Lee Tibbetts – Teacher arrested for child molestation – School enabled him

Investigators say any time a child alleges abuse, they take it seriously and so should adults – especially educators.


Indianapolis – An IPS teacher has been arrested for child molestation.

John Marshall Community High School math teacher Lee Tibbetts was placed on administrative leave by Indianapolis Public Schools with pay during the investigation. Metro police sex crimes detective Greg Norris arrested Tibbetts after a thorough investigation, but the case is far from over.

Tibbetts, 33, faces five counts of child molestation and he was also arrested for one count of child solicitation involving a second student last year. One of Tibbetts’ 13-year-old male students claims he was repeatedly molested by the teacher in classrooms at the school.

“Alleging that he engaged in improper conduct during school hours on school property,” said IMPD Sgt. Paul Thompson.

The student also claims Tibbetts threatened to fail him if he ever told anyone.

Eyewitness News has now learned that IPS is investigating how another teacher handled information when the 13-year-old told her about the abuse in March. A school administrator also allegedly scorned Tibbetts after finding him and the boy in a locked classroom, but never suspected misconduct.

But now, sex crimes detectives are convinced that Tibbetts crossed the line.

“Because that’s where this case has gone from the beginning. We had one victim that had come forward, the complaint had been filed and the investigation was initiated. After that investigation was initiated, we heard additional complaints, at least one that has been verified of which he has been arrested for,” said Sgt. Thompson.

The investigation is ongoing, since detectives believe there is a possibility of other victims. Tibbetts first came under investigation in August 2008 when a 15-year-old boy complained to his mother about the teacher’s sexual advances.

“Asking him about his sexual preference, placing his hand on his knee, offering money. Stuff he should not have done as a teacher,” said the victim’s mother.

But the school dismissed the case, telling the boy’s mother the allegations were unfounded.

Months later, the 13-year-old boy came forward. Former Principal Jeff White believes the students.

“The kids who came forward, I would say that they were pretty honest with what they were conveying to me,” White said.

White said he suspected the teacher all along and didn’t trust him alone with students.

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” White said. “But as a precaution with students, I wanted him removed.”

Investigators say any time a child alleges abuse, they take it seriously and so should adults – especially educators.

“It needs to be brought to the attention of law enforcement immediately so we can investigate,” Sgt. Thompson said.

Police believe there may be more victims waiting to come tell their own story.

“Once this is out in the media, there’s always the possibility of someone else coming forward and additional charges and investigation,” Sgt. Thompson said.

Tibbetts denies any wrongdoing, including improper contact with the victims. As part of their investigation, detectives are looking at the teacher’s computer and phone records. He will make his first court appearance next week.

Melissa L. Stephens – Female Pedophile Arrested


The founder and director of a private Tualatin-based arts program was arrested today and accused by police of raping a young boy five years ago.

Melissa L. Stephens, 55, was accused of engaging in sexual acts, including intercourse, with the boy, who was about 10 or 11 years old, said Jennifer Massey, spokeswoman for Tualatin Police.

Stephens is founder and director of Willow Cottage Arts and Academics Program, a private arts program offering alternative education opportunities for children. It caters to students from kindergarten to the eighth grade, according to its web site.

The private school also conducts a summer arts program at Brown’s Ferry Park in Tualatin. According to the school web site, the summer program has been in existence since 1987. Massey said it runs for six weeks and caters to approximately 300 to 400 children ranging in age from 3 to 18.

Stephens was arrested at the school, located at 18815 S.W. Boones Ferry Road, at 10 a.m., Massey said.

Massey said police learned of Stephens’ alleged involvement with the boy on Monday.

Massey did not say now Stephens knew the boy, whether he was a student at the school or if police believe there may be other victims.

Massey said the investigation was handled jointly by Tualatin Police and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Stephens was accused of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree sex abuse. Stephens is scheduled to be arraigned at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Washington County Courthouse.

The case remains under investigation, Massey said.

John Stelmack – School Principal made his own Child Porn – Sick Twist

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in the trial of a former Polk County principal charged with child pornography.

John Stelmack, 62, was arrested on five counts of possession of child pornography in December 2007 after detectives said they found nude pictures in his briefcase including one of a former 10-year-old student at Scott Lake Elementary School in Lakeland.

“He had taken this photograph of her, at school, and then had digitally moved her face over onto a nude body, which created child pornography,” Sheriff Grady Judd said at the time of Stelmack’s arrest.

Investigators said they also found a picture of a second young girl, who may have been a student at a school where he was affiliated with in the New York area.

Detectives later searched Stelmack’s home, removing a computer and a laptop they say had more photos.

Stelmack was arrested again in January 2008 on 12 additional charges of possession of child pornography.

