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Adoptive brother convicted of abusing, starving girl

Date: 2013-11-05

By Diana Hefley

EVERETT -- The girl wrapped her arms around the deputy prosecutor and squeezed.

A jury had confirmed on Tuesday what the pair knew was the truth all along -- the girl's adoptive brother abused and mistreated the child when he should have protected her.

It only took jurors three hours to convict Derron Alexis, 44. The former airplane mechanic denied being responsible for the girl's condition when the 10-year-old was rescued from his home in 2011.

She weighed just 51 pounds. Her body had lost nearly all its fat and had started metabolizing her muscles for energy. She had scars from being whipped with electrical cords and burned with lit cigarettes. She was kept in diapers and forced to sleep in a bathtub. The girl alleged that Alexis forced her to stay in a dog crate so he could sleep.

The man testified Monday that he never wanted his adoptive sister to live with him and his former girlfriend Mary Mazalic. His mother sent the girl, then 9, to Washington because she didn't want the child in special education classes.

Mazalic was convicted last year of abusing the girl. She is serving 30 years in prison.

Momma Mia!

Date: 2013-11-01

Momma Mia!
Grounded in her human-rights work, Mia Farrow can look back at another triumph—the loving home she created for 14 adopted and biological children. But she must also continue to deal with the wreckage from the sensational scandal that almost rent it apart 20 years ago. From Farrow and eight of her kids, including the long-silent Dylan, Maureen Orth gets the full story of life before and after Woody Allen.

By Maureen Orth

Rilya Wilson: Geralyn Graham won't be retried for murder

Date: 2013-10-30

Rilya Wilson: Geralyn Graham won't be retried for murder

Geralyn Graham , who was convicted of kidnapping and child abuse in the case of 4-year-old foster child Rilya Wilson (pictured), has been sentenced to 55 years in prison.
Photographer: AP Graphics Bank

Posted: 10/30/2013

MIAMI - MIAMI (AP) -- Prosecutors in Miami have decided not to retry the caretaker of long-missing child Rilya Wilson on a murder charge.

A memo released Wednesday by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office recommends the charge be dismissed against Geralyn Graham. The 68-year-old Graham was sentenced earlier this year to 55 years in prison on kidnapping and child abuse charges, but jurors deadlocked on the murder count.

The memo cites numerous difficulties with another trial, including the fact that Rilya's body was never found.

Four-year-old Rilya vanished in December 2000 from Graham's home but her disappearance wasn't noticed for 15 months, largely because a Department of Children and Families caseworker neglected to check on her.

U.S. Lawmakers Call for Action to Curb Internet Child Trading

Date: 2013-10-29

U.S. Lawmakers Call for Action to Curb Internet Child Trading

By Megan Twohey
CHICAGO | Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:37pm EDT

U.S. adoptive mother gets 37 years for Ethiopian girl's death

Date: 2013-10-29

Jonathan Kaminsky
Reuters

OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - A U.S. woman was sentenced to 37 years in prison on Tuesday for starving her Ethiopia-born adopted daughter and leaving her to die outside in the cold in Washington state.

Stay-at-home mother Carri Williams, 42, was convicted last month of homicide by abuse in connection with the 2011 death of 13-year-old Hana Williams, who was adopted in 2008.

The girl's father, Larry Williams, 49, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and sentenced on Tuesday to 28 years in prison, a representative in the clerk's office said. The jury deadlocked on a charge of homicide by abuse against the man, who worked for the Boeing Co.

The family lived in Sedro-Woolley, a town about halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Hana Williams died of hypothermia in May 2011 after being found bruised and unconscious in the backyard shortly after midnight in temperatures hovering around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), authorities said.

Trial begins in death of 3-year-old girl

Date: 2013-10-29

Trial begins in death of 3-year-old girl
BY MICHELLE CASADY : OCTOBER 29, 2013

SAN ANTONIO — A man whose 3-year-old adopted daughter died of blunt head trauma nearly five years ago entered a not guilty plea Tuesday to causing serious bodily injury to the child by omission.

Norberto Velasquez, 49, could face up to life in prison if jurors in the 144th state District Court find him guilty of the first-degree felony.

His partner, Matthew Oscar Aranda, 48, has been charged with murder for the death of Melody Velasquez. That case is still pending.

Aranda and Velasquez finalized their adoption of Melody in December 2008, and she died on Jan. 10, 2009, prosecutor Daryl Harris told jurors during opening statements.

“Melody was only four months old when placed in his home,” he said, explaining she had been taken from her biological parents by Child Protective Services after allegations of abuse and neglect surfaced. “So in the very real sense, he was the only father, and this was the only home that young Melody knew in her three years.”

Police: Woman accused of beating adopted child with wooden spoon

Date: 2013-10-28

Police: Woman accused of beating adopted child with wooden spoon
by WHAS11

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 7:02 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A Jeffersontown woman accused of abusing her adopted child has been arraigned in Jefferson County.

Investigators say 28-year-old Rachel Hatfield Tipton struck her adopted 4-year-old son in the genitalia with a wooden spoon. After striking the child, police say she then force fed him causing a cut on the inside of his mouth.

Tipton was arrested in July on those accusations but entered a not guilty plea on Monday.

The little boy was adopted from Ethiopia.

Tipton is facing a criminal child abuse charge.

Baby Deseray Removed From Bixler's Custody in South Carolina

Date: 2013-10-28

By Suzette Brewer

Indian Country has learned that Merry Rejoice Bixler, aka "Baby Deseray," was removed last week from the home of Bobby Bixler, 64, and Diane Bixler, 60, of Irmo, South Carolina. Sources in that state have reported that the five-month-old Oklahoma infant was taken into state custody and is in temporary foster care pending an emergency hearing today in Richland County.

Adoptive mother pleads not guilty to criminal abuse

Date: 2013-10-28

Adoptive mother pleads not guilty to criminal abuse
Posted: Oct 28, 2013 4:17 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 28, 2013 5:49 PM EDT
By Sarah Eisenmenger - email

Rachel Tipton (Source: LMDC)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville mother pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal abuse concerning one of her four children on Monday.

According to Louisville Metro police, Rachel Tipton and her husband adopted a 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia.

The boy was taken to Kosair Children's Hospital for a scheduled procedure when the medical staff said they discovered injuries to various parts of the child's body including his head, mouth and genitals.

Tipton posted a $10,000 bond during her arraignment.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

Bulgarian mother of the little Roma girl wants her daughter back

Date: 2013-10-28

Bulgarian mother of the little Roma girl wants her daughter back
By Karl Penhaul, CNN
updated 4:16 AM EDT, Mon October 28, 2013

CNN's Karl Penhaul interviews birth parents of "Maria"
Mother says: "I will take care of her. She's mine."
DNA match traced birth parents of Maria to the village of Nikolaevo
Greek Roma couple who raised Maria are in custody charged with kidnapping

Sofia, Bulgaria (CNN) -- The birth parents of "Maria" stumble out of a studio in the Bulgarian capital, minutes after their first major TV interview.

Surrounded by bright lights and state-of-the art technology, Saska Ruseva and her husband Atanas Rusev are a world away from the tumbledown Roma village where they live in central Bulgaria.

Back in Nikolaevo, there are no street lights. Their house is made of mud brick and straw.

The couple were a world away too from Maria, the blond toddler found during a police raid of a Roma camp in Greece. DNA tests last week showed the Resevs were her biological parents.

'Maria' Case Leads Greek Police to Child Trafficking Ring

Date: 2013-10-27

'Maria' Case Leads Greek Police to Child Trafficking Ring
Crime | October 27, 2013, Sunday // 09:53

Over 100 Bulgarian children have been adopted from the hospital in Greece, where Bulgarian Roma girl Maria was born.

Maria was, most likely, part of an organized crime scheme for the sale of Bulgarian children in Greece.

