CNN, USA, Tuesday, May 13, 2003
TYLER, Texas (CNN) -- Whether authorities will seek the death penalty against a Texas woman accused of beating to death two of her three young sons has not been decided, according to the district attorney who will try the case.
Texas woman accused of beating to death two of her three young sons Deanna LaJune Laney made her first brief court appearance Monday
Smith County D.A. Jack Skeen said he wants to wait until all the evidence is gathered before making that decision in the capital murder case of Deanna LaJune Laney, 38.
In Texas, a capital murder charge carries a punishment of either life in prison or death.
Laney made a brief court appearance Monday, in which a judge read aloud her rights and put her bail at $3 million, the district clerk said. Laney's court-appointed lawyer, F.R. "Buck" Files, advised her to stand silent.
Files said he was simply being cautious because his client has not yet had a mental examination -- the results of which could be key to her defense.
"We have such uncommon allegations against her that it raises, for anyone who's ever been in the system, questions of sanity and competence," he said.
Laney has been acting erratically in her jail cell, the sheriff said.
"She goes from a fetal position of crying, to walking around the cell singing gospel music. She stops and prays, then she goes into a crying hysteria," Smith County Sheriff J. B. Smith said. "She all of a sudden realizes what she's done, then she'll go into a flatline, blank stare."
Laney is under a suicide watch, according to The Associated Press.
In addition to capital murder, authorities said, a charge of aggravated assault is also pending in connection with the beating of Laney's third son, Aaron, 14 months old, who was found bloodied under a pillow in his crib early Saturday. Aaron was in critical condition Monday at Children's Medical Center of Dallas.
Smith said Laney's 8- and 6-year-old sons, who died, were "severely beaten in the head with what appeared to be a rock." He said Laney told authorities that God told her to kill her children.
After the killings, Laney made a 911 call on her cellular phone and spoke in a "very calm, matter-of-fact way." She told a dispatcher, "I've killed my boys," Smith said.
A sheriff's department spokeswoman said deputies arrived at the New Chapel Hill home, about seven miles outside of Tyler, at 12:52 a.m. Saturday.
When officers arrived, they entered the house and found Aaron in his crib, wounded but still breathing. Laney was not there but continued to talk calmly on the phone, Smith said.
Officers found the woman, wearing bloody clothes, in a wooded area about 100 yards behind her house, the sheriff said.
Laney described where her other two children could be found but refused to go there herself, he said.
Her husband was apparently asleep inside the house during the attack because he came walking out "in his nightclothes," the sheriff said.
The recording of the 911 call is in the hands of the district attorney, who said he doesn't plan to release it publicly.
"In any case like this, the incoming 911 tape is very important," Skeen said, "because it contains the initial obvious statements of the defendant."
Smith said the Laneys were a "very stable, loving family" and that the suspect has no history of mental illness.
Two years ago, another Texas woman, Andrea Yates, drowned her five children while suffering from postpartum depression and psychosis. She told authorities that Satan told her to kill the children. Despite a documented history of mental illness, a jury rejected her plea of innocent by reason of insanity and convicted her of murder. Yates was sentenced to life in prison but will be eligible for parole in 40 years.
Attorneys on both sides are aware of the similarities to that case.
"Whether or not we use some of Andrea Yates in our case, I cannot tell you," Files said. "Obviously, anyone who looks at Andrea Yates and looks at this case would draw some comparisons, just at first blush."
Files said he has "no doubt" Laney can receive a fair trial in Tyler, the Smith County seat, but said media coverage of the case could pose problems.
Laney sang in the choir at the First Assembly of God Church, where her brother-in-law, Gary Bell, is the pastor, according to The Associated Press.
"This was a brutal and horrific incident that has changed our lives [and will] for years to come," Bell said during a service Sunday. "But we all believe as a family that this wasn't our Dee that did this to her children."
Neighbors, too, were at a loss to explain what went wrong.
"There's no way in the world that I would believe she would do this without something taking over her and something snapping in her," a neighbor said.
"It is absolutely devastating to the neighborhood," he said.
Copyright 2003 CNN. All rights reserved.
The true story about a Female Sexual Predator and Child Murderer
'They are not the censor police' Distribution in Canada now likely
Oct. 13, 2005
The families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy won't try to block the release of Karla, a film about the slayings of the teens, paving the way for the film's Canadian distribution.
"The families recognize that they are not the censor police," Tim Danson, a lawyer for the French and Mahaffy families, told the Toronto Star. "They understand that people have a constitutional right to make a movie or write a book."
The Hollywood film company behind the controversial movie, depicting the horrific murders by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, says it's close to signing a contract with a distributor that would get the picture into Canadian theatres. Read More ..
Lecanto High School
3810 W. Educational Path, Lecanto, Fl. USA
Arrest date: November 2005
Victim's age: 15
Offender's age: 36
Lecanto High School teacher and former softball coach Amy Gail Lilley was sentenced to two years of house arrest and eight years of probation after pleading no contest in a 2005 student sex case. The female student told authorities that she and the teacher were in love and had sex several times. Lilley was charged with lewd and lascivious battery of a child under 16 and faced up to 15 years in prison.
Vanessa George remanded in custody after crowds jeer from public gallery and throw missiles outside court
The Guardian, UK
June 11, 2009
A nursery school worker was jeered and spat at when she appeared in court today, charged with sexual assault and making and distributing child abuse images.
Vanessa George, 39, who worked at the Little Ted's nursery in Plymouth, was remanded in custody amid angry scenes in and outside the city's magistrates court.
