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Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

77 arrested for sex crimes against children in Florida

In a Florida sting, authorities removed five children from the homes of some of the 77 men arrested for sex crimes against children. To see news reports, click on the title above or paste these link in your browser:

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.aspx?storyid=139523

http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20090610/NEWS0102/906100322/77+arrested+in+child-porn+sting

77 arrested in child-porn sting

Leon County man among those charged in 'Operation Orange Tree'

BY BILL KACZOR • THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • JUNE 10, 2009

State, federal and local authorities have arrested 77 suspects on child-pornography charges and rescued five young victims in what officials are calling "Operation Orange Tree," Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday.

Among those arrested was Nicholas Andrew Martin, 19, of Leon County. He was arrested on charges of 10 counts of sexual performance of a child.

"America's Most Wanted" TV host John Walsh and Attorney General Bill McCollum joined Crist at a news conference to announce results of the 10-week crackdown.

The suspects range in age from 17 to 83 and include two registered sex offenders. The last person was arrested Tuesday in Tallahassee. Nearly all have been charged with possession of obscene material or child pornography. One each has been charged with distributing child pornography, molesting children and obscene communication.

Five children were removed from suspects' homes, including three who were subjects of videos, said Florida Department of Law Commissioner Gerald Bailey. He said authorities found evidence the other two children also had been sexually victimized.

Seventeen suspects were in possession of a step-by-step manual on how to molest children, Bailey said.

Twenty-three law enforcement agencies participated. The Polk County Sheriff's Office was most active with 45 arrests. Other suspects were scattered throughout the state. Authorities executed 90 search warrants and seized thousands of child pornography photos and videos.

Walsh called the crackdown "historic" and heaped praise on Crist and McCollum, saying he hoped both Republicans win their next political races. Crist is running for U.S. senator and McCollum for governor.

"The cooperation between different agencies in the state of Florida I think is unprecedented," said Walsh, whose 6-year-old son was abducted from a Hollywood mall and murdered in 1981. "They are a SWAT team for children."

Crist said he "cannot think of a more despicable action and more harmful crime."

McCollum, who has made fighting cybercrime a hallmark of his term as attorney general, said he's determined to bring violators to justice.

"We're going to get 'em and where we don't get 'em, we're going to educate children to protect themselves," McCollum said.

Blog Archive

About the mother and child pictured at the top

On February 21, 1992, Rhode Island Family Court's Chief Judge Jeremiah Jeremiah gave this two-year-old to the sole custody and possession of her father despite his history of domestic violence and failure to pay child support. The father, a police officer, brought false charges against his ex-wife, first saying she was a drug addict. (Twenty-two random tests proved she was not.) Then he had her arrested for bank fraud, then for filing a false report, then for sexual abuse, then for kidnapping. None of his charges stuck.

The child remained with her father and stepmother until 2003, when, at 14, she finally realized that her mother had not been a drug addict. The teenager persuaded Judge Stephen Capineri to let her return to her mother. There she began working on the painful issues of lifelong coercion and deception--a tangled knot of guilt and rage. Most painful has been her father’s continuing refusal to let her visit two dearly loved half-sisters, whom she has not seen since 2003.

She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.

We are using this blog to provide links to stories that will help concerned people, including government officials, become aware of this form of child abuse and legal abuse. We must work together to improve the courts' ability to recognize the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in victims of domestic abuse who are trying to protect their children.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking for the story of the removal of "Molly and Sara," please visit http://LittleHostages.blogspot.com


About the Author and the Cause

Parenting Project is a volunteer community service begun in 1996 at Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, Providence, RI, to focus on the needs of children at risk in Family Court custody cases. Our goal is to make Rhode Island's child protective system more effective, transparent, and accountable.

The Parenting Project coordinator, Anne Grant, a retired minister and former executive director of Rhode Island's largest shelter for battered women and their children, researches and writes about official actions that endanger children and the parents who try to protect them. She wrote a chapter on Rhode Island in Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues, ed. Mo Therese Hannah, PhD, and Barry Goldstein, JD (Civic Research Institute, 2010).

Comments and corrections on anything written here may be sent in an email with no attachments to parentingproject@verizon.net

Find out more about the crisis in custody courts here:

www.centerforjudicialexcellence.org/PhotoExhibit.htm
www.child-justice.org
www.leadershipcouncil.org
www.evawintl.org provides forensic resources to end violence against women

about domestic violence in hague custody cases:
www.haguedv.org

more about domestic violence in law enforcement:
http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/



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