Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Texas court suspends judge taped beating daughter

From Scott Thompson, CNN

Judge William Adams, who made national headlines after the release of a 2004 video of him beating his then-teenage daughter, has been suspended by the Texas Supreme Court.

The reason for the action was not mentioned in an order of suspension that was made public Tuesday.

Adams, a court-at-law judge in Aransas County, was roundly criticized when his now-adult daughter posted online a video of him beating her with a belt when she was 16.

The video also showed the judge cursing and berating Hillary Adams.

Adams was punishing the girl for using the Internet "to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time," Hillary Adams wrote on the web posting.

The video is punctuated by cracks of the man's belt and the girl's screams and cries.

At one point in the 7 1/2-minute video, the man says to his near-hysterical daughter, "What happened to you, Hillary? Once you were an obedient, nice little girl. Now you lie, cheat and steal."

He yells at her, "You want to put some more computer games on? You want some more?"

"Are you happy?" he asks her. "Disobeying your parents? You don't deserve to f---ing be in this house."

He also berates the girl's mother for allowing a "f---ing computer" in the house.

"I wanted to show my father, 'Hey, I think you were in some denial about the way you are treating me and my mother.' And maybe showing him this would make him see something he didn't before," Hillary Adams, now 23, told CNN.

Earlier this month, William Adams released a statement to explain his side of the story.

"If the public must know, just prior to the YouTube upload, a concerned father shared with his 23-year-old daughter that he was unwilling to continue to work hard and be her primary source of financial support, if she was going to simply 'drop out,' and strive to achieve no more in life than to work part-time at a video game store," the judge said in a statement.

Adams handles family-related and juvenile court issues for the county court system.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

'Sesame Street' Composer Accused of Cuffing 4-Year-Old, Taking Sex Pics

A Grammy-winning composer who worked on “Sesame Street” has been charged with making and distributing child pornography -- after allegedly handcuffing a 4-year-old girl, naked, and taking pictures.

59-year-old Fernando Rivas appeared in a South Carolina federal court yesterday -- where he pled "not guilty," according to the Charleston Post & Courier.

Rivas was arrested back in April -- after FBI agents raided the composer's home and, according to court docs, the feds claim they discovered a collection of photographs ... depicting a 4-year-old girl naked and “restrained in handcuffs and other bondage-type devices."

According to the report, cops say Rivas -- who also taught music at a local Charleston school -- admitted to officers that he took the pictures of the little girl and emailed them to two other sickos.

Rivas remains on house arrest after posting $300,000 bail.


Sunday Journal: For social worker, biggest lie didn't come from 'hoodlum children'

By Derry Smith

Driving a child to the Florida School for Boys in Marianna was not in the job description when my mother accepted the position of social worker for the Pinellas County Juvenile Justice System in 1959.

Fresh out of college, she felt privileged to join the department. She intended to work toward improving the future for kids who lived with neglectful or abusive parents. What she learned was that Florida's state and county agencies didn't have much compassion for kids.

Children, some as young as six, were arrested for such petty crimes as trespassing and taken away from their homes. Typically, parents weren't punished for neglecting or even abusing their children.

As a juvenile guardian for the court, my mother would hear tales from kids about the horrendous punishment they had to endure at the hands of foster parents. When she took these revelations to her supervisors she was chastised for believing "lies."

The Marianna School for Boys was a threat that was part of the protocol when working with disobedient kids. And her charge, Jackie, had been threatened many times. He knew first-hand about the place, being a seasoned attendee by the time he was 11 years old.

Jackie lived with a mother who showed no interest in him. She didn't keep him fed or clean. The truant officer visited regularly, and the neighbors called the police often about the boy trespassing in their yards and stealing fruit. His mother finally gave up custody, and the state put him in a foster home. Within a month Jackie ran away. The authorities caught up with him. My mother was the social worker who interviewed him.

"The foster mother doesn't feed me," he told her. "I only eat if there's something left after her own kids do."

Again my mother reported the complaint to supervisors. Her report was met with indifference.

"Children lie," she was told as before. "Especially hoodlum children."

