A county judge ordered their release from prison when he sentenced them in November 2011 because they had already spent 19 months behind bars.

Abuse Allegation in Wanda Sue Larson's Past

Date: 2014-03-11

by Morgan Fogarty

MONROE, N.C. - WCCB has obtained a document from the state of Alaska that indicates a patient filed a complaint of abuse against Wanda Sue Erdmann, aka Wanda Sue Larson, in 1989. The document is heavily redacted. It does reveal that Larson was interviewed by medical board investigators April 26, 1990.
It reads that it was her idea to voluntarily surrender her nursing license.

Larson resigned a few days later and signed a document acknowledging there was an active investigation underway. Larson did not seek legal advice.

WCCB also obtained a copy of a disciplinary report form from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. In the section titled "misconduct" the "other" box is checked with further detail that reads "was under investigation and Ms. Edrmann surrendered her license rather than see investigation continued."

State Finds Major Problems In Union County Child Welfare Program

Date: 2014-03-06

By Tasnim Shamma

A state review of the Union County Department of Human Services has found numerous failures in the agency's operations over the last three years.

Union County asked the state to conduct the review after a child protective services supervisor was charged with child abuse in November after an eleven-year-old boy she was caring for was found handcuffed to a porch.

Dorian Lee Harper and Wanda Sue Larson were indicted on child abuse charges in December. Larson was fired from her job as a child protective services supervisor.

Though the case of Wanda Sue Larson spurred the review, the report found problems that went beyond her role at DSS.

And what the state found was a broken system. The report primarily blames a lack of leadership. Richard Matens who became executive director of Union County's DHS in June says the problems go back five years.

"Having three permanent directors and two times when we had interim directors within these programs created a great deal of instability within these programs and so a lot of times, things weren't followed through," Matens says.

$2M settlement reached in Ohio caged kids case

Date: 2014-03-04

By JOHN SEEWER

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Eleven children forced to sleep in cages by their adoptive parents reached a $2 million settlement with an Ohio county where three of them lived before they were placed in the home outfitted with wire and wood enclosures.

The agreement, which still needs a judge's approval, likely will bring a close to the series of lawsuits and financial settlements that came after the children were taken out of the home in 2005.

The adopted and foster children ranged in age from 1 to 14 when authorities removed them from their home near Norwalk. Their adoptive parents, Michael and Sharen Gravelle, spent two years in prison for abusing some of the children.

The Gravelles, who said they used the cages at their northern Ohio home to protect children they said acted up and were destructive, lost custody in 2006.

All 11 of the children were placed with foster parents. The oldest two are in college and have used the money from earlier settlements to pay for tuition, said Jack Landskroner, an attorney for the children.

Stark County pays $100,000 in 'caged kids' case

Date: 2014-02-26

Stark County commissioners approved payments totaling $100,000 for children adopted into the Huron County home of Michael and Sharen Gravelle a decade ago.

By Tim Botos

Stark County commissioners approved payments totaling $100,000 for children adopted into the Huron County home of Michael and Sharen Gravelle a decade ago.

The Gravelles made headlines in what became known as the “caged kids” case when authorities removed 11 children from their home in 2005 amid allegations that some were forced to sleep in cages. The couple was charged and convicted on felony child endangering counts and ultimately served two years in prison before their releases in 2011.

Stark County’s Department of Job & Family Services, which had placed three of the children with the Gravelles, was sued in 2012 by the trio’s guardian ad litem, David Brown, and three parents.

The out-of-pocket payments are only a piece of an overall $2 million settlement with Stark, largely paid for by insurance carriers, said attorney Jack Landskroner of Cleveland, who filed the lawsuit.

Adoptive father accused of brutal murder of Korean child

Date: 2014-02-21

Adoptive father accused of brutal murder of Korean child
Posted on : Feb.21,2014 11:34 KSTModified on : Feb.21,2014 11:37 KST

Military veteran denying charge of first-degree murder in suspicious death of 3-year-old boy
By Jeon Jeong-yun, staff reporter

Hyun-su was born premature in 2010 at only 2.1kg. He was abandoned by his mother and adopted by an American family in Oct. 2013 under the new name, ‘Madoc Hyun-su O’Callaghan’. This 3-year-old toddler then died on Feb 3, only three months after he was adopted. A skull fracture is currently being pointed to as the cause of his death. His adoptive father, Brian Patrick O’Callaghan, 36, is a National Security Agency worker who specializes in Korea, and is facing charges of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in the death of his adopted son.

Brian Patrick O' Callaghan charged with murdering 3 year old son

Date: 2014-02-18

Brian Patrick O' Callaghan charged with murdering 3 year old son
By Brad Bell February 18, 2014 - 09:27 am

DAMASCUS, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County police say a Damascus man has been charged in the death of his 3-year-old son.

Police announced Tuesday that 36-year-old Brian O'Callaghan, an NSA analyst and former combat Marine, has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in the death of his adopted son, Hyunsu, earlier this month.

