Foster parent/deputy is charged with child sexual abuse in Benton County


Michael Cash, a former Benton County sheriff's deputy, is out on bond.

 WARSAW, Mo. -- A former law enforcement officer -- who is also a foster parent and is well known to the Cole Camp community for his work with children -- faces charges of child sexual abuse.

So far one victim has come forward with sexual abuse allegations against Michael Cash.

He was with the Benton County Sheriff's Department for about 15 years -- and most who know him say he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet.

Many were shocked to hear of the allegations. The victim, authorities say, is a girl age 14 or below.

Cash was the county's only DARE officer, which means he had contact with hundreds of young students. He also was involved in multiple community programs that deal with children, including a coach for soccer and baseball.

Cash and his wife are foster parents -- and authorities say this allegation is out of the foster care program.

Cash is charged with two counts of statutory sodomy, and one count of child molestation.

Parents whose kids were around Cash say this is disheartening and worrisome.

"My son went to a DARE program up there in Jefferson City with Cash, and he graduated that program. Then my daughter went to one of his classes up there, so this is unbelievable," said Paul Petty. "I really hope this is just a big misunderstanding to be honest with you."

Sheriff Rick Fajen says this has been tough on the department because they all know Cash and trusted him.

Cash is out on bond awaiting his next court appearance.


Obese Foster Mom Rolls Onto 5-Week-Old Baby and Kills Her


DETROIT (CN) - An obese and unqualified foster mom suffocated a 5-week-old child after rolling over on her while the two slept in the same bed, the infant's representative claims in Federal Court.

Miranda Henry was put into the foster system about a week after her birth on Aug. 31, 2011, and placed with Taylor, Mich.-based Dana Hatch, according to the complaint in the Eastern District of Michigan.

"At the time of Miranda Henry's placement in defendant Hatch's home, Hatch had previously been suspected of abusing and/or neglecting foster children on at least one prior occasion," claims Marvin Brown as the personal representative of Henry's estate.

"At the time of Miranda Henry's placement in defendant Hatch's home, Hatch was untrained, improperly trained and/or inadequately trained on the care of infant children, including but not limited to safe and proper sleeping conditions of infants and otherwise unqualified to be a foster parent of Miranda Henry."

Brown says Star Commonwealth also sent "an unqualified and improperly trained" worker to monitor the placement.

"On or about October 5, 2011, defendant Hatch, an obese adult female, slept in the same bed as her son and the 5-week old Miranda Henry, rolled on her and suffocated her to death," the complaint states.

"During her autopsy, the pathologist identified the cause of death as being suffocation."

Brown seeks punitive damages from Hatch and Starr, alleging negligence, breach of contract and misconduct under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act. He is represented by Lawrence Rothstein of the Rothstein Law Group in Southfield, Mich.

6 Investigates Follow-up: Foster Child Injured

CORPUS CHRISTI - We have new information on a 2-year-old girl who police say was the victim of severe child abuse at the hands of her foster father. Irving Eugene Patrick was arrested Wednesday on charges of injuring a child.

6 News obtained a copy of the arrest warrant, which details some pretty serious injuries to the young girl. It says she had burns on her chest and arms, injuries to her head and brain, and two broken ribs. Many of these injuries seem like they've been occuring over time, not just something that happened all at once.

The document says that doctors found, "abusive head trauma from someone using excessive force on her." They also said she was suffering from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.

We tried to talk with Patrick at his home today. We wanted to know how a young girl in his foster care could get so badly hurt. No one answered his door.

It all began a couple of weeks ago when Patrick called 911. He told police he saw the young girl lying face down on the living room floor. Police took her to the emergency room at Driscoll Children's Hospital and that's when doctors began to notice the serious injuries.

According to the arrest warrant, Patrick could not explain to hospital officials how the child was hurt, but during questioning later by police, he told a detective he noticed the child trying to burp. He says he wrapped his hands around her rip cage and squeezed. Then he tried to give her CPR.

The document says Patrick went on to say that while she "was in his arms, her head fell to the left. He then struck the left side of her head with an open hand twice."

The arrest warrant also says that Child Protective Services contacted the detective about something the victim's 3-year-old sister told her foster mother. The report says the child said, "Uncle Irving shook {victim} because she would not go to sleep."

Patrick is still in jail. No court date has been set.


Seattle minister, former foster parent pleads guilty to child rape

SEATTLE -- A minister and former foster parent accused of sexually abusing at least 10 young boys pleaded guilty Thursday to a number of charges, including child rape.

