Top News Story! Pastor Chris!
Posted: October 7, 2011 | 1:52 pm
Updated: 3:17 pm PDT October 9, 2011
A pastor and youth soccer coach has been arrested on suspicion of molesting an 8-year-old girl, Huntington Beach police said Friday. Christopher Raymond Olague, 39 (pictured left) of Westminster, pastor of Refuge Southland Church in Buena Park, was arrested Wednesday, on suspicion of molesting an 8-year-old girl, according a police report. Olague is accused of molesting a girl he was driving to his house for a playdate with one of his children, according to the report. Instead, Olague drove to a Huntington Beach park and molested the girl inside his car, police said. Before driving her home, he gave her $40 and asked her not to tell her parents, police said. The girl, however, did tell her parents, who called police, according to the report. Later that afternoon, Huntington Beach and Garden Grove police located Olague and arrested him.
He was booked into Huntington Beach City Jail on suspicion of committing a lewd act on a child under 14 years of age and dissuading a witness. He posted $100,000 bail; his initial court date is scheduled Nov. 28, 2011. Police said they also contacted Orange County Child Protective Services to ensure the safety of children in Olague’s house. Huntington Beach detectives believe that there may be other victims. Anyone with information is asked to call (714) 960-8834 or (714) 536-5988.
The Refuge Southland Church website states that Olague, known as Pastor Chris, has five children, and that the church is an affiliate of Refuge Calvary Chapel in Huntington Beach, where Olague and his wife were once on staff. Telephone calls to the church and the Olague residence were not immediately returned.
Posted: 5:14 pm EDT September 30, 2010
Updated: 6:54 pm EDT September 30, 2010
COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- A former Cobb County teacher will head to prison after pleading guilty to cruelty to children and sexual battery for a relationship with a student. Media sources had the only cameras rolling Thursday as former Harrison High School orchestra director Steven Parkman (pictured left) agreed to spend two years in prison for a relationship with a 17-year-old student. “I would like to say at this time it’s good to bring closure at this time and to forgive and forget,” said the student’s father.
At one point, Parkman thought he could avoid a trial altogether.
A Cobb County judge recently tossed out another case involving an affair between teacher Christopher King and a 17-year-old student, after the student admitted the relationship was consensual.
Parkman insisted his teacher-student relationship was the same, but after the King case, prosecutors re-indicted him and included a sodomy charge, because Parkman admitted to engaging in oral sex with the student at Harrison High and in the parking lot of a public library.
Parkman’s attorney insisted his client had a good defense, but told Elliot that the addition of the rarely-used sodomy charge put Parkman in a no-win situation.
By law, Parkman will have to serve most of his two-year sentence in prison, followed by eight years on probation. He has also sent in his teaching certificate.
The young woman’s father told the judge she was receiving counseling and agreed with the deal.
May 15, 2010
Layton, Utah — A Northridge High School theater teacher was arrested Monday following a weeks-long rape investigation. Jeremy Flygare, 31 (pictured above, left) of Sunset, Utah was booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of three counts of rape stemming from an alleged "unlawful sexual relationship" with a juvenile female student at the school, said Layton Police Lt. Garret Atkin. Investigators were informed of the alleged misconduct by the girl's parents, who came to the police on March 31, Atkin said. Officers then gathered information through interviews and collected evidence to warrant Monday's arrest, he said. Flygare had been a teacher at the school since 2007 but was put on paid administrative leave on March 29, said Davis County School District spokesman Chris Williams. "Generally speaking, any time an employee of ours faces charges like this it causes great concern," Williams said. Police declined to give further details about the girl's age or whether she was a student of Flygare. Atkin would only say the man had been in a "position of trust" at the time of the alleged activity and because of that position, "the sexual relationship is deemed nonconsensual and therefore warrants rape charges."
