‘STAND WITH SOPHIE’: Story of Abused 9 Year Old Texas Girl Goes Viral

FRISCO, TX — The story of a 9-year-old Frisco, Texas girl, Sophie Long, has gone viral across the U.S. and is putting the spotlight on family court and child protective services.

A nearly 20-minute long video posted to social media shows the child pleading with adults to not send her back to her mother’s home despite a court order mandating that she do so.

In the video, the child can be seen pleading with her father to save her, claiming that she had been sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend as her mother watched. Despite the child’s pleas, representatives from child protective services can be seen ordering the child into the car and telling the girl’s father that if he refused to turn her over he would be arrested and sent to jail.

A GoFundMe campaign titled “Stand with Sophie,” was created by the child’s step mother and posted to the platform on August 21. The campaign, which had set an original goal of $25,000, has raised more than $145,000 as of September 2.

Response from members of the public outraged by the video prompted the Frisco Police Department to issue the following statement regarding the case:

“While the Frisco Police Department will not usually offer further comment on cases that are this sensitive in nature, we would like the public to know that the child in this case is safe and staying at a safe location. Due [to] the public nature of this case, we also feel the need to address false information circulating on social media. For example, posts claiming that the alleged offender is a police officer with our department are FALSE, as the individual has never had any professional affiliation with the Frisco Police Department.

The continued dissemination of patently false information and third-party speculation on various social media platforms related to this case serves no other purpose than to hinder investigative efforts and does nothing to help the child in the case. The case remains under active investigation, and we are restricted by law on providing specific information related to juvenile cases. The Frisco Police Department shares your concerns to partner with various agencies to assure the safety and well being of all involved.”

The Lacy Lakeview Police Department (LLPD) also issued statement regarding Sophie’s case:

“First and foremost, the Lacy Lakeview Police Department (LLPD) has confirmed that a female juvenile shown in numerous YouTube videos taken by her father and placed on a gofundme page is presently in a safe home,” Chief John Truehitt posted onto the department’s official Facebook page.

“The mother and father of the child in these videos are in a child custody dispute and we have been advised the court has awarded the custodial rights of the child to the mother. The mother lives about 100 miles north of Lacy Lakeview and the father lives about 100 miles south of Lacy Lakeview. In July, 2020, the father reported the sexual abuse of the child to the appropriate law enforcement agency where the offense(s) occurred,” the statement continued.

“There has been one and only one incident that occurred in Lacy Lakeview as follows: On 08/18/2020, LLPD received a call requesting officer assistance regarding a disturbance involving a child custody exchange wherein the child did not want to go with the grandmother. Two LLPD Officers responded and I have reviewed their body camera video. The video shows that upon their arrival the disturbance had already stopped. The officers spoke will all parties at the location. The father told the officers his daughter did not want to go with the grandmother because she was being sexually abused in his ex-wife’s home (in another city). The father told LLPD officers the sexual abuse occurred in the city where his ex-wife lived – NOT in Lacy Lakeview. The father told the officers that he had reported the allegations to law enforcement in that area and CPS had also been involved.”

The Frisco Police Department says it has received a high volume of requests for information about Sophie’s case. Concerned citizens have taken to social media to say they are contacting Texas Governor Greg Abbott to demand a review of the case. A White House petition regarding Sophie’s case has also been created.

CATHOLIC CHURCH UNDER FIRE: Cardinal hires judge to review sex abuse policies, claims report

NEW YORK (AP) — Hoping to restore the faith of those disillusioned by how the Catholic church has handled sexual abuse allegations, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York appointed a former federal judge Thursday to review its procedures and protocols.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced the appointment of Barbara Jones, saying many Catholics had told him they were feeling let down by the church’s hierarchy in the wake of several recent high-profile developments. Those include a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse and systematic cover-up by church officials there.

“If I lost the trust of my people and this community, I don’t have a lot left,” Dolan said.

He said to Jones, “I’m praying that your careful review and hard questions will help my good people renew their trust in the church they love and the leaders they want to believe.”

Two years ago, the Manhattan-based archdiocese, the nation’s second-biggest after Los Angeles, announced a compensation fund for victims of clergy sex abuse willing to forego lawsuits. It has paid out about $60 million so far.

The appointment comes two weeks after New York’s attorney general announced that she was doing a comprehensive investigation of how the church and its leaders handled abuse allegations across the state, as other states have also undertaken since the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Jones, 71, who has repeatedly served in roles calling for an outside independent monitor or arbiter, said she has already begun an initial review of archdiocese efforts going back over 25 years.

