Tag Archives: sexual abuse

Update: RCMP Officer Convicted of Abuse and Sexual Torture of Son Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

RCMP Child Abuse Ottawa Royal Canadian Mounted Police

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer convicted of starving, beating, and sexually abusing his son has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In December of last year, I posted about a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer who had been convicted of numerous abuse-related offenses after his son escaped from a makeshift dungeon he had created in the basement of his house. On Wednesday, that officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the torture he had infilcted against his son. Critics, including a group known as “Bikers Against Child Abuse,” complained that the sentence, which likely will amount to eight years at the most, was insufficient in light of the severity and nature of the crimes involved.

At the time of his arrest in 2013, that son was described as looking like “someone from a concentration camp movie.” Despite being eleven years old at the time, he weighed just 50 pounds and had scars on his body, including those consistent with someone who had been shackled at the wrists and ankles for an extended period of time. In addition to being starved, chained up, and physically abused, the child was also sexually tortured by having his genitals burned with a lighter. Ironically, the officer worked for the RCMP’s counter-terrorism unit.

After escaping from the basement where he had been confined, the officer’s son was spotted in nearby houses attempting to get water from the faucets within the yards. When one neighbor attempted to take him home, he collapsed from the effects of malnourishment. Ottawa Police Det. Johanne Marelic and other investigators described his condition when they first saw him as “unfathomable” and “difficult to comprehend.”

During court, the officer apologized for “being a monster” to his son and attributed his actions to PTSD resulting from having been abused himself. Although Justice Robert Maranger described the charges as “horrific” and the “worst kind of abuse” while stating that he didn’t believed the officer had shown any true remorse, he nonetheless indicated that he avoided giving him a much harsher sentence (prosecutors were seeking 23 years) due to the testimony from expert witnesses about his mental state and the contention that the abuse was caused by PTSD.

The officer was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault, one each of sexual assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement, assault and failing to provide the necessaries of life, plus several firearms offenses. In addition, the officer’s wife (and the prototypical evil stepmother of the child) was also convicted of assault with a weapon and failing to provide the necessaries of life, but received a sentence of just three years. The names of the officer and his wife have not been released publicly per a court order to avoid identifying the child who was victimized by them.

Local News Coverage

Leave a comment

Five New Jersey Corrections Officers Sexually Abused Female Prisoners Over the Course of Two Years

Four New Jersey corrections officers have been indicted for sexual assault against nine women at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton, NJ. Corrections Officers Jason Mays, Ahnwar Dixon, Brian Ambroise, and Thomas Seguine were all indicted by a Hunterdon grand jury for engaging in ongoing sexual abuse of inmates over the course of two years. All told, they are facing 26 charges between them.

A fifth man, Joel Herscap, previously pled guilty to official misconduct for engaging in a “sexual encounter” with an inmate. He was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison. Herscap worked as an institutional trade instructor at the prison prior to being arrested.

Via the Trentonian.com:

The rape culture at a New Jersey women’s prison has continued.

Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III announced at a press conference Monday morning that two more senior corrections officers were charged with rape at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Clinton. That brings the tally to a total of five male employees, including four corrections officers, charged with the sex assault of nine female inmates at Edna Mahan over the past year.

Mays, 43, of Hillside, has been employed by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) since May 2005. He was indicted on five counts of official misconduct, one count of a pattern of official misconduct and three counts of sexual assault, all second-degree crimes, and two counts of criminal coercion and criminal sexual contact, prosecutors said.

Dixon, 38, of East Orange, has been working for DOC since November 2004. He was indicted on two counts of official misconduct, one count of a pattern of official misconduct and one count of sexual assault, all second-degree crimes, and three counts of criminal sexual contact, prosecutors said.

“In these cases, the victims were particularly vulnerable as inmates,” Kearns said. “The corrections officers had complete power and control over every aspect of their lives behind bars.”

Kearns did not provide specifics of the recent arrests.

