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Adoptive parents sentenced to 21 and 24 years in jail on child abuse charges

Date: 2013-11-20

Bad mom Nikki Russell, 35, of Terra Haute, Ind. was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Nov. 19 after pleading guilty to multiple charges in what investigators have called one of the most appalling cases of abuse they've ever seen.

Nikki Russell faced six counts of child neglect, five counts of criminal confinement, two counts of battery by bodily waste, and one count of battery resulting in bodily injury - for a grand total of 14 criminal charges, according to WTHITV.

Nikki Russell’s husband, Larry Russell, 39, also of Terra Haute, was sentenced to 24 years in prison earlier this month in the same case,

Nikki and Larry Russell cruelly beat, imprisoned, and starved the adopted children under their care.

Larry Russell was charged with 11 counts of neglect and abuse; Nikki Russell was charged with those same counts plus three more, one of which alleges she used urine to abuse one of the children in her care. ~ USA Today

Couple held after abused teen daughter dies

Date: 2013-11-19

Published: Tuesday November 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday November 19, 2013 MYT 7:21:16 AM

Couple held after abused teen daughter dies

ALOR SETAR: A husband and wife have been arrested for allegedly abusing their adopted 18-year-old daughter over the past several months, leaving her in a coma.

The girl died at 8.40pm last night.

Kedah CID chief Asst Comm Mohd Nashir Ya said the girl’s adoptive parents were nabbed in Kampung Belanga Pecah in Langkawi between 7pm on Sunday and 1pm yesterday based on a tip-off from the hospital.

“A medical examination showed fresh and old bruises and scars on her body,” he said here yesterday.

ACP Mohd Nashir said the victim had stayed with the adoptive parents, who operates a food outlet on the island, since she was four.

In an unrelated case, ACP Mohd Nashir said police were looking for a man to facilitate investigations into the death of an entertainment outlet bouncer in Kuah two weeks ago.

Malaysian couple held over death of teen from abuse

Date: 2013-11-19

Malaysian couple held over death of teen from abuse
(11-19 15:50)

A Malaysian couple have been arrested after their adopted daughter died having been in a coma in hospital.
Police suspect the 18-year-old adopted daughter had been abused over the
past several months. She had been in a coma and died in hospital last night, local media reports said.
The Star reported that she died at 8.40pm. The girl's adoptive parents were arrested in Langkawi following a tip-off from the hospital.

North Carolina child found cuffed with dead chicken around neck

Date: 2013-11-18

MONROE, NC - A social services worker and a hospital nurse were in a North Carolina jail after a deputy spotted their 11-year-old foster child shivering and handcuffed to the front porch -- with a dead chicken around his neck, authorities said Saturday.

The boy and four adopted children in the home south of Monroe were taken away Friday and are in the custody of an outside agency, according to Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey.

Dorian Lee Harper and Wanda Sue Larson, both 57, face charges of intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment, and cruelty to animals, officials said.

Larson also faces charges of willful failure to discharge her duty as a public official. She's a supervisor with the Union County Department of Social Services.

The department "strives to help families support themselves and to provide care and protection for children, the disabled, and the elderly," says its website.

Child found with dead chicken around neck: Foster parents ask for attorneys during court appearance

Date: 2013-11-18

The foster parents of an 11-year-old boy found last week with his ankle handcuffed to a porch post and a dead chicken tied around his neck asked a North Carolina judge Monday for court-appointed attorneys to represent them.

Monday's hearing was the first court appearance in this case for Wanda Sue Larson, a supervisor with the Union County Department of Social Services, and Dorian Lee Harper, an emergency room nurse at CMC-Union in Monroe.

Larson and Harper were arrested Friday and charged with intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment and cruelty to animals. Larson also faces charges of willful failure to discharge her duty as a public official.

Both Harper and Larson stood quietly in court during Monday's hearing.

Harper's bond is set at $500,000, and Larson's is $525,000. They have not posted bond and remain in the custody of the Union County Sheriff's Department.

A child’s death divides medical community in high-profile Chico murder trial

Date: 2013-11-17

A child’s death divides medical community in high-profile Chico murder trial
By Marjie Lundstrom
mlundstrom@sacbee.com

Published: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am

On April 18, 2012, a 2-year-old boy was rushed by ambulance to a Chico emergency room, then whisked by helicopter to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento.

Benjamin Yhip had been here before. The previous November, the little boy had been hospitalized for four days at the aging East Sacramento facility, where a medical team puzzled over his malnourished, dehydrated figure and failing kidneys.

At the time, one pediatric neurologist thought, it seemed that Benjamin was a “profoundly sick boy” who “did not have long to live,” according to Butte County court documents.

RCMP say at least nine B.C. residents facing charges in huge international child porn sting

Date: 2013-11-15

RCMP say at least nine B.C. residents facing charges in huge international child porn sting

BY TIFFANY CRAWFORD, VANCOUVER SUN NOVEMBER 15, 2013 8:06 AM

RCMP say at least nine B.C. residents facing charges in huge international child porn sting

Toronto police chief Bill Blair held a press conference Thursday about Project Spade, a three-year, worldwide child exploitation investigation involving child pornography. The investigation lead to 386 children being rescued which include 24 Canadian children and 341 people arrested worldwide.
Photograph by: Michelle Siu , National Post

Mounties say at least nine of the more than 300 people arrested in a massive international child pornography bust are from British Columbia.

Sgt. Rob Vermeulen, a spokesman for the B.C. RCMP, said Friday that so far Crown Counsel has approved charges against six of those individuals.

Child porn bust: The men who were charged

Date: 2013-11-14

Child porn bust: The men who were charged
As part of Project Spade, hundreds of people were charged from all over the world, including Canada. They were teachers, doctors, priests . . .

Dr. Mark Shaffer was one of the people swept up in the Project Spade investigation.

By: Jennifer Quinn News reporter, Julian Sher Investigative News reporter, Published on Thu Nov 14 2013

The bedroom resembled that of a teenager: Hockey posters on the wall. A computer.

The man it belonged to was in his late 40s.

Police had a serious reason for being in the Chatham, Ont., home where Ronald Inghelbrecht lived with his mother: officers in Toronto suspected he was a customer of a website that sold child pornography, and the Ontario Provincial Police were there to look for evidence.

“I would describe his room as being adolescent — like he decorated it when he was 12, or 14, and he never changed it,” said OPP Detective David Beckon.

No moves for peer probe into gynaecologist in illegal adoption case

Date: 2013-11-13

No moves for peer probe into gynaecologist in illegal adoption case

THE head of the gynaecological association Marios Liasides said on Tuesday they were not investigating one of their peers over alleged misconduct in an illegal adoption case, but did advise their members to be “careful” in their actions.

A Larnaca gynaecologist, 48, is under police investigation for allegedly advising a woman against having an abortion, recommending instead an adoption.

The Bulgarian national recently gave birth and her newborn boy is now under the care of the welfare office as the biological parents, both Bulgarians, and the prospective adoptive parents, from Famagusta, are also being investigated.

A court heard on Saturday during a remand hearing that the boy’s mother agreed to take €10,000 to give her child up for adoption and was allegedly told by the doctor he would be assuming the cost of the pregnancy.

KCBD Investigates: Were the Dixons scamming the system?

Date: 2013-11-12

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Our KCBD Investigation has unveiled shocking new information about a Lubbock County couple charged with abusing one of their ten adopted children.

Dave and Wonda Dixon are still behind bars after investigators say they found deplorable conditions inside their home. Now, our investigation is raising some serious questions about their finances.

The Dixons receive thousands of tax dollars every month to care for their ten children, but the couple recently filed an affidavit saying they didn't have enough money to pay for a lawyer.

We found the couple had plenty of cash on hand for other things.

Our investigation revealed that the Dixons pay more than $300 for cable and Internet, $250 for cell service, and $800 for clothing. Those are just some of the expenses the Dixons say they pay every month. Those may sound like average living conditions, but not for a couple that's not working and raising ten children.

We spoke to a CPS whistle blower who told us some adoptive parents are simply gaming the system.

Sexual abuse of foster daughter admitted

Date: 2013-11-11

Sexual abuse of foster daughter admitted
By STEPHEN RYAN Nov. 11, 2013, 11 p.m.

A NEWCASTLE man who used his foster daughter as a virtual sex slave had ‘‘a total disregard for her as a human being’’ at a time when she was ‘‘utterly alone and had nowhere to turn’’, a prosecutor told the district court yesterday.