This was reported specially for Novinite.com from the site www.zougla.gr, the Greek News Portal of popular investigative journalist and TV presenter Makis Triantafyllopoulos.

Currently the Subdivision of Internal Affairs of the Greek Police is conducting an extensive search in the archives of the hospital of Lamia and the registrar of the municipality, in connection with the case of little Maria – "the Blond Angel," who, as has revealed earlier by zougla.gr, was born in the town of Lamia on January 31, 2009.

Child trafficking racket unearthed

Date: 2013-10-27

Child trafficking racket unearthed
Sunday, 27 October 2013 - 07:00 PM

The National child protection authority has unearthed a child trafficking racket.

The racket came to light when 3 children aged 10, 11 and 14 respectively were deported from Australia.

OIC of the special investigation unit of the Child protection authority B W Bopitiya-goda stated that the person behind the racket had sold each child for 200 thousand rupees.

The racketeer had informed the parents that the children will be adopted by Australians.

Under the human trafficking act the police arrested the parents and placed them under remand custody and special investigations are underway to arrest the racketeer.

Oklahoma Adoption Attorney Approves Baby Deseray Removal for Friend

Date: 2013-10-25

Next week, South Carolina Judge Marsh Robertson has a hearing scheduled for the finalization of the adoption of Oklahoma-born infant, Merry Rejoice Bixler, better known as “Baby Deseray,” in Greenville County family court. The hearing, on Monday, October 28, comes a little over a month after Oklahoma County Judge Allen Welch granted custody of the girl to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and ordered her return to that state.

Four months after her removal, Mike Nomura, the Oklahoma administrator for the Interstate Custody for the Placement of Children (ICPC) applications, approved the paperwork for the child's adoptive parents, Bobby and Diane Bixler, of Irmo, South Carolina. The Bixlers are represented by Raymond Godwin, attorney for Nightlight Christian Adoptions of Greenville, South Carolina, and by Nomura's friend and colleague, Tulsa-based attorney Paul Swain in Oklahoma. (All of them declined to comment on this story.)

Jeffrey Baldwin inquest: Children’s aid almost sent Jeffrey, sister to foster care

Date: 2013-10-24

Jeffrey Baldwin inquest: Children’s aid almost sent Jeffrey, sister to foster care
Violent incident at welfare office nearly prompted removal of children to foster care, but mother’s suggestion led them to be placed with grandparents instead, social worker tells inquest.

Retired Catholic Children's Aid Society social worker Margarita Quintana leaves the Jeffrey Baldwin inquest after testifying Wednesday.
LUCAS OLENIUK / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

By: Jacques Gallant Staff Reporter, Published on Thu Oct 24 2013

Jeffrey Baldwin and his older sister were almost placed in foster care before a hastily made decision saw them go to their grandparents instead, where Jeffrey would starve to death, an inquest heard Thursday.

During her second day of testimony at the coroner’s inquest into Jeffrey’s death, retired Catholic Children’s Aid Society case worker Margarita Quintana said that throughout her dealings with the Baldwin family from 1994 to 1998, she never had any intention of apprehending the children and placing them in foster care until a March 1998 incident changed her mind.

Group seeks help finding alleged abuser

Date: 2013-10-23

October 23, 2013 - 12:05am
Group seeks help finding alleged abuser

By TOM CALLIS

Tribune-Herald staff writer

A group supporting survivors of sexual abuse is asking for help in locating a former Big Island resident.

Jay Ram has been accused by five of his adopted sons of sexual abuse from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, according to a lawsuit filed in First Circuit Court.

Ram, also known as Gary Winnick, had adopted or fostered as many as two dozen boys over the years, according to Joelle Casteix, western regional director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The group, which mostly assists victims of abuse from priests, is assisting the plaintiffs.

Casteix believes there are other victims who have yet to come forward and is asking for their help, as well as assistance from isle residents and agencies who may have information on his whereabouts.

Ram is believed to live in India with another boy, she said, and has a mailbox address in Saipan. He may have lived on the isle as recently as two years ago, Casteix said.

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