Every two minutes, someone becomes a victim of sexual assault

Between 50 percent and 90 percent of sexual assaults or rapes are not reported to police.

Lafayette’s Pam Frey is just one of millions of faces of sexual assault – one of the most underreported crimes in the nation.

Every two minutes, someone becomes a victim, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization 2007 Survey.

What’s more astonishing, Lafayette Assistant District Attorney Keith Stutes said, is the number of people who admit to being, directly or indirectly, affected by sexual assault.

“You can conduct a poll in any setting, and you would be amazed by how many individuals … how many families go through something so traumatic like this,” he said.

Misty Noble-Hodge, resource center coordinator for the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, has spent years compiling a statewide database of sexual assault.

The Office of Community Services, housed under the state’s Department of Social Services, had 1,038 confirmed cases of child sexual abuse in 2007, according to her findings.

In the city of Lafayette, 68 forcible rapes were reported to the FBI in 2007.

Anne Cunningham, education coordinator for Stuller Place, said social workers interview more than 400 victims from Lafayette and surrounding parishes every year.

Stuller Place, a local nonprofit organization for sexual abuse victims, also serves about 500 men, women and children yearly. Mostly women and children come, Cunningham said.

Judy Benitez, executive director of the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, said the sad truth is people walk around blind to something that happens right in front of them so often.

“People think it does not happen where they live,” Benitez said. “It happens in your neighborhood. It happens in my neighborhood. It happens everywhere.

Pam Frey shows no outward signs of the trauma of repeated sexual abuse by a family member through her childhood years.

But she knows sexual abuse victims don’t wear one certain face.

“To think that this only happens to a few people,” she said shaking her head, “that’s not true. The saddest thing is there are so many of us. We are the people you sit next to in church. We are the people that you see in the grocery stores. We are the people that you meet every day, but may never know it.”

Stuller Place therapist Lisa Mount said “the stranger in a dark alley is not a real common occurrence” when it comes to sexual offenders.

About 90 percent to 95 percent of the sexual assault victims know their offenders in some way.

This familiarity factor, Mount said, is what makes the crime more prevalent because the offenders often have access to and a built-in trust with their victims.

In her 25 years of studying specifically child sexual assault offenders, UL psychology professor Valanne MacGyvers has found two categories of them – chronic and situational.

Chronic offenders are those repeat offenders who can affect up to 200 to 300 children throughout their lifetimes if they are not caught or reported, she said.

Situational offenders are one-time or rare offenders who commit the crime under the strain of certain situations.

“This happens sometimes when the mother of a family is very ill, and the father maybe turns to his older daughter for that type of attention even though it is wrong,” she said.

Female offenders are rare, MacGyvers said, but they exist.

Most perpetrators, MacGyvers said, were victims at one point in their lives.

But it’s not true that most victims become offenders, she said contesting many myths.

Benitez said remembering that offenders don’t all look or act the same is the first step to parents teaching their kids about sexual assault. Simply teaching them prevention methods are the most effective.

“People tend to try to teach their children to recognize an offender,” Benitez said. “Nobody can recognize an offender. They look just like everyone else.”

SEXUAL ASSAULTS BY THE NUMBERS

Every two minutes, someone becomes a victim of sexual assault.

The Louisiana Office of Community Services, housed under the state’s Department of Social Services, had 1,038 confirmed cases of child sexual abuse in 2007.

Between 50 percent and 90 percent of sexual assaults or rapes are not reported to police.

Published in: on June 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pedophile Enabler Geneva Hilliard told victim to "shut up and not tell anyone"

“by not telling you become part of the crime”


An awful crime goes unreported and causes a juvenile victim to suffer in silence for years. Waco police say knowing about a crime and not telling them could also land you in jail.

News Channel 25 reported in late April about Thomas Hilliard, who was sentenced to eight life terms in prison for sexually abusing a young girl, continually over several years. But police say someone else knew about the sexual abuse and never reported it. Sixty-four year old Geneva Hilliard was arrested Wednesday night for abandoning and endangering a child.

According to the arrest warrant, Hilliard was told by the victim about the abuse but Hilliard told the young girl, to quote, “shut up and not tell anyone.” To make matters worse, police say the victim was still exposed to Thomas Hilliard who was abusing her.

