Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Ford contests own law

He helped pass child support rule

The Commercial Appeal newspaper, Memphis, TN, U.S.A., by Marc Perrusquia, January 23, 2004

Locked in a bitter feud over his court-ordered child support payments, state Sen. John Ford is asking a judge to invalidate the Tennessee child support rules that he helped pass into law last year.

Already, the legal battle playing out in a Memphis courtroom has drawn attention from state Atty. Gen. Paul Summers who has intervened to defend against Ford's constitutional challenge of the rules.

On Thursday, Ford's Nashville legislative office announced the Memphis Democrat would chair a public hearing next week to re-examine rules resulting from last year's law change. One ethics expert called that move possibly one of the worst cases of unethical behavior he'd ever seen by a public official.

What Ford's public meeting notice didn't say is that he's privately contesting a woman's petition in Shelby County Juvenile Court that could greatly increase his support of her 9-year-old daughter.

Lawyers representing Dana M. Smith say Ford should pay Read More ..cause he has recently incurred a dramatic increase in income - possibly earning more than $250,000 a year - yet Ford contends his support should be held in check because he's responsible for five other children.

"The fact that he has his own interest in it, it doesn't sound like it's good policy," said Bill Allison, spokesman for The Center For Public Integrity, a private, Washington-based watchdog group.

"The people that it could ultimately hurt are children. And I think that in some ways, makes it worse.'' Ford did not respond Thursday to messages left at his Nashville and Memphis offices.

In fighting Smith's petition for Read More ..pport, Ford exercised a seldom-used legal ploy on Dec. 16, filing a constitutional challenge to state child support rules that he says should be held "void and unenforceable."

By law, Summers now must defend the rules, and his office has begun steps to take testimony and collect evidence in what is expected to be a months-long process.

As parties in the court slug it out, Ford is moving to bring the child support rules, labeled unfair by many prior to last year's law change, back into Nashville's legislative limelight. As chairman of a powerful Senate committee that guides the state's social services policy, Ford plans to revisit the matter next week.

The weekly agenda for the General Welfare Committee, released Thursday, says the body will hear Wednesday from DHS Commissioner Virginia Lodge, who will give an "update on Child Support Guidelines." The rules were revised last year through the Senate Judiciary Committee, yet Ford notified DHS on Jan. 14 that he wanted an explanation of the new rules, records show.

Ford's court challenge attacks the enforcement of a law he sponsored and guided through the General Assembly last year.

The law, which took effect last summer, requires courts to consider reducing child support for fathers who, like Ford, are supporting several dependents. The law gives judges the option to deviate from traditional rules and consider reducing a parent's payments by giving credit for other children that the parent is supporting.

The problem with the law, Ford says in legal papers, is that DHS isn't implementing rules as proscribed by the General Assembly and "has usurped the responsibility and powers'' of the legislature.

Attorney David Caywood, who is representing Ford in the Juvenile Court proceeding, said he knows nothing about the senator's planned public meeting but said DHS's enforcement of the law has left some children with inadequate support.

"They don't treat all children equally,'' Caywood said. "That's the bottom line to it."

Leading to last year's law change were complaints of noncustodial parents with multiple dependents who contended they were unfairly punished with excessive child support orders.

Some argued in court challenges that the state cheated some children out of adequate support because the state didn't allow courts to consider children not under support orders when setting payments. Because of that, most of a parent's resources flowed to the children under court supervision and little went to members of new families, they argued.

When Ford introduced a bill to change that, he found support in the House among leaders such as Speaker Pro Tem Lois DeBerry, and Reps. Henri Brooks and Kathryn Bowers, all Memphis Democrats.

Buthis public position now is entwined with a personal interest.

Caywood said Ford currently is supporting five other children, factors that could hold his support in check or lower it.

Ford introduced his bill last February, four months after Smith petitioned Juvenile Court for an increase in Ford's $500-a-month support of her 9-year-old daughter. Smith's petition lingered for a year before lawyers asked for sanctions against Ford in November for allegedly failing to respond to evidence requests. The development triggered Ford's constitutional challenge.

Lawyers for Smith, a former county employee who sued Ford in 1995 for sexual harassment and won a jury verdict following a 7-day trial, say Ford's support should be raised because of a dramatic increase in his income.

They are relying on a report that Ford earned more than $250,000 in 2001, nearly double any income previously disclosed to the court. Caywood confirmed the amount is alleged in court papers but said he doesn't know the source of the allegation.

- Marc Perrusquia: 529-2545

Copyright 2004, - Memphis, TN. All Rights Reserved.

Guardian U.K. Female sex offender nursery worker

Angry scenes as nursery worker appears in court on sexual assault charges

Vanessa George remanded in custody after crowds jeer from public gallery and throw missiles outside court

The Guardian, UK
June 11, 2009

A court drawing of Vanessa George

A nursery school worker was jeered and spat at when she appeared in court today, charged with sexual assault and making and distributing child abuse images.

Vanessa George, 39, who worked at the Little Ted's nursery in Plymouth, was remanded in custody amid angry scenes in and outside the city's magistrates court.

George, of Plymouth, faces three counts of sexual assault on girls and one on a boy. She is also accused of making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children. Read More ..

BBC News- The sexual abuse by women of children and teenagera. survivors of sexual abuse done by women.

Programme - 1997

The sexual abuse by women of children and teenager

A surprising 86% of survivors of sexual abuse were not believed when they said the abuser was a woman.

Many myths were exposed, such as the one that women only sexually abused when coerced by men - they in fact played the lead part. Also the myth that women are incapable of cruelty - what was shown was beyond belief.

Women commit 25% of all child sexual abuse

250,000 children in UK have been sexually abused by women

Women in our society have been portrayed as victims, but somewhere within their victimisation they have learned that to abuse children gave them a sense of power, control, agency, and therefore they use the abuse of children to gain those things.

Jacqui Saradjiam: (clinical psychologist)
I think people find it so difficult to see that women sexually abuse children because the whole view of women is of nurturers, carers, protectors - people who do anything to look after children - and they see the women as victims rather than enemies or perpetrators of any abuse.

Michelle Elliott: (Director - children's charity Kidscape)
I think the issue strikes at the core of what we perceive ourselves as women to be. I think that it's easier to think that it's men - men the enemy, somehow - but it can't be women - it's one thing women can't do. Women can be equal, we can be free, we can be in charge of companies, but we can't sexually abuse children - That's a load of rubbish.

The Guardian newspaper logo

Female Teacher jailed for sex with boy

The Guardian, UK
August 16, 2005

A married primary schoolteacher was jailed for 15 months yesterday after admitting having sex with an underage teenage boy.

Hannah Grice, 32, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of indecent assault on the boy, who was aged 14 and 15 at the time of the offences.

Sentencing her at Stafford crown court, Judge John Shand told Grice, from Cannock, Staffordshire, she had abused her position of trust.

"Cases such as this are, of course, made worse by the fact that you were a member of the teaching profession," he told her. "You should have been very sensitive indeed to child welfare issues." Grice was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Read More ..

Canadian flag
Health Canada Publication

The Invisible Boy: Revisioning the Victimization of Male Children and Teens

"... the existence of a double standard in the care and treatment of male victims, and the invisibility and normalization of violence and abuse toward boys and young men in our society.

Despite the fact that over 300 books and articles on male victims have been published in the last 25 to 30 years, boys and teen males remain on the periphery of the discourse on child abuse.

Few workshops about males can be found at most child abuse conferences and there are no specialized training programs for clinicians. Male-centred assessment is all but non-existent and treatment programs are rare. If we are talking about adult males, the problem is even greater. A sad example of this was witnessed recently in Toronto. After a broadcast of The Boys of St. Vincent, a film about the abuse of boys in a church-run orphanage, the Kids' Help Phone received over 1,000 calls from distraught adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is tragic in a way no words can capture that these men had no place to turn to other than a children's crisis line."

Female Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse

The Braxton County teacher admitted having sex with three middle school students, State Police said.    U.S.A.

Toni Lynn Woods, 37, of Strange Creek - Female sex offender registry

March 3, 2005

A Braxton County middle school teacher is in police custody after allegedly confessing to sexual misconduct with five of her students.

Toni Lynn Woods, 37, of Strange Creek was arrested Wednesday on eight counts of sexual assault.  Read More ..