Child Abuse in All Parts of Town: When Will This Reality Finally Be Recoginzed?

Over the past two weeks, there has been a big story out of Texas where a YouTube video was published by the daughter of a Texas judge, showing him beating her (it's graphic and I'm not posting it here, you can read more about this case and all the horrid details here).

Texas Judge William Adams may have had his career destroyed by this video - but he's not going to be charged with child abuse, in all likelihood.  Why not?  The statute of limitations has expired. 

Meanwhile, everyone is talking about the Penn State scandal - where a respected coach has now been charged with child sexual abuse after allegedly preying on young boys for years.  You can read the Grand Jury transcript describing what happened to six victims here.  

Bigger deal in the Penn State scandal is the cover up:  not only did a graduate student who testified that he saw one young boy being sexually abused in the Penn State showers by this coach not go to help the boy, he ends up on the Penn State coaching staff.  Oh, and did he tell anyone about what he saw?  Yes.  He told his dad, and he told head coach Joe Paturno ("JoPa")

So, now the PennState beloved and revered head coach is in a big scandal of his own.  And it's rumored that there's another shoe that's going to drop here, the story is bigger than what's being reported even now - and it's a big, big story already.

Here's my point:  I know from my years as a volunteer working with kids as well as serving as attorney/guardian ad litem in the local CPS Court that the abuse and neglect cases that get dealt with in the system are almost 100% from the lower (lowest) socioeconomic levels of the community.

Once  -- ONCE -- I remember an investigation into child abuse that was in the more affluent part of San Antonio.  What happened?  Zip. 

There are lessons to be learned from the Texas Judge YouTube video and the PennState Scandal.  We need to learn them.

Kids are neglected and abused in all parts of town, but it's still a big taboo in our society to consider this kind of evil exists at higher socioeconomic levels.  Why?  I don't have all the answers here.  Social stigma?  Peer pressure?  Powerful people?  Approval?  Money? 

I don't know all the whys and wherefores.  I do know one thing.

This needs to stop and one good thing that can come from these two news stories is a wake up call that child abuse happens everywhere, not just on the other side of the tracks. 


Texas Border Shootout Near McAllen - and Other Texas-Mexico Border News This Week

News today out of the Texas Valley is the latest shootout at the border.  This time, it's near McAllen and one Texas rancher told reporters he saw men in helicopters shooting other men down on the ground.  Let's hope all that happened on the Mexico side of the Rio Grande.

For local news coverage, read this story in The Monitor.  

Also in the news: the border agents at McAllen's Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge popped the trunk of a car going from Texas into Mexico because the driver was acting really nervous when they stopped him (that's routine, there on the bridge).   Looking down into the trunk, the agents saw a young man in handcuffs with duct tape over his mouth.  

The driver has been arrested for kidnapping and the kid (nope, that guy in the trunk wasn't an adult) has been checked out by doctors. 

Third story.  Last week, down in Mathis (which is pretty close to Corpus Christi and not really a border town at all) on a Farm to Market Road (FM 666 -- spooky, right?) a shiny Lincoln SUV was cruising along when it was spotted by U.S. Border Patrol and signaled to pull over.  Choosing instead to speed off, the Lincoln didn't stop -- and the 20 year old Mexican national who was driving didn't stop for a Border Patrol agent who stood in the road trying to flag him down. 

The kid, only 20 years old, was seen as a threat to that agent and the agent shot him - the guy in the road shooting the guy behind the wheel, killing him. 

Lots of agencies are investigating this incident -- the FBI, Homeland Security, etc. -- and it's not clear what if anything was in the SUV that day. 


Child Abuse Caught on YouTube Video of Texas Judge Beating Daughter: Child Abuse Doesn't Just Exist In the Poor Sections of Town

From my years working as an attorney/guardian ad litem down at the Bexar County CPS Children's Court, I learned that lots of folk are caring and concerned, but they just don't want to think about kids getting abused or neglected so they ... well ... don't.

Which is why Hillary Adams not only videotaping her father, Aransas County Judge at Law William Adams, beating her with a belt, but having the courage to put that video on YouTube is not only courageous but important.

Because no matter how disturbing that video may be -- and yes, it is graphic and disturbing and horrible -- it's important for people to be aware that child abuse is a very real problem in this country.

And it's not just happening in the poor sections of town.  It's happening everywhere.  Like here, in the home of a prominent local family in Rockport, Texas.

I'm not embedding the video here on my blog, because it is so ugly.  While I thought not doing might in some way be a disservice to Hillary Adams, there is the concern of protecting minors from this stuff.  

Mind you, this teenager was born with cerebral palsy and she's in trouble for downloading stuff off the web in violation of copyright laws.  Yep, illegal music downloads ... something that may be against the law, true, but something that teenagers are prey to doing all the time.

Right now, this story is breaking.  Corpus Christi TV is reporting that a criminal investigation has begun; that the Aransas County Courthouse is getting death threats against Judge Adams, and that Judge Adams has confirmed to the media that he is the man in the video.

This is a very bad thing, what is on this video.  However, if Hillary Adams' experiences can serve to enlighten people to the realities of child abuse exisiting in all socioeconomic levels, then good can come of this.


Herman Cain, Politico, and the Sexual Harassment Claims Story Continuum

Right now, I assume you've heard about the Politico story about two women who settled sexual harassment claims involving Herman Cain, and got some kind of payment in exchange for not pursuing the matter further and for keeping their mouths shut about the whole thing in the future.

It's causing a lot of controversy. 

Here's the thing:  first of all, I'm betting we are all going to know the gory details sooner or later, confidentiality agreement or not.

Second, after the facts are known, I am not at all sure that this will mark the end of  Herman Cain.  Some think it will (or that it should).  

Maybe it will if the facts are analogous to the case of Judge Samuel Kent.  I don't know that it will if the facts are analogous to those of Justice Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas survived those televised hearings with Anita Hill’s testimony about the Diet Coke, among other things. Sure, some sordid details.

Didn't matter.

However, it was a different story for federal district judge Samuel Kent once all the facts came to light in his case.   There was testimony of years of aggressive sexual misconduct on the part of Judge Kent provided by two of his female employees to the House Judiciary Committee as part of his impeachment hearings (there was a criminal proceeding in Texas, too). 

Former Judge Kent sits in home confinement right now, after serving all but three months of his 33 month sentence in a federal jail cell -- far far away from where Justice Thomas sits today up in Washington.

Bottom line:  IMHO, if the Cain story is closer to Kent than to Thomas, and that story is revealed to the public, then I agree, he’s a goner.    However, right now, with just the Politico story … I don’t think Herman Cain’s campaign is doomed.  At all.