Charges were handed out starting early last year.

In February, another senior corrections officer was arrested for allegedly having sex with a female inmate. Thomas Seguine Jr., 34, of Phillipsburg, was charged with official misconduct and sexual assault.

Then three months later, a kitchen worker at the jail was arrested for reportedly exchanging cigarettes with two female inmates in return for sexual favors. Joel Herscap, 55, of Alpha, was charged with two counts of second-degree official misconduct, two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. Kearns said Herscap was recently sentenced to three years in jail on an official misconduct charge.

In October, Brian Y. Ambroise, 33, of Union, engaged in a sexual relationship with an inmate at the prison, authorities said, and was charged with official misconduct and sexual assault. The senior corrections officer was arrested following a joint investigation by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division.

Leave a comment

Ottawa Cop Whose Son “Looked Like He Was In a Concentration Camp” Convicted of Child Abuse; Sexual Assault

A Canadian Mountie and his wife have been convicted of several abuse charges including sexual assault against the officer’s son. After running away, the RCMP officer’s son was found with severe signs of having been starved and physically abused by an Ottawa Police Constable. That constable, Cindy Cybulski, initially was planning to return the son to his father and step mother until the father began talking about how difficult it was to raise a child and how he had to resort to tying up and beating the 11 year old.

That prompted her to go and look at the boy, who earlier had collapsed while walking with a neighbor who was trying to take him back to the father’s house. In addition to visible signs of current physical abuse, the boy had scars indicating he had been locked up with chains on his wrists and ankles. He was also so malnourished that Const. Cybulski compared his condition that of someone from a concentration camp movie.

Via the National Post:

“It was like a concentration-camp movie. His chest was just bones — you could see every rib,” Cybulski said.

The boy also had gouges on his wrists and ankles from his chains.

The constable wept on the stand, saying “and a minute earlier I just wanted to give him back to his dad.”

Instead, the constable arrested the RCMP officer, who along with his wife, were found guilty on Nov. 21. The father and stepmom — whose names are under a publication ban to protect the identity of the boy — are awaiting sentencing for their crimes. (The father was convicted of assault, sexual assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessities of life. The stepmom was found guilty of assault with a weapon and failing to provide the necessities of life.)

When the boy finally escaped from his family’s darkened Kanata basement — its windows were covered — he’d endured at least six months of starvation and torture. Weighing only 50 pounds, the boy was first seen trudging through knee-deep snow in backyards in search of water. One neighbour spotted him trying to draw water from his garden tap so he slid open the back patio door and filled up the starving kid’s water bottle and sent him on his way. That neighbour said the boy looked like a ghost.

The boy later showed up at another neighbour’s front door around suppertime looking to speak to her son. She told court that she hadn’t seen the boy in a year and a half.

He used to be “chubby, happy and full of energy,” she said. “He was completely changed. I couldn’t recognize him.”

The boy appeared nervous, she said, and fumbled for change from his pocket, offering it while asking if he could stay at her home for the night.

She started walking the boy back to his own home, but when the boy complained of back pain, her husband called the police.

That’s when Const. Cybulski showed up, and after coming sliver-close to reuniting the starving boy with his abusive father, she took an extra minute and spared a young boy from more torture down in a darkened Kanata basement.

I’ll give some credit to Const. Cybulski for eventually doing the right thing and arresting this Mountie and not go to far into criticizing her investigative skills by pointing out that she probably should have (and if it was any non-Hero would have) looked the kid over for a minute before the father gave her his heartbreaking story about how hard it was for him to raise a “problem child” without beating, chaining up, and sexually abusing him.

Of course, police are pretty well known for the enthusiasm with which they adhere to the old adage of “spare the rod, spoil the child.” In fact, the families of cops are at least four times as likely to be abused.

Leave a comment

NY Cop Deliberately Falsifies Report for Woman, Uses Family Connection to Avoid Investigation

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Robert Lieb, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. This details a conflict Lieb had with an ex-girlfriend and, according to him, inappropriate conduct by the responding officer, as well as a failure to investigate his claims in respect to that conduct by Deputy Sheriff Chris Rolison. It also discusses potential preferential treatment of that officer based on his relationship to the mayor of the city (Poughkeepsie, NY) in which the incident took place.

(Note: This post has been edited for spelling, grammar, and paragraph structure, but otherwise is being posted as it was received without any editing of the statements contained within.)

Date of Incident: March 20, 2014
Officer Involved: Deputy Sheriff Chris Rolison
Department Involved: Dutchess County (NY) Sheriff’s Office
Department Phone Number: (845) 486-3800
Department Address: 150 North Hamilton St, Poughkeepsie, NY

Dutchess County NY Deputy Sheriff Chris Rolison, son of recently appointed Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, deliberately falsified his police report because he was attempting to impress the female involved in a domestic assault case.

On March 20, 2014, I entered my apartment, of which I had a current legal lease and of course a key, to collect my belongings after discovering my girlfriend, Nona Pawson, AKA Nona Backer, was sexually abusing her own son and attempting to abuse her own daughter. In the process of carrying my box of CDs etc, out of the room, Nona Pawson blocked the doorway to prevent my passage, knocked the box to the ground, and kicked and punched me and my belongings breaking and smashing many items.

Without reacting to appease her attempt to illicit a physical reaction, so she could call the cops as she had threatened (sic). She instead called her son, Tom North, AKA Thomas Hauptner, an obese boy who had a history of violence, to assault me by punching me in the chest and intimidate me by blocking me physically to prevent me from calling the police.

Nona Pawson then called the police stating, “My ex boyfriend came into the house without my permission and is hitting me and my son.” Having the confidence that the police would listen to the truth, I followed Nona Pawson down the stairs to meet the police outside. On the way I saw Nona Pawson remove her bra from under her shirt and throw it in the closet. It turns out that the stories she had told me about the police helping her win over her exes were for the exact reason she proved this day (sic).

We both met the police arrivals while standing side by side on the front porch. Immediately, Chris Rolison screamed at me to put my hands up and turn around. I responded immediately, “with all due respect just because a female calls doesn’t mean she’s telling the truth, if you search me then search her as an equal.” Chris Rolison stepped back silent to re-evaluate the situation. He began to approach Nona Pawson, and I saw him look directly at her nearly bare breasts and nipples protruding against her transparent t-shirt.

He told her to go inside and wait then proceeded to frisk me. He refused to listen to me until the back up state trooper arrived. While forced to sit in my car, I explained to Chris Rolison what happened. During this time Chris Rolison had to yell at Nona Pawson three times to get back in the house and stop running outside screaming, “whatever he says is a lie!” Chris Rolison then told the state trooper to watch me and proceeded inside.

I had to explain the same story over again in detail to the trooper, who said nothing. The trooper and I waited over an hour listening to Chris Rolison laughing inside with Nona Pawson. When he finally came out of the house, he told me to get a police officer next time to act as witness when I remove my belongings. The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office stated Chris Rolison was incorrect and that, “the officer’s claims to counsel were incorrect and the officer should never have told you that. They do not perform retrievals.”

Details from Chris Rolison’s report: Case #2014-00008326

  • He claimed to have arrived on the scene with Myself on the front porch and found Nona Pawson, AKA Backer, inside and very upset.
  • He stated we had an argument which never occurred.
  • He stated Nona’s son separated both parties. Fact: Her son assaulted me.
    (Nona Pawson’s call to the police dispatcher did not match her written statement on Chris Rolison’s report.)
  • Chris Rolison’s Police report Labeled me as Assaulter/Violator and Nona Pawson as Victim!

I reported this falsified report to IAB – Internal Affairs Bureau twice due to neglect of Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian Anderson to act on it. Both responses from IAB were timely and quick and stated that the case was in the hands of Jurisdiction and belonged to Sheriff Adrian Anderson. Not one response was ever received from Mr. Anderson.

It is a Misdemeanor Class A crime to falsify police records as stated on each and every police form. It is also federally illegal for the sheriff in any state to neglect a police complaint. I found that out recently from the Washington DC Lieutenant of Police at the Pentagon. I understand now that during this incident Sheriff Adrian Anderson and Mayor Rolison, father of Chris Rolison, were both running for their political positions.

It is obvious they both covered up the police Officer’s negligence and criminal action to prevent any negative publicity during their campaign.

– Robert Lieb

Leave a comment

Police Wife Writes About the “Secret Epidemic” of Police Domestic Violence

This post was originally published at the “Ms. Magazine” blog in October of 2015 by and (who was married to a police officer for 20 years) under the original title “Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence.” (See below for their full biographies.)

Domestic violence takes place in up to a staggering 40 percent of law enforcement families, but police departments mostly ignore the problem or let it slide, write ex-police wife Susanna Hope and award-winning investigative journalist Alex Roslin in their new book, Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence. The following excerpt is adapted from their book, available on Amazon or as an eBook from their website, and is being published as part of the Ms. Blog’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month series.

According to Alex Roslin, “Police Wife” itself has more than 60 pages of appendices giving advice and resources to survivors, family and friends plus recommendations for advocates, police, governments, journalists and researchers.

In order to help survivors and others, they’ve made virtually all of the appendices available for free through their website. Here is the direct link to this extended free excerpt.

The propensity for police to abuse their wives, children, and other family members is, of course, no secret among people who read CopBlock.org. It’s rare that more than a few days go by without a report of a cop having committed domestic violence and several CopBlock Network Contributors have posted about the increased risk that entails marrying or having the bad fortune to be the child of a cop. Obviously, the habitual efforts of Good Cops to cover up the crimes of those Bad Apples, is also a large factor in its commonality.

Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence

In 2009, in Utica, New York, police Investigator Joseph Longo Jr. killed his estranged wife, Kristin Palumbo-Longo, stabbing her more than a dozen times in their home, then stabbed himself to death. One of the couple’s four children discovered the horrifying scene on coming home from school that afternoon.

Police Officer Cop BlockUtica’s then-Police Chief Daniel LaBella said the killing was completely unexpected—an incident “no one could have prevented or predicted.” But Kristin’s family filed a $100-million wrongful-death suit saying city and police officials didn’t do enough about Longo’s troubling behavior before the tragedy.

Kristin had contacted police at least five times in the weeks before she was murdered, saying she feared her husband might kill her and their kids, but police supervisors discouraged her from making reports or seeking a protection order, the lawsuit said. In a preliminary ruling, a federal judge agreed that the police actions may have “enhanced the danger to Kristin and amounted to deliberate indifference.” The city settled the suit in 2013, paying the couple’s children $2 million.

The murder wasn’t an isolated tragedy. It was unusual only because it was so public and so bloody. A staggering amount of domestic violence rages behind the walls of cops’ homes, while most police departments do little about it. In the vast majority of cases, cops who hurt a family member do so in utter secrecy, while their victims live in desperate isolation with very little hope of help. Research shows:

  • An astonishing 40 percent of cops acknowledged in one U.S. survey that they were violent with their spouse or children in the previous six months.
  • A second survey had remarkably similar results—40 percent of officers admitted there was violence in their relationship in the previous year. The abuse rate for cops is up to 15 times higher than among the public.
  • Police discipline is startlingly lax. The LAPD disciplines cops with a sustained domestic violence complaint less strictly than those who lie or get in an off-duty fight. In the Puerto Rico Police Department, 86 percent of cops remained on active duty even after two or more arrests for domestic violence.

It seems incredible that a crime wave of such magnitude and far-reaching social ramifications could be so unknown to the public and yet at the same time an open secret in a mostly indifferent law enforcement community. It is surely one of the most surreal crime epidemics ever—at once disavowed, generalized and virtually unchecked.

