Articles Tagged with child abuse

Saturday, March 7th marked the seventh anniversary of the Balboa Park “Chelsea’s Run” to commemorate the 17-year-old Poway High School student who was sexually assaulted and killed in 2010 by convicted sex offender John Gardner. Chelsea King was abducted while running in a Rancho Bernardo park by Gardner, the same man who admitted to killing Amber Dubois of Escondido. Garner pled guilty and was sentenced to life without parole.

Six months later, “Chelsea’s Law” was passed after being signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The law sharply increased penalties for those convicted of sexual assaults on minors (including the sentencing of life without parole). It also included reforms to increase outreach to paroled sex offenders most likely to re-offend, and made GPS monitoring mandatory for child sex offenders. It also barred sex offender parolees from being near where children congregate.

A report released five years after the enactment of Chelsea’s Law concluded that at least 332 defendants were charged statewide under various aspects of the Law. In San Diego County, 22 people were charged under the law between September 2014 and August 2015, including two who received terms of 25 years to life.

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Aggravated sexual assault of a child is an extremely serious crime. It is a felony punishable by 15 years imprisonment to life, along with a fine of up to $50,000. The sentence will increase if there is multiple victims. See CA Penal Code § 269. Additionally, those convicted will be required to register as a sex offender.

One will be charged under § 269 if s/he allegedly sexually assaults a minor under the age of 14, or if the victim is a minor (under 18 years old) and seven years younger than the defendant.

Aggravated Kidnapping

The crime of aggravated kidnapping occurs when someone:

  • Uses force, fear, or fraud against a minor under age 14; or
  • Demands a ransom;
  • Causes the victim bodily harm or death;
  • Violates California’s carjacking law under Penal Code § 215.

See CA Penal Codes § 207, 208, 209. A conviction of aggravated kidnapping carries a prison sentence of five years to life, depending on the circumstances. Continue reading

The holiday month kicked off with a not-so-festive video that was uploaded on Facebook by an unknown man, pressuring a toddler, who is wearing diapers, to smoke what appears to be a marijuana blunt. The video was uploaded in the Chicago, Illinois area and drew such a national public outrage, that the Chicago Police Department is now looking for the man who uploaded the video. Additionally, detectives with the Area South Special Victims unit have become involved to investigate the footage. A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services also would not confirm whether they will be investigating the video, and the Attorney General’s office announced that it would not.

It is unknown when the video was taken or uploaded, but the man who filmed it may face child endangerment charges if caught. The man behind the camera is heard telling the toddler “smoke” and “inhale.” When the video ends the man appears to be saying “let me hit that.”

California Child Endangerment Law

The parents of two children allegedly found in ‘deplorable conditions’ were arrested in San Jacinto, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies and Child Protective Services (CPS) arrived at the 1600 block of Santa Fe Avenue after receiving a report about child abuse. The report to CPS came from an employee of the children’s school district. Authorities said they found two children “deliberately confined” to a room under “deplorable conditions” without access to a restroom or basic necessities. Deputies believe the children lived in that condition for more than one year. It was determined that this confinement occurred only during night time.

The children’s parents, Emily Tardy, 29, and Steven Crane, 38, were arrested for alleged child abuse. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office decided not to charge the couple with felony child abuse and instead charge them with misdemeanor child endangerment. Both are being held on $35,000 bail. They each pleaded not guilty to all counts and are scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 9.

California Penal Code 273(a) – Child Endangerment