It is alleged that sometime between January 31 and February 2 in the family’s Damascus home, O’Callaghan beat to the death the three-year-old boy he and his wife adopted from Korea jus three months earlier.

"The injuries to this child were catastrophic injuries," said State's Attorney John McCarthy. "I think the evidence supports the charges that were brought."

Montgomery County man is charged with killing his 3-year-old adopted son

Date: 2014-02-18

Montgomery County man is charged with killing his 3-year-old adopted son

By Dan Morse and Dana Hedgpeth, Published: February 18 E-mail the writers

Brian O’Callaghan fought in Iraq, mastered Arabic and became a division chief at the National Security Agency. Last year, wanting a second child for their young family, he and his wife adopted a 3-year-old boy from South Korea.

“He was so loving of him,” a family member said.

It is a background that made allegations revealed in Montgomery County District Court on Tuesday seem all the more stunning: Alone with the boy — with his wife out of town, his other son in a different part of the house — O’Callaghan repeatedly struck the child, hitting him so hard that the boy died two days later.

“An absolutely horrific crime on an absolutely innocent young victim,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Donna Fenton, listing injuries to the boy’s head, neck and back. “Basically this child was beaten to death from head to toe.”

Jeffrey Baldwin inquest urges unifying child-protection agencies

Date: 2014-02-14

Ontario should consider merging its children's aid societies into one co-ordinated agency.

That was one of 103 recommendations released Friday by a coroner's jury looking into the death of Jeffrey Baldwin, the five-year-old boy who starved to death in 2002 while in the care of his grandparents.

Baldwin was a healthy baby when he and his siblings were placed in the care of their grandparents, but when he died just shy of his sixth birthday his weight was that of a 10-month-old infant.

Both of Jeffrey's grandparents had previous convictions for child abuse, but those records weren't discovered in the Catholic Children's Aid Society's own files until after his death in 2002.

Many of the jury's recommendations are focused on improving record keeping and information sharing among children's aid societies in the province, including urging Ontario to implement a long-promised province-wide system in the next two years.

Madoc Hyeonsu O'Callaghan Obituary

Date: 2014-02-13

Madoc Hyeonsu O'Callaghan

Madoc Hyeonsu O'Callaghan, age 3, of Damascus, Md., passed away Monday, February 3, 2014, at Children's Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Born in South Korea, Madoc joined his forever family, October 23, 2013, and from that day on he was a smiling, content, and loving son and brother. He loved his dogs, his big brother Aidan, and anything his parents made for him to eat.

He wasn't dealt the simplest hand in life, but he found something to love in it every day. He is survived by his parents Brian and Jennifer O'Callaghan, his brother Aidan and his dog Buddy.

State poised to yank Utah adoption agency’s license

Date: 2014-02-12

State poised to yank Utah adoption agency’s license

Adoption » It’s not the first time agency has faced state scrutiny.

By Brooke Adams | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Feb 12 2014 06:58 pm • Last Updated Feb 12 2014 10:16 pm

A Utah agency that has come under fire in the past for its involvement in controversial adoptions has been put on notice that the state plans to revoke its license after it continued to accept new clients despite being prohibited from doing so.

The Adoption Center of Choice has until Feb. 20 to respond to the revocation notice from the Office of Licensing for the Utah Department of Human Services.

The action follows a notice issued last September, when the agency was told to correct various operating problems and given a probationary license that expires at the end of the month.

Arrest Warrant

Date: 2014-02-12

See attached

Four Employees of Adoption Services Provider Charged with Conspiracy

Date: 2014-02-11

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Four Employees of Adoption Services Provider Charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the United States in Connection with Ethiopia Operations

Four current and former employees of International Adoption Guides Inc. (IAG), an adoption services provider, have been indicted by a grand jury in South Carolina for allegedly conspiring to defraud the United States in connection with IAG’s adoption services in Ethiopia. IAG is a South Carolina company that identified children in Ethiopia for adoption and arranged for their adoption by U.S.-based parents.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney William N. Nettles of the District of South Carolina and Assistant Secretary Gregory B. Starr of the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security made the announcement.

Dylan Farrow's Brother Moses Defends Woody Allen (People Magazine interview)

Date: 2014-02-05

Dylan Farrow's Brother Moses Defends Woody Allen
By ALICIA DENNIS
UPDATED 02/05/2014 at 11:00 AM EST • Originally published 02/05/2014 at 08:30 AM EST

Dylan Farrow's Brother Moses Defends Woody Allen

Dylan Farrow's Feb. 1 open letter to The New York Times detailing sexual molestation she says she suffered at the hands of her father Woody Allen reignited a controversy that has divided their family bitterly for more than 20 years.

Now her brother Moses Farrow is speaking out to defend Allen – and accuse their mother, Mia Farrow, of poisoning the children against their father.

"My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister," Moses, 36, tells PEOPLE in the magazine's new issue. "And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi."

A Family Divided

Pound Pup Legacy