Archive for the ‘crime’ Category
(Atlanta, Georgia, July 2016) – Propser Ortega is recovering from horrific torture, rape and assault inflicted on her by her husband, Aaron Uchitel. Prosper was rescued by her mother, Fawn Ortega, who grew concerned after not hearing from Prosper, and fought to get inside the house. She was close to death when Fawn rescued her, and her newborn.
Fawn says, “Her ribs are broken. He beat her ribs and breast saying her milk was useless and she was worthless. He tried to blind her so she couldn’t see her baby, he tried to make her deaf so she couldn’t hear him crying for her.” Aaron Uchitel has been charged with aggravated battery, false imprisonment and cruelty to children.
Fawn, and other family members, are sharing Prosper’s story in order to raise awareness abut domestic violence. The family has created a GoFundMe to raise money for hospital bills and other expenses.
Updates on Prosper’s recovery can also be found on the GoFundMe page. An update posted 4 months ago on Prosper’s recovery offers this touching message of hope: “We just keep rolling along – I don’t know what else to say other than that. Every day is another step towards some type of normalcy but normal still seems very far away. Despite that, we have beautiful people offering goodness in abundance, and that makes it worlds better…”
Asheville, N.C., Sept. 9, 2016 – Seth Willis Pickering stabbed his 6-year old daughter Lila to death in front of two park rangers along the Blue Ridge Parkway. When arrested, he said, “Now they will never be able to take her away from me.. She’s happier now.. it’s what she wanted.”
Pickering was involved in a custody dispute with ex-wife Ashley Pickering. Ashley left the relationship because he was abusive towards her. Ashley, who now lives in Florida, was fighting in the courts for the return of her daughter, “I went to leave and a cop was supposed to send Lila with me, and he didn’t, and I’ve been fighting with the courts and DSS.” Ashley claims that Lila was soon to return to her care.
Lila was placed in protective custody with the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) after being removed from her father’s care, due to his violent behavior towards another woman. Lila was placed with a local family, who she knew well. The family offered to take the child in to avoid foster care. Pickering was allowed supervised visitation.
On September 9th, Lila was picked up at the home by her father, without permission, and taken to a remote camp site. Park rangers discovered Pickering with Lila, and before they could intervene, he has stabbed her to death.
Pickering is charged with first degree murder.
Lila Pickering is described as being a happy child with a beautiful smile who nickname was “Rescue Ranger” because she was willing to help anybody. Lila would have celebrated her birthday on October 1st, there will be a celebration of her life at the local elementary school where she attended. A Go Fund Me has been created by the family to help raise money for funeral expenses.
Cindy Dabil, Lila’s grandmother says Child Protective Services in Florida and in North Carolina should have done more to protect Lila. She hopes Lila’s tragic death will serve as a call to action to better protect children from abuse, and to make changes to improve the safety of children living in state care
December 2014, Orlando, Florida: 13 year Gregory Jean Jr. is returned to his mother after being kidnapped, and hidden behind a fake wall. He was missing for 4 agonizing years.
Father, Gregory Jean Sr. and step-mother, Samantha Davis are accused of kidnapping Gregory Jean Jr. from his mother, who had custody, when he went to visit them near Atlanta.
Gregory Jean Sr. and Samantha Joy Davis. (Source: American Urban Radio Networks, http://www.aurn.com1)
Gregory Jean Jr. was abused and hidden behind a fake wall. He was given a cell phone to contact friends, and only allowed to talk to his mother after being coached on what to say. Jean Jr. then gained the courage to use that phone to contact his mother, and alert police to rescue him.
Gregory Jean Sr. and Samantha Joy Davis face charges of child cruelty, false imprisonment and obstruction.
CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. — Wesley Webb was fighting with boyfriend Keith Smith in their home in Schuylkill Township, Pennsylvania, when she decided to start recording the argument. What she ended up recording was her own murder, police say. Webb, 40, told Smith she would leave with her two children — three kids, all under age…
The Dangerous Culture of Male Entitlement and Sexual Hostility Hiding within America’s National Parks and Forests.
On an early Friday morning in late June 2006, Cheyenne Szydlo, a 33-year-old Arizona wildlife biologist with fiery red hair, drove to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim to meet the river guide who would be taking her along the 280 miles of the Colorado River that coursed a mile below. She was excited. Everyone in her field wanted to work at the Grand Canyon, and after several years of unsuccessful applications, Szydlo had recently been offered a seasonal position in one of the National Park Service’s science divisions. She’d quit another job in order to accept, certain her chance wouldn’t come again.
