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Child Abuse in Chicago

The term “child abuse” broadly defines a range of cruel acts inflicted upon a child, often by a parent, but not necessarily. And while the term child abuse is often associated with physical cruelty, such as hitting, it also includes offenses such as neglect or emotional abuse. Crimes associated with child abuse include assault and battery, neglect, and child endangerment. Illinois law mandates that certain professionals and caretakers including dentists and child care workers must report signs of abuse to the Dept. of Children and Family Services.

Law enforcement takes the issue of child abuse very seriously and imposes penalties for caretakers and others who fail to report suspected abuse. But getting bruises and scrapes is part of being a kid; so anyone who believes they’ve been wrongly accused of child abuse should seek the counsel of a Chicago criminal defense attorney.

Recently in Child Abuse Category

Is a Sex Offender Living Near You?

Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a wonderful school district. You think you've found the home of your dreams. But what if there is a registered sex offender living next door? You'll need to know the steps for how to find a sex offender in your neighborhood.

In Illinois, state police maintain a statewide Sex Offender Database that identifies persons who have been convicted of certain sex offenses or crimes against children.

In general, individuals who are required to register are those who have been convicted of certain crimes like child sexual abuse or attempted abuse. The database also includes those who were found not guilty of the crime due to insanity.

Pedo Arrested in McDonald's Play Area; New '13 Sex Offender Laws

Kudos to the attentive McDonald’s manager. Thirty-six-year-old Joseph O’Brien was arrested for the twenty-fourth time shortly before Christmas after the manager called to report a loitering adult in the children’s PlayPlace. According to CBS Chicago, other patrons reported that O’Brien had been staring at an 11-year-old girl before being asked to leave. He had also been asked to leave on multiple occasions by management.

After a brief investigation, officers learned of O’Brien’s extensive criminal record and sex offender registration as a “predator.” They also learned that he was staying at a motel near the McDonald’s - not at the address he had on file. For the “clerical” slip-up, he’ll face a Class 3 felony charge for failing to update his registration. He has also been charged with criminal trespassing.

Halloween Sex Offender Laws Every Parent Should Know

Myth: Sex offenders are not allowed to pass out candy on Halloween.

Reality: While there is a restriction on those who are on parole or probation, the vast majority of sex offenders are free to dress in costumes, hand out candy, and even go trick-or-treating.

Pedophile 3-Peat Over the Weekend: Three Separate Arrests

Joe V. Hymon, 44, of Oak Park, was arrested after the Oak Park Police Department was notified that an IP address that was using a file sharing program to download and upload child porn was traced back to an Oak Park address. An IP address is the electronic equivalent of a physical address. When police arrived at his address, they found two computers with more than 700 pornographic videos and images of children, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Aidan T. Lowry, 22, of Chicago, allegedly solicited children for the purpose of sexual relations. He contacted two minors, ages 12 and 13, after meeting them via Facebook and maintaining contact via chat and text messaging, reports the Tribune. He attempted to meet the children in Morton Grove, but fortunately, the meeting never happened.

Elmhurst Mom's Botched Murder-Suicide Nets 20-Year Sentence

It would an unimaginable crime if it didn't happen so often nowadays. A mom, Cheryl Luchetta, 42, of Elmhurst, allegedly tried to murder her son before trying to kill herself. Fortunately, she failed in both regards, reports the Chicago Tribune. Luchetta drugged her son with a buffet of prescription and over-the-counter pills, and then tried to slit her own throat. But she didn't cut deep enough, and when she awoke hours later, called 911.

Luchetta's initial cover story was that an intruder cut her throat and drugged her child. Obviously, the cops didn't buy it. Luchetta eventually confessed to everything, and earlier this summer, she pleaded guilty to aggravated battery on a child in order to avoid an attempted murder charge.

Concluding the Coldest of Cold Cases: McCullough Convicted of Murder

It seems the proof of his guilt overcame the glaring inconsistencies and possible defense arguments in the trial of Jack Daniel McCullough, also known as John Tessier. After the judge ruminated on the evidence last night, and closing arguments were made this morning, the judge's verdict came surprisingly quick: McCullough is guilty of murdering 7-year-old Maria Ridulph more than 50 years ago, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The verdict came despite some interesting inconsistencies. Jailhouse informants testified that McCullough told them he strangled the girl with a wire. But the forensic analyst stated that Ridulph died from multiple deep penetrating wounds to her upper chest and neck.

Defending the Coldest of Cold Cases: a 1957 Murder

"St. Louis will have records of everything," Jack Daniel McCullough told the Associated Press. "If somebody would go there, it would exonerate me."

Not quite, Mr. McCullough. A fire 38 years ago destroyed the records of his Air Force entrance physical. McCullough insists he was taking the physical exam in Chicago back in 1957, when 7-year-old Maria Ridulph disappeared from her home in rural Sycamore.

What's a man to do when he's on trial for Ridulph's murder, and the only evidence of his alibi was destroyed in a fire?

Goons Punch 11-year-old Girl For Lollapalooza Beach ball

Two 19-year-old idiots, one of which was allegedly drunk, were arrested and charged with assault after they approached an 11-year-old girl and punched her in the stomach. Why were they beating children? The gentlemen wanted her Lollapalooza beach ball, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The girl, and her mother Michelle Fiore were headed back to their car when they were approached by a group of four individuals, two male and two female. Fiore said they appeared to be bickering before Conrad Slimak approached them and asked for one of their souvenir beach balls.

Fiore jokingly responded, "That will be $50."

Dentist Acquitted of One Fondling; Faces Trial for Another

They say, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Prior to today's ruling, it looked like Dr. Ernest Panos, 81, was going to be on the hook for two sexual abuse charges against two different girls. At his age, a conviction on either charge would almost certainly mean death behind bars. Today, he was acquitted of the first charge, reports the Chicago Tribune.

For his defense team, that's one down and one to go. Dr. Panos' charges got extra attention in the media due to the timing of the charges. He was arrested in August of 2010 for charges related to today's case. He was released shortly thereafter when prosecutors declined to press charges. However, he was picked up again a few months later when the charges were re-filed.

Illinois Supreme Court: She's 17; Sex Okay, Pictures Not!

It's not often that we, or the Illinois Supreme Court, get to ask the question: when is child porn actually child porn? It's usually pretty obvious. However, there are occasionally borderline cases, and the oft-mocked U.S. Supreme Court obscenity test of "I know it when I see it" doesn't exactly provide a great litmus test for the pervert with a camera.

This week, however, the Illinois Supreme Court answered that question when a case highlighting the incongruities of consent laws versus child pornography laws made its way to the highest court in the state, reports CBS Chicago.