Waco Police Detective Kim Clark says unfortunately this happens a lot in child sexual abuse cases. Many times adults don’t want to believe the abuse is occurring. But she says by not telling you become part of the crime.

“Even if you don’t believe the child, you have to report it because children give little bits and pieces to get people’s reaction. You may not get the whole story until somebody starts believing them. If no one gives them the opportunity to speak then they’ll remain quiet and it will continue to happen,” said Clark.

Thomas Hilliard is serving his eight life terms while Geneva Hilliard bonded out of the McLennan County Jail Thursday morning.

Ian and Julia Rodenberg – Charged with child endangerment after renting room to sex offender

Authorities have filed a child endangerment charge against a northeast Iowa couple accused of letting a register sex offender live in their home with their three children.

The Fayette County sheriff’s office says Ian and Julia Rodenberg, of Arlington, rented a room to a person on the state’s sex offender registry. They were arrested after a theft investigation at a convenience store in Maynard last week.

Authorities say Julia Rodenberg was charged with theft in that case. During the investigation, officials discovered the couple had rented a room to the sex offender.

The couple’s children, ages 4 to 10, were turned over the Iowa Department of Human Services.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte
Published in: on June 4, 2009 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fredrick Ramone Wright – Visits School and rapes a 13 year old in the locker room

Mansfield School District officials say a middle school student was sexually assaulted while at school two weeks ago.

The district did not release information about the crime until today.Parents received letters from school officials, informing them about the incident.

The crime happened at James Coble Middle School. Coble is a Mansfield ISD school but is located in the City of Arlington, so Arlington Police are investigating.

In a news release, MISD spokesman Terry Morawski and Arlington Police spokesman Lt. Blake Miller say the assault happened on September 26.

Miller says a 13-year-old girl told police she had been in a hallway at the school that morning when a man grabbed her, pulled her into a girls’ locker room and sexually assaulted her.

Miller identified the suspect as 34-year-old Fredrick Ramone Wright. He says Wright is the father of another Coble student and was visiting the campus that day. Wright is in the Arlington jail under $100,000 bond. He is being charged with aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping.

In the news release, Morawski lists the security measures in place at MISD middle schools. They include a sign-in system that scans visitors’ driver’s licenses and compares the information to a registered sex offender database.

Police say Wright went to the school to visit his own child. The sign-in system cleared him to enter the school, Miller said, and he was allowed into the building.

“We’re reviewing our policies, basically every policy, to take a look to see if there’s any additional measures maybe we need to take,” said Mansfield ISD Spokesperson Terry Morawski.

No MISD middle school has security cameras, according to the district.

Parents say from now on, they believe every visitor on campus should be escorted. Some say they would also like the school to install surveillance cameras.

Police have not said whether Wright has a criminal past, but a search for his name in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry returned no results.

The district’s statement also says although the crime happened two weeks ago, the district waited until now to tell the community about it “due to laws protecting privacy rights and to not impede the progress of the investigation.”

Last year, a teacher’s aide was accused of sexually assaulting another student at the same school.

The school issued the following letter to the parents:

October 10, 2008

Dear Parent/Guardian:

I am sending this letter in order to provide you with accurate information and discourage rumors of an alleged incident that occurred on the Coble campus involving one of our students.

The Arlington Police Department is investigating the sexual assault of one of our students on campus. The alleged incident was reported to the Arlington Police Department on September 26. The suspect is an adult male who was visiting the campus.

The suspect is not an employee of MISD or a student in the district. The Arlington Police Department is actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. Mansfield ISD employees and the MISD Police are cooperating fully with the Arlington Police Department.

To account for the delay in releasing this information, I can tell you that due to laws protecting privacy rights and to preserve the integrity of the investigation for the Arlington Police Department, I have been limited in the information that I can disclose. However, I want to reassure the entire Coble community that the safety of our students and staff remains one of our top priorities.

Please feel free to contact my office if you have questions or concerns. If you or your student has any information about this incident, or any other safety concern on our campus, please direct them to contact me or another campus administrator. I assure you that we are committed to maintaining a safe school environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.