The Grand Canyon is a mecca of biological diversity, home to species that grow nowhere else on earth. But after a dam was built upstream 60 years ago, changes in the Colorado’s flow have enabled the rise of invasive species and displaced numerous forms of wildlife. Szydlo’s task was to hunt for the Southwestern willow flycatcher, a tiny endangered songbird that historically had nested on the river but hadn’t been seen in three years. Her supervisor believed the bird was locally extinct, but Szydlo was determined to find it. The June expedition—a nine-day journey through the canyon on a 20-foot motorboat operated by a boatman named Dave Loeffler—would be her last chance that summer. When Szydlo asked a coworker what Loeffler was like, the reply was cryptic: “You’ll see.”……
Follow the link above to read more.
Why It Matters That The Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Has Been Accused Of Domestic Violence/ thinkprogress.org
In the aftermath of a shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead, more details are emerging about the suspected gunman, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear. According to police reports, Dear has a long history of getting in trouble with law enforcement — including several instances of being accused of preying on women.
According to BuzzFeed News, Dear was interviewed by South Carolina police in 1997 after the cops responded to a domestic violence call. Dear’s wife said that he locked her out of the house and, once she gained entry, he hit her and pushed her out of window. His wife didn’t want to press charges, saying she wanted only a police record of the incident. The cops noted that she had “apparent bruises” on her body from where she said Dear pushed her in the chest.
Five years later, Dear was investigated for making “unwanted advances” toward a woman who lived in his neighborhood. Dear’s neighbor Lynn Roberts and her husband reported he was hiding in the bushes by their house. Roberts said that he was “leering” at her on a “regular basis”; court records show that she eventually filed a restraining order against him in July 2002.
Dear has also faced a handful of other investigations for allegedly abusing an animal and threatening a neighbor. The charges against him have all been dropped or dismissed.
The revelations about Dear’s previous run-ins with the law, and specifically the instances in which he allegedly harmed women, were unsurprising to some observers.
indeed, there’s evidence that conclusively links domestic violence incidents with future violent crimes. Men who hurt their female family members often go on to hurt other people later in life.
Domestic violence advocates say that’s one important reason why crimes against women — which are often difficult to push through the criminal justice system, particularly considering the fact that violence against female partners has long been considered the norm — should be taken more seriously within society as a whole.
“Men who are eventually arrested for violent acts often began with attacks against their girlfriends and wives. In many cases, the charges of domestic violence were not taken seriously or were dismissed,” activists Pamela Shifman and Salamishah Tillet wrote in the New York Times earlier this year. “With so much at stake, responding to violence against women should be a top priority for everyone.”
There’s still a lot we don’t know about Dear, his history, or his motives. Authorities have not yet been able to pinpoint a motivation for the shooting at Planned Parenthood. The mayor of Colorado Spring, John Suthers, has come the closest to suggesting that the building may have been targeted because it provides women’s health services — saying on Saturday that people can make “inferences from where it took place.”
Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted in the U.S.A. This statistic from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence may seem shocking, but not when you take into account that one third of American women will be sexually assaulted within their lifetime — one third. That means one out of every three women you know (your sisters, daughters, mothers and friends) will likely fall victim to this awful crime.
The true scope of how many women have been attacked or victimized, especially by people they know, is terrifying. What’s even more terrifying is everything we don’t know. The last published results of the National Intimate Partner and Violence Survey are from 2010.
The closest we could get to finding real, recent answers on the frequency of sexual assault and rape in the last couple of years is from the FBI. The legal definition of rape was recently changed to include both male and female victims, but the FBI still includes statistics of the legacy definition (female victims only) in their annual crime report. We expected the FBI’s crime report to more or less match the figures from the CDC’s 2010 survey, but we noticed a drastically low number of rape victims — roughly 26 women per 100,000 people.
That’s when we realized a key fact. The FBI is basing their figures on arrests and convictions, excluding statutory rape and incest and only documenting “forcible rape.” The sad truth is that most rapes go unreported — with forcible rapes making up only a fraction of all reported rapes — and even less rapists are actually convicted. According to RAINN less than half of all rapes are reported, only 12% of what is reported actually leads to an arrest and only 3% of rapists see punishment for their actions.
When it comes to violence against women, not every zip code is equal, and some places are more dangerous than others. We’ve examined statistics from the FBI, the CDC’s 2010 comprehensive National Intimate Partner And Violence Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau to narrow down the most dangerous places for women in the United States from 2010 – 2014.
One out every six women in the U.S.A. was a victim of an attempted or completed rape in 2010.
Places like Alaska and Oregon hold the highest rates of rape against women, whereas states like Virginia and California hold some of the lowest rates. The 2014 information from the FBI also shows a different perspective than that of the above statistics from the CDC. While many of the same states are still on the top 10 list, some new states appear as well. This could be for a number of reasons. There could have been an increase or decrease in crime in the last four years among certain states or some states could just have a higher rate of conviction due to differing justice systems.
