Articles Tagged with child sex abuse

A police officer was cleared during a bench trial of all wrongdoing after the daughter of a former girlfriend accused him of inappropriately touching her. A Cook County judge found the officer not guilty. After the charges surfaced, the officer was “de-deputized” and placed on administrative leave without pay. A case to have the officer fired is still pending. 

What is a Bench Trial?

A bench trial is a trial that is heard by a professional jurist as opposed to a jury of your peers. Most criminal defendants choose to avoid bench trials preferring to instead roll the dice with the public. However, police officers tend to choose bench trials, especially nowadays, when public sentiment toward police is at an all-time low. Choosing to have your case heard by a judge is an option when you think a professional jurist would be more likely to rule in your favor than a jury of your peers.

A judge denied bail for an 18-year-old man who sexually assaulted a family member in plain view of the camera during an e-learning session. Authorities say that a teacher and other students witnessed the event as it occurred. The assault occurred during a break in the girl’s online class.

The teacher was working on a different computer during the break when she heard two of the students ask what was going on. When the teacher opened her screen back up, she witnessed the girl being assaulted. The teacher then yelled for the students to log off at which point the defendant Catrell Walls picked up the laptop and closed it.

The teacher reported the incident to the principal who alerted police and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Her father, the principal, and the school’s CEO went to the girl’s home. She told them that Walls “just hit her.” Later, the girl described the sexual assault and said that it had happened before. 

A former Chicago Public Schools football coach has been accused of sexual misconduct with one of his players. This individual is also accused of taking nude photos of the student and then posting those photos in the victim’s apartment building and in areas that would be on the way to his school. 

Curtis Thomas worked at the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute High School when the alleged assault occurred. His official title was “school community representative.” Thomas was fired in 2014 and placed on a “do not hire” list. 

CPS officials are not speaking publicly about the incident. They refused to indicate whether Thomas was a football coach on the team when the student was assaulted. Prosecutors, however, said that Thomas was among the football coaches on the team at the time of the assault. The boy was 15 in 2010 when the assault occurred. 

fabian-grohs-396734-copy-300x240At the same time that Illinois has eliminated the statute of limitations on sexual assault, an Oak Forest man is accused of predatory sexual assault of a minor, possession of child pornography, and 23 other felony crimes related to those two main counts. The sexual assault is alleged to have been perpetrated against a minor under the age of 13.

Jason Akai was indicted earlier this month and can face between six and 30 years for each felony count of criminal sexual conduct toward a minor. He was also charged with 19 counts of felony possession of child pornography, which would tack on another 15 years.

Alongside Akai, Kimberly Schubert is being charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor under the age of 13 and felony possession of child pornography. Schubert has also pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A Chicago police sergeant was relieved of his duties after being charged with one count each of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 9-year-old girl. The alleged victim is the daughter of the sergeant’s co-worker, and defense attorneys claim that the nature of the relationship between the accused and the alleged victim’s mother will make clear why allegations were made.


False Allegations of Child Sex Abuse

The defendant’s attorneys have not yet elaborated on the nature of their client’s relationship with the victim’s mother. We can assume, however, that the defense will attempt to prove that she is, in some way, a jilted lover – that the two either had a prior romantic relationship that the defendant ended, or that he previously rebuffed her advances – or a disgruntled employee, and is retaliating with false allegations of sexual abuse.

It may seem impossible that anyone would make false allegations of sexual assault as retaliation. Punishments for a sexual assault conviction are serious, involving lengthy prison sentences and sex offender registration requirements. Even the charges themselves, whether they are ultimately dropped or if the case ends in acquittal, carry a stigma that can forever damage the accused’s professional and personal reputation. Somebody would have to carry a huge grudge to falsely accuse another person of sexual assault.

Unfortunately, false allegations of sexual assault are not uncommon. They arise far too frequently in hotly contested child custody cases, as a way to ensure that custody is not awarded to the father. If the child is young, she is susceptible to being coached or having false memories of abuse planted. They will often repeat the false story because they want to please the mother (or whichever party is coaching them).

In a case of false allegations, there are two victims – the accused, and the child who is put in the middle. In these cases, the defense attorney must walk a fine line between zealously defending his client and not causing further harm to the child. In this particular case, there are two children who may have been coached – the alleged victim and her brother, who was the first to witness the alleged abuse and notify his mother.

In cases such as these, where there appears to be some type of bad blood between the accused and the child victim’s parent, it is imperative for the defense attorney to not only have a clear understanding of the relationship between the two adults, but to also explore the mother’s background to determine whether there is a pattern of false allegations of any kind against former lovers or co-workers.

An independent evaluation of the alleged victim by a child psychologist trained in treating not only victims of child sexual abuse, but also those who have been coached to make false allegations, is also vital, especially if the statement the alleged victim made to the authorities was done so in the presence of her mother. A review of the victim’s statement to police, along with a viewing of any tape recording made of the interview, is also necessary, in order to see if the mother was present and coached the child in any way.

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