Weller children file lawsuit against state DSHS look for scrib link great pleading to educate for future ….

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Weller children file lawsuit against state DSHS

Attorney says agency was told of peril many times before acting

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published: March 7, 2014, 1:50 PM

Updated: March 7, 2014, 7:28 PM

  • Buy this photoSandra and Jeffrey Weller enter Judge Barbara Johnson’s courtroom for sentencing in Clark County Superior Court March 20, 2013. The Wellers were convicted of imprisoning, starving and beating their adopted twins. Sandra received a sentence of 20 years, and Jeffrey received 21 years. (Steven Lane/The Columbian)

Five children who were abused by their parents in Vancouver have filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the state, alleging that the Department of Social and Health Services failed to adequately respond to dozens of complaints about their welfare over an eight-year period.

Jeffrey and Sandra Weller of Vancouver each were sentenced March 20, 2013, to two decades in prison for imprisoning, starving and beating their adopted twins. A Clark County jury found Sandra Weller guilty of nine separate counts related to the twins’ abuse; Jeffrey Weller was found guilty of 13, related to both the twins’ abuse and assaults against the couple’s biological children.

The children’s Seattle attorney, David Moody, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the children Friday in Clark Superior Court.

One of the children’s teachers alone warned the DSHS a dozen times about possible abuse of the children and urged that they be removed from the Weller home, Moody said.

“He has documents he kept,” Moody said Friday. “He has voice-mail messages. There are a number of educators from the local school district who voiced serious warnings to DSHS over a period of years.”

“Those concerns were ignored every time,” he said.

The lawsuit follows a $54 million tort claim the children filed Dec. 18 with the DSHS. Tort claims give public agencies a 60-day notice of a lawsuit and allows them an opportunity to settle a case before litigation.

In this case, the children received no response, Moody said.

John Wiley, a DSHS spokesman, said the agency often does respond to and resolve tort claims prior to litigation.

“However, this case is complex, involving numerous plaintiffs alleging negligence based on activities that occurred over a number of years. As such, it requires more than the statutory 60 days to analyze and investigate the merits of the plaintiffs’ claim,” Wiley said. “It would not be in the taxpayers’ best interest to quickly make a settlement offer on a $54 million claim without a reasonable and diligent investigation into that claim by the state.”

Wiley said the agency has no other comment on the lawsuit at this time.

“We’ll let the court decide the merits of the case,” he said. “We don’t comment on the merits of the case.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the DSHS failed to obtain Sandra Weller’s Child Protective Services history in California, where she adopted the twins with her ex-husband. There were seven referrals about Sandra Weller’s possibly abusing and neglecting the twins and some other foster children who were in her care between 1998 and 2002, the lawsuit states. At one point, the state of California revoked her foster care license and took the twins into protective custody, according to the lawsuit.

Some of the complaints that Washington caseworkers allegedly ignored included allegations of threats against one of the twins’ lives and withholding food as punishment, according to the lawsuit.

For example, in April 2004, the DSHS received a complaint that Sandra Weller had told the 8-year-old female twin that, “If I had a knife right now, you would be gone,” according to the lawsuit. A month later, the agency received another complaint that the twins were “so stressed they are literally pulling their hair out,” the lawsuit states.

In September 2004, there was a complaint that the Wellers locked food cabinets in the house and locked the children in their room, which had an alarm on the door, the lawsuit says.

DSHS social workers visited the Weller home in October 2004. On Nov. 1, 2004, the social worker concluded that the allegations of negligent treatment or maltreatment were “unfounded,” according to the lawsuit.

The DSHS finally removed the children from the Weller home Oct. 7, 2011, after one of the twins left a note about their abuse at her therapist’s office.

“Please, help,” the twin wrote. “Behind the laundry room door is a big wooden stick covered in blood. They use it on me and (my brother) … If you leave without us, we’ll all ran (sic) away.”