The paedophile, who cannot be identified, claimed to have no memory of at least a year of sexually assaulting the teen despite him buying her lingerie, pornographic magazines and regularly forcing her to drink alcohol before the assaults, Newcastle District Court heard.

The sexual encounters were part of a heinous household routine on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the offender, aged in his 60s, having to inject his penis with prescription medication in order to achieve an erection, a statement of facts said.

Prosecutor Greg Coles said the girl, who was aged 14 and 15 at the times of the assaults, was in desperate need of support, but was instead subjected to a ‘‘sexual predator’’.

Baby at centre of adoption row under care of welfare

Date: 2013-11-11

Baby at centre of adoption row under care of welfare

By George Psyllides

A NEWBORN boy at the centre of an illegal adoption investigation has been placed in the care of the welfare office as his parents, arrested along with three others, including a doctor, were due to be released.

The baby, currently being looked after at Larnaca hospital under police guard, has been put in the care of the welfare office by court order.

Police said five suspects detained for two days on Saturday were due to be released as investigations continue.

Police arrested a Larnaca gynaecologist, 48, the child’s biological parents – both Bulgarian nationals – and the adoptive parents from Famagusta in connection with the case.

A court heard on Saturday that the Bulgarian mother had agreed to take €10,000 to give her child for adoption.

It started in April this year when the Bulgarian woman, 38, visited the doctor wanting to have an abortion.
The gynaecologist allegedly advised her to keep the baby and that he would assume the cost.

At the end of the remand hearing, the mother said she wanted her child back.

Hana's Story: An adoptee's tragic fate, and how it could happen again.

Date: 2013-11-10


An adoptee's tragic fate, and how it could happen again.

By Kathryn Joyce

1 "Like She's in a Dark Room"

On the night of May 11, 2011, sometime around midnight, 13-year-old Hana Williams fell face-forward in her parents’ backyard. Adopted from Ethiopia three years before, Hana was naked and severely underweight. Her head had recently been shaved, and her body bore the scars of repeated beatings with a plastic plumbing hose. Inside the house, her adoptive mother, 42-year-old Carri Williams, and a number of Hana’s eight siblings had been peering out the window for the past few hours, watching as Hana staggered and thrashed around, removed her clothing in what is known as hypothermic paradoxical undressing and fell repeatedly, hitting her head. According to Hana’s brother Immanuel, a deaf 10-year-old also adopted from Ethiopia, the family appeared to be laughing at her.

Baby held after illegal adoption

Date: 2013-11-09

Baby held after illegal adoption

A Larnaca gynaecologist, 48, and four other people – two couples – were remanded in custody for two days on Saturday in connection with the illegal adoption of a newborn baby that allegedly involved paying its parents €10,000.

Police said they arrested the child’s biological parents, a Bulgarian couple, and the Famagusta couple who wanted to adopt the baby.
The would-be adoptive mother is the doctor’s cousin, reports said.

It all started in April this year when the Bulgarian woman, 38, visited the doctor wanting to have an abortion.

The gynaecologist allegedly advised her to keep the baby and that he would assume the cost.

On top of that, the court heard that the adoptive couple had agreed to pay the mother €10,000.

The mother allegedly agreed. She gave birth to a boy on Wednesday and left the clinic on Friday without the baby, who was going to be handed over to the 41-year-old adoptive mother.

Jury order probation in child death case

Date: 2013-11-08

By Michelle Casady, Guillermo Contreras

SAN ANTONIO — It took jurors just three hours Friday to find Norberto Velasquez guilty for his role in the 2009 death of his 3-year-old adopted daughter, and six more hours to decide that he should receive probation.

The serious bodily injury to a child by omission conviction could have resulted in a sentence of up to life in prison.

Velasquez, 49, was not in court as the punishment verdict was read by state District Judge Angus McGinty late Friday.

In the hours between the guilty verdict and the probation announcement, McGinty had ordered Velasquez taken into custody without bond. But paramedics transferred him from his courthouse holding cell to a downtown hospital — where he remained under guard — after he claimed to be having a medical emergency.

Jurors were not told of the unusual situation.

Velasquez and partner Matthew Oscar Aranda, 48, took Melody in as a foster child after she was removed from her birth parents' home at 3 months old following allegations of abuse. The couple adopted her in December 2008, but the joy was short-lived.

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