A Republican state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would force the state to pay for “faith-based” or religious daycare and pre-school, as long as the parent and not the state requests it. Arkansas‘ Rep. Randy Alexander is attempting to amend a state law, the Arkansas Better Chance Program — which provides funding to daycare and pre-school facilities — to remove the section that ensures the state does not fund religious-based education.
Additionally, Rep. Alexander’s Arkansas state legislature colleagues, Rep. Justin Harris and state Senator Johnny Key, happen to own chains of religious early childhood program pre-schools.
A Colorado man was improperly denied an opportunity to contest an adoption in Utah of a son born from a brief sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Friday.
Bobby L. Nevares preserved his parental interest in Utah by acting to do so in Colorado, the high court said in reversing a decision by 4th District Judge Claudia Laycock.
The ruling, which sends the case back for further proceedings, involved the controversial agency called The Adoption Center of Choice, which has been at the center of a number of contested adoptions and whose license to operate in Utah was revoked by the state about a year ago.
An attorney for Nevares, Joshua Peterman, hailed the court's ruling.
"The decision is an important step in eliminating the ability of adoption agencies to obtain children through fraud and deceit," he said in an email. "There are a number of agencies here in Utah who are more concerned with earning a fee than the fundamental constitutional right of a father to parent his child."
A Pennsylvania deputy attorney general has been suspended from law practice after his no contest plea to child endangerment.
Douglas Barbour, 35, was suspended on Friday, report the Sharon Harold, the Associated Press and TribeLive.com. Prosecutors had accused Barbour and his wife of mistreating two siblings they adopted from Ethiopia in 2012. The children were 6 years old and 18 months old when the Barbours were charged.
When Barbour entered the no-contest plea last June, Judge Jeffrey Manning of Pittsburgh said he saw no evidence of malice, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported at the time. “This started out as a significant act of charity gone awry,” Manning said. The couple retained custody of their two biological children.
The couple was charged after hospital officials reported that the girl had multiple fractures and the boy had lesions that could have been caused by contact with urine. Barbour’s wife, Kristen Barbour, told hospital officials that the girl has a history of banging her head. Prosecutors also said the boy was underweight.
WYOMING, MI -- An 18-month-old girl found dead in her crib in March 2014 died of asphyxia from removing her trachea tube, according to a death certificate filed in Kent County.
The certificate classifies her death as accidental, even as police are charging the toddler's mother, Rebecca Cotes, with involuntary manslaughter.
Kent County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker said the ruling Hannah Hoag suffered an accidental death does not preclude a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors, he said, are alleging gross negligence occurred with the death.
Hannah was found unresponsive in her crib the morning of March 24 and pronounced dead at 11:45 a.m.
In a probable cause affidavit, police allege Cotes, 26, placed Hannah in a crib without medical monitoring equipment — required because of the girl's special health needs. As she slept, Hannah removed her trachea tube, causing her own death, police say.
EWPORT NEWS — A new hearing date has been set for a Newport News couple charged in the death of their 7-year-old adopted daughter..
Terri Dennis, 32, and Pamela Dennis, 41, are charged in the April 2013 homicide of Terrilynn Destiny Dennis. Both are charged with murder and child abuse. Their trial date was set for Jan. 27 in Newport News Circuit Court, but has been continued, according to online court documents. A new hearing date has been set for Feb. 9, where a new trial date could be selected.
Officers responded about 1:40 a.m. April 4, 2013, to the 200 block of Gallery Court after receiving a call that a 7-year-old girl was not breathing, according to police. When police arrived, they found family members performing CPR on the girl, and they took over CPR until paramedics arrived. The girl was transported to a local hospital where she died a short time later, police said.
Paramedics were called more than eight hours after Pamela Dennis noticed the girl's tongue had turned purple and she was unresponsive, the criminal complaint states.
MARYSVILLE, Ohio — A defense attorney is asking a court to postpone the trial of an Ohio National Guardsman accused of sexually abusing three adopted daughters and his stepdaughter and trying to keep other children in the family from discussing what they knew.
The 41-year-old Marysville man has pleaded not guilty on 35 counts alleging he abused the girls, abruptly sent a fourth adopted daughter out of state and threatened other children with a similar fate to keep them from talking. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 26.
In a motion requesting a delay, the defense said it needs more time to review medical records, contact between the victims and the prosecutor's office, and allegations of inappropriate sexual contact involving parties associated with the case. In regard to that unspecified sexual contact, the defense also sought court approval to pay for someone to review what was investigated and documented.
The office of the Guardsman's attorney has said he won't discuss the case.
The man who opened and ran Heart Gallery Hawaii, the local chapter of a national organization that recruits parents for hard-to-adopt foster children, is guilty of sexually assaulting two girls.
A state jury deliberated less than three hours Friday before finding Louis A. Martinez guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, one count of attempted felony sexual assault and two counts of misdemeanor sexual assault.