The twins were substantially underweight and malnourished when they were taken into state custody, according to testimony at the Wellers’ trial.

They also testified at trial that Jeffrey Weller, often at the instruction of Sandra, regularly beat them with a 42-inch-long piece of scrap lumber. Police investigators found it stained with blood.

Moody, the children’s attorney, specializes in civil litigation against the DSHS related to the abuse of children or vulnerable adults. He said he won the largest jury verdict award against the DSHS — $17.8 million — in February 2000 in a vulnerable adult abuse case in Pierce County in which he demonstrated that the DSHS was negligent by inadequately investigating abuse allegations.

Even later it just takes some help to move forward

January 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Ex-student calls teacher over alleged sex abuse, posts talk on YouTube

By Holly YanCheri Mossburg and Janet DiGiacomo, CNN
updated 5:57 PM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Watch this video

Woman confronts alleged abusive teacher

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Teacher resigned after being interviewed, Alhambra schools chief says
  • The woman, now 28, says the teacher abused her between ages 12 and 18
  • “I regret it,” the teacher states, according to the YouTube video
  • Police are investigating, but the statute of limitations may be an issue

(CNN) — A woman who says a female teacher from middle school sexually abused her for years decided to confront the teacher — and post video of the exchange on YouTube.

Within hours, the educator resigned from her job at another school in California. Police launched an investigation. And the former student, who once felt powerless, now says she feels vindicated knowing the ex-teacher is no longer working with children.

The video

The former student, who calls herself “Jamie,” said the abuse started when she was 12 years old.

Woman records confrontation with alleged sexual abuser

“I am 28 years old and have been waiting years to get up enough courage to report a teacher for sexually abusing me for years,” Jamie’s caption on her YouTube video states.

“When I finally got up enough courage to report her, I found out that the statute of limitations was up and she will never have to pay for the things that she did to me.”

So she decided to expose the teacher on the Internet.

“I decided I’m going to call her to get some answers from her,” Jamie said to a camera in her home.

After the woman identified as the teacher picked up the phone, Jamie asked, “So what happens when a student comes in and says that they’re having (a) sexual relationship with a teacher?”

“I would involve law enforcement,” the woman said.

“So how is that any different from what you did” years ago, Jamie said.

“It’s not,” the woman replied.

“Do you realize that you brainwashed me, and you manipulated me, and that what you did was wrong?” Jamie asked.

“Yes. And I regret it,” the woman responded.

“You should be so ashamed and so disgusted with yourself,” Jamie said, raising her voice.

“I am. I am,” the woman said.

30 day sentence for teacher who raped his 14-year-old student

Shortly after Jamie posted the video on YouTube, she sent the link to her former teacher. The educator resigned within hours, said Jamie’s attorney, David Ring.

The teacher has not responded to CNN’s phone and e-mail requests for comment.

Police have launched an investigation into the case, but the statute of limitations may be an issue, Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint said. It all depends on what the investigation reveals and what crimes may have occurred.

At the Alhambra Unified School District, where Jamie said the teacher most recently worked, administrators received an electronic message Friday with a YouTube link incriminating the educator, said Superintendent Laura Tellez-Gagliano.

Administrators called police immediately.

The woman, identified by the school district as an Alhambra High School administrator, was interviewed the same day, and she “tendered her resignation” at the end of the interview, Tellez-Gagliano said in a statement.

No students from the Alhambra district have been identified as victims so far, and the “Alhambra Police department will be handing this matter over to the jurisdiction of the appropriate police department,” the district said.

“This alleged action took place in another school district, without any report prior to her employment to the Alhambra Unified School District,” the superintendent said.

The Alhambra Police Department said it notified Riverside police because the reported abuse allegedly took place in Riverside.

“At this time in the investigation, there have been no identified crimes involving the suspect that have occurred in Alhambra,” APD said in a statement.

Former sixth-grade teacher admits sex with boy

Why now?