Timothy L. Dampier, 39, pleaded guilty to a total of 22 counts involving ten victims between the ages of nine and 17 years old, according to prosecutors.

Dampier had been involved in a number of Seattle-area youth programs at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church, Ruth Dykeman Children's Center, Ruther Child Center, Samuel House, Union Gospel Mission and Seattle Parks and Recreation. He also works as a minister at several Seattle churches, detectives said.

The allegations of abuse came to light after Dampier was hired as a musician at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in the city's Central District in April 2011. Prosecutors say he committed the crimes between 1997 and 2011.

Detectives said Dampier had been investigated for inappropriate sexual contact with children at least four different times in the past, but because witnesses did not wish to cooperate with investigators, he was never charged.

Dampier initially denied the charges, but on Thursday he pleaded guilty to first and second degree rape of a child. He also pleaded guilty to first, second, and third degree child molestation, sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 22 years in prison when Dampier is sentenced on October 12.

Man charged in sex abuse of foster kids

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. (WMAR) - The St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations has arrested Lowell Johnson, 64, in connection with a child sex abuse case.
On July 13, a suspected child abuse was reported by Child Protective Services involving alleged abuse to a minor. The female victim told police that she had been sexually abused multiple times from July 2010 until February 2011 while residing in Johnson's home as a foster child.
The victim further stated that she witnessed similar incidents involving Johnson and another foster child.
The second child was identified and interviewed. She too told police that she had been sexually assaulted by Johnson on multiple occasions while living with Johnson.
Following the investigation Johnson was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual abuse to a minor and two counts of second degree sex offense.

Former Aloha foster parent, already imprisoned for sex crimes, abused girls 'pretty constantly,' detective says

Former Aloha foster parent, already imprisoned for sex crimes, abused girls 'pretty constantly,' detective says

A Washington County sheriff's detective says a former Aloha foster parent, already imprisoned for sex crimes and facing new accusations, sexually abused young girls "pretty constantly" during the course of 13 years.

James Coonrod, 63, along with his wife, operated a foster home between 1994 and 2009 at their residence in the 17000 block of Southwest Hurrell Lane near Beaverton, said sheriff's Detective Chuck Anderson, the lead investigator on the case. Coonrod is now accused of abusing four girls, when they were 4 to 8 years old, between 1994 and 2007, according to the sheriff's office.

"He had been active for a long time," Anderson said.

Nearly 50 children stayed at the couple's foster home. Because of the volume of children who had lived at the location, Anderson is concerned Coonrod could have more victims. Coonrod, Anderson said, was also active in church groups with the Aloha Church of God.

"He had access to a whole lot of kids," Anderson said.

Tim Irwin, pastor of Aloha Church of God since 2008, said Coonrod occasionally worshiped at the church and, to his knowledge, was not involved in any ministries or groups involving children. For a time, Coonrod was involved in the church's choir, which does not include children, Irwin said.

Coonrod, who is serving a five-year sentence at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution after pleading guilty to attempted sexual abuse in 2011, faces new charges of sexually abusing the four girls at the foster home, authorities say. All but one of the victims, according to the sheriff's office, were living in the home as foster children.

A Washington County grand jury indicted him on seven Measure 11 crimes: three counts of first-degree rape, three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration. He was transferred from prison to the Washington County Jail and arraigned on the charges in Washington County Circuit Court last week.

In 2009, the certification for the Coonrods' foster home was terminated, said Gene Evans, spokesman for the state's Department of Human Services. The criminal investigation that ultimately sent Coonrod to prison, Evans said, began after the home was shut down.

Anderson said the closure of the home was unrelated to the first sex abuse accusations, which were reported a year later.

Before the Coonrods' certification was revoked, the state had concerns about "their failure to meet and maintain appropriate state standards for an approved foster home," Evans wrote in an email. The state child welfare office in Washington County conducted a review of the home, Evans said, but he wouldn't provide details about the findings, citing state and federal privacy laws regarding children.

Complaints were made about the home prior to 2009, Anderson said, but he wouldn't disclose information about them, also citing privacy laws.

Coonrod was first arrested on sex abuse charges in October 2010, said Sgt. Bob Ray, a sheriff's office spokesman. At the time, investigators believed the abuse, which involved a foster child, was an isolated incident, Ray said, and the sheriff's office did not release information about the arrest. Coonrod in February 2011 pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree sexual abuse, according to court records, and received his five-year sentence.

Last August, Anderson said, another victim reported that Coonrod sexually abused her. Anderson said in October he interviewed Coonrod at the prison, where he denied abusing the girl, but admitted to abusing two others, who hadn't reported the crimes.

During the interview, Coonrod described himself as a pedophile, saying he targeted children, ages 4 to 8, Anderson said. All of the victims are female.

Coonrod abused the girls in multiple ways, including forcing them to perform sexual acts on him, Anderson said. The majority of the abuse, Anderson said, occurred in the children's rooms.

One of the victims lived with Coonrod for more than 15 years, Anderson said, and another for about 13. The other victims lived there between one and three years.

Anderson said the sheriff's office has been working with the state's Department of Human Services on the case.

Evans, the state human services spokesman, said in order to become a foster parent in Oregon, people must undergo a criminal background check. State officials also complete a home study, during which a series of in-depth interviews are conducted with the prospective foster parents, he said.

State law requires caseworkers to visit children in foster care every 30 days, Evans said. During the meetings, caseworkers, he said, generally talk to the children away from their foster parents, a process that Evans said could make reporting abuse easier for the children. Many children, he said, don't disclose abuse until much later.

Citing 2010 statistics, Evans said 84 foster children out of a total of about 13,000 in the state reported abuse.

"The numbers don't really matter," he said. "Any one of those is unacceptable."



North Las Vegas foster parent faces more abuse allegations

Marvie Hill, the foster parent North Las Vegas police accuse of abusing more than one child in his care, is expected to surrender to authorities today.

Hill went to North Las Vegas Justice Court on Thursday with his attorney, Bret Whipple, and was arraigned by Chief Judge Natalie Tyrrell on 20 counts of open and gross lewdness; five counts of lewdness with a minor under 14; one count of sexual assault, victim under 14; and one count of child abuse. The felony charges involve two victims.

Police said Hill will go through a "walk-through" booking, where he will be fingerprinted, booked and released on his own recognizance. He already has posted a $40,000 bond.

Calls to Whipple were not returned Thursday.

Police said that on Aug. 21, a 19-year-old man told detectives that when he was in Hill's custody as a 15-year-old in 2008, he was abused by Hill several times. Hill, 37, was arrested July 21 on similar allegations involving a second victim but was released by a judge because of a paperwork issue.

Additional complaints about Hill have been made to police, and they involve male foster children who were placed in his care. Police said another possible victim has come forward, bringing the total to three.

Terri March, North Las Vegas Justice Court administrator, said Hill supporters crowded into the courtroom Thursday, and an arrest warrant issued for Hill was quashed.

The Clark County Department of Family Services suspended Hill's license and removed all children from his home.

Hill filed a District Court lawsuit last year against Family Services for restricting his foster care license with the intent to revoke it after more than a dozen complaints about his care.

According to a July 29, 2011, letter from the department to Hill, the complaints involved allegations of physical abuse, threats of harm, sexual abuse and neglect and a lack of supervision from 2006 to 2011.

Hill's lawsuit is pending and argues that between investigators concluding misconduct had not occurred in each complaint filed against him and having his foster care home pass annual inspections, his license should be left alone.

Hill serves as president of Unity Family Services, Inc., a mental health and behavioral treatment foster care agency, according to the Nevada secretary of state website.

According to the company's website, the group deals with the "placement of children whose intensive individual needs cannot be met through regular foster care."

Hill also was president of United Family Transitional Homes, a nonprofit that ran a group halfway home for sex offenders. The home, which was at 3009 Colton Ave., near Cheyenne Avenue and Simmons Street in North Las Vegas, opened in 2005 and closed two years later. It housed up to eight sex offenders who had been imprisoned on a variety of charges, including statutory sexual seduction and sexual assault on a victim under 16.

Complaints from neighbors and city officials prompted the state Division of Parole and Probation to move the offenders, and North Las Vegas officials tightened restrictions for halfway homes and business licenses.

Detectives are seeking those who were in Hill's care as children, "whether they were victims or have knowledge that could aid" in the investigation.





Foster parent accused of abuse scheduled to appear in court

LAS VEGAS (KSVN & MyNews 3) - Tomorrow the former foster parent accused of abusing children will face a judge. Marvie Hill, 37, is at the center of a North Las Vegas police investigation. News 3's Marissa Mike spoke with some of his coworkers who are coming to his defense. Co-workers said Marvie Hill was part owner of the Unity Family Services Organization, a foster care agency located in North Las Vegas.