End Child Sexual Abuse

SECRETS — Patricia J Grace

In Child Abuse on September 13, 2018 at 5:29 pm

How a caretaker reacts and deals with a child who has been sexually abused has the potential to cause much more destruction than the abuse. In my case that caretaker was my mother. She quieted me by using my own shame. From the very first touch sexually by a trusted brother that I loved wholly […]

via SECRETS — Patricia J Grace

Rape arrest in Caddo conflicts with Bienville Parish grand jury’s no true bill in New Bethany case nine months earlier

In Child Abuse on October 12, 2015 at 10:11 am

In January 2015, District Attorney of Bienville Parish, Arcadia, Louisiana, wrote that the Grand Jury convened in December 2014, in regards to charges against Rev. Mack W. Ford and after receiving information on the statutes of limitations (prescription in LA), returned a no true bill. The grand jury did not indict Mack W. Ford because District Attorney Jonathan M. Stewart and Assistant District Attorney Tammy Jump gave the grand jury laws that had not been in effect for 10 years.

Jonathan M. Stewart’s Own Words

BUT DISTRICT attorney Danny Newell wrote:

LA SOL applies to ages 18-48

Letter from District Attorney Newell, who replaced Jonathan M. Stewart. ‘Ages 18-48 can report Child Sexual Abuse occurring prior to age 18. Forcible and Aggravated Rape have no statute limiting prosecution.’

On Ocober 10, 2015, Tom Aswell of the Louisiana Voice wrote:

Roy Leon Robertson was booked into the Caddo Correctional Center on Monday, October 5 and charged with aggravated rape, according to the TV report.

He is accused of raping a girl under the age of 13 in the ‘70s, but the rape was not reported to Caddo authorities until 2014 when he came under investigation for similar offenses in Winn Parish.

The parallels in the Robertson and Ford cases are unmistakable. Both were accused of raping juveniles in the ‘70s even though in each case, the offenses were not formally reported until 2014, and the reported offenses occurred in the same general area of the state.

Yet, while one such report resulted in an immediate arrest, the other was dismissed because of what the local D.A said was an expired statute of limitation.

But let’s hear what a Caddo official had to say about that:

“There is no prescription for aggravated rape,” according to investigator Jared Marshall. A victim may come forward at any time. “Normally it’s called the statue (sic) of limitations, but in Louisiana it’s called a prescription,” the TV station quoted Marshall as saying.

What must happen to force Bienville Parish to prosecute Child Sexual Abuse?

What should happen to Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bienville Parish District Attorney’s office, and the Louisiana State Police over the New Bethany debacle?

Source: Rape arrest in Caddo conflicts with Bienville Parish grand jury’s no true bill in New Bethany case nine months earlier

The Long Road to New Bethany and Back

In Child Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on September 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm

  • The Long Road to New Bethany and Back

By Rebecca Catalanello | Photos and Video by Kathleen Flynn


The above expose’ is the most amazing piece of journalism I’ve read about child sexual abuse when no one has been charged with a crime. The reporters followed us around for days and went with us to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office.  BPSO refused to take Jennifer’s statement because Sheriff Ballance was mad as an old wet hen. He knew the reporters caught his actions and Ballance gave them an interview.

  • At the Gates


Jennifer Halter remembers seeing her mother wipe her eyes as she steered the car.

“What’s wrong, Mom?” asked Halter, then 14.

“Nothing,” said her mom.

The road to the small town seemed to stretch forever.

  • Together in Room 723


On a Wednesday night last December, five women gathered in Room 723 of the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport.

  • Are you ready?


The first time it happened, Halter says, she had asked to go to the bathroom.

  • We need to report a rape


Fifty miles east of Shreveport, wind whipped through the nearly empty parking lot outside the Arcadia courthouse. Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s.

  • Videos


You are not alone | Speaking with the survivors of New Bethany

  1. More than a decade after the closing of New Bethany Home for Girls, women are coming forward with tales of physical and emotional mistreatment, and sexual abuse.
  2. Reporters approach New Bethany founder Mack Ford.
  3. Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance remembers a runaway from New Bethany.
  4. Former New Bethany resident Teresa Frye brings abuse allegations to light.
  •  Heaven or Hell? Thirty years of turmoil at New Bethany


In late December of 1991, a 20-year-old woman [ Shannon Mary Scott Sims ] sat down in a room with a cassette recorder and two other women more than twice her age.

Tell us everything that happened, one of the older women [ Nora Carter Shepherd ] said. Then she pressed a button to record.

Shannon [Mary] Scott [Sims] says she did as she was told. In five years living at New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., that was one thing she knew to do.

  • The lost girls


For three decades starting in the early 1970s, New Bethany took girls no one wanted. It was the outreach ministry of Mack Ford, a high school dropout who worked for a time as a tire repairman before he said he heard God’s call to preach.

  • I will be back


Tara Cummings had just turned 12 when she arrived at New Bethany in 1982 after law enforcement was notified that her adoptive father, a minister, had severely beaten her, records show.

  • New allegations of abuse


Because Scott  [ Shannon Mary Scott Sims ] won’t talk about the details of that taped interview in 1991, it’s not clear what New Bethany leaders knew or suspected when they closed the home, albeit temporarily.

  • Standards of abuse


Shannon Scott says the other person who was in the room at the time she gave her report was Nora Carter. She’s 72 now, goes by Nora Carter Shepherd, lives in Indiana and said she can’t figure out why women who were residents at New Bethany can’t stop dwelling on what happened to them there.

  • Key Events in the History of New Bethany


1971 – New Bethany Home for Girls is founded in Arcadia, La., by Mack Ford, a preacher with the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church denomination.

Through 2014 – January: A fourth woman in Massilon, Ohio, confirms making a report to her local law enforcement claiming sexual abuse by Mack Ford.

  • Breaking open the gates


Teresa Frye knows that what she is about to say could make some people angry but she needs to say it anyway. “It’s wrong,” the 46-year-old says in her North Carolina twang, “for me to say that it’s perfectly acceptable for an adult survivor of sexual abuse to stay silent about what happened to them.”

  • The Runaway


The girl rose from the ditch like an animal in headlights.

In 32 years, Ralph and Elizabeth Jordan haven’t forgotten the sight.

“We just saw a kid,” Elizabeth Jordan remembers. “I thought if she was desperate enough to come out of the ditch, something was wrong.”

  •  Escape Attempt


Rebecca Silva was 14 that August night she decided to run. She had been at New Bethany about a year.

  •  About this story


Reporter Rebecca Catalanello and photojournalist Kathleen Flynn, both of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, spent Dec. 4 to 7, 2013, in Shreveport with Halter and several other women as they set out for the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, where Halter made her report, and later, to New Bethany Home for Girls.

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