Her orders to escort Jackie to Marianna came as a "gift." She understood that the state had an expense account for traveling to the School for Boys and she was expected to use it.

Her supervisor informed her of the nicest hotel in the area and the best places to eat. She made the reservations and, accompanied by my father, left on a Friday. With the blessing of her boss they intended to make a weekend of it. It wasn't until they sped north with Jackie in the back seat that she realized this would be no blissful vacation.

He was small for 11, and his freckled face lacked childish wonder. His haggard eyes seemed too old for tears, and this may be why he didn't cry. He begged to be taken somewhere else. Anywhere else.

"Please don't take me there," he said. "They're mean. They beat you."

My mother looked at the child, his brown bangs almost in his eyes.

"You've survived this place before," she said. "And I bet if you cooperate, the guards won't beat you."

But still he begged.

"It's only an eight-month sentence," she said. "Use it as an opportunity to turn your life around."

She had no advice for what he said next.

"The big kids. They chase the little kids," he said quietly. "And when they catch ya' they blow ya'."

"They blow you?"

My mother assumed he spoke of oral sex. After listening to more description she realized he meant sodomy.

"I seen 'em even kill dogs that way," he concluded.

She felt sick to her stomach.

She contemplated not taking him. He wasn't handcuffed. He ate lunch with my parents in a restaurant outside of Tallahassee, and she waited for him to run away. But he didn't. Instead he tagged along behind her like a wounded animal, begging her not to leave him.

My mother didn't ask any more questions. She didn't say much either. She was young and inexperienced and stuck with a system that didn't care. She listened to his pleas, knowing she could do nothing for him.

When she returned to work on that Monday, it was only to hand in her resignation.

Derry Smith lives in St. Petersburg. She shares her stories on her blog,


Felony child abuse charges lead to suspension for physical therapy assistant - Washington

OLYMPIA ¾ The license of a Douglas County physical therapy assistant has been immediately suspended by the Board of Physical Therapy and the Department of Health. Andrew Paco Lopez (PT60045837) was criminally charged with first degree child abuse. He cannot practice in Washington until the charges are resolved.

Lopez was arrested in September 2011 and charged in Douglas County Superior Court with first degree child assault. Charging documents say Lopez was directly caring for his nine-week old when the child suffered multiple fractured ribs and brain trauma.

The Board of Physical Therapy and the Department of Health say Lopez cannot practice safely as he poses an unacceptable risk to the public’s health, safety, and welfare. His inability to control his actions and/or emotions presents an immediate danger to the public who expect treatment in a safe care environment.

Lopez has 20 days to respond to the charges and ask for a hearing. Legal documents are online; click the link to “Provider Credential Search” on the agency home page ( or call 360-236-4700.

The Board of Physical Therapy protects public health and safety in Washington. It licenses and disciplines physical therapists and physical therapy assistants using standards of practice.

Parents of Adolf Hitler Campbell lose custody of newborn Hons

A New Jersey couple who lost custody of their first three kids after giving them Nazi-inspired names has been denied the right to take home their fourth child, a newborn boy they named Hons.

Heath and Deborah Campbell's other children - Adolf Hitler Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell - are in foster care. On Monday, the Campbells went to family court in their hometown of Flemington, N.J,. in a bid to regain custody of Hons, who they say was taken from them by state child welfare officials hours after Deborah gave birth on Thursday, reported

Hons is still in the hospital, but the couple has been barred from seeing the baby, they told FOX. Heath Campbell said police came into the nursery and took Hons without a court order.

“They kidnapped my kid,” Campbell said. “I’ve been sleeping with his little blanket from the hospital.”

The state took custody of the couple’s other children nearly two years ago, saying there were in danger because of previous violence in the Campbell home, The Associated Press has reported. The Campbells have been fighting to get their children back ever since, claiming the violence charges are fabricated. It wasn't clear whether the latest court hearing involved all of the children or just the newborn.

The Campbells came into the spotlight in 2009 when a supermarket refused to ice a birthday cake for their now 4-year-old son Adolf Hitler.

Heath Campbell defended the children's names and told on Monday that his reverend approved of him naming his new son Hons.