The girls reported that Martinez sexually assaulted them in 2011. One of the girls was 11 years old at the time. The other girl was 16.
Police rescued 37 babies and a 3-year-old girl after busting a child trafficking ring in eastern China's Shandong province, reported the state-run China Central Television.
The newborn babies, many suffering from HIV/AIDS and malnutrition, were sold for between 50,000 yuan to 80,000 yuan ($8,000 to $12,912 dollars). The boys fetched higher prices than girls, according to the online video report published on Tuesday.
Babies were often transported in large handbags and suitcases to prospective buyers. And they were allegedly fed instant noodles and leftover vegetables, according to Chinese state media.
Authorities have arrested 103 people, suspected of trafficking or purchasing the infants.
Watch this video
Doctor admits stealing, selling babies 01:11
Police spotted a suspicious group of pregnant women being ushered into an abandoned factory in the city of Jining, last July, where they found baby diapers and other evidence of it being used as an "underground delivery room."
Adopting a child from Guatemala used to be really popular among Americans. In 2006 alone, more than 4,000 Guatemalan kids were adopted by families here in the US.
In each case, prospective parents paid tens of thousands of dollars in fees. All that money fuelled a lucrative adoption industry in Guatemala, and an underground trade in abducted children.
It got so bad that Guatemala halted all new international adoptions in 2007. The country's been trying to reform its broken system ever since. But there are still a lot of questions about what went on in the past, and about one case in particular.
It involves a girl named Karen Abigail, who was adopted years ago from Guatemala by an American couple from Missouri.
“Karen’s case is actually a high-profile criminal investigation in Guatemala,” says investigative journalist Erin Siegal McIntyre. She’s spent several years looking into Karen’s adoption and Guatemala's broken adoption system in general.
Her lengthy article detailing Karen’s case was published online by Guernica magazine.
JACKSON, MI -- Before sentencing a man who admitted to molesting his 5-year-old adopted daughter to 30 to 50 years in prison for one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Circuit Judge John G. McBain said he couldn't "wrap his head" around the crime.
"I just can't wrap my head around a 46-year-old man who's gonna turn his daughter into a sex toy," McBain said. "I'm sure what you have done has emotionally scarred her and the rest of your family for the rest of their lives."
Jackson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Kati Rezmierski told McBain during the Jan. 7 sentencing that the man violated what should have been "a sacred bond" with his daughter. She said his actions will eventually cause the now 7-year-old she described as "amazing" and "fierce" to internalize the "shame and degradation" he caused.
The man's name has been withheld because he shares a name with his daughter and the Citizen Patriot typically does not print names of sexual assault victims.
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) – Guatemalan authorities have arrested an American accused of human trafficking and participating in illegal adoptions.
Prosecutors say Nancy Susan Bailey was apprehended in El Salvador and turned over to Guatemalan authorities via Interpol at the border between the two Central American countries.
The arrest warrant for Bailey was issued in 2008 and charged her with taking children and putting them up for illegal adoption for fees as high as $40,000, according to a statement released by prosecutors. She was arrested Tuesday.
Bailey founded the orphanage "Seeds of Love" outside the Guatemalan capital in 1996.
Guatemala's International Commission Against Impunity issued a report in 2010 saying it found 3,342 irregular adoptions, mostly to U.S. couples.
The commission described networks of child-trafficking in the country for the purpose of illegal adoptions.
When the state of Florida quietly agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit over the gruesome death of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona and the torture of her twin brother, Victor, it all but admitted it was at fault.
Now, the Florida Department of Children and Families and lawyers for the state Legislature want to put the deal on hold and indefinitely delay final payments.
DCF agreed to settle the lawsuit in March 2013, two years after Victor was found near death and covered with pesticides alongside his sister’s decomposing body on I-95 in Palm Beach County. A 2011 DCF report concluded that, from the time Victor and Nubia Barahona entered the child welfare system as infants through Nubia’s death, their safety net was a “systemic failure.”
A Ringgold woman accused of abusing her 11-year-old adopted son is proclaiming her innocence.
Christine Evelyn Baughman, in a prepared statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 3 through her attorney, said she is “innocent of these allegations that have been made against her.”
“… As more light is cast upon this situation, her innocence will become apparent,” Baughman’s attorney Adam C. Cathey of Ringgold said in the statement.
“On November 25, 2014, Dr. (Henry) and Ms. Baughman were contacted by Catoosa County child protection and law enforcement authorities,” Cathey said. “At that time, Dr. and Ms. Baughman were informed of allegations having been made by an unknown third party regarding their son. Notwithstanding their full compliance with the investigation, Ms. Baughman was hastily arrested at 10:00 p.m. that evening. While the charges made against Ms. Baughman appear very serious, she wants to assure the community that she is innocent of these allegations that have been made against her.”