Teenagers In A Motel Room Spells Trouble

Last week, I shared research on three teens that made online threats to shoot up a school. Two of the three boys served time in jail for their actions.

While awaiting sentencing for the online threat charges, the older of the two boys was arrested on child pornography charges.

BLOG POST #137: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving teenagers and child pornography.

Party Tonight

Nothing good can happen when a group of teenagers party in a motel room. Two teens, a 15-year-old male, and a 13-year-old female were engaging in sex on one of the two beds in the room when the 18-year-old teen began recording them.

According to her testimony, the female said she told the older teen to stop recording. She continued having sex even though the boy had not stopped recording. Although the boy did say, he’d delete the video.

Pornography is Pornography

Not only did he not delete the video he shared it with friends via the Internet.

Because the victim was a minor, recording the video qualifies as producing, distributing and possessing child pornography in the state where the crime occurred.

Compounding Charges

The video may have gone unnoticed had it not been for the school shooting threat case. Law enforcement searched the older teen’s phone for information on the threat case when they found the video.

Originally charged with five counts, the oldest teen pleaded guilty to Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Material, a four-year felony charge. And he’ll be on the sex offender registry for 15 years.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

Cyber Bullying Pushed This Teen To Suicide

Hashtags (#) are powerful. You don’t need to use social media to understand what a hashtag is. They’re used on most social media platforms to draw attention to an event (#FootballGame), a product (#Cola), or a person (#TeacherOfTheYear).

Children understand hashtags very well. One component of cyber bullying is to use social media and associate someone’s name with cruel hashtags: #filtywhore #stupid #liar #skank #dumbslut.

Cyber bullying is devastating and destructive. And too often a child is embarrassed to tell their parent what’s going on.

BLOG POST #133: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving three high school boys and one high school girl.

Party Time

It was a holiday weekend, no school on Monday and her best friend’s parents were going to be out of town. One girl told her parents she’d be staying at the other’s home and vice versus.

The girl whose parents were out of town invited a dozen friends to party at her house, where the alcohol was accessible.

After sipping vodka mixed with Gatorade, the victim became super drunk and went to a bedroom to sleep. Three boys accompanied her. The boys removed her clothes while she was passed out, and then used markers to write and draw on her partially naked body.

Heartless Boys

They then digitally violated her and took photographs.

When she awoke the next morning, she had no memory of how or when she had arrived in the bedroom or anything else.

The victim asked her mother to pick her up. Her mother recalls she was quiet and locked herself in her bedroom.

She was frantic to learn what had happened to her so she contacted several kids who had been at the party. She learned there were photos and many kids at her school had seen them.

Poor Self Image

The victim, like so many teenage girls, had an issue with her body image. Does this sound familiar? She wouldn’t eat in public; she wouldn’t eat breakfast, and she ate very little lunch.

No Way Out

She was so tormented by the thought of nude photos circulating she hung herself in the bathroom at her home and did not survive.

As you read this post, you might have wondered if the school she attended served troubled teens or if she and her friends were from struggling households. You’d be wrong. Her high school catered to the affluent in the heart of Silicon Valley.

At first, her mother didn’t understand what had pushed her daughter to take her life. Her daughter’s friends began to talk to her.

The Truth

The boys were identified. Lucky for them, their cases remained in juvenile court. Sharing child pornography on the internet can result in prison time for adults.

The judge sentenced one teen to 45 days in juvenile hall; the other two received 30 days. To be served on weekends so as not to miss school.

And they were required to make public statements of regret and remorse for their actions.

Within a stipulated two year period, each boy was also required to give ten presentations at any high school. The presentations were to include: Sexting, Dissemination of Nude Photographs, Soliciting Nude Photographs, Slut Shaming, Spreading Rumors, Dangers of Alcohol and Drugs.

Something Good

The victim’s parents continue to fight to change laws in hopes what happened to their daughter doesn’t happen to any other family.