Sincerely,
Derrell Douglas Principal
JAMES L. COBLE MIDDLE SCHOOL

Published in: on October 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Help pass Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act

Did you know that an estimated 1 of 3 girls and 1 of 6 boys are sexually violated prior to the age 18?

Did you know that there are over 9,000 pedaphiles that make up a society which shares tips on how to molest children and hide it on the Internet?

Did you know the Internet allows pedophiles to have instant access to other predators worldwide, allows open discussions of their sexual desires, shares ideas about ways to lure victims, allows instant access to potential child victims worldwide and serves as an outlet for pedophiles to show live videos of raping children.

While pedophile Websites are being tracked down and removed from Internet servers in countries all over the world, they are still easily finding ways to post Websites, Webrings, forums and chat rooms.

While the number of pedophiles in the world continues to increase at an unbelieveable rate – the funds to capture these individuals are limited.

However, there is a bill which will be voted on Friday that could change the way law enforcement battles the problem of pedophiles in our society.

The Combating Child Exploitation Act of 2008 is coming to a vote in the Senate and everyone needs to make their senators know just how important this bill is and that they need to support the passing of Senate Bill 1738. This bill will change how many will react with the internet. This bill needs to be approved. Law enforcement agencies are heroically struggling against the surge of online criminal activities.

This bill will apply a stronger financial support for increased manpower and training. This will also cover laws enabled by emerging technology. This bill focuses on several points and issues. This bill will establish a special counsel for Child Exploitation prevention and interdiction within the office of the Deputy Attorney General. Also, the bill will strengthen and improve the internet crimes against children task force. Furthermore, the bill calls for an increase of resources for regional computer forensic labs to locate internet criminals.

Also, the bill will strengthen laws against child exploitation to increase the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute child sexual predators. The bill will also enable services to legally report child pornography violations directly to a foreign law enforcement agency to combat international criminals.

Millions across the nation look forward to the bill. Television personnel and celebrities urge view to support the bill.

The Protecting our Children Bill will authorize over $320 million over the next five years in greatly needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation. Also, it mandates that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.

Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 11:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Appeals court upholds sex offender ban

Plainfield has won the latest round in the long-running lawsuit filed by a convicted sex offender who was banned from the town’s parks.

The Indiana Court of Appeals today released a 20-page ruling that upholds the town’s 2002 ordinance prohibiting persons on the state registry of sex offenders from going into Plainfield parks and recreation facilities.

While the ban on sex offenders in the parks does have a punitive aspect, the court said it is not unconstitutional, as the plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, tried to claim in his suit.

The appeals court said Plainfield did not violate the portion of the Indiana Constitution that guarantees rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to everyone.

Plainfield Town Manager Rich Carlucci said today that the purpose of the ban on registered sex offenders in the parks is to keep them away from children playing in the park.

The appeals court decision upholds a ruling in March this year by Hendricks Superior Court Judge Robert W. Freese, who had granted summary judgment for Plainfield and upheld the town’s ordinance.

Doe, a Marion County resident, was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana in filing the suit challenging Plainfield’s ban on sex offenders in the parks.

According to the Court of Appeals, Doe was a convicted sex offender. He also has acquired joint legal custody of his minor son, according to the court.

Doe and his son visited Plainfield parks and recreation areas in 2004 and 2005, according to the court.

In June 2005, a Plainfield policeman recognized Doe in the Recreation Center and Splash Island. He told Doe of the town ordinance banning anyone on the state’s online registry of convicted sex offenders from being in the parks.

Doe sued Plainfield in November 2005, which began nearly three years of twists and turns in the legal case.

In one key step, Doe won a controversial court ruling to keep his identity secret in the legal proceeding even though he is listed publicly on the state registry of sex offenders.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Detecting False Denials

In a study which could have a profound effect on child sexual abuse evaulations, researchers from UC Davis report that adults are easily fooled when a child denies that an actual event took place, but do somewhat better at detecting when a child makes up information about something that never happened.