Now that she’s a mother, Jamie said she wanted to make sure the teacher couldn’t work with children again.

“The reason why I wanted to do this was to expose her for what she really was and to protect other kids, because she shouldn’t be around anyone’s kids,” Jamie told reporters Monday. “It took a lot for me to come forward, but I kept thinking about my own kids, and how I wouldn’t want anything to happen to them.”

Jamie said the abuse took place ‘off and on” between the ages of 12 and 18. She said she didn’t come forward as a teenager because the teacher had brainwashed her.

Ex-L.A. teacher sentenced to 25 years in lewdness case

“She told me that my family didn’t love me. She told me that nobody cared about me and that she was the only one that loved me and the only one that was there for me,” Jamie said. “She made me believe that she was my only friend, and that I could trust her.”

Jamie said she didn’t want a physical relationship — but that the teacher threatened her multiple times.

“She said that she would kill herself if I ever left. And I believed that,” Jamie said.

Now, more than a decade after middle school, Jamie said she feels greater control in her life.

“In the beginning, I thought there was nothing that I could do. But after the outcome, obviously, there is something I can do.”

Ex-PTA president accused of making child porn at elementary school

CNN’s Michael Martinez, Cheri Mossburg, Dave Alsup and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.

Sick County employee

October 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

A Broward sheriff’s employee entrusted to help shield kids from harm didn’t even bother to meet five children she needed to watch over, possibly compromising their safety, authorities say.

http://dcfsaveourchildren.blogspot.com/2013/10/child-protection-worker-accused-of.html

DCF Florida Save our Children!: Child-Protection Worker Accused Of Falsifying Reports

dcfsaveourchildren.blogspot.com

We are fighting to save Florida (and Americas) children from the all powerful, unaccountable, Department of Children and Family and the for-profit companies that run them.

Rockford man accused of molesting children was DCFS employee

October 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Rockford man accused of molesting children was DCFS employee

Photos

(photo) NESTOR ESTRADA 2013
WINNEBAGO COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

Nestor D. Estrada

By Corina Curry
Posted Oct 07, 2013 @ 07:52 PM
Last update Oct 07, 2013 @ 10:03 PM
ROCKFORD —

The former Rockford School District substitute teacher who was accused last week of molesting two students also worked for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for nearly 18 years.

Karen Hawkins, DCFS deputy director for communications, confirmed today that Nestor D. Estrada, 47, of Rockford, was a DCFS employee from July 1990 to April 2008.

The charges against Estrada, two counts of criminal sexual child abuse, stem from alleged incidents that took place between Sept. 1 and Dec. 11, 2012, at Riverdahl Elementary School.

Hawkins would not say what Estrada did for the agency or the manner in which he left the agency’s employment.

While Estrada’s criminal charges stem from allegations involving two children – a boy and a girl, now ages 5 and 6 – Hawkins said the DCFS investigation involved three Rockford School District students.

“On Dec. 13 last year, DCFS received a report of alleged abuse of three Rockford School District students by school staff,” Hawkins said. “DCFS completed the investigation in April 2013 with a finding that abuse was indicated involving all three victims.”

The Illinois State Board of Education was notified, Hawkins said. Services were offered to the victims and their families and Estrada’s name was placed on the DCFS state central registry of known offenders.

The registry is used for background checks, Hawkins said.

Estrada was on a long-term substitute teacher assignment at Riverdahl Elementary School in the fall of 2012. He was a bilingual special-education substitute teacher, assigned to the two students from the criminal complaint as part of their individualized education programs.

During a news conference last week, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said Estrada was a substitute teacher in the 1990s, as well. According to Rockford School District officials, he was a girls and boys soccer coach at Auburn High School from 1991 to 1998.

Parents of the two children named in the criminal complaint reported the abuse to Riverdahl School Dec. 12, school officials said. The district put Estrada on unpaid administrative leave. He was fired March 6.

