4/30/14 – Today’s Round-up of Child Sex Abuse in the News



Berkeley, SC – Cross teacher under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with student

A Cross High School teacher is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with a student.  According to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the BCSO is conducting an investigation after receiving notification from the Berkeley County School District that a teacher at Cross High School had been accused of sexual misconduct with a student.  Read more here:


Memphis, TN – Melrose teacher suspended for possible misconduct

The band director at Melrose High has been suspended with pay while officials at Shelby County Schools investigate allegations of sexual misconduct made by a male student.  Read more here:


Dover, DE – Ex-LIer teaching in Delaware charged with sex abuse of 13-year-old student

A former Long Island woman teaching in Delaware had sex with one of her 13-year-old students and exchanged “explicit” photos and phone messages with him, Dover city police said in announcing her arrest. Surveillance footage on Feb. 26 showed Seabury and the student leaving the school together and walking toward her car at about 3:50 p.m., police said.

Officials at the Caesar Rodney School District, which runs the middle school, said they alerted police after learning about the relationship.  Read more here:


Gainesville, FL – More may be victims of swim coach’s abuse, police say


Police now believe at least seven children may be alleged victims of a Gainesville teacher and swim coach who was arrested last week on charges of molestation and sexual abuse.  Gainesville police spokesman officer Ben Tobias said Tuesday afternoon that more children have been interviewed and it appears seven or possibly eight claim to have been victims of Joseph Diaz. Diaz first was arrested Thursday on a warrant on charges of cruelty toward a child by directing the sexual performance by a child and possession of child pornography involving one male teenager.  Read more here:


Kennewick, WA- Sex abuse victims file claims against Kennewick schools

About three months before a Kennewick teacher and coach was arrested for sex crimes, school officials wanted him pulled from the classroom.  But William Pickerel continued substitute teaching during fall 2007 because police did not want him alerted to their investigation.  Now the Kennewick School District is facing a possible lawsuit by victims who claim the district failed to protect them for many of the 37 years he taught in Kennewick.  Read more here:


Syracuse, NY – Former Forsyth teacher charged with statutory rape

A training workshop is the latest effort in Onondaga County to end child sexual abuse. The YMCA and the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center are offering training workshops to help adults recognize the signs or child abuse, and to help them do something about it.  Area businessman Dan Leonard, who has spoken out on his own victimization by an abusing football coach, spoke at this morning’s campaign launch, saying it’s a step towards prevention instead of just helping the victims.  Read more here:


Copenhagen, NY – Copenhagen student leads sexual assault awareness campaign through art

Denim Day was established in 1999 after an Italian high court overturned a rape case, saying the alleged victim must have consented because she was wearing tight jeans. Since then, April 23 has been marked internationally as Denim Day. With April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Copenhagen Central freshman Drew Baker proposed a Denim Day art project. “I just want people to know there are people here to help,” she said. “I want them to know they have a voice and they don’t have to hide anything.”  Read more here:


Washington, DC – Student Activists Fight To Stem Sexual Assaults

The White House is out this morning with new recommendations to protect students from sexual assault, with a focus on the college years. These are the first results from a task force formed earlier this year aimed at addressing a problem that’s getting a lot more attention on college campuses than it used to. Campus sexual assault has been making headlines in student newspapers and is a focus of student activism. Put simply, young people are talking about it. And the University of Delaware is no different. Read more here:


Washington, DC – Sexual Assault Prevention: Mandatory Education Is the Solution

Trigger warning: Sexual violence and rape culture discussed.  In the last week, my alma mater, American University, has been receiving a lot of attention in the media because of leaked emails from an underground fraternity containing details about widespread drug use, sexist, racist and homophobic language and most disturbingly, details about sexual assaults and plans to rape intoxicated women.   However, there is one aspect to this incident that has not been covered. It is only the most recent episode in the ongoing struggle between student activists (including myself) and the administration regarding the need for mandatory sexual assault prevention education programs for all students. Read more here:


San Tan Valley, AZ – PCSO: High school student suspected of 13 sexual assaults

Pinal County Sheriff’s officials say a detective received a call from a person who reported an 18-year-old student at Poston Butte High School had sexually assaulted, sexually abused and molested teenage girls in the San Tan Valley area.  Investigators say they have identified 13 alleged victims. 12 are high school students and another is 13-years-old.  According to PCSO, one of the victims reported Tyler Kost threatened, harassed and told her to kill herself. She attempted to commit suicide and while hospitalized, she received a message from Kost, which threatened that if she returned to school, he would “make her life a living hell.” Read more here:


Claremont, NH – Former Claremont high school teacher indicted for sex assaults on student

The former high school math teacher who police say engaged in a sexual relationship with one of his students at Stevens High School in Claremont has been indicted by the Sullivan County Grand Jury.

Christopher LeBlanc, 29, of Claremont was arrested and charged March 21 after a two-day investigation by Claremont police and Stevens High School administration. He was initially charged at his arraignment with four counts of felonious sexual assault stemming from his alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.  Read more here:


Middleton, CT – WSA Passes Resolution to Address Sexual Assault on Campus

On Sunday, April 28, the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) unanimously passed a resolution titled “Community Initiatives to Alleviate Sexual Assault and Harassment at the University.” Among other initiatives to reduce the number of sexual assaults on campus, the resolution bans any student guilty of sexual misconduct, harassment, or assault from joining the WSA. The resolution comes after many weeks of WSA meetings concerning sexual assault on campus. “[The WSA points] to longstanding concerns of student safety on campus particularly in regards to sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship violence,” the resolution reads.  Read more here:


Beverly, MA – Man charged with molesting relative

A former Beverly man has been charged with multiple counts of indecent assault and battery on a young relative, incidents the now-teenage girl recently disclosed.  Julio Cesar Valdez, 36, who was described in court papers as homeless, was charged by police in Salem, Beverly and Peabody with the incidents, which occurred while he was living with the girl and the rest of her family in each of those communities, starting when she was 5.  Read more here:


Minneapolis, MN – “Victim” No Longer: A Story of Confronting Clergy Sexual Abuse

Far too often in today’s world, we hear stories of child sexual abuse perpetrated by those we’re supposed to trust the most – teachers, relatives, even members of the clergy. Many of these stories focus on the perpetrator and the institution to which they belong. But what about the other side of the story? What about the voice of the victim?  Inspired by true events over a forty-year period, “Altar(ed) Girl”, by author C.M. Morgan, provides that perspective. “Altar(ed) Girl” recounts a horrifying experience of clergy child sexual abuse and shares the profound wisdom Morgan learned along the journey to forgiveness.  Read more here:


Cushing, OK – Cushing Man Jailed On $200,000 Bail On Sexual Abuse Charges

A Cushing man has been jailed on $200,000 bail pending a May 5 court appearance on charges of sexually abusing three children to whom he is related and physically abusing one of them.  Donald Wayne Ward Jr., 35, could be given two life prison terms plus 85 years if convicted of a six-count charge filed by prosecutor Lynn Hermanson earlier this month. Payne County Sheriff’s Investigator Larry Kitchel had received information two years ago of Ward possibly fondling a female relative, then under the age of 16, who said she would testify if needed, his affidavit alleged.  Read more here:


Sarasota, FL – Girl Scout Gold Award project aids abuse victims

Pine View School sophomore Grace Wickerson decided to help combat abuse for her Girl Scouts Gold Award Project. As part of her project, SPARCC Change, Wickerson — a first-degree international black belt in Tae Kwon Do with more than seven years of training — runs a club, “Kickin,'” at Pine View that teaches fellow students martial arts. They practice different techniques as well as speak about spreading awareness about abuse. She has also organized several community classes for people of all ages, most recently girls ages 10-18.  Read more here:


Beaufort, SC – Beaufort man accused of molesting 7-year-old girl

A Beaufort man accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl on several occasions was arrested nearly four months after the alleged crimes were reported because authorities could not find him, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. Cleveland Young, 49, was arrested April 21 on charges of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. His then-girlfriend’s 7-year-old granddaughter accused him of molesting her, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.  Read more here:


Charlottesville, VA – Ex-Scoutmaster David Brian Watkins Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Homosexual Child Abuse

An ex-scoutmaster has been sentenced to 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to sexually abusing three boys while serving as a Keswick Boy Scout troop leader.  David Brian Watkins, 50, accepted a plea deal earlier this year after originally being indicted on 70 charges surrounding inappropriate contact with scouts. He pled guilty to 36 counts in January, avoiding a jury trial, which could have resulted in multiple life sentences.  Read more here:


Evansville, IL – Four Charged Sexually Abusing Child Met Through Craiglist Ad

Police have arrested four men in connection with the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy who offered to perform sex acts through Craigslist.  The investigation began in August 2013 when police became aware of the advertisement on the Internet trading site in which the victim was soliciting sex, said Cmdr. Jay Parrott of the Evanston police department.  Read more here:


Georgetown, KY – Scott County High teacher charged with sex abuse of student younger than 16

A Scott County High School teacher has been arrested on sex-related charges involving a student at the high school. Georgetown Police Capt. Robert Swanigan said Elizabeth Alexander was arrested about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at police headquarters.  Alexander was taken to the Scott County Detention Center, but she had been released by Tuesday evening. She is charged with first-degree sexual abuse and use of a minor younger than 16 in a sexual performance. Read more here:




Oakville, Ontario, Canada – Oakville driving instructor charged with sexually assaulting student

An Oakville driving instructor is facing charges in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a former student.  The 17-year-old female student of Leaders Driving School, who had been taking lessons at the Oakville facility over the last few weeks, contacted police Saturday alleging inappropriate and unwanted physical contact with her instructor.  Read more here:


Delhi, India – DU suspends teacher accused of molesting student 5 months ago

The Delhi University teacher, who was accused of molesting a student five months ago, has been suspended.  This decision came after the college governing body of Dyal Singh College (Evening) recommended his suspension in a meeting on Sunday.  Last week, the teacher facing molestation charges had rejoined the college after five months of medical leave. But following a complaint from a woman student, the accused was arrested and sent to judicial remand.  The principal, Dr Suman Sharma said the college governing body had discussed the teacher’s suspension in earlier meetings.  Read more here: