Archives For Children


Investigators do not know man’s identity or whereabouts

WASHINGTON, DC — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking for the public’s help to identify and track down a man known only as John Doe who is suspected of sexually exploiting a child.

The FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children first learned of the man’s sexually explicit activities with a child in November of 2012.

Investigators said they obtained a video of the explicit act, which revealed clues about the man’s identity and whereabouts.

For example, the video shows the man and the child inside a home with what appears to be a blue sofa chair and a picture hanging on a wall in the background. In addition, the man was wearing wire-framed glasses and a burgundy T-shirt with what appeared to be a shark logo on the left side.

The man was described as a white male in his 30s or 40s with a receding hairline.

FBI officials said there were no specific details linking the suspect to a particular state or region of the United States.

Anyone with information about this man is urged to submit a tip online at https://tips.fbi.gov/, or call the FBI’s toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).


Rich Hill’s son Brooks was less than 2 months old

AP Photo/Dave Martin

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill starts spring training with a heavy heart.

Hill reported to Boston’s camp on Thursday following the death of son Brooks, who was less than 2 months old when he died on Feb. 24.

“We had a son on Dec. 26 and he was born with multiple issues that we confronted and had to deal with,” Hill said.

“Unfortunately, he succumbed. He’s passed. He taught us a lot of things. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out,” he said.

Photos: 2014 Notable Deaths

Hill got to Fort Myers on Wednesday with wife Caitlin and 2-year-old son Brice. The pitcher is looking forward to baseball’s routine.

“My wife has been extremely strong,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy our time here and obviously make the most of the opportunity that’s here to play baseball.”

“Excited to be here, to be playing baseball again, and get back into the normalcy of my profession and to be around a great group of guys and to just take that next step. One-day-at-a-time approach, that’s where we’re at, to really enjoy every day,: he said.

An outpouring of support has helped him through the ordeal.

“Extended family, at Mass General, everybody there has been tremendous,” he said. “The doctors, the nurses, and everybody who cared for our son.”

A left-hander who turns 34 on Tuesday, Hill rejoined the Red Sox on Feb. 1 and is at spring training with a minor league contract. He was 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA in 40 appearances with the Red Sox from 2010-12.

Hill is 24-22 with a 4.74 ERA in nine big league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Red Sox, Cleveland and Baltimore, making 70 starts and 111 relief appearances.

A native of Milton, Mass., who lives in South Boston, Hill said proximity to his family factored into his decision to sign with the Red Sox.

“Fortunately, had the opportunity to come back. The Red Sox have been tremendous through this whole part of our life,” he said. “They were absolutely fabulous. It was 100 percent support all the way.”

Hill was 1-2 with a 6.28 ERA in 63 appearances for the Indians last season. He is competing for a job with fellow lefties Craig Breslow, Drake Britton, Chris Capuano and Andrew Miller, who are all on the 40-man roster, and Jose Mijares, who also has a minor league contract.

“The opportunity is here for myself to make the most of it,” Hill said, “and go out there and do everything that I can on a daily basis to perform.”


School district investigating
Mom demands answers after girls walk out of kindergarten class

The Fall River School District superintendent is investigating how two kindergartners walked out of school in the middle of the day.

FALL RIVER, Mass. — The Fall River School District superintendent is investigating how two kindergartners walked out of school in the middle of the day.

“Furious, extremely,” said Keri Lafleur, whose daughter, Alivia, and a friend left Mary L. Fonseca Elementary unnoticed Wednesday. “The school and myself, we were searching lockers everywhere and didn’t know if they were in the school or off the property.”

She raced to the school when she was notified her daughter was missing.

The girl’s sister was the one who noticed the kindergarteners were gone and told teachers.

A family friend finally found the girls walking a few blocks from school, but that was an hour after the massive search began.

“She had found them walking down the street a couple of blocks away from the school. This was already over an hour after they were already missing,” Lafleur said.

Alivia’s mother said she was scared because neither of the girls were wearing jackets.

The girls were found unharmed.


Child uninjured, taken to hospital for evaluation

HINGHAM, Mass. — A 21-year-old Hingham woman was arrested Thursday after police said she left an infant in a car while she ordered drinks at a local restaurant.

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Police said an off-duty Boston police officer, Detective Joseph King, was eating at the Stars on Hingham Harbor restaurant on Otis Street around 9:45 a.m. when he observed a woman with an infant drinking at the bar.

King said when she ordered another drink, the server refused. After being refused the drink, she walked out with the infant, police said.

Around 10 minutes later the woman re-entered the restaurant without the 2-month-old and was again refused a drink.

King alerted local police and met officers in the parking lot.

“I kind of had a hunch,” King said. “I walked to the back of the restaurant and I saw the car I thought she left in earlier, and I looked in the back and I saw a baby seat.”

The woman, who was identified as Stacy Ducharme, approached her vehicle and told officers it was her car.

Police got Ducharme’s keys, opened the door and under a blanket was the infant, who was awake and in good condition.

Police said they were able to determine the infant was in the car alone for around 20 minutes.

Ducharme’s eyes were red, glassy and bloodshot, police said, and she began to question officers why they were there.

Police said at that point Ducharme began to create a disturbance in the parking lot as they tried to get more information from her.

Ducharme was arrested and the infant was taken to South Shore Hospital for an examination.

The Department of Children and Families was also contacted and officials went to the hospital.

The car was towed, police said, and Ducharme was charged with reckless endangerment and disturbing the peace. She was arraigned in court Thursday.

DCF is investigating.


Police arrest Lorraine Augustine in connection with attack
 Lorraine Augustine

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A toddler was attacked by a stranger at the Market Basket in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday afternoon.

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WMUR reported the child’s mother and other shoppers came to the 2-year-old girl’s rescue. The woman who police suspect hit the child was placed under arrest.

Krystan Lambert had her arms full, a cart full of groceries and two children with her: a boy she was babysitting and her 2-year-old daughter, Sonya.

The three were walking out of the store when she felt her toddler ripped from her hand.

“All of a sudden my daughter’s on the ground crying and this woman’s reaching over, swinging at her, trying to hit her,” Lambert said.

Police said 47-year-old Lorraine Augustine attacked the toddler for no reason and would not stop.

“She was swinging at her while I’m picking her up, trying to shield her with my body, and trying to kick and push the woman away any time she got near me,” Lambert said.

Lambert said the woman circled around her, taunting her. She said other shoppers and store employees jumped in.

Lambert’s daughter had a cut mouth and bruises, but will be OK. The boy was not hurt.

Police arrested Augustine at the grocery store. They said she is homeless and has mental health issues.

Augustine faces two assault charges that could hold her behind bars.


Marlan Ray Barker must avoid minors, computers

WOBURN, Mass. — A Woburn man has been arrested and arraigned in Woburn District Court on charges of possessing child pornography, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced Thursday.

Marlan Ray Barker, 54, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of possession of child pornography.

Barker pleaded not guilty and was held on $3,000 bail with conditions that he has no contact with anyone under the age of 18 and be prohibited from using the computer except at work.

In December, investigators learned about a computer allegedly offering child pornography images and videos over a file-sharing network. The computer tracked to Barker’s home in Woburn.

Barker will return to court on Feb. 21.


Funeral today for Franklin’s Lexi and Sean Munroe

FRANKLIN, Mass. —The two Franklin children who died after becoming trapped inside a hope chest in their home are being laid to rest.

Watch report

A funeral Mass for 8-year-old Lexi Jane Munroe and 7-year-old Sean Allan Munroe II is scheduled for Monday at St. Mary’s Church.

Calling hours are Sunday at the Ginley Funeral Home.

Authorities say the pair became trapped Jan. 12 in a chest that had been recalled because it could only be opened from the outside. The deaths have been ruled accidental.


Vatican: Hundreds of Priests Defrocked for Molestation 

For the first time the Vatican has revealed details on the specific numbers of priests removed in 2011 and 2012.

By John Heilprin and Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press

A document obtained by The Associated Press on Friday shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for sexually molesting children.

The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase over the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of priests who have been defrocked. Prior to that, it had only publicly revealed the number of alleged cases of sexual abuse it had received and the number of trials it had authorized.

While it’s not clear why the numbers spiked in 2011, it could be because 2010 saw a new explosion in the number of cases reported in the media in Europe and beyond.

The document was prepared from data the Vatican had been collecting and was compiled to help the Holy See defend itself before a U.N. committee this week in Geneva.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s U.N. ambassador in Geneva, referred to just one of the statistics in the course of eight hours of oftentimes pointed criticism and questioning from the U.N. human rights committee.The statistics were compiled from the Vatican’s own annual reports about the activities of its various offices, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles sex abuse cases. Although public, the annual reports are not readily available or sold outside Rome and are usually found in Vatican offices or Catholic university libraries.

An AP review of the reference books shows a remarkable evolution in the Holy See’s in-house procedures to discipline pedophiles since 2001, when the Vatican ordered bishops to send cases of all credibly accused priests to Rome for review.

Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger took action after determining that bishops around the world weren’t following church law to put accused clerics on trial in church tribunals. Bishops routinely moved problem priests from parish to parish rather than subject them to canonical trials — or turn them into police.

For centuries, the church has had its own in-house procedures to deal with priests who sexually abuse children. One of the chief accusations from victims is that bishops put the church’s own procedures ahead of civil law enforcement by often suggesting victims keep accusations quiet while they are dealt with internally.

The maximum penalty for a priest convicted by a church tribunal is essentially losing his job: being defrocked, or removed from the clerical state. There are no jail terms and nothing to prevent an offender from raping again.

According to the 2001 norms Ratzinger pushed through and subsequent updates, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reviews each case sent to Rome and then instructs bishops how to proceed, either by launching an administrative process against the priest if the evidence is overwhelming or a church trial. At every step of the way the priest is allowed to defend himself.

The Congregation started reporting numbers only in 2005, which is where Tomasi’s spreadsheet starts off. U.N. officials said Friday that the committee has not received the document.

In 2005, the Congregation authorized bishops to launch church trials against 21 accused clerics, and reported that its appeals court had handled two cases. It didn’t say what the verdicts were, according to the annual reports cited by the spreadsheet.

In 2006, the number of canonical trials authorized doubled to 43 and eight appeals cases were heard. And for the first time, the Congregation revealed publicly the number of cases reported to it: 362, though that figure includes a handful of non-abuse related canonical crimes.

A similar number of cases were reported in 2007 — 365 — but again the Congregation didn’t specify how many were abuse-related. Vatican officials, however, have said that it received between 300-400 cases a year in these years following the 2002 explosion of U.S. sex abuse cases in the U.S. In 2007, 23 cases were sent to dioceses for trial.

By 2008, the tone of the Vatican’s entry had changed. Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, traveled to the scandal-hit United States that year and is quoted in the annual report as telling reporters en route that he was “mortified” by the scale of abuse and simply couldn’t comprehend “how priests could fail in such a way.”

That year’s entry was also notable for another reason: For the first time, an official Vatican document made clear that nothing in the church process precluded victims from reporting abuse to police.

There was also another first in 2008, a critical year as abuse lawsuits in the U.S. naming the Holy See as a defendant were heating up: For the first time, the Vatican revealed the number of priests who had been defrocked: 68. Some 191 new cases were reported.

A year later, the number of defrocked priests rose to 103, while some 223 new cases were received, the vast majority of them abuse-related.

The year 2010 was another milestone in the sex abuse saga, with the explosion of thousands of cases reported in the media across Europe and beyond. Some 527 cases were reported to the Congregation. No figures were given that year for the number of defrocked priests, rather the Congregation described new church laws put in place to more easily and quickly remove them.

By 2011, with the new streamlined laws in place, the number of defrocked priests rose dramatically: 260 priests were removed in one year only, while 404 new cases of child abuse were reported. In addition to those defrocked, another 419 priests had lesser penalties imposed on them for abuse-related crimes.

In 2012, the last year for which statistics are available, the number of defrockings dropped to 124, with another 418 new cases reported.


Both children under 10 years old

Generic police lights

FRANKLIN, Mass. — Franklin police found two unresponsive children inside a home at 313 Chestnut St. in Franklin on Sunday.

The call came in around 8 p.m.

The children are both under 10 years old.

One was taken to Milford Hospital. The other was taken to Norwood Hospital.

WCVB will update this story when new information is available.


Student to appear in juvenile court after Wire Village School incident

SPENCER, Mass. —A 7-year-old Spencer student is facing assault charges after police say he stabbed a classmate with a pencil.

The incident happened in Oct. 4 at the Wire Village School during recess while the children were playing outside, police said.

The victim, a 7-year-old boy, was laying on the ground when he was stabbed. The pencil penetrated his body, and the victim required surgery and hospitalization, police said.

The investigation into the incident, which lasted several weeks, started after a referral from the District Attorney’s office and the Department of Children and Families.

The student was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and is scheduled to be arraigned in Worcester Juvenile Court on Jan 21.

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