“Based upon this review I certainly see a robust infrastructure in place with the archdiocese,” she said. “But my job now will be to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing programs and policies in that infrastructure.”

Jones said her purview would not just focus on abuse against children, but would also include looking at policies on workplace harassment impacting adults.

Jones, who left the Manhattan federal bench in 2013, finished her work only weeks ago as a court-appointed special master identifying items subject to attorney-client privilege from over 4 million items seized in raids on President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Jones was an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan and chief assistant to former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau before she was appointed to the bench in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. As a federal prosecutor, she served as chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force Unit.


Karen Matthews of the Associated Press contributed to the contents of this report. 

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PREYING ON THE INNOCENT: Alabama man charged with over 6,500 counts of child porn

Cherokee, Al — An Alabama man has been arrested and charged with more than 6,500 counts of child pornography, say police.

According to public records, Jeffery Dale Hunt, 50, of Cherokee, was indicted Friday on 6,547 counts of child pornography involving at least 10 children. Hunt is accused of running a child pornography production operation in and around the Cherokee area.

It is one of the worst cases of child pornography they’ve seen, say police officials. Hunt’s arrest comes as he was out on bond from a previous arrest on child pornography. He was charged with having more than 2,200 images of child pornography last year. This time his bail has been set at $10 million cash.

“I don’t know that he’ll ever see the outside of a jail again unless it’s from a recreational yard or going to court,” Sgt. Greg Cobb, a spokesman for the Florence Police Department, told the Associated Press. “The detective handling the case is having to go through now and unfortunately view every one of these images on every device,” Cobb added.

An attorney representing Hunt has not returned a call requesting comment.

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MOM FROM HELL: Georgia mother admits to letting men rape daughters, 5 and 6, for money

Atlanta, Ga (Fox News) — A mother in Georgia pleaded guilty to allowing several men, including a 78-year-old, rape her two young daughters in exchange for cash, officials said Friday.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release that Morgan Summerlin, 25, pleaded guilty on April 26 to cruelty to children, trafficking a person for sexual servitude and enticing a child for indecent purposes, with sentencing set for June 4.

“It is difficult to imagine facts that are more horrific than those found in this case,” District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. said in a statement. “I am hoping these two little girls can somehow survive this abuse and grow into healthy adults who can lead a productive and fulfilling life.”

Officials said the two young victims told adults in April 2017 their mother would bring them to men’s homes to be molested and raped for money. In one incident, the two girls said their mother brought them to the home of 78-year-old Richard Office, who was referred to as “Pop.”

“Pop” would give their mother drugs, and in one incident the 78-year-old raped the younger sister while the other rubbed his feet, all while Summerlin sat in his living room, according to officials.

“Afterward, Office gave the girls one-hundred dollars, and the girls’ mother immediately took the money from them,” the DA’s office said. Summerlin freqeuntly posted about her children on Facebook.

In another incident, Summerlin brought the girls to the home of Alfredo Trejo where a similar assault took place, officials said.

Both Trejo and Office were convicted in recent months of numerous charges, including rape, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, and sexual battery. Office was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 146 years to run concurrently while Trejo was sentenced to 25 years in prison, followed by life on probation.

In addition to the men involved in the gruesome crime, officials said that the children’s grandmother, Teresa Davidson, pleaded guilty to second-degree cruelty to children for failing to protect the sisters after they told her they were being sexually abused.

Davidson was sentenced to five years, to serve one minus time served.

“The impact that this ongoing sexual abuse had on those children is tragic, and we are grateful that the jury held the defendant (Office) accountable for his depraved conduct,” Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney Irina Khasin said in a statement.

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PSYCHO DAD: Father charged with handing teenage daughter gun, telling her to commit suicide

FORT MOHAVE, AZ — An Arizona father has been charged with disorderly conduct with a weapon, child abuse, and child endangerment after police say he handed his 14-year-old daughter a gun and told her to kill herself.

Ulys Laffette Bell IV, 38, of Fort Mohave, allegedly handed his child the .9mm weapon on Sunday and told her to pull the trigger after becoming fed up with the girl’s disciplinary issues.

According to a report published by 3 News Las Vegas (http://news3lv.com/news/local/police-arizona-man-gives-daughter-gun-tells-her-to-kill-herself,) the girl reported the incident to school officials on Monday, leading to her father’s arrest.

A spokesperson for the police department said Bell has admitted to handing his daughter the gun but claims the weapon was not loaded at the time of the incident.

Bell is currently being held at the Mohave County jail. It is not yet known whether or not he has obtained legal counsel.

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