Category: Uncategorized and Other Bloggers Posts


This was an opinion piece written by Randy Ellison in the The Mail Tribune out of Oregon. I was appalled when I read it and thought it should be shared.

 

Just when it seemed we were starting to “get it” on child sexual abuse, along comes a court trial that reminds us just how far we have to go. Last week in Jackson County, Circuit Judge Tim Barnack allowed a 10-year-old child to be revictimized.

First, the girl was repeatedly characterized as precocious and attention-starved. I have two granddaughters and I would describe both of them as precocious and they definitely seek adult attention. “Watch this, papa.” “Will you play with me, papa?” It takes a pretty sick mind to view this normal child behavior as an opening for sexual advance, much less use it as a defense in a court of law.

This next part is so unbelievable as to defy reason. Judge Tim Barnack allowed the bed the girl has stated she was abused on to be brought into court, and she is told to stand beside it and show what happened to her.

WHAT? I really want someone to say this didn’t really happen in Medford, Ore. But it did. The judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney and observers all sat and watched a 10-year-old girl, holding her doll, stand next to the mattress as the defense attorney re-enacted her abuse in open court. Then the defense attorney described the 10-year-old child’s overt trauma as an “act” and says she has never been traumatized by anything in this case. Somebody needs to check this man for a pulse! This is far worse than reality TV; at least they have censors.

Is this really the standard we want for dealing with accusations of child abuse? When a child gets the strength to come forward and report alleged sexual abuse should they have to suffer having their character attacked and be made to publicly re-enact the abuse? I sincerely hope not. The system failed this little girl. You and I failed this little girl.

In the last decade we have finally woken up to the extent of sexual abuse and exploitation of our children and are doing something about it. Now it’s time to bring our legal system in line with our values. If we consider it morally wrong for adults to sexually abuse children, then why would it be OK for our courts to do so?

It happened once, shame on Judge Barnack and his court. If we allow it to happen again, then shame on us. This is our community and our court system. It should reflect our values and morals. If we don’t want our children to be revictimized after reporting abuse, then we, you and I, need to speak up with our voice and vote to see that it doesn’t happen again. Our judges are elected. In theory they enforce our laws, but they also have discretion. Let’s elect judges that use that discretion wisely.

Our laws are made by the state Legislature and enforced by our attorney general. We can contact Sen. Alan Bates and Attorney General John Kroger to make sure this is not allowed in the future and ask them to make sure it isn’t.

With 20 percent of our children suffering sexual abuse, we know we have done a lousy job of protecting them. Now that we are beginning to understand that fact and the impact of abuse, let’s take the next step. Let’s open our ears and hearts to the suffering these child victims are enduring and do what we can to ease their pain and the difficulty of reporting the abuse.

I know we can do better. For the sake of our children we must do better.

Randy Ellison of Ashland is an adult survivor of child sexual abuse and board president of the Oregon Association of Adult Sexual and Incest Survivors.

Source: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110605/OPINION/106050314/-1/NEWSMAP

Miguel Fernandes

via The Faces Of Abuse II.

The Faces Of Abuse II.

Woman gets 25 to life for killing young son | Local News | PE.com | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California.

Kaiden James Light

Kaiden James Light

Kaiden James Light was born on August 8, 2010 to Tatianna and Ronald Light. Tatianna was a recovering drug addict. For an unknown reason she previously had her parental rights terminated with her 5-year-old a few years priors to Kaiden’s birth.

Tatianna also hid her marriage to Ronald from the Conklin’s for 2 years fearing they would not approve of him.

Kaidens’ grandmother Deborah Conklin asked Tatianna and Ronald to allow Kaiden to stay with her because she was worried about his well-being. She kept Kaiden everyday except for 2 days and developed a close bond with her grandson, even promising him that she would keep him safe. Kaiden wasn’t safe though, his own mother would murder him just 8 weeks after he was born.

Looking at the documentation and facts surrounding baby Kaiden’s short life will unfortunately show one train wreck after another. This little angel was loved and could have been well taken care of and loved like no other but because of laws everyone who cared for or were concerned about Kaiden Light were unable to help him. Help never came for him and now there are more than 350 pages that documented his very short life. How does that even happen?

After Kaiden was born there was a call to children’s services by a legally mandated reporter due to the fact that Kaiden’s father was a registered sex offender from an incident in 1994. They decided at that time he was not a danger to Kaiden and they offered In-home services to the couple.

Tatianna Light

Tatianna, Ronad and Kaiden Light

In-home services sent nurses and specialists to the house and they kept notes on Tatianna as well as tracked Kaiden’s milestones. All the notes on Tatianna, Ronald and Kaiden were positive. They said they were both attentive and loving parents. The case was closed out on September 8 because In-home services felt they had done enough for the family with the exception of a psychology exam for both Tatianna and Ronald. Kaiden was 4 weeks old at this time.

On September 22, Deborah, baby Kaidens’ Grammy called the hot-line number and reported that he was displaying signs of shaken baby syndrome. She was advised by a caseworker to take him to the hospital, upon examining Kaiden doctors said they didn’t find anything wrong with him and sent him back home.

A caseworker asked Tatianna if it would be ok if the baby stayed elsewhere while she underwent a psychological evaluation and drug test. Tatianna agreed and Deborah kept the baby. Children’s Division couldn’t actually remove the baby from Tatianna because they didn’t have enough evidence therefore they were requesting permission.

According to Children’s Division, Lisa Altis, it is common practice that as long as the parent is working with the children’s service agency then other agencies will not report any of their concerns and it is illegal to remove the child in most cases such as the Lights’.

“It’s horrible, whether that child dies in the home or in foster care. I wish we could find a way to keep that from happening. We just can’t all the time,” Lisa Altis said.

On October 4, 2010, Tatianna’s drug test came back and she was clean of all “illegal” substances in her system. Tatianna is a prescription dug addict, she goes from doctor to doctor obtaining prescriptions so it would have been easy to pass a drug screening.

Tatianna’s psychologist, Dr. Eva Wilson told the caseworker“her testing did not disclose any concerning information regarding Mrs. Light and that she did not see a problem returning Kaiden to the home,”

Kaiden went home that evening at 6PM.

Deborah Conklin

Deborah Conklin

The next day the psychologist’s report was received by the caseworker’s, both Isabella Escudero and Julie Anderson emailed each other back and forth stating their concerns for Kaiden. They asked to remove him from his home and were told there was not enough evidence to support that decision.

Caseworkers Isabella Escudero and Julie Anderson went to supervisor Gary Norell and told him they were worried and there were a lack of details in the evaluation from Dr. Wilson. They were also concerned about her drug addiction although she passed a screening. Aside from that they were worried about her mental health and her maturity level. The following is some of what was found in the 350+ pages of documentation;

“Mr. Norell wanted to know what concerns we had and we informed him that at this time we could not identify any concrete concerns as Mrs. Light was doing everything we had asked her,” Escudero wrote in Kaiden’s report. “The psychologist had cleared her and denied having any concerns. Mr. Norell informed us that the best decision to make at this time was to have Mrs. Light … (undergo) another psychological evaluation and to monitor her closely.” “Mr. Norell did not feel the Juvenile Office would accept a referral based upon the information that we had. . . Mr. Norell suggested that we needed to be able to present fact to the the Juvenile Office and we needed to take the time to gather more facts and information that could accurately express our concerns regarding the safety of Kaiden,” the report said.

The caseworkers call to set up a visit between 2-2:30. Once they get there no one answered the door or the phone. Ms. Escudero says she pounded on the door for several minutes before giving up and leaving. She received a phone call while she was on her way back to the office that 911 had been called from the Light home.

Tatianna called 911 at 2:50 saying her infant wasn’t breathing. Kaiden was dead before the caseworkers ever made it to the house. The medical examiner estimated Kaiden’s time of death at 2:00PM.

She was arrested the same day and admitted to suffocating Kaiden with a pillow.

Tatianna Light has told several lies about how she murdered her infant son. She has said everything from she suffocated him with a pillow to she tripped and fell with him. When she told investigators he rolled over and smothered she couldn’t explain why she gave him CPR for 30 minutes, took his clothing off, cleaned the blood from his nose, removed the bedding and washed them all before calling 911.

“She described suffocating him for approximately one hour,” the probable cause statement in the case said. “During that time period she stopped and saw he was still alive, then continued until he was no longer breathing or moving.”

tatianna light kaiden light 8 week old smothered to death missouriTatianna Noel Light over-killed Kaiden. Why? From what I can gather the only conclusion I can come up with is because she was tired of being told she was a bad mother. This is what she told investigators from what I read in one of the articles.

After she admitted to killing Kaiden the investigators left the room and noted “During this time, Tatianna was very calm. She cleaned out her pockets, took off her jewelry and organized her wallet,” the report said.

When they went back into the room she was suddenly crying and suicidal;

“It takes more than one officer to subdue her and get her in handcuffs,” the report said. “She is now yelling that she does not want to go to jail and wants to go to the psych ward. She states more than once that she will kill herself if taken to jail and that she wants to kill herself and go be with her son.”

Tatianna told another officer that she knew what to say to go to the psych ward.

The following day, on the 6th she was booked for second-degree murder and is looking at a 30 years to life sentence.

Since Tatianna’s incarceration she has sent a letter to the judge changing her story. You can see her letter here http://www.scribd.com/doc/52968553 In it she begs for her freedom so she can “help pay for the funeral and get drug abuse treatment.”

I’m guessing she believes the judge may give her her freedom back with a promise of employment and NA meetings. I’m also guessing that’s all Kaiden’s life was worth to her.

Shara Martin, Tatianna’s attorney responded to the letter saying she can only change her plea in front of the judge. She has a hearing set for May 13 where a trial date may be set.

As far as I can tell this was not a case of children’s division dropping the ball like we hear so many times, this was a lack of appropriate laws to protect this newborn and because of that he was murdered by his mother.

Arleasha Mays, Assistant Communications Director for the state Department of Social Services said;

“It’s not that we didn’t take action. This is a horrible tragedy … We feel very strongly that we were taking positive action to address any concerns that were made and to try and prevent this horrible event from ever happening,”

“We couldn’t go to court and say, ‘This doctor says it’s not (a bad situation), but my gut tells me that it’s not going to be safe,’” said Lisa Altis, one of the supervisors in the abuse and neglect unit of the juvenile office. “It’s frustrating for workers … I trust their gut, but I have to look at it from a legal perspective of what’s provable or not.”

Ronald Light has filed for divorce but it’s not final yet.

Deborah Conklin, Kaiden's grandma

Deborah Conklin, Kaidens grandma

Please join Deborah Conklin’s facebook page Kaiden James Light (we love you and miss you) http://www.facebook.com/UnforgottenAngels#!/pages/Kaiden-James-Light-we-love-you-and-miss-you/178848618796846

Thank you TUECAA for the great post

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