May 13, 2010
Orange County Deputies got a tip that murder suspect, Robert Pascale (pictured left) 20, was hiding out near 8th St. and Belvedere Rd. in Bithlo. They arrived at the scene around 4:00 pm Thursday, and the suspect fled into the wood. Deputies chased after using bloodhounds to track his scent. "We went down about 200 yards, found him laying on his back in the mud," said master deputy Gary Dolton. "Just a little bit of his face was showing and that was all." Deputies say Pascal beat Hugh Edwards, 79, to death with a baseball bat in his Bithlo mobile home. Investigators say the killing was likely a case of mistaken identity. Rumors swirled through the community that Edwards was a sex offender who molested children. Records show he had no history of sexual crimes.
Michael Garay, 32, was arrested as an accessory to the murder. He told detectives that he waited outside while Pascal went in the trailer with the bat.
"Vigilantism is a concept that has existed alongside the concept of justice for as long as we can remember. Since laws were created, there have been those who defy them and those who take them into their own hands. People have their own unique opinions about justice; some just act on them more than others. It is our proposition that the United States should punish vigilantes for their wrongdoings.
The dictionary definition of a vigilante is someone who illegally punishes someone for perceived offenses or participates in a group which metes out extrajudicial punishment to such a person. The key word in the definition is "illegal." By taking the law into their own hands, these people are breaking the law themselves, thereby creating more problems. That being said, my first point is that it is not the job of common citizens to enforce their interpretation of justice. We have trained professionals to do that.
If anything, these individuals create more work for law enforcement; vigilantes violate the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments which cover, respectively, search and seizure, due process, trial by jury, and cruel and unusual punishment. If police have to go out of their way to arrest these individuals, thereby taking time away from other serious issues, the vigilantes are merely creating more problems for society rather than solving them.
[T]here have been many vigilante organizations who carry out the law based on their own interpretation. Take the Ku Klux Klan, for example. In their opinion, African Americans and other minorities deserved punishment merely for treading on "white rights." During the Civil Rights Movement, numerous African Americans individuals were terrorized, tortured, mobbed, and lynched in demonstrations by this vigilante organization."
-- Johnson, Katie. "Vigilantism: Not Always a Good Thing."
["The first Ku Klux Klan, founded soon after the American Civil War, was a secret vigilante group that conducted violence across the South to intimidate freedmen and their allies, discourage education and political activity they disagreed with, enforce their view of justice, and restore white supremacy."]
May 13, 2010
Teacher Beats Student! Not Guilty! Corruption?
May 12, 2010
In 2008, an elementary-school teacher named Tonya Craft was arrested and accused of molesting three girls, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. She's now been acquitted of all 22 charges -- after she lost custody of her daughter, lost her job and lost her home. The defense is complaining to the FBI about the judge and prosecutor in the case. (The judge, as it happens, represented Craft's ex-husband during their divorce several years ago.)
Crime writer Dave Lohr talks about the problems with the case:
As the trial continued, many conflicting details emerged. One of the alleged victims admitted to lying in a previously taped interview; another said she was promised a toy for talking to police. Other times, witnesses said they could not remember pertinent details of the case.
Experts for the prosecution and defense were also unable to agree on whether the alleged victims showed signs of sexual abuse.
May 12, 2010
Taxpayers won't fund teen murder suspect's education, judge rules. Alyssa Bustamante (pictured left) a Cole County teen accused of murdering a 9-year-old neighbor, had asked the court if she could enroll in Mizzou's distance learning program, so she could continue her high-school education at taxpayer expense. The judge has turned down the motion and didn't clarify if Bustamante could take classes some other way, if she bore the cost herself. Bustamante faces charges that she killed Elizabeth Olten last October.
Huckaby pleads guilty!
May 10, 2010
STOCKTON, CA — Sunday School Teacher Melissa Huckaby (pictured left) pleaded guilty today to killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. Huckaby pleaded guilty to murder with a special circumstance of kidnapping. All other charges against her in the case were dropped. The 29-year-old Tracy woman was accused of killing Sandra, who was last seen alive on March 27, 2009. After a 10-day search, the girl's body was found in a black suitcase in a pond not far from the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where the second-grader and Huckaby were neighbors. Tracy police arrested Huckaby on April 10, 2009. A San Joaquin County grand jury indicted the mother and Sunday school teacher on murder with three enhancements — kidnapping, lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and rape by instrument — in connection with Sandra's death. A second count charged Huckaby with a sex crime with a child 10 years or younger.