The Campbells have denied that they are neo-Nazis.



Another Example Of CPS Neglecting Their Duties (Illinois) - Court order needed for CPS to take custody of abused teen

By Erin Guerra

PORTAGE — Child Protective Services initially refused to take custody of an abused 16-year-old, saying he has “anger problems,” according to a police report from the Sunday incident.

A CPS supervisor wanted Porter County Sheriff’s police to take the boy to a shelter instead of handing him off to CPS. Porter County Superior Court Judge Mary Harper issued a court order instructing the agency to accept responsibility for the teen.

Officers arrested the teen’s legal guardian, Waleed Blair, 49, of Burns Harbor, after witnesses saw him allegedly attack the youth at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday outside a grocery store in the 6000 block of Central Avenue. According to the arrest report, the 16-year-old was sitting on a bench outside when Blair wanted him to walk through the store with him. Blair slapped him in the face, threw him to the ground and choked him, an unnamed shopper told police.

Blair, who is a relative of the victim, was kneeling on top of him with his hand around his throat when police arrived. He refused to get up, was pulled off by an officer and was charged with felony strangulation and misdemeanor battery.

Because the teen has no other local relatives, police called CPS to take care of him but a supervisor at the agency declined and suggested police take him to a Gary shelter for runaway youths, according to the police report.

Police then obtained a judge’s order to place the boy with CPS.


Petition To Stop Drugging Of Children In Foster Care

Stop Over-prescription of Psychotropic Drugs for Foster Children

Target: U.S. Congress

Goal: Investigate and stop over-prescription of antipsychotic drugs to foster children.

Recent studies show a disturbing over-prescription of antipsychotic drugs for children in foster care. Foster children often receive more than one prescription of powerful psychotropic drugs like Seroquel and Zyprexa, drugs used to treat severe bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in adults. Tell Congress to investigate these dangerous and irresponsible medical practices and illegal use of Medicaid funds to pay for them.

Studies exposing the disturbing trends of over-prescription of psychotropic drugs began in the early 2000s. For example, a 2003 study in Florida found that 55% of foster children in the state had been prescribed psychotropic drugs, 40% of them without even receiving a psychiatric evaluation. A 2004 study in Texas found that 34.7% of foster children in the state were receiving one or more anti-psychotic drug.

The problem is that drugs like Zyprexa or Seroquel which were designed for serious psychiatric conditions in adults are being prescribed for foster children with behavioral problems. Combining one or more of these medications is even more dangerous, as these medications can be known to cause depression in young children. That’s what happened in the case of Gabriel Meyers, a nine year old foster child taking Symbyax, an anti-depressant not meant for children, who killed himself in 2009 after an altercation with his foster brother. Gabriel’s doctor was cited by the FDA for over-prescribing the drug.

Medicaid pays for the medical treatment of foster children but there are supposed to be guidelines in place that prevent Medicaid from paying for these prescriptions that are not meant for children. What is occurring is a costly abuse of government money with fatal consequences.

Recent studies still show that foster children are receiving dangerous cocktails of psychotropic drugs at alarming rates. Senator Tom Carper has asked the General Accountability to look into this shocking disregard for children’s health and abuse of government funds. Sign the petition and demand that Congress addresses this problem now.

Sign the Petition by clicking HERE

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Drugs Used for Psychotics Go to Youths in Foster Care

Blogger note:
This article states that psych doctors get very little money for drugging children in foster care but what it fails to report is that the states make money by drugging the children in state care. They get this extra money by giving the children the title of "special needs." States collect more money for special needs children from the federal government than they do for children that are not special needs. That is why states usually use their own psyc doctors and will not seek a second opinion in coming up with diagnoses that require these drugs. Independent doctors are less likely to agree with the use of psychotropic and antipsychotics for children.

Foster children are being prescribed cocktails of powerful antipsychosis drugs just as frequently as some of the most mentally disabled youngsters on Medicaid, a new study suggests.

The report, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first to investigate how often youngsters in foster care are given two antipsychotic drugs at once, the authors said. The drugs include Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa — among other so-called major tranquilizers — which were developed for schizophrenia but are now used as all-purpose drugs for almost any psychiatric symptoms.

“The kids in foster care may come from bad homes, but they do not have the sort of complex medical issues that those in the disabled population do,” said Susan dosReis, an associate professor in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and the lead author.

The implication, Dr. dosReis and other experts said: Doctors are treating foster children’s behavioral problems with the same powerful drugs given to people with schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder. “We simply don’t have evidence to support this kind of use, especially in young children,” Dr. dosReis said.

In recent years, doctors and policy makers have grown concerned about high rates of overall psychiatric drug use in the foster care system, the government-financed program that provides temporary living arrangements for 400,000 to 500,000 children and adolescents. Previous studies have found that children in foster care receive psychiatric medications at about twice the rate among children outside the system.

The new study focused on one of the most powerful classes of drugs, antipsychotics. It found that about 2 percent of foster children took at least one such drug, even though schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for which the drugs are approved, are extremely rare in young children.

“It’s a significant and important finding, and it should prompt states to improve the quality of care in this area,” said Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University who did not contribute to the research.

In the study, mental health researchers analyzed 2003 Medicaid records of 637,924 minors from an unidentified mid-Atlantic state who were either in foster care, getting disability benefits for a diagnosis like severe autism or bipolar disorder, or in a program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. All of these programs draw on Medicaid financing. The investigators found that 16,969, or about 3 percent of the total, had received at least one prescription for an antipsychotic drug.

Yet among these, it was the foster children who most often got more than one such prescription at the same time: 9.2 percent, versus 6.8 percent among the children on disability, and just 2.5 percent of those in the needy families program.

Antipsychotic drugs, the authors said, also cause rapid weight gain and increase the risk for metabolic problems in many people, an effect that may be amplified by the use of two at once.

Doctors who treat such children are aware of the trade-offs and often prescribe lower doses of the medications as a result. And when they add a second such drug, it is often to counteract side effects of the first medication.

Still, the relatively high rates of these drug combinations in such a young and vulnerable group have prompted policy makers across the country to take notice. A consortium of 16 states, in collaboration with Rutgers University, has drawn up guidelines to improve care for foster children and others dependent on state aid.

“The psychiatrists who are treating these kids on the front lines are not doing it for money; there are very low reimbursement rates from Medicaid,” said Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, a mental health services researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. “There’s enormous anguish because everyone knows that this is not what we should be doing for these kids. We as a society simply haven’t made the investment in psychosocial treatments, and so we are forced to rely on psychotropic drugs to carry the burden.”

Parents of ‘Adolf Hitler’ Lose Custody of Newborn - New Jersey

By Alyssa Newcomb

Heath and Deborah Campbell, the New Jersey parents of three children with Nazi-inspired names, lost custody of their fourth child 17 hours after he was born, the Express-Times of Lehigh Valley, Pa., reported.

Hons Campbell was taken into custody by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services late Thursday night after the doctor who delivered the baby called the agency, the paper reported.

“There’s no legal binding court order. It’s basically a kidnapping, but they use different terms,” Heath Campbell told the Express-Times.

The Campbell family stepped into the spotlight in December 2008 when a ShopRite grovery store declined to decorate a birthday cake for their son Adolf Hitler Campbell’s third birthday.

The state took custody of Adolf, along with his sisters JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Himler Jeannie Campbell, in January of 2009. The three children have remained in foster care ever since.

A DYFS spokesperson told in 2009 that she could not comment on a specific case, but said children are only taken into custody if there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect.

“We would never remove a child simply based on their name,” the spokeswoman said.

Neighbor Lori Dilts told at the time the children were taken that it was certainly not because of their names.

“Those children look outwardly healthy, but they didn’t have much freedom,” Dilts said. “Occasionally, the little boy would come over here and would hate having to go back to his house.”

The couple’s attorney, Pasquale Giannetta, told The Associated Press that a court a hearing has been scheduled for Monday to determine the custody status of the newborn.

ABC News’ Russell Goldman contributed to this report.

Pre-Thanksgiving March Will Memorialize Iowa’s Lost Children

By Stephanie Woodard

In the days before Thanksgiving, mourners and protesters will participate in the Ninth Annual Memorial March to Honor Our Lost Children. The pilgrimage takes walkers from South Sioux City, Nebraska, over the Missouri river and into Sioux City, Iowa, where Native children have for years been swept up by the child-welfare system and even died in its custody. The route evokes the passage of Nebraska tribes, including Poncas, Omahas, Santees and Winnebagos, who came to the city looking for jobs after World War II, as did Sioux people from South Dakota and others.

“They were seeking a better life,” said Frank LaMere, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and executive director of Four Directions Community Center, in Sioux City, which is organizing the march. “But it didn’t work out that way.” The consequences have been devastating for the Native children of Sioux City, surrounding Woodbury County and Iowa as a whole, according to LaMere, who is a national leader in child-welfare and juvenile-justice issues. “If you’re a Native parent in this county, you’re many times more likely to lose your kids than a white parent. In recent years, three of our Native children—Hannah Thomas, Nathaniel Saunsoci-Mitchell and Larissa Starr-Red Owl—have died after being taken from their families. We march to remember them and all the children who have been separated from their families and communities.”

The march has changed lives. Several years ago, an Internet image of the march inspired a Native boy to stand his ground. “The child had acquiesced to adoption into a white home after years of being told, ‘your people have forgotten about you, your people are drunks and no-goods,’” said LaMere, who was present at a final adjudication in the case. Then one day, the boy was clicking around the web and saw a photograph of the march. “He was shocked. He told the court he’d been lied to. He said he saw hundreds of people looking for their lost children. ‘They were marching for me,’ the boy said. ‘They were looking for me.’ He balked at the adoption and was returned to his tribe.”

On another occasion, an adoptive family watching a television segment on the march happened to see a Native mother who’d lost her parental rights years before carrying a baby picture they recognized. “All excited, the adoptive mother called me and arranged to bring the child to be reunited with the birth mother,” recalled LaMere.

Events surrounding this year’s march—which is also supported by other local groups, including the Community Initiative for Native Children and Families, a coalition of government agencies and nonprofits—begin November 22 with a prayer gathering at 7 p.m. at the Marina Inn, in South Sioux City. The next morning, November 23, at 9 a.m., the marchers progress, rain or shine, into Sioux City, where they stop at the Woodbury County Courthouse and the Department of Human Services. In both places, strangers decide the fate of Native people, according to LaMere.

The reception at each building is expected to be different than it was nine years ago, when a sheriff tried to stop marchers from entering the courthouse, said LaMere. This year, the group will be welcomed and will have an opportunity to read a letter calling for a national investigation into non-compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. “There are no grey areas in ICWA,” said LaMere. “But racist judges, attorneys, guardians ad litem and more are feeding the system, making money off our kids with their decisions.”

Two special guests during the event will include Cade and Jace Courtright, 14-year-old Rosebud Sioux twins who’ve just been reunited with their mother with the help of LaMere and Four Directions program director, Judy Yellowbank, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Cade relies on a wheelchair, and Jace is blind, so LaMere suggested the twins meet the march at the Four Directions Community Center dinner that closes the event. However, the boys insisted on making the journey with the other marchers. “We’ll do whatever is necessary to make that happen,” said LaMere. “An elder once told us that the prayers of children are very powerful, more powerful than those of adults. Those boys’ presence during this time is a gift to us.”

Things are changing in Woodbury County, he added. “When it comes to Native child-welfare decisions, we have a place at the table now, along with the Department of Human Services. They even support our parenting and leadership programs. We can hold their feet to the fire on the issues, and no matter how heated the meetings get, we come away from them knowing we are going to move forward together, as collaborators. We in the Woodbury County Native community are winning the battle to keep our families together, one family, one child at a time.”

Recently, LaMere sat in on a meeting concerning an Omaha child. The judge announced that the tribe had intervened, and the child was going home. “Everyone’s jaws dropped, including mine. Hopefully, the good we see growing here will spread, and more of our children nationwide will be going—and staying—home.”