George, of Plymouth, faces three counts of sexual assault on girls and one on a boy. She is also accused of making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children. Read More ..
The Canadian Press
January 29, 2014
OTTAWA - An Ottawa teen who befriended girls on Facebook and other social media, then forced them to work as escorts, has been found guilty of 30 of 33 charges against her.
The 17-year-old - identified as the ringleader of the group - was found guilty Wednesday on counts including human trafficking, forcible confinement, assault, robbery, sexual assault, child luring and distributing child pornography. Read More ..
Allen, Craig. (1991). Women and Men Who Sexually Abuse Children: A Comparative Analysis. Brandon, VT: Safer Society Press.
Berendzen, R, & Palmer, L. (1993). Come here: A man overcomes the tragic aftermath of childhood sexual abuse. New York: Villard Books.
Elliott, Michele (Ed.). (1993). Female Sexual Abuse of Children. New York: Guilford Press.
Mike Lew, author of Victims No Longer, an excellent book for male survivors of sexual abuse, says of this book: "Michele Elliott and her colleagues guide us through denial, stereotypes, and conventional misinformation to an unflinching examination of painful realities. Theoretical, research, and clinical chapters help to forge a new understanding of the issues and set directions for further exploration. Many survivors, both male and female, will finally have their experiences validated. The powerfully moving survivors' stories will be vital tools for survivors in their healing and will aid therapists in understanding the complexities of recovery from sexual abuse by females" (from the cover).
Mathews, R, Matthews, J. K., & Speltz, K. (1989). Female Sexual Offenders: An Exploratory Study. Brandon, VT: Safer Society Press.
Miletski, H. (1997). Mother-Son Incest: The Unthinkable Broken Taboo. Brandon, VT: Safer Society Press.
Saradjian, J. & Hanks, H. (1996). Women Who Sexually Abuse Children: From Research to Clinical Practice (Wiley Series in Child Care and Protection) NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Allen, C. M., & Pothast, H. L. (1994). Distinguishing characteristics of male and female child sex abusers. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 21, 73-88.
Bachmann, K. M., Moggi, F., Stirnemann-Lewis, F. (1994) Mother-son incest and its long-term consequences: A neglected phenomenon in psychiatric practice. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 182, 723-725.
Banning, A. (1989). Mother-son incest: Confronting a prejudice. Child Abuse & Neglect, 13, 563-570.
Baron, R. S., Burgess, M. L., & Kao, C. F. (1991). Detecting and labeling prejudice: Do female perpetrators go undetected? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17, 115-123.
Briere J., & Elliott D.M. (2003). Prevalence and psychological sequelae of self-reported childhood physical and sexual abuse in a general population sample of men and women. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 1205-1222. [includes statistics on females' perpetrating sexual abuse against boys and girls]
Condy, S. R., Templer, D. I., Brown, R., & Veaco, L. (1987). Parameters of sexual contact of boys with women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 16, 379-394.
Faller, K. C. (1987). Women who sexually abuse children. Violence and Victims, 2, 263-276.
Fehrenbach, P. A., & Monastersky, C. (1988). Characteristics of female adolescent sexual offenders. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 58, 148-151.
Finkelhor, D., Meyers, M. W., & Burns, N. (1988). Nursery crimes: Sexual abuse in day care. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Finkelhor, D., & Russell, D. (1984). Women as perpetrators. In D. Finkelhor (Ed.), Child sexual abuse: New theory and research (pp.171-187). New York: Free Press.
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Johnson, T. C. (1989). Female child perpetrators: Children who molest other children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 13, 571-585.
Krug, R. S. (1989). Adult male reports of childhood sexual abuse by mothers: Case descriptions, motivations and long-term consequences. Child Abuse and Neglect, 13, 111-119.
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LA Times, By Allison Hoffman, Times Staff Writer
January 24, 2004
A former Rancho Cucamonga High School coach on Friday was sentenced to a year in county jail for having sex with a 16-year-old girl who was one of her students.
Stacy Lynn Behrmann, 32, accepted a plea bargain in November on three counts of sex crimes against a minor.
She sat silently during the hearing in San Bernardino County Superior Court and did not look at friends and family members as she was led from the courtroom.
The girl, now 17, became friendly with Behrmann when she played on the high school girls' tennis and softball teams, which Behrmann coached.
According to investigative reports, the girl said their relationship was consensual and progressed to sexual intimacy in January 2003.
"She has robbed my daughter of her high school experience and years," the girl's foster father told the court.
The Sun, UK
13 Feb 2009
Baby-faced Alfie, who is 13 but looks more like eight, became a father four days ago when his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman gave birth to 7lb 3oz Maisie Roxanne.
He told how he, at 12 years old, and Chantelle, 15, decided against an abortion after discovering she was pregnant. Read More ..
Not allowing move to halfway house 'perverse,' suit says
OTTAWA - Karla Homolka, convicted in the killing of two teenage girls, claims in a lawsuit that the federal government has violated her constitutional rights by refusing to transfer her to a Montreal halfway house.
Homolka argues in a lawsuit filed in the Federal Court of Canada that it is time to begin her reintegration into society. In particular, she would like to become acquainted with Montreal, a city she plans to call home when she is eventually released.
"I do not think it is in my best interests, or anybody else's, for me to be released ... after eight years incarceration without any type of gradual release to a place where I have never been and do not know anyone," Homolka wrote in her application to be moved.
Homolka was sentenced to a 12-year term in 1993 for the killings of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. Read More ..
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