Cop Shoots Student!
May 10, 2010
Nicolei Hurtado Ocana
May 10, 2010
COMPTON, Calif. (AP) ― A Compton High School math teacher has been charged with the alleged sexual abuse of three female students.
Prosecutors say Nicolei Hurtado Ocana was charged Monday with multiple felonies, including lewd act upon a child and contact with a minor for a sexual offense. He's also charged with misdemeanor child molestation.
Prosecutors say the alleged assaults took place on the Compton High School campus between Sept. 1, 2008, and April 21, 2010. One of the alleged victims was 15 at the time and the two others were 16.
The 28-year-old Ocana is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Compton Superior Court. He's being held on $390,000 bail.
Ocana faces up to six years in prison if convicted of all counts.
Amy Victoria Beck
May 10, 2010
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) - A middle school teacher who stunned authorites and colleagues when she walked into a police station earlier this year and admitted having sex with a 14-year-old former student for six months was sentenced Friday to two years in prison. Amy Victoria Beck (pictured above, left) stood in court looking dejected, her head slightly bowed and her eyes either closed or fixed on the floor as Judge Patrick J. Hegarty passed sentence. She had pleaded no contest in March (2010) to one count each of unlawful sexual intercourse and committing a lewd act on a child. The 33-year-old instructor, who had been accused with five counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with a individual under 16, faced up to as much as 7 years in prison upon conviction.
The sentencing hearing lasted just a few minutes and Beck, her hands cuffed behind her, never spoke except to mumble a "thank you" when Hegarty wished her good luck. With time off for good behavior, as well as credit for the months she has been in jail since her confession, Beck's attorney said she should be released in about 10 months.
The 33-year-old mother of three remains married to her husband, a Los Angeles police officer, and her attorney said the couple have no plans to divorce. "Her husband is absolutely standing by her," her attorney told reporters outside court. He said Beck still could not explain why she began the affair in March 2009. The boy had been one of her students several years before, he said.
Beck was a popular teacher at David Starr Jordan Middle School whose work had been honored by a local service group when she arrived at police headquarters in this Los Angeles suburb. She had quit her job the week before, telling school officials she planned to move out of state. Instead, she went straight to jail, never making any effort to post her $175,000 bail. With her lawyer by her position, police say, Amy Victoria Beck told investigators the relationship with one of her previous pupils started in March 2009 and kept going till end of December (2009). She stated it left her wrecked with guilt.
Beck's attorney said she has never regretted her decision to confess to a crime police said they were unaware of. "She believes it was the right thing to do after having done the wrong thing," he said. "The only way to set it right was to do the right thing." Upon her release, Beck must serve three years parole and register for life as a sex offender.
In court Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta briefly questioned whether it was proper to give Beck as much as a day off her sentence for each day served, given the seriousness of her crimes, but Hegarty said it was. Archuleta declined to speak with reporters after the hearing.
Simon Watts Christine Williams
May 10, 2010
Two Queens teachers were busted for having sex with minors in two separate incidents, authorities said today. Simon Watts, 38, a fourth-grade teacher at PS 15 in Springfield Garden, was charged with first-degree of sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor. Police said Watts fondled five kids -- ages 8 to 10 -- inside his classroom dating back to September 2007 until last month. Another teacher, Christine Williams, 41, who teaches fifth grade at PS 80 in Jamaica, was arrested for having sex twice with a 15-year-old boy. The teen was identified as a family friend of Williams'. She was charged with third-degree rape and endangering the welfare of the minor.
In the second case, Brown says 41-year-old Christine Williams is charged with third-degree rape, third-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child. Williams, who is employed as a fifth grade special ed teacher at P.S. 80 (the Thurgood Marshall Magnet School), was released on her own recognizance and ordered to return to court on May 10, 2010. If convicted, she faces up to four years in prison.
According to the criminal charges, Williams engaged in sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old male student at her residence on at least two separate nights between January 29, 2010, and February 5, 2010. The student was allegedly a friend of the family.