The 10 states with the largest percentage of women in 2010 who said they were raped in their lifetime are:
1. Alaska (21%)
2. Oregon (21%)
3. Michigan (20%)
4. Nevada (18.8%)
5. New Hampshire (18.7%)
6. Oklahoma (18.6%)
7. Washington (18%)
8. Colorado (18%)
9. Minnesota (16.9%
10. Connecticut (16.9 %)
In 2014, These were the states with the most rapes per 100,000 according to the FBI
1. Alaska (75.3)
2. New Mexico (51.4)
3. South Dakota (48.4)
4. Montana (42)
5. Michigan (40.9)
6. Arkansas (39.8)
7. Colorado (39.6)
8. North Dakota (37.3)
9. Kansas (37)
10. Arizona (36.6)
Sexual crimes against women (other than rape) are even more commonplace. These results from the 2010 CDC report are eye-opening.
At the lowest rate, which occurs in Louisiana, 22% of women have experienced sexual violence other than rape. Most states fall somewhere between the 30 and 35% mark, while others like Oregon see 43% of women falling victim to non-rape sexual violence. The 10 states where women are most frequently sexually assaulted are:
1. Oregon (43.3%)
2. Alaska (42%)
3. Maryland (41.9%)
4. New Hampshire (40.8%)
5. Washington (40.5%)
6. Illinois (38.6%)
7. North Carolina (38.3%)
8. New York (38%)
9. Connecticut (37.2%)
10. Kentucky (36.8%)
One of the most obvious ways to determine if a place is dangerous is by looking at the murder rate. The murder rate for females in 2010 was notably higher in certain states.
States in the southern half of the United States have a notably higher murder rate among females than states in the northern half. Southern states also have looser gun laws.
According to the CDC, in 2010, the states with the most murders per 100,000 people are:
1. Louisiana (4.44)
2. Mississippi (4.13)
3. Alabama (3.85)
4. New Mexico (3.69)
5. South Carolina (3.57)
6. Arkansas (3.48)
7. Nevada (3.48)
8. Georgia (3.32)
9. Tennessee (3.1)
10. North Carolina (3.07)
Stalking doesn’t always lead to violence, but it can. Even still, stalking is far less common than sexual assault but worth mentioning. This is the percentage of women in 2010 who reported having been stalked in their lifetimes.
In Kentucky, the state with the highest percent of incidents, 19% of women report being stalked. Most states see an 11-13% rate of stalking, while the states with the lowest instances, Wisconsin and Virginia, see a rate of 9.8% and 8.6% respectively. The states with the highest percentage of women who have been stalked are:
1. Kentucky (19%)
2. Alabama (18.4%)
3. Nevada (17.7%)
4. Oklahoma (16.6%)
5. New Mexico (16.4%)
6. North Carolina (16%)
7. Tennessee (15.3%)
8. Wyoming (15.2%)
9. Mississippi (15.1%)
10. Pennsylvania (15%)
Four out of every five assaults are committed by someone the victim already knows (a friend, boyfriend, acquaintance, etc), and one third of women are assaulted by an intimate partner. The 2010 report shows the sheer number of women who reported being assaulted by an intimate partner within their lifetimes.
Considering 94% of women who are murdered and four fifths of women who are raped are attacked by someone they know, these statistics are particularly telling. These states have the highest percentage of women who have been raped, physically assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner.
1. Oklahoma (36.8%)
2. Nevada (34.8%)
3. North Carolina (33%)
4. Michigan (32.5%)
5. Washington (32.4%)
6. Maryland (32%)
7. New Hampshire (32%)
8. Alaska (32%)
9. South Carolina (31.7%)
10. Tennessee (30.6%)
When labeling the most dangerous places for women, it may also be important to consider a woman’s mental health. A cluster of states seem to have had a notably higher suicide rate between 2004 and 2010.
If the attack is on oneself, versus a homicide or physical assault from another party, does it still count? Regardless of genetic predisposition to depression and self-harm, situations that lead a woman to suicide are perhaps indicators of an unhealthy environment.
States with highest rates of suicide per 100,000 people are:
1. Alaska (9.62)
2. Nevada (9..62)
3. Wyoming (8.19)
4. New Mexico (8.06)
5. Montana (7.96)
6. Colorado (7.76)
7. Oregon (7.23)
8. Arizona (7.18)
9. Florida (6.40)
10. Idaho (6.31)
The problem is still growing, which is why we need more information.
Despite the most comprehensive and accurate report being from 2010, the frequency of rape among women has not decreased. According to the FBI, the figures rose 1.6% between 2013 and 2014. This leads us to the question, why isn’t there a more recent CDC study on domestic abuse if the problem is growing? How many women will really be assaulted (sexually or otherwise) in their lifetimes? How many women were actually affected within the last year alone and didn’t report it to the police?
Perhaps if people are more aware of the massive scale of the problem, it could help lead to a change. For every woman who says it can never happen to me, who truly believes it’s only a problem for a few unfortunate people, there is another woman who understands that it can happen to anyone and it does happen to anyone, even if she remains silent in her understanding.
There is help out there for women who find themselves in trouble. If you need help and you’re in the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.