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As many as 47% of all sexual abuse allegations are false. Some estimates are much higher.

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Texas CPS News Archive

Texas News Coverage

Two children ages 5 and 11 were discovered living alone in a dirty, abandoned school bus in rural Splendora, Texas.

The father, Mark Shorten, defended his trash-strewn property and unkempt kids. He says the bus wasn't meant to be a home; it was temporary dwelling after their house was flooded by Hurricane Ike in 2008. As the officer who handled the case says, lots of people have been forced to live in less-than-adequate housing in these economic times.

March 11, 2012

A 4-year-old girl who was among the 11 children that the state removed from a Dayton home during an investigation of alleged physical abuse will remain in foster care in Liberty County.

In the meantime, the Child Protective Services Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services will work with the families on the frequency of visitation. That was the "agreed order" of Judge Mary Craft, who presided over an adversarial hearing pertaining to the 4-year-old that took place in Liberty County District Court on March 9.

March 10, 2012

by Cindy Horswell

Despite receiving death threats, Douglas Waller told a Liberty County court Friday that he wants paternity testing to prove he is the father of one of the 11 children recently placed in foster care.

Waller said that since they were taken into custody Jan. 24, he has received several alarming text messages and phone calls from some of the 11 adult family members who also were living in the small brick house in Dayton.

March 10, 2012

by Lisa Tipton

A local homeschool association Christians Offering Fellowship to Family Educators (COFFE) will host the first annual Brown County Homeschool Art Fair.

The fair will be held at the Brownwood Art Association Art building located at 215 Fisk Avenue in Brownwood on Saturday April 7, 2012 from 1 to 4 p.m. The fair is open to all homeschool students in the Brown County area. Entry fee will be one canned food item and $2 per student, parents and children under the age of five years will not be charged.

March 2, 2012

by Catherine Ross

McKinney police have released the results of its internal investigation into the department's handling of sexual assault allegations against a chiropractor.

Dr. David Russell is accused of sexually assaulting two teenage girls while treating them for groin injuries at his clinic. The McKinney Police Department admitted it made mistakes in its handling of information in the case. Three officers were disciplined in the matter. Russell's attorney, Todd Shapiro, said the results of the investigation calls into question the integrity of the department's case against his client.

February 25, 2012

by Stephen Thomas

Proceedings are scheduled to take place in Liberty County civil court that ultimately will determine custody of the 11 children that the Child Protective Services Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

The children, ranging from younger than a year old to 11 years old, have been in foster care since their removal from the residence in the 600 block of Ford Road, the address of their maternal grandparents, Odice Smith and Tanda Marsh-Smith.

February 25, 2012

by Cassie Smith

A Bryan man recently charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child remained in the Brazos County Jail late Monday on $100,000 bail.

Joe Roy Manuel, 44, was arrested after a two-month investigation and charged with the first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 99 years in prison and $10,000 fine. Bryan police said they were contacted by Child Protective Services on Nov. 21 in reference to a sexual abuse case. A 14-year-old girl told CPS that she was molested by Manuel when she was 11 or 12 years old, according to police reports.

February 21, 2012

by Cindy Horswell

Investigators are looking into possible criminal charges after Child Protective Services took custody of 11 children found neglected and physically abused inside a home in Liberty County.

CPS spokeswoman Gwen Carter declined to comment on an investigator's sworn affidavit that reported three of the children, including a 5-year-old blind girl, had been found tied to their beds. It also reported eight of the 11 children were being kept in one bedroom in unsanitary conditions.

February 21, 2012

by Cindy George

Eleven children, some of whom were discovered tied up, were removed from a Dayton home last month - ending what investigators believe may have been lifelong physical abuse.

Child Protective Services took custody of the youngsters, ranging in age from 5 months to 11 years, after a request to investigate conditions at a home in the 600 block of Ford. "The children were removed due to physical abuse, physical neglect and medical neglect," said Gwen Carter, spokeswoman with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. All the children are currently in foster homes.

February 21, 2012

by Lynn Adams

Parents who entrust their children to the care of Christian Kids Daycare are still coming to grips with what day care center owner Connie Kacir admits was "a major concern" last week when four 6-year-old children were served bleach water.

Kacir, however, maintains that the children, all of whom recovered from the unexpected concoction and whose parents continue to bring their children to the center each day, were not poisoned, saying they drank nothing more dangerous than "swimming pool water."

February 21, 2012

by T.J. Aulds

TEXAS CITY - A K-9 police officer and member of the Texas City Police Department's high-profile Field Investigation Team is charged with felony injury to a child, the Galveston County Sheriff's Office and Police Chief Robert Burby confirmed.

Charges were filed against Officer John Thorn, 38, on Thursday and an arrest warrant was issued Friday. Thorn is making arrangements to turn himself in at the Galveston County Jail within the next couple of days, sheriff's office spokesman Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said.

February 5, 2012

A Houston mother is facing a felony charge, accused of hitting her three-year-old son with an electrical cord.

Vantrice Hicks, 23, is charged with injury to a child, accused of striking her son with an electrical cord back in November 2010. A Child Protective Services worker told police that she saw welts on the boy's legs and buttocks. Court documents state that he told a CPS interviewer that he received a "whooping from his mean mother" with an extension cord on his bottom and back.

January 25, 2012

by Jessica Lipscomb

A responsible fifth-grader and an immature eighth-grader might have three years in between them, but in the state of Texas, age doesn't necessarily matter for parents deciding when it's OK to leave children home by themselves.

Last week, a 27-year-old Silsbee mother was indicted on child endangerment charges, accused of letting her 7-year-old daughter babysit her toddler son back in October. A neighbor who found the unattended children playing on the front porch discovered in the home a bath tub full of water, pill bottles on the counters, a hole in the floor and bare electrical wires hanging in one child's bedroom.

January 21, 2012

by Carol Christian

A Pasadena couple whose 2-month-old baby was found to be severely malnourished have been charged with injury to a child.

The baby, along with his three siblings, was removed in August from the home of Nicholas and Andrea Murrey, both 29. According to court records, the infant, who weighed 7 pounds when he was born on June 24, weighed the same amount when he was taken from the home nearly eight weeks later.

January 21, 2012

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SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Three King Air planes are lined up on a small runway in the town of Del Rio preparing to bomb south Texas -- not with explosives, but with hundreds of thousands of packets of rabies vaccine.

The packets, each about the size of fast food ketchup, contain enough vaccine to inoculate the coyotes which roam the southwest Texas brush country against rabies, a disease which until the last two decades was threatening livestock and humans alike. "We had two outbreaks of rabies in coyotes and in foxes," recalls Ernest Oertli, a veterinarian who works with ranchers in this area. "There were a couple of human deaths from rabies, and it was spreading northward and eastward into the populated parts of the state, and was on the outskirts of San Antonio, Austin, Waco and Ft. Worth."

January 17, 2012

CUERO, Texas -- Child Protective Services is working the Cuero Police Department to investigate allegations that a therapist had inappropriate contact with a special needs student at an elementary school.

According to the Cuero Independent School District superintendent, a 4-year-old student at John C. French Elementary came back to class after a test and described things to a counselor considered to be inappropriate.

January 12, 2012

by Domingo Ramirez Jr.

FORT WORTH - Police are investigating the death of a toddler, who authorities say died from blunt force trauma to his head.

No one has been arrested in the death of Taizon Arin, 2, who was pronounced dead Sunday night at Cook Children's Medical Center. An investigator with the police department's crimes-against-children unit was investigating, said Sgt. Pedro Criado on Thursday.

January 12, 2012

by Chelsea Reber

New legislation has passed requiring incoming freshmen or students transferring to a new institutions in Texas to get a meningitis vaccination.

Students already enrolled and attending classes at their current schools are exempt from the new law, but Brandon Webb, who works at Blinn College in Bryan, said those students still need to be aware of the law.

December 23, 2011

by Nicole Villalpando

Next Sunday will be 6-month-old Kyran Hunt's first Christmas but there's little under mother Katie Cortez's tree. The 20-year-old mother, who grew up in foster care, is doing her best to get her college degree and become a social worker...

Cortez would love to give her son a toy box filled with baby and toddler toys. She'd love to have a bookshelf filled with children's books that she could read to him. She'd also like practical things from diapers to clothes to gift cards for groceries.

December 17, 2011

by Bryan Kirk

In an age when public education is being scrutinized, some parents are taking the lead and educating their own children at home.

Tanner, who was in public school in Oklahoma at this time last year, was enrolled in special education classes and needed more one-on-one help than the schools could provide. As a result, Heavener decided Tanner could get that attention more at home than in a traditional classroom.

December 13, 2011

The mother of a Rosenberg girl who committed suicide after tweeting told CNN that she blames law enforcement for failing her daughter.

Ashley Billasano kept the pain locked inside her for years, allowing only a handful of people closest to her to have a glimpse. On Monday, the 18-year-old Rosenberg high school student let it all out in a torrent of messages on Twitter - the sexual abuse that she said ruined what should have been some of the best years of her life, her inability to see justice done on her behalf. Then she killed herself.

December 6, 2011

HOUSTON - A 23-year-old father is facing charges after his 1-year-old daughter suffered multiple fractures and tested positive for marijuana.

Jeffery Castano is charged with injury to a child. According to court documents, his daughter was taken to Texas Children's Hospital on November 13, 2011, with multiple bruises, lacerations to her liver, head trauma and fractures to her clavicle, wrist and elbow.

December 6, 2011

The house on Truman Court in Duncanville was supposed to be empty and up for sale. But Monday morning, the homeowner discovered a couple and their children had moved in and claimed legal right to the property through adverse possession.

A couple is facing neglect charges after authorities say they saw small children living in a filthy Oakland City home. State troopers say they were serving an arrest warrant and saw more than 100 cockroaches crawling on a child's bed, a claim the homeowner denies.

December 6, 2011

U.S. researchers say a new computer program can help paramedics and pediatricians determine whether an injured child was abused.

"What happens is we get a child in a medical setting and are left with trying to find out what happened when the injury occurred," Nancy Kellogg, division head of child abuse pediatrics in the University of Texas School of Medicine, said. "Often the best information comes from law enforcement and CPS [Child Protective Services] investigators, but because they aren't physicians and don't know the mechanisms of injury, they often don't know what information is important to us to make a determination of abuse or neglect."

December 6, 2011

by Deanna Boyd

FORT WORTH -- A father whose 5-month-old son's death last week has been ruled a homicide was arrested Monday, accused of fracturing the infant's arm in July.

Child Protective Services officials say Gregory D. Williams, 36, had been prohibited from contact with his two sons after the July incident involving his youngest son, Demetrie Reeves, then 1 month old.

December 5, 2011

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