New claims are surfacing against a Queens teacher who is already facing charges for allegedly molesting some of his fourth grade students. The number of victims may be going up dramatically. Outraged parents met in Queens Sunday night demanding answers. Parents say the list of possible victims is now up to a staggering 16 girls. "We don't feel like our children are safe," parent Tandrea Lane said. A private meeting was held inside a remote Jamaica, Queens warehouse as worried parents waited, desperate for a status report on teacher Simon Watts (pictured above, left). Prosecutors say the 38-year-old is a predator who used his trusted position to sexually abuse the girls inside his fourth grade classroom at P.S. 15 in Springfield Gardens. Parents were alarmed to learn Watts is out on bail after being charged with sex abuse and other crimes.
"That's disturbing. Now he is back in the community he lives in, the community where we all live as well," Lane said. Parents and politicians say the initial shock of the arrest was followed by a revelation that Watts was disciplined by the Department of Education in the past, then reassigned and allowed to keep teaching. The initial complaint involved corporal punishment, but parents and politicians say it was a red flag that was overlooked by leaders of a department in charge of protecting kids.
"This is the height of seriousness as it relates to our children," State Senate President Malcolm Smith said.
"30 months – for 30 months, this individual has been preying on a number of children, five [children], two of which he followed from the third grade to the fourth grade," Senator Smith said.
"The principal should have been aware of the prior charge and that this person should not have been allowed into our school community," Lane said.
A Department of Education spokesman released the following statement: "We are shocked and deeply troubled by the allegations made against Mr. Watts. Our overriding concern today is with the students and families of P.S. 15. Given what we've heard, this individual does not belong in a classroom."
“Something is wrong,” Smith said. “The UFT needs to figure out what is going on with its teachers.”
Smith said though Watts was removed from the school, there was an issue with the timeline and parental notification. He alleged that Watts wasn’t removed from the classroom until two weeks after the allegations.
“There is no reason he should be at the school two weeks after the allegations,” Smith said. “No one, no one is going to accept this.”
Chrissy Pettway, PS 15’s PTA vice president, said a letter was given to Watts’ fourth grade class, which stated he was on leave.
“He didn’t just teach his class,” Pettway said. “[Principal Antonio K’Tori] should have sent out the letter to the whole school.”
Pettway went on to say that K’Tori questioned parents and told them not to speak of the allegations.
Pettway said the initial child told her parents about the allegations on March 8 and by March 11 K’Tori knew of the accusations. Pettway said students weren’t given letters until April 8.
Another letter was sent home on April 21, she said. The letter said he was reassigned because of the allegations and that he had not been in school since the allegations.
“That is a lie,” Pettway said.
Eric Douglas, a first grader’s parent, said he knew of the incident from media reports. Also, Douglas said he was not notified of a meeting intended to brief parents on the situation. “Press or outsiders know more than us what happened at that meeting,” he said. “Once informed by the NYPD of allegations on March 11, school officials acted immediately to remove Mr. Watts from the school that evening and parents were informed of his reassignment,” wrote David Cantor, DOE press secretary, in response to DOE’s supposed delayed reaction. “Today and going forward, counselors and school psychologists will be available to meet with all PS 15 students and parents. Given what we’ve heard, this individual does not belong in a classroom.”
Earlier this week the number of alleged victims climbed to 16 girls and one boy. Pettway said she could only confirm seven claims of abuse. At the time, she said the other nine were “just rumors.” She added that Watts should have never taught at PS 15, alleging that he had three previous allegations of corporal punishment. Pettway said two of the claims were unfounded and in the other case the investigation was stalled. She also alleged that Watts’ last appointment PS 115 in Brooklyn “it was strongly suggested that he leave the school.”
Smith added that he is calling on the district attorney, chancellor and police commissioner to launch an investigation. He was adamant that parents should be notified immediately on sexual allegations.
Archie Spigner, district leader and former councilman, and Jacqueline Boyce, district leader, dubbed the teacher’s alleged actions “outrageous” and “sad.”