Worth Mentioning: A documentary was made about this case and a similar case with a different outcome. The film was one of the official selections for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and is a Netflix Original. Here’s the trailer: Audrie and Daisy

My take away: I’ve never had a loved one commit suicide, so I can’t image the pain this would cause a family. I have raised two children and from my experience, always, always confirm with the friend’s parents that the plan is what your child has told you it is.

My sincere condolences go out to all who have lost a loved one to suicide.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

5th Grade Teacher To Spend Life In Prison

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #130Nothing makes me angrier than an adult abusing a child. Yes, there are children with mental illness who can misbehave, sometimes criminally.

Most children are innocent little beings who just want to have fun, be cared for and be loved.

Most parents trust the people who work at schools to look out for their child’s safety and welfare while in their custody. Sadly, parents should not have trusted this sexual predator.

BLOG POST #130: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a sexual predator at a Christian Academy.

A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

He taught 5th grade, and was also the director of summer school day camp, a youth minister and coached youth sports.

The authorities knew nothing about the teacher’s criminal behavior. They began looking into him after someone contacted them and asked if they were investigating him.

Together with our law enforcement partners, the FBI will remain vigilant to ensure our children are protected,” said the FBI Special Agent in Charge.

A police detective contacted the pastor at the Church where the teacher was a youth minister and asked if the pastor was aware of any criminal investigation into his youth minister.

False Allegations?

The Church pastor was not aware of an investigation.

Less than one week after the police detective contacted the church pastor, the teacher’s wife, who was separating from her husband, came forward with information about her husband’s conduct with students.

A Skilled Sexual Predator

An undercover FBI agent in an online forum received from the teacher 141 images and six videos depicting sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Agents searched the teacher’s home and found he had documented in photos and videos his sexual abuse of 29 children from his community, all between the ages of 6-12.

The former teacher pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexually exploiting a minor; one count of distributing child pornography; and one count of possessing child pornography.

A sentence of 250 years in federal prison will forever protect children and their parents from [the former teacher],” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The court sentenced him to 30 years for each of the seven counts and concurrent (served at the same time) prison terms of 20 years for the other two counts—a total of 210 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release should he be released from prison. Sentenced at the age of 43, his scheduled release date, should he live that long, is in 2097.

Worth mentioning: The former teacher appealed his sentence because a sentence of 210 years is several times greater than his remaining life expectancy; it is by definition “greater than necessary.” The court disagreed and upheld the sentence.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ on this case: Beware of the smooth operator who is also a narcissist. Anytime an adult married or not, invites children to sleep over at their home especially when they do not have children—say NO! If an adult married or not wants to spend alone time with a child regardless of how genuine they appear—say NO!

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

This Teacher Collected Inappropriate Images For More Than 40 Years

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

I know the information I share is disturbing, and for that, I apologize. But these crimes do happen, and we can’t pretend otherwise. It is my hope, reading my research will better equip you to notice when something is ‘off’ at school. Thank you for caring about children and continuing to read my research.

BLOG POST #128: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a teacher’s addiction to pornography.

Secret Life

He’d secretly collected thousands of inappropriate images of abused children for more than 40 years, some boys as young as 5, 6, or 7 years old.

This defendant received thousands of images portraying the sexual abuse of children,” said the U.S. Attorney in a press release.

His secret may have continued if it weren’t for a law enforcement agent who logged into a publicly available Internet file sharing program and downloaded images of child pornography from shared directories maintained by the teacher.

The FBI executed a search warrant at his residence. And he was arrested after admitting he had used the file sharing program to obtain and trade child pornography.

Was It Worth It?

He’d worked at the prestigious private, co-ed, prep school for high school students for 23 years, most recently as a theater and film teacher and also in community theaters around the region.

There were no photos of children he taught nor had he used school computers to access the file sharing sites he used. He cooperated with the FBI, accepted responsibility and appreciated the treatment program he’d been in since his arrest.

The former teacher waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography.