Mike Morrow – Perverted Pedophile gets 7 years

A Grand Junction man who had thousands of images of child pornography on his computer was sentenced Friday to seven years in federal prison and 10 years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mike Morrow, 63, had pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of child pornography, while a charge of transportation of child pornography was dismissed.

According to an arrest affidavit, Morrow had 13,000 images of children engaged in sexual acts and told police he obtained the images over several years via computer from a man in the Netherlands.

Morrow was hired as a teacher’s aide at Grand Mesa Middle School but resigned three weeks later on the day he was arrested.

He also formerly worked as a sports department copy editor for The Daily Sentinel and, more recently, wrote sports columns for the Grand Junction Free Press.

The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office.

‘Protected’ predator terrorised pupils for 30 years

A SERIAL sexual predator waged a reign of terror against his victims for years — working his way through half a dozen schools before being finally caught and convicted in the 1980s.

In an entire chapter on the abuser “John Brander”, the report reveals how he was persistently protected by diocesan and school authorities and complaints to the Department of Education were ignored.

Brander began his career as a Christian Brother and after three separate incidents of sexual abuse of boys in his classroom he was granted dispensation from his vows.

He then went on to work in six different schools in counties Longford, Laois, Dublin, Offaly and Kilkenny between 1957 and 1985, where he physically terrorised and sexually abused children in his classroom.

Protected

“At various times, during his career, parents attempted to challenge his behaviour but he was persistently protected by diocesan and school authorities and moved from school to school,” said the report.

“By permitting Mr Brander to be eased out of the congregation, the Christian Brothers did nothing to prevent him continuing in a career of teaching, despite his repeated sexual interference with children and knowledge as to the danger he represented to them,” the report said.

In the mid-1990s Brander was placed on probation for the sexual assault of a boy to whom he had been giving private tuition.

Almost two years later, he pleaded guilty to numerous sample charges of indecent assault at Naomh Mhuire NS, Walsh Island, Co Offaly, during the 1960s.

In the period between conviction and sentencing, more individuals came forward with complaints. In sentencing him to a term of imprisonment, the court took into account further assaults perpetrated at Presentation Convent secondary school in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny.

Following a third trial, Brander received a further conviction of assaulting another pupil at the same school.

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

Story

Jim Schneider – Music teacher busted for child porn

Two men in Colorado Springs are facing charges connected to child pornography. One of them is a band teacher at a local middle school.

According to the arrest affidavit, Jim Schneider admitted to police that he had images of child porn on his home computer. Police say it was folks at Yahoo, Inc. that tipped off authorities. They found the disturbing images in an online photo album.

The case landed at the ICAC unit, in the Colorado Springs Police department. Schneider was arrested at his home on Wednesday on charges of sexual exploitation of children.

It turns out he’s a band teacher at Timberview Middle School in Academy District 20. He’s also a tennis coach at Liberty High School. Police don’t believe any children in Colorado Springs are victims.

It’s a small relief for parents who trusted their children to a man now accused of this disturbing crime. Nanette Anderson is the spokesperson for Academy District 20. She says, “We know that families are concerned. The staff at Timberview is obviously shocked and saddened.”

Sgt. Bill Dehart heads the ICAC unit. He says, “The reality is, it’s the person closest to the children, the one you trust the most. It’s not the stranger.” He adds, that it’s a very small percentage of people working in schools that get accused of this crime, but it’s a sad reminder to be vigilant.

Schneider is no stranger to District 20. He’s been working for them since 2001. Officials there say he passed a thorough background check, including checks with the FBI.

Just two days earlier, in a separate case, Michael Eichsteadt was arrested at his home in Colorado Springs. Police say his ex-wife tipped off authorities that he had child porn on his computer. Police say they found several hundred videos and images.

Both men are free on a $3,000 bond. Officials at District 20 will only say that Schneider is on leave. They won’t say if it’s paid.

John Harvey Watson – ROTC Teacher busted for Child Porn

A retired Marine colonel who taught a Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Ribault High School in Jacksonville was arrested Friday during an undercover child-pornography investigation.

John Harvey Watson, 61, was arrested at his Jacksonville home in the 1800 block of Spiceberry Circle after officers from the Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit traced images of child porn back to his computer.

Authorities seized a personal desktop computer, an external hard drive, a thumbdrive and several CD-ROM discs from his home. Most of the girls depicted in the explicit images were middle and high-school aged, according to a news release from the Attorney General’s Office.

School district spokeswoman Jill Johnson said Watson was a four-year veteran at Ribault. He was removed from classroom duties after his arrest and will be assigned a desk job away from students. Watson was charged with five counts of possessing child pornography and is being held at the Duval County jail without bond.

Daniel Acker – Serial Pedophile – Preyed on boys over 30 years

“He preyed on at-risk boys, those with no strong father figure in their lives,” Wentlandt said. “We believe we’ve only scratched the surface in people we’ve talked to.”

The first accuser came forward after he saw Acker walking into an area middle school, Wentlandt said. The victim contacted the recreation department, saying he couldn’t believe Acker was still working there with young children.

A 61-year-old man who works as a part-time aquatics program coordinator for the West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation Department was in jail Thursday, suspected of sexually assaulting young boys for more than 30 years, authorities said.

Daniel Acker of Waukesha was arrested Monday during a swim practice at West Milwaukee Middle School, said Deputy Inspector Bradley Wentlandt of the Greenfield Police Department. Acker is suspected of assaulting boys between the ages of 7 and 15 from the 1970s to 2008, police said.

Acker is suspected in hundreds of assaults involving dozens of children over the years, police said. Some of the assaults are alleged to have occurred in Greenfield.

Daniel Acker’s obsession with missing children and a “strange infatuation with child murders” prompted Greenfield police to ask federal investigators to see whether there are ties between the man accused of dozens of sexual assaults and children who have disappeared since the 1970s, a Greenfield police investigator said Friday.

Police who searched the basement of 61-year-old Acker’s Waukesha home this week found a model police station, featuring a dozen photos of abducted and murdered children pasted to the inside walls; journals with hundreds of pages written on Jacob Wetterling and John Zera, a boy abducted and found dead in Whitnall Park in 1975; and 1970s model cars with the names and dates of death of abducted and murdered children written by Acker on the bottom.

There is no information right now to suggest that Acker is a suspect in any of the killings, but evidence has been turned over to the FBI and other local police agencies for further investigation, Deputy Inspector Bradley Wentlandt of the Greenfield Police Department said in a news conference Friday morning.

Acker in the 1970’s

FBI spokesman Leonard Peace said the bureau is assisting in the case. He said he could not comment further because it is an open investigation.

A prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office is reviewing the Acker case, said Paul Kanter, chief of the criminal division.

Acker in the 1980’s

“The FBI has been in touch with us,” Kanter said. “At this point in time we have not identified any federal crime.”

Acker remains locked up in Milwaukee County Jail while a team of Greenfield police continue their work into allegations that started on Monday accusing him of sexually assaulting boys between the ages of 7 and 15 going back to the 1970s.

“He preyed on at-risk boys, those with no strong father figure in their lives,” Wentlandt said. “We believe we’ve only scratched the surface in people we’ve talked to.”

Police held the news conference Friday to see whether other accusers will come forward in light of the news released Thursday that Acker, who works as a part-time aquatics program coordinator for the West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation Department, had been jailed on suspicion of sexually assaulting young boys for more than 30 years.

Acker in the 1990’s

Acker was arrested Monday during a swim practice at West Milwaukee Middle School after a man in his 40s told police Monday that Acker had sexually assaulted him from 1971 to 1976, when he was between 11 and 15 years old. Since then, at least three other men in their 40s – including one who now lives in Tennessee – and a 19-year-old have told police they had been sexually assaulted by Acker when they were minors, Wentlandt said.

The first accuser came forward after he saw Acker walking into an area middle school, Wentlandt said. The victim contacted the recreation department, saying he couldn’t believe Acker was still working there with young children.

Acker was arrested in the hours after police received a tip from Michele Strasser, coordinator of recreation for West Allis-West Milwaukee.

Strasser said Friday: “Myself, our staff, our whole community, this has taken a toll. Kids are the most important to us and their safety.”

The statute of limitations in child sexual assault cases that was in place in the 1970s may prevent authorities from being able to prosecute those cases, Wentlandt said. The statute of limitations in such cases has since been extended.

But the 19-year-old told police that Acker has assaulted him starting about five years ago and that the two remained in a relationship as of earlier this week, Wentlandt said. Police are trying to see whether there are other younger victims.

Wentlandt said Acker didn’t have any of his own children, but said he had three foster children – all boys – that he had cared for during the past decade. Police are trying to make contact with those former foster children, Wentlandt said.

“We believe we’ve only scratched the surface with the victims we’ve talked to already,” Wentlandt said. “We believe there are more victims out there.”

Police are asking those victims to call investigators at (414) 761-5301.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, at least 50 callers had phoned Greenfield Police to share what they know, to suggest potential victims or to talk about being victimized by Acker.

Within moments of news reports featuring four decades of photos of the Acker, calls were coming in at one per minute at the department, where seven sworn officers and detectives have been assigned to answer those calls specifically. Wentlandt said calls are continuing to come in this afternoon at 3 to 4 per hour.

“We will have people throughout the rest of the night and tomorrow and the next day, if necessary,” said Greenfield Deputy Inspector Bradley Wentlandt. “We don’t want to take messages. If someone gets the courage to call in, we want to make sure it’s taken by an investigator who can get the right information.”

A number of people contacted the Journal Sentinel Friday to say their children were or had been students of Acker’s.

Angie Aide of West Allis said she had to tell her daughter about Acker this morning at breakfast.

“My heart just dropped,” Aide said. Her 8-year-old daughter took swimming classes with Acker for two years. Acker substituted as an instructor for Aide’s daughter just last week.

Acker played dodge ball with the kids. He’d joke with them when they sprayed water on him with pool noodles. “The parents got a chuckle out if it,” Aide said. And Acker would talk to the kids “on their level.”

Aide said she always sat in the bleachers at the recreation center when Acker taught classes. When the kids were told “Mr. Dan” would be teaching the classes, they would cheer, Aide said.

Melissa Luck of West Allis said that as a swim instructor, Acker had a great rapport with children, especially with her 5-year-old daughter, Taylor, who took a class with him last fall.

“My daughter loved him, loved him, told him she loved him all the time,” she said.

Luck, who said she herself was molested as a child by someone she knew, now worries about the many youths who took group or private lessons with Acker and the teens who helped him teach swimming.

She also said the news of his arrest has been hard on Taylor.

“She said Momma, Mr. Dan broke my heart,” Luck said.

Charles Rogers – Teacher bust for child porn

A simple letter tipped off police to a man they claim had possibly hundreds of pictures and videos of child pornography.

According Boulder City Police, Charles Rogers taught children at Garret Junior High School for almost 3 years and coached boys soccer at Boulder City Parks and Rec.

After searching his home in Boulder City, investigators say they found a photo album hidden near his bed which included child pornography.

Police also seized computers cd’s, VHS tapes and other materials from his home.

Investigators didn’t stop there, they headed to his classroom.

The report says police they found several items of similar nature at school.

During a police interview the teacher talked about taking pictures and admitted to having child pornography at his residence involving 9 to 15 year old boys.

Right now Rogers is facing 64 counts for possession of child pornography.

Danny Lynn Parker – Pedophile


A volunteer Sunday school teacher accused of taking photographs of young girls and cutting out their faces to make child pornography won’t be getting a reduction in his $90,000 bail.

Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen refused Danny Lynn Parker’s request Tuesday for a lower bail.

The 39-year-old Kathleen man has been in jail since his April 18 arrest.

He faces 90 counts of possessing child pornography. Each charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

A Polk County Sheriff’s Office investigation concluded Parker took the girls’ photographs and pasted their faces onto photos of nude adult female bodies.

A main question in the case will be whether the altered images are child pornography.

Parker’s lawyer, Francis Solorzano, has filed a motion seeking to dismiss the charges. His motion states that the bodies of the children are not depicted, and there is no indication of any sexual conduct by the children.

Prosecutors requested more time at a hearing Monday to research the issues before arguing against the motion to dismiss.

Parker volunteered at Lakeland Acres Baptist Church as a teacher. He also served as a youth camp photographer at Lake Wales Care Center.

Investigative reports have provided more details about the case, including a more than 80-page transcript of Parker’s statement to detectives.

His arrest came after people rummaging for aluminum cans inside a trash bin at a Dade City egg farm found photographs of children with their faces cut out, reports state.

Investigators traced the trash back to Parker when they looked up his phone number on a Walgreens photo container, reports state.

Deputies searched Parker’s room at his parent’s home and found a green, three-ring binder filled with the images. The girls whose faces were used ranged in age from about 5 to 15 years old, an arrest report states.

Parker denied being attracted to female children but later agreed that he was attracted to them, according to the transcript of his statement.

Parker told detectives that he took the photographs of the girls at church and camp events.

He said he would work at night on the images when his parents weren’t home, matching the children’s faces to women’s bodies from pornographic magazines and the cover of a pornographic DVD.

Parker repeatedly denied ever touching any of the girls, according to the transcript.

He said he had “a lot of opportunities” to be alone with children and could have “done whatever,” but he did not. He said he had “drawn a line” that he wasn’t going to intentionally touch children, according to the transcript.

Detectives asked whether he felt that he might “step over the line.”

“I can’t predict the future,” Parker said, according to a transcript. “I don’t know.”

Parker told detectives that he didn’t date very much and is addicted to pornography. He said he had spent about a month or so making the images, the report said.

He told the detectives that he had been sexually molested for several years beginning when he was 9 or 10 years old, according to the transcript.

In college, he studied ministry but couldn’t graduate because he was having heart problems, he said.

Parker said he heard about the idea of putting children’s faces on adult female bodies following news reports about a Lakeland school principal accused of similar actions.

John Stelmack, the former principal at Scott Lake Elementary School, continues to face child pornography charges. A trial date has not been scheduled.