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child abuse

Florida Senate votes apology for abuse at Dozier School for Boys

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The Senate voted, 35-0, Wednesday to apologize for decades of abuse at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and Florida Schools for Boys at Okeechobee. Addressing 14 middle-aged and elderly survivors viewing from the Senate gallery, Sen. Daryl Rouson said: “We say to you, we apologize. We are sorry.” The House voted to apologize on April 18. CS/SR 1440 details the history of physical, mental, and sexual abuse by school staff from the 1940s through the 1960s. A forensic…

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Child Abuse Death Review Committee to examine fatality emergency calls

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A total of 931 combined child deaths were reported in Florida in both 2015 and 2016, according to the state’s Child Abuse Death Review Committee (CADR), which met in Tampa Friday to discuss the issue. Broken down, 474 of those reviewable fatalities were in 2015, with another 457 reviewable notifications made in 2016. More than 200 of those are still open cases — 29 from 2015 and 175 from 2016, per graphs compiled in documents by the committee and released…

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Pinellas gymnastics coach accused of duct-taping student’s mouth shut and posting pictures to Facebook

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If you’re a coach and you decide to duct tape a kid’s mouth shut and then post pictures of it to Facebook and that kid’s mom used to be a lawyer, you’re going to have a bad time. That’s what Lori Palmieri accuses her daughter’s gymnastics coach of doing. Palmieri is now suing Tracy Maggiacomo, the coach, and her employer, Victory Gymnastics Training Center in Oldsmar, for damages suffered by her daughter, Marisa Palmieri, from being “exploited” by the photos.…

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Ex-DCF investigator charged with faking notes in tot death

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A former child abuse investigator surrendered Wednesday on charges that she falsified a substance abuse screening for a mother who authorities say was drinking months later when she left her 11-month-old baby to die in a hot car. Shani Smith, 35, was supposed to determine in her 2012 investigation whether Catalina Bruno’s children were safe to remain in her care and whether Bruno needed drug or alcohol treatment after the mother was charged with drinking and driving. Bruno was accused…

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Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair arrested on child abuse charges

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Blair, 52, was arrested shortly after 5 a.m. following an altercation at the family’s home in the Forest Hills area of Tampa, sheriff’s Deputy Larry McKinnon said. An arrest report said Blair, a former professional wrestler who is 6 feet tall and weighs 235 pounds, pushed his older son Brett, 17, in the chest around 4 a.m. The teen tried to walk away, but Blair grabbed him and punched him in the face with a closed fist, leaving a red…

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