The U.S. Attorney also said, “The fact that this heinous crime was committed by a teacher, whose profession is committed to the well-being of children, makes it especially disturbing.”

At age 65, the former teacher was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

Worth mentioning: A joint study was conducted by a local newspaper and TV station in the (small) state where the former teacher lived. They found during 2011 – 2015, six or more teachers were arrested in the state each year for alleged sexual misconduct, with nine arrests in 2015. And before that time-frame, the average yearly total was four. Here’s the full report: Teacher Misconduct

If you do a basic math calculation using population and the numbers from the study, then apply those figures to the entire U.S., the results would indicate 542 teachers are arrested for sexual misconduct each year. Many variables would apply (socioeconomic, rural vs. urban, etc.). From my research, I knew there was a lot of bad behavior happening at schools, but this is staggering.

My Takeaway: Other than on the internet where you can often have screen names, this man hid his perversion from the world outside his home for more than 40 years. From all I read, he lived alone. He didn’t cross the line and take photos of his students or try to groom them. It’s a good thing he taught older children or his crimes may have been worse.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at AMAZON

A Sexual ‘Hit List’ At The High School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Thank you for spending a few minutes to read my research. I hope as you’ve been reading about these cases your awareness and vigilance is becoming heightened.

If one nugget of information causes someone to question a behavior, then my time sharing these cases has been well spent. If you do become aware of someone at a school you think may be a danger to someone else, NEVER try to handle the situation yourself – REPORT your suspicions to school administration or law enforcement.

BLOG POST #126: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving high school students.

Not A Merry Christmas

Just before Christmas one year, two high school boys were arrested and charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 15-year-old female classmate. Another boy was also charged, but due to his age, the case was handled in juvenile court with sealed records.

The state law says anyone under age 16 cannot consent to sexual activity.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Well Groomed

The grandmother of the 15-year-old student sexually assaulted believes the boys groomed her granddaughter and planned the sexual assault.

The female victim said in her written statement the boys repeatedly complimented her leading up to the crime.

Party Time

The day of the crime, the boys lured the 15-year-old student away from her track practice, gave her alcohol, and then drove her to one boy’s home where they raped her and took pictures of the assault.

Police said they were unable to confirm the photograph’s existence because they could not bypass the boy’s phone’s password encryption.

Both defendants admitted to police they knew what they were doing was wrong because the girl was 15 and drunk.

Done Deal

One teen pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct of a victim between 13 and 15. The other teen entered a plea to one count for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at his home. The second teen also pleaded guilty to giving alcohol to the girl, which is a misdemeanor.

“A relative of the victim said, “We expected school would be a safe zone we had no idea she would be in a danger or would be in any kind of risk there.”

Sympathetic Judge

At the time of the crime, both boys were 17, and had clean records, the judge sentenced the boys to one year in county jail and three years of probation. And, because they were sentenced under a Youthful Trainee Act, if they don’t re-offend, their records will be wiped clean when they’re off probation.

Who’s The Victim?

The boys were not allowed on school property, were not allowed to attend prom, and did not walk with their graduating class at commencement.

The victim’s grandmother said her granddaughter experienced extreme bullying at school because the defendants were popular. She also said school officials were aware of the boys’ reputation, which included a ‘hit list’ of freshmen girls they wanted to target.

Worth mentioning: One prosecutor blasted a Circuit Court judge for his refusal to order the two high school boys be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. The judge said the time limits for testing had expired. The tests should have been done within 48 hours of the defendants’ indictment.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ in this case: When an upper-class boy shows interest in a freshman girl—parents need to thoroughly and openly question the boy’s intentions. Don’t be dissuaded because your daughter’s horrified or humiliated by your inquisitiveness. If the boy’s intentions are honorable, he’ll stick around. If his intentions are unscrupulous, he’ll move on to another less challenging target.

What do you think about this case? Your relevant comments about this post or any of the other posts are always welcome on the website.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to Amazon MAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon