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Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 2:15 AM
AKRON, Ohio — A former Ohio schoolteacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student over a three-year period.
And according to an interview conducted with the boy’s father by WEWS-TV in Cleveland, the boy and teacher had a baby together.
Laura Lynn Cross, 36, has been indicted on three counts of sexual battery over a period allegedly spanning from Aug. 1, 2013, through Sept. 6, 2016. She was a teacher at Buchtel High School in Tallmadge, Ohio, just outside Akron.
The boy’s father told WEWS that he first went to Buchtel High School officials and Tallmadge police about the teacher in 2012, when his son was a freshman. But he said no charges were filed.
“First of all, she’s a schoolteacher,” the boy’s father said. “To get aroused by a child, basically, you have to be a sick individual.”
Cross quit teaching at the school in January 2015.
WEWS reported that Cross apparently convinced the boy’s mother, who had custody of her son, to allow the teen to move in with Cross through a court-approved “partial parental custody” arrangement. She reportedly convinced the mother that she could “mentor” the boy.
Charges weren’t filed, however, until police learned that Cross and the boy allegedly had a baby together in 2015, WEWS reported. The boy’s father knew nothing about that until a tipster phoned him and asked him if he knew he was a grandfather, he said in the WEWS interview.
“It was a straight failure from the system,” said the boy’s father said. “From the school and … definitely [from the police].”
An Akron School System spokesperson said the district was unaware of the case until a WEWS investigation alerted them, but said officials are now “doing [their] own internal investigation going back to 2012 to determine what exactly happened and when it happened.”
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
PHOENIX — An Arizona woman who gave her toddler a fatal dose of methamphetamine in 2016 was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.
Natalie Russell, 30, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and child abuse, azcentral.com reported. Russell claimed she gave her 22-month-old daughter meth to counteract the effects of methadone. The child had accidentally ingested methadone that was left in an open container, Russell allegedly told police. Officials said Russell failed to get her daughter medical assistance.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 1:52 AM
PERRIS, Calif. — A pair of well-kept dogs were taken from the Perris, California, house where 13 children were found shackled and severely malnourished last week.
David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, are facing a minimum of 94 years for charges including child neglect and torture after police said their children, ranging from ages 2 to 29, were discovered in their home severely malnourished.
In a statement on Wednesday, city spokesman Joe Vargo said authorities recovered two Maltese terrier dogs in far better condition than the Turpins’ children. The 1-year-old female puppies were reportedly healthy and were taught skills, People reported.
“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a press release from the city of Perris said.
Investigators said the children were only allowed showers a few times per year and were fed only once per day. In a press conference with reporters Thursday, District Attorney Mike Hestrin alleged that the last time any of the children had seen a doctor was four years ago and they had never been to a dentist. Police said the parents allegedly kept themselves well-fed and regularly ate pies in front of their children to taunt them, ABC News reported.
The 17-year-old who reportedly escaped the home through a bedroom window to alert authorities was initially believed to be just 10 years old due to the severity of her malnourishment, while the oldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82 pounds when the children were found. According to Hestrin, the children “lack a basic knowledge of life,” although they were allegedly homeschooled, KTLA reported.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 7:48 AM
PERRIS, Calif. — David and Louise Turpin are facing a string of charges, including torture, after police say the couple kept their 13 children locked away in subhuman conditions in their Perris, California, home. On Thursday, the Turpins made their first court appearance.
David Turpin appeared in chains, wearing a lavender shirt and black jacket while his wife sat nearby, also in chains and a black jacket. The Turpins entered not guilty pleas to all of the charges, some of which date back to 2010. The district attorney says the couple is facing 94 years to life in prison if convicted on all counts.
During the arraignment, the Turpins were quiet and spoke only to say they acknowledged their right to a speedy preliminary hearing, CBS reports. They will appear in court again on Feb. 23, and their bail was set at $13 million.
Although the Perris torture defendants were in street clothes, they were in chains - just as authorities said the children of David and Louise Turpin were sometimes held. pic.twitter.com/PSs5PteLbZ— Brian Rokos (@Brian_Rokos) January 18, 2018
District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a press conference, “As a prosecutor, there are cases that stick with you, that will haunt you. Sometimes, in this business, we’re faced with looking at human depravity, and that’s what we’re looking at here.”
Authorities said the parents were able to keep their children hidden away by listing their home as a private school. Some of the kids, who ranged in ages from 2 to 29, reportedly didn’t know what a police officer was.
The children were only allowed to eat once a day and shower twice a year, authorities said. However, the parents reportedly did allow them to keep journals, and authorities said the kids filled hundreds of notebooks. Those have not been released and are still being reviewed by law enforcement.
The children are currently being cared for in the hospital, authorities said. The Riverside University Health System has set up a fund for the children that will go to their long-term needs, according to a press release. The hospital said the children have already seen a tremendous outpouring of support.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:12 AM
PERRIS, Calif. — Neighbors described the reportedly nightmarish situation at the Turpin home, where parents David and Louise allegedly kept their 13 children shackled to their beds and malnourished, as seeming like a “cult.”
A man named Mike, who did not want to give his full name and was a neighbor of the Turpins when they lived in Murrieta, California, told the Post, “I thought they were like a cult. They would march back and forth on the second story at night. The light would be on the whole time, and they would be marching the kids back and forth.”
Mike said he would arrive home late from his job at a hospital and see the children marching through the upstairs rooms of the Turpin home between midnight and 3 a.m.
David and Louis Turpin were arrested Sunday in their Perris, California, home after one of their daughters called police for help, saying she had managed to escape the house with a cellphone. When police arrived, they reportedly found the siblings, ages 2 to 29, living in squalor and looking very thin, with several of the kids shackled to furniture.
Mike said his wife, Myrna, called the family “clones,” saying the Turpins all spoke “robotically, in a monotone and at the same” time during the few occasions on which Myrna interacted with them at a local grocer.
However, Mike told the Post that he and Myrna never called the police because they didn’t see anything that suggested they needed to. They just thought the parents were a bit odd.
Mike, as well former neighbors from when the Turpins owned a farm in Rio Vista, Texas — which the family left due to foreclosure — remarked on the amount of trash that the family accumulated.
“I ended up calling the police because of the trash and everything that was left there,” said former Texas neighbor Randy McClain. “There was a brand new pickup truck covered in [trash] — a whole truck bed full and overflowing to the ground with trash: diapers, Spam cans, potted meat cans, just overflowing.”
The Daily Mail got access to the Turpin’s Perris backyard and found a Disney-themed fountain situated in a messy yard in which “piles of metal pipes could be seen strewn around, along with a rusty set of metal garden furniture and some diaper boxes.”
Through the screen door, the Daily Mail spied piles of clutter, including what appear to be stacked books, within the house.
Neighbor Leticia Gomez, 45, who lives directly behind the Turpin home, told the Daily Mail that she wasn’t aware there were any kids in the house. She described the Turpins’ garden as unkempt and “scruffy.”