“The findings suggest that adults are better at detecting false reports than they are at detecting false denials,” Goodman said. “While accurately detecting false reports protects innocent people from false allegations, the failure to detect false denials could mean that adults fail to protect children who falsely deny actual victimization.”

The research was presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychology Association in Boston.

“The large number of children coming into contact with the legal system – mostly as a result of abuse cases – has motivated intense scientific effort to understand children’s true and false reports,” said UCD psychology professor and study author Gail S. Goodman.

“The seriousness of abuse charges and the frequency with which children’s testimony provides central prosecutorial evidence makes children’s eyewitness memory abilities important considerations. Arguably even more important, however, are adults’ abilities to evaluate children’s reports.”

In an effort to determine if adults can discern children’s true reports from false ones, Goodman and her co-investigators asked more than 100 adults to view videotapes of 3- and 5-year-olds being interviewed about “true” and “false” events.

For true events, the children either accurately confirmed that the event had occurred or inaccurately denied that it had happened.

For “false” events – ones that the children had not experienced – they either truthfully denied having experienced them or falsely reported that they had occurred.

Afterward, the adults were asked to evaluate each child’s veracity.

The adults were relatively good at detecting accounts of events that never happened. But the adults were apt to mistakenly believe children’s denials of actual events.

“The findings suggest that adults are better at detecting false reports than they are at detecting false denials,” Goodman said. “While accurately detecting false reports protects innocent people from false allegations, the failure to detect false denials could mean that adults fail to protect children who falsely deny actual victimization.”

Goodman’s co-authors include Donna Shestowsky, acting professor of law at UCD, and doctoral students Stephanie Block, Jennifer Schaaf and Daisy Segovia.

Goodman was among the first researchers to undertake academic study of children’s eyewitness accounts. She is the author of three books and more than 170 scientific articles in the field; some have been cited in U.S. Supreme Court decisions. She is the 2008 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology.

Published in: on August 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Detecting False Denials

In a study which could have a profound effect on child sexual abuse evaulations, researchers from UC Davis report that adults are easily fooled when a child denies that an actual event took place, but do somewhat better at detecting when a child makes up information about something that never happened.

“The findings suggest that adults are better at detecting false reports than they are at detecting false denials,” Goodman said. “While accurately detecting false reports protects innocent people from false allegations, the failure to detect false denials could mean that adults fail to protect children who falsely deny actual victimization.”

The research was presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychology Association in Boston.

“The large number of children coming into contact with the legal system – mostly as a result of abuse cases – has motivated intense scientific effort to understand children’s true and false reports,” said UCD psychology professor and study author Gail S. Goodman.

“The seriousness of abuse charges and the frequency with which children’s testimony provides central prosecutorial evidence makes children’s eyewitness memory abilities important considerations. Arguably even more important, however, are adults’ abilities to evaluate children’s reports.”

In an effort to determine if adults can discern children’s true reports from false ones, Goodman and her co-investigators asked more than 100 adults to view videotapes of 3- and 5-year-olds being interviewed about “true” and “false” events.

For true events, the children either accurately confirmed that the event had occurred or inaccurately denied that it had happened.

For “false” events – ones that the children had not experienced – they either truthfully denied having experienced them or falsely reported that they had occurred.

Afterward, the adults were asked to evaluate each child’s veracity.

The adults were relatively good at detecting accounts of events that never happened. But the adults were apt to mistakenly believe children’s denials of actual events.

“The findings suggest that adults are better at detecting false reports than they are at detecting false denials,” Goodman said. “While accurately detecting false reports protects innocent people from false allegations, the failure to detect false denials could mean that adults fail to protect children who falsely deny actual victimization.”

Goodman’s co-authors include Donna Shestowsky, acting professor of law at UCD, and doctoral students Stephanie Block, Jennifer Schaaf and Daisy Segovia.

Goodman was among the first researchers to undertake academic study of children’s eyewitness accounts. She is the author of three books and more than 170 scientific articles in the field; some have been cited in U.S. Supreme Court decisions. She is the 2008 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology.

Published in: on August 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Detecting False Denials

In a study which could have a profound effect on child sexual abuse evaulations, researchers from UC Davis report that adults are easily fooled when a child denies that an actual event took place, but do somewhat better at detecting when a child makes up information about something that never happened.