All Rockford substitute teachers go through a state-mandated background check before they are allowed in the classroom. Some use the DCFS central registry, Hawkins said.

Estrada is due to appear in court Oct. 24.

According to the criminal complaint, Estrada inappropriately touched both victims. If found guilty, he faces a punishment that ranges from probation to three to seven years in prison.

The investigation into Estrada and his interaction with students is ongoing. Anyone with any information about this case or about Estrada should contact Rockford police, 815-987-5824.

Read more: http://www.rrstar.com/updates/x1843603702/Accused-child-molester-was-DCFS-employee#ixzz2hHYAlKjf

ILLINOIS FATHERS

September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

I should start by congratulating Mr. Steven Westerfield on his election to be the next President of Illinois Fathers.  Steven has mounds of passion for this group as well as numerous good ideas for where himself and the board can take Illinois Fathers in the near future.  Currently, Steven is looking for Illinois Father’s members who pocess human resource skills in order to build an Illinois Fathers human resource committee.  If you are interested in volunteering in this capacity, please contact Steven at westerfield.steven@yahoo.com

Chicago area member Todd Bottom has authored a book entitled “Confessions of a Deadbeat Dad”.  Todd has generously committed to donating fully 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale of his book to Illinois Fathers.  I have not yet read the book myself, but I hope to in the near future.  Todd’s book is very reasonably priced and can be seen and/or purchased at  http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Deadbeat-Dad-ebook/dp/B00EZ7WP3O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378704997&sr=8-1&keywords=confessions+of+a+deadbeat+dad
Chicago area Illinois Father’s Board Member, Mr. Juan Carlos is organizing a meeting for Illinois Father’s members to be held at Sulzer Regional Library  4455 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago   Friday September 27th from 3 to 5 pm.  Any questions can be directed to Juan at jskorpioz@aol.com
In the previous newsletter, I asked for members to consider “adopting” a location or two for displaying the Illinois Father’s tri-fold brochure.  The response from the members who were willing to volunteer for this task was very good.  Getting the Illinois Father’s tri-fold brochure “out there” does alot to legitimize our group.  It grows our membership and on the personal level, getting the tri-folds displayed can go a long way towards helping out a father who is in his darkest hour.  Thanks so much to those of you who volunteered to display the tri-folds.  If you have not yet volunteered, it is not too late.  Just shoot me an e-mail attim.brown@illinoisfathers.org and ask me to send you some copies of our tri-fold brochure.
As Steven transitions more and more into his new role as President of Illinois Fathers, he will be the one primarily responsible for staying in touch with the membership via the newsletter, and thus, this is probably the last newsletter I will write.  I have enjoyed the pleasure of meeting many of you in person over the last five years.  For those of you that I have not met in person, I have shared correspondence with you either by telephone or e-mail.  I appreciate the friendships that I have formed with many of you during the last few years and I hope that our friendship will last a lifetime.  Also, I understand that lists of names can be boring, but I would like to send out a special thank you to a small group of members who were there in the very beginning who all did so much to get Illinois Fathers up and running.  Ian Mitchell, General Parker, Richard Thomas, Robert Ferrer, Jim Weddigen, Arunus Cepas, Reverend Kurt Simon, Tony Taylor, Bill Spencer, Ms. Marianne aka “Turtle” Schultz, Ms. Cari Adams, Mr. Kerry Sandusky, Mike Lenz, Jack Sperry and probably some others that I am forgetting.
Lastly, I would encourage everyone to get involved and get behind our new President, Mr. Steven Westerfield.

Tim Brown
Member
Illinois Fathers

September 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

So stop the cycle and just look at the trees with respect of the forest and fly above the trees  and go for a level playing field.
So to treat your children away from anything other than she’s your mother of your children or the father of your children and how do we move our relationship as a joint force with your children moving forward .
Stop the abuse don’t feed their fire give it water to cool things out time heals many wounds that has winds deep than any mouth ….

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