P.S. 115 in Carnarsie, Brooklyn
As if the case against accused child sex abuser Simon Watts, a fourth grade teacher from P.S. 15 in Springfield Garden, Queens couldn't get more troubling, now comes word he had a previous record of corporal punishment complaints while teaching at P.S. 115 in Carnarsie, Brooklyn in 2005 – and the Department of Education knew about it.
"Did the school know? Did they try to cover it up?" parent Darlene Williams asked. "From what I hear, he had previous allegations."
Back in 2005, the DOE confirms that Watts, 38, had used corporal punishment on a student at the school. His only discipline was a letter in his file.
Watts was investigated twice more, and reassigned away from other students, but the DOE says charges were never substantiated.
"It's scary, you know? It could happen to my son also," parent Ivan Pabone said.
Watts has a wife and two young kids of his own.
May 6, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — A Visitacion Valley Middle School band teacher was arrested earlier this week and has been charged with committing lewd and lascivious acts on three students between 2006 and 2009, authorities said Wednesday. Terry Braye, a 60-year-old San Francisco man, was arrested Monday. Police investigators obtained information that a teacher at the middle school may have engaged in inappropriate activities with students, and the arrest followed a "very extensive investigation,'' police Officer Samson Chan said. "During that investigation, three victims came forward and we determined these acts occurred from 2006 to 2009 on school grounds,'' Chan said. Braye is accused of committing lewd and lascivious acts on three different students, girls ages 11 to 13, during school hours, Chan said. The girls have all since graduated from the school, he said. The investigation began "very recently'' when one of the girls told a counselor, who then told police, Chan said. Braye had allegedly tried to contact the girls over the Internet after they graduated, according to Chan. District attorney's spokesman Brian Buckelew said Wednesday night Braye has been charged with three counts of lewd and luscious acts on a child under 14. Braye remained in custody Wednesday evening.
May 5, 2010
An elementary school teacher has been arrested for molesting a 12 year old 5th grade student. 60 year old Eloy Cantu, a 5th grade teacher at Rosendo Benavides elementary school in Sullivan City was taken into custody by La Joya ISD Police on Monday after one of his students made an outcry to police on April 20th stating she had been inappropriately touched on her breast. Cantu was charged with one count of indecency with a child, a second degree felony and issued a 50 thousand dollar bond before he was transported to the Hidalgo County Detention Center.
Schoolyard Predator - Life Imprisonment!
April 13, 2010
Tampa, Florida (WCJB) -- Former middle school math teacher Stephanie Ragusa (pictured left) was teary-eyed Monday as she pleaded guilty to having sex with two underage students. Ragusa, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced on June 15, 2010. She pleaded guilty to three counts of lewd and lascivious battery in a March 2008 case involving a 14-year-old boy. She also pleaded guilty to two counts of having unlawful sex with a minor in an April 2008 case involving a 16-year-old student. Prosecutor Rita Peters said Ragusa had intercourse with the 14-year-old on three occasions between October 2006 and May 2007. Evidence in that case included a phone conversation police recorded with the teen's consent. During the phone call, Ragusa could be heard urging him to keep their encounters secret, Peters said.
Peters said the encounters with the other teen began when he was 15. They ended when she was arrested in April 2008 as she was leaving his home. Evidence in the case included DNA matches, several amorous letters Ragusa wrote and gifts she gave him, the prosecutor added. The gifts included a key chain with her initials on it. Peters said investigators also found a will in Ragusa's handwriting that named the teen as executor.
Shackled and dressed in an orange jumpsuit, Ragusa entered her guilty pleas just before a jury was to be picked at her trial.
Ragusa repeatedly glanced at her father, Ricardo Ragusa, as details of the charges were read aloud in court. Tears welled in her eyes, and she shrugged her shoulders, ducked her head and hid her face beneath a veil of long, dark brown hair. Peters said outside the courtroom that she had spoken with the victims and their families, and they were "in full support of the resolution in these cases." "They were prepared to testify," Peters added. Ragusa has been in jail since her arrest, and defense attorney Robert Herce said she has spent more time behind bars than several other teachers in Hillsborough County, Florida, who have faced similar charges.