Aptly summing up the bizarre disconnect, retired Lieutenant Detective Mark Wynn of the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department in Tennessee told PBS in a 2013 story on the issue: “What’s amazing to me is we’re having this conversation at all. I mean, could you imagine us sitting here talking about this and saying, how do you feel about officers using crack before they go to work, or how do you feel about the officer who every once in a while just robs a bank, or every once in a while decides to go in and steal a car from a dealership? We wouldn’t have this conversation. Why is it that we’ve taken violence against women and separated that from other crimes?”

Domestic violence is bad enough for any woman to deal with. Shelters, many of them chronically underfunded, regularly turn away abused women because they’re full, while only about one in four incidents in the wider population ever get reported to police. Hundreds of U.S. communities have adopted “nuisance property” laws that encourage police to pressure landlords to evict tenants who repeatedly call 911 over domestic abuse, further dissuading victims from seeking help.

But abuse at home is far worse for the wife or girlfriend of a cop. Who will she call—911? What if a coworker or friend of her husband responds? Police officers are trained in the use of physical force and know how to hurt someone without leaving a trace. They have guns and often bring them home. And if a cop’s wife runs, where will she hide? He usually knows where the women’s shelters are. Some shelter staff admit they are powerless to protect an abused police spouse. Her abuser may have training and tools to track her web use, phone calls and travels to find out if she is researching how to get help or, if she has fled, where she went.

In the rare case where the woman works up the nerve to complain, the police department and justice system often victimize her again. She must take on the infamous blue wall of silence—the strict unwritten code of cops protecting each other in investigations. The police have a name for it—extending “professional courtesy.” In the words of Anthony Bouza, a one-time commander in the New York Police Department and former police chief of Minneapolis, “The Mafia never enforced its code of blood-sworn omerta with the ferocity, efficacy and enthusiasm the police bring to the Blue Code of Silence.”

It all adds up to the police having a de facto licence to abuse their spouses and children. And it’s a worldwide phenomenon that police families struggle with everywhere from Montreal to Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Australia and South Africa.

The torrent of abuse is virtually unknown to the public, but without realizing it, we all pay a steep price. Domestic violence is the single most common reason the public contacts the police in the U.S., accounting for up to 50 percent of all calls in some areas. Yet, a battered woman who calls 911 may have a two-in-five chance of an abuser coming to her door. Official investigations have found law enforcement departments that tolerate abuse in police homes also mishandle violence against women in other homes.

Abusive cops are also more prone to other forms of misconduct on the job—such as brutality against civilians and violence against fellow officers. We all pay as taxpayers when governments have to settle multi-million-dollar lawsuits with victims of police abuse or negligence. Police domestic violence also has close connections to a host of other problems—police killings of African Americans, sexual harassment of female drivers at traffic stops and women cops, and even more broadly, issues like growing social inequality and subjugation of Native Americans.

And police officers themselves are victims, too. Even though our society calls cops heroes, we give them little support to cope with the pressure of police work. A big part of the job is to wield power to control other people. As a result, policing attracts people who are good at controlling others or may have a craving for that kind of power—and then trains them to use their power better. Control is also the main driver of domestic violence. Is it a surprise then that so many cops are violent at home?

Support the Ms. Magazine Prison and Domestic Violence Shelter Program today and show women fleeing domestic violence that they’re not alone.

Susanna Hope (a pseudonym for security and privacy reasons) is a Canadian professional writer who was married for over 20 years to a police officer. She has two sons and two grandchildren.

Alex Roslin is an award-winning Canadian journalist who was president of the board of the Canadian Centre for Investigative Reporting. His investigative and writing awards include three Canadian Association of Journalists prizes for investigative reporting, a gold prize in the National Magazine Awards and nine nominations for CAJ awards and NMAs.

1 Comment