Tag Archives: child abuse

COUNTY SUSPECTS CHILD ABUSE UNDERREPORTED DUE TO SHUTDOWN

With the societal shutdown due to COVID-19, San Bernardino County has seen calls to its child abuse hotline drop dramatically. Normally, that would be cause for celebration but during this shutdown, officials fear the worst. Reporter Heather Clisby has the details…

Ever since Governor Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home order March 19, state residents have faced imposed serious family bonding time. For some children, this can mean more concentrated time with an abuser and fewer witnesses to the abuse.

Marlene Hagen, director of San Bernardino County Children and Family Services, stated that the county’s child abuse hotline has seen a 50 percent decrease in calls since mid-March. Without the usual contact with those beyond immediate family, Hagen fears that child abuse is now being unreported.

The county believes this is because children are not having face-to-face contact with mandated child abuse reporters such as doctors, teachers and mental health counselors.

“Not to mention the fact that there’s limited contact right now with children having contact with extended relatives, friends and neighbors,” said Hagen. “So, anything our community members can do to check up on families—at a safe distance, of course—to insure their needs are being met could mean a great deal to insure a child’s well being.”

To report suspected child abuse, call 211 or the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-827-8724. Otherwise, urgent and potentially life-threatening emergencies should always be reported to 911.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN ARRESTED AFTER USING A BELT TO DISCIPLINE 16-YEAR-OLD

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Wednesday, accused of using a belt to discipline a 16-year-old girl. Deputies were called to the 55900 block of Coyote Trail in Yucca Valley about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday for a verbal disturbance. When they were at the scene, Jonathan Bacon, 41, told deputies that he hit the victim in the leg with a belt prior to the deputies’ arrival. The victim had a red mark and swelling to her leg. Deputies contacted Children and Family Services. Jonathan Bacon was arrested for investigation of child abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $100,000.

TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF 6-YEAR-OLD CHILD

A Twentynine Palms woman was arrested Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing a young child. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were alerted November 25 to a potential case of child sexual abuse by Children and Family Services. The six-year-old child claimed to have been sexually abused by Kimberly Willet, 28, on two separate occasions. An arrest warrant was issued for Willet on February 5, and deputies located Willet about 2:45 p.m. in the 73400 block of Sunrise Avenue in Twentynine Palms. Kimberly Willet was arrested for investigation of lewd acts with a child under 14 years old; booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $250,000.

CHARGES DROPPED IN TWENTYNINE PALMS CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION

This update on a story we aired last week. A felony child abuse charge against a Twentynine Palms woman was dropped last week. Stephenie Randels, 36, was arrested January 10, accused of abusing her daughter. When she was booked into jail, the charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor, and on Friday, January 17, Stephenie Randels was released from jail, with no court appearance scheduled.

CHILD ABUSE CHARGE DROPPED AGAINST TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN

Update 9 a.m. January 20, 2020:

This update on a story we aired last week. A felony child abuse charge against a Twentynine Palms woman was dropped last week. Stephenie Randels, 36, was arrested January 10, accused of abusing her daughter. When she was booked into jail, the charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor, and on Friday, January 17, Stephenie Randels was released from jail, with no court appearance scheduled.


Update 7:30 a.m. January 16, 2020:

The felony child abuse charge against Stephenie Randels has been reduced to a charge of misdemeanor willful cruelty to a child , with her bail set at $25,000. She is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, January 17.

Deputies responding to a tip of possible child abuse arrested the child’s mother Friday. Deputies went to a home in the 6000 block of Mariposa Avenue in Twentynine Palms to check on a child about 5:30 p.m. Deputies determined that she had injuries to her jaw, and that her mother, Stephenie Randels, 36, had caused the injuries. Stephanie Randels was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, booked into the West Valley Detention Center, with her bail set at $100,000.