“The findings suggest that adults are better at detecting false reports than they are at detecting false denials,” Goodman said. “While accurately detecting false reports protects innocent people from false allegations, the failure to detect false denials could mean that adults fail to protect children who falsely deny actual victimization.”

The research was presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychology Association in Boston.

“The large number of children coming into contact with the legal system – mostly as a result of abuse cases – has motivated intense scientific effort to understand children’s true and false reports,” said UCD psychology professor and study author Gail S. Goodman.

“The seriousness of abuse charges and the frequency with which children’s testimony provides central prosecutorial evidence makes children’s eyewitness memory abilities important considerations. Arguably even more important, however, are adults’ abilities to evaluate children’s reports.”

In an effort to determine if adults can discern children’s true reports from false ones, Goodman and her co-investigators asked more than 100 adults to view videotapes of 3- and 5-year-olds being interviewed about “true” and “false” events.

For true events, the children either accurately confirmed that the event had occurred or inaccurately denied that it had happened.

For “false” events – ones that the children had not experienced – they either truthfully denied having experienced them or falsely reported that they had occurred.

Afterward, the adults were asked to evaluate each child’s veracity.

The adults were relatively good at detecting accounts of events that never happened. But the adults were apt to mistakenly believe children’s denials of actual events.

“The findings suggest that adults are better at detecting false reports than they are at detecting false denials,” Goodman said. “While accurately detecting false reports protects innocent people from false allegations, the failure to detect false denials could mean that adults fail to protect children who falsely deny actual victimization.”

Goodman’s co-authors include Donna Shestowsky, acting professor of law at UCD, and doctoral students Stephanie Block, Jennifer Schaaf and Daisy Segovia.

Goodman was among the first researchers to undertake academic study of children’s eyewitness accounts. She is the author of three books and more than 170 scientific articles in the field; some have been cited in U.S. Supreme Court decisions. She is the 2008 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology.

Published in: on August 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Detecting False Denials

In a study which could have a profound effect on child sexual abuse evaulations, researchers from UC Davis report that adults are easily fooled when a child denies that an actual event took place, but do somewhat better at detecting when a child makes up information about something that never happened.

“The findings suggest that adults are better at detecting false reports than they are at detecting false denials,” Goodman said. “While accurately detecting false reports protects innocent people from false allegations, the failure to detect false denials could mean that adults fail to protect children who falsely deny actual victimization.”

The research was presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychology Association in Boston.

“The large number of children coming into contact with the legal system – mostly as a result of abuse cases – has motivated intense scientific effort to understand children’s true and false reports,” said UCD psychology professor and study author Gail S. Goodman.

“The seriousness of abuse charges and the frequency with which children’s testimony provides central prosecutorial evidence makes children’s eyewitness memory abilities important considerations. Arguably even more important, however, are adults’ abilities to evaluate children’s reports.”

In an effort to determine if adults can discern children’s true reports from false ones, Goodman and her co-investigators asked more than 100 adults to view videotapes of 3- and 5-year-olds being interviewed about “true” and “false” events.

For true events, the children either accurately confirmed that the event had occurred or inaccurately denied that it had happened.

For “false” events – ones that the children had not experienced – they either truthfully denied having experienced them or falsely reported that they had occurred.

Afterward, the adults were asked to evaluate each child’s veracity.

The adults were relatively good at detecting accounts of events that never happened. But the adults were apt to mistakenly believe children’s denials of actual events.

“The findings suggest that adults are better at detecting false reports than they are at detecting false denials,” Goodman said. “While accurately detecting false reports protects innocent people from false allegations, the failure to detect false denials could mean that adults fail to protect children who falsely deny actual victimization.”

Goodman’s co-authors include Donna Shestowsky, acting professor of law at UCD, and doctoral students Stephanie Block, Jennifer Schaaf and Daisy Segovia.

Goodman was among the first researchers to undertake academic study of children’s eyewitness accounts. She is the author of three books and more than 170 scientific articles in the field; some have been cited in U.S. Supreme Court decisions. She is the 2008 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology.

Published in: on August 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment