Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Red Sox child sexual abuse scandal, Fran’s Day Care - Keller Case Updates, Huge rise in UK child neglect
- Reimer: Red Sox child sexual abuse scandal another disgraceful portion of Tom Yawkey's legacy
- Huge rise in UK child neglect prompts call for urgent action
- Fran’s Day Care - Keller Case Updates
Reimer: Red Sox child sexual abuse scandal another disgraceful portion of Tom Yawkey's legacy
Alex Reimer August 21, 2017
Former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey’s record of virulent racism has been recounted numerous times in the debate to rename Yawkey Way. But another disgraceful portion of his ownership tenure often goes unmentioned.
Eight years before longtime Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky faced child sexual abuse charges, the Red Sox settled a longstanding child molestation case of their own. John Henry, who purchased the team in late 2001, paid $3.15 million to seven men who say former clubhouse attendant Don Fitzpatrick sexually abused them during his more than 20-year tenure with the club. A victim came forward to the team in 1971, but Fitzpatrick remained with Red Sox until 1991, when a man showed up at a nationally televised game in Anaheim and held up a sign that read, “Don Fitzpatrick sexually assaulted me.” The Red Sox paid out an $100,000 settlement and Fitzpatrick left the club four days later.
There are now 20 alleged victims, most of whom tell a similar story: Fitzpatrick, who presided over the visitor’s clubhouse, lured them in with promises of employment and access. The men who successfully sued the Red Sox for Fitzpatrick’s misconduct, dubbed the “Winter Haven Seven,” were lured in at the team’s former Spring Training headquarters in Winter Haven, Fla. Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty in 2002 to four counts of attempted sexual battery against boys younger than 12 between 1975 and 1989 in the central Florida city. He died in 2005 without serving any time.
As Yahoo’s Jeff Passan details in an extensive story about the scandal, Fitzpatrick was a favorite of Tom and Jean Yawkey. The couple operated a home for disadvantaged boys in South Carolina, and often took wayward youths under their wing. Tom Yawkey took a particular liking to Fitzpatrick, an orphan who played pepper with batboys outside Fenway Park prior to Red Sox home games.
Two sources told Passan that Yawkey “protected” Fitzpatrick when his “tendencies to gravitate towards young boys became apparent.” Red Sox players reportedly instructed young boys, especially African-Americans, to stay away from Fitzpatrick. Passan reports that one player saw Fitzpatrick sodomizing a young boy in the team shower and alerted the team, but Fitzpatrick kept his job (much like how ex-Penn State coach Mike McQueary says he caught Sandusky molesting a boy in the locker room shower).
It’s uncertain how much the Yawkeys knew about Fitzpatrick’s monstrous behavior. But if players were aware of it, then it’s fair to assume the rumors had percolated up to the owner’s box. Fitzpatrick’s swift removal after the 1991 incident, and the Red Sox’ willingness to settle, also indicates they had knowledge of their beloved clubhouse attendant’s sick tendencies.
Yawkey’s 44-year tenure as owner, which lasted from 1933 until 1976, was a low-point in franchise history. The Red Sox were basement dwellers for the majority of those years, largely due to his refusal to integrate.
Huge rise in UK child neglect prompts call for urgent action
Reports of problems rise 60% in five years with nearly nine in 10 serious enough to refer to social services or police
The NSPCC received 19,448 reports of child neglect in 2016-17, up 61% on the previous year.
Tuesday 22 August 2017
Reports of child neglect in the UK have risen by more than 60% in the last five years with nearly nine in 10 calls proving serious enough to be referred to social services or the police.
Nearly 19,500 calls reporting child neglect were dealt with by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the last 12 months. The charity said a growing number of callers were concerned about children, some under the age of five, being left at home unsupervised by parents struggling with alcohol and drug use.
Fran’s Day Care - Keller Case Updates
August 22, 2017 case update:
Dan and Fran Keller…will receive $3.4 million from a state fund for those wrongly convicted of crimes.
The couple’s circumstances changed in June, when Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore filed court documents that dropped all charges and declared the Kellers “actually innocent” under the law. After an extensive review, it was clear that the Kellers’ innocence claim should be supported in the interest of justice, Moore said at the time.
Now adults, several of the children who accused the Kellers opposed the move, according to Moore and family members. (Quotes from Austin-American Statesman article)
Here are a few facts about the Fran’s Day Care case:
1. Children’s parents were alerted when children returned home from daycare wearing their under clothing inside out or wearing other children’s underwear and sometimes having wet hair.
2. The children who were old enough to speak reported sexual assaults by Dan Keller and other visitors to the school. The older children also reported assaults on younger, pre-verbal children at the school.
3. The Kellers attempted to evade arrest by fleeing to Las Vegas. They were captured there wearing disguises. Fran has bleached her hair blond.
4. A co-defendant, Doug Perry, a sheriff’s deputy, pled guilty, turned state’s evidence, testified against the Kellers, and received a 10-year probated sentence.
5. The defense did not retain an expert witness in defense of the Kellers. They only produced a copy of Richard Gardner’s book, Sex Abuse Hysteria, in response to the allegations against the Kellers.
6. The prosecution did not discuss ritual abuse until the subject was raised by the defense at which point the prosecution’s expert witness, Randy Noblitt, explained what ritual abuse is and how it works. He also provided testimony in response to the production of the Richard Gardner book intended by the defense to demonstrate in unreliability of sex abuse claims by children. (The book’s theme is that all people are latent pedophiles and that parents receive vicarious sexual gratification from their children’s sexual experiences).