Child Abuse

Navarre man allegedly kissed, groped child

Navarre man allegedly kissed, groped child

Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Navarre man Nov. 11 for allegedly kissing and groping a minor. Oscar Camacho, 62, is charged with misdemeanor battery and felony child abuse in connection with the incident. According to the arrest report, the victim was crying and appeared scared and distraught when giving her statement. She told […]

Navarre couple arrested for beating 23-month-old

Navarre couple arrested for beating 23-month-old

A 23-month-old suffered lacerations to the face and a ruptured eyeball, requiring surgery, after the mother’s live-in-boyfriend allegedly struck the child in the face in Navarre April 6. Ezell Dwayne Allen, 20, was arrested Aug. 5 and charged with first degree felony aggravated child abuse in connection with the incident. The mother, Dominique Spears, is […]

Juveniles injured in drug deal gone bad

Juveniles injured in drug deal gone bad

Several juveniles, ranging in age from 12 -17, were injured when their plan to steal drugs from drug dealers went wrong, and they ended up being taken to the hospital. According to a press release by the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, the youths planned the drug robbery over the popular social media app, Snapchat. The […]

‘Filthy’ home leads to Milton child neglect arrest

‘Filthy’ home leads to Milton child neglect arrest

A Milton woman was arrested for child neglect after deputies found her children living in filthy, roach-infested conditions. Jessica Nicole Stevenson, 33, was arrested April 18 on charges of child neglect for allegedly allowing her children to live in “extremely filthy” conditions and failing to provide clean clothes and food. One of the children’s teachers […]

Child hospitalized in Milton abuse case

Child hospitalized in Milton abuse case

Santa Rosa sheriff’s deputies arrested Milton resident Benjamin Donahue, 29, March 1 after a 9-year-old was hospitalized after being beaten with a bamboo stick. According to a Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, deputies were called to the Creative Learning Academy in Pensacola after school staff observed bruises on the child. Read the full […]

Gulf Breeze man accused of serial sexual abuse

Gulf Breeze man accused of serial sexual abuse

Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a sex offender living in Gulf Breeze after multiple victims that had been in his custody as children accused him of sexual abuse. Thomas Lawlis, 55, was previously registered as a sex offender. According to the arrest report, Lawlis had been convicted of sexual battery in 1998 in Escambia […]

Governor suspends Northwest Florida school superintendent

Governor suspends Northwest Florida school superintendent

Tallahassee – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is suspending a school superintendent from office after being urged to so by the state’s new education commissioner. DeSantis removed Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson from office Friday and replaced Jackson with Marcus Chambers, an assistant superintendent with the northwest Florida school district. The Republican governor said […]

Fall festivities support Kids’ House

Fall festivities support Kids’ House

The classic rock band the Eagles lit up the Imogene Theatre Friday night, sort of. Films of the band’s live performances were the focal point of Legends in the Fall, a fundraiser dedicated to the Santa Rosa Kids’ House. Read the full article in the Nov. 8 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

10 Things to Know for Tuesday

10 Things to Know for Tuesday

1. PEDESTRIANS INJURED IN CRASH OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT IN LONDON A car slammed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament, injuring a number of pedestrians. London’s Metropolitan Police say that they are treating it as a terrorist incident. 2. ‘BLUE WAVE’ TO BE TESTED IN KEY MIDWESTERN PRIMARIES Democrats are fighting to beat back Republican […]

10 Things to Know for Tuesday

10 Things to Know for Tuesday

1. WHAT EXPERTS ARE SAYING ABOUT CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES The record-breaking fires may become the new normal as climate change coupled with the expansion of homes into undeveloped areas creates more intense and devastating blazes. 2. INDONESIA SURVIVOR SAYS MANY BURIED IN MOSQUE A man who narrowly escaped from the Jabal Nur mosque that collapsed during […]

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month, and FamiliesFirst Network (FFN) of Lakeview Center wants the community to know how they can help keep children safe from harm. Last year, the Florida Abuse hotline referred 11,000 calls from the four-county area to the Department of Children and Families for investigation to determine if children could […]

Man exposes genitals to child in Walmart

Man exposes genitals to child in Walmart

A Colorado man was arrested Wednesday morning in the Gulf Breeze Walmart after he allegedly exposed his genitals to an 8-year-old girl. Jonathan Obrien was seen on surveillance footage following the girl through the store according to a Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office report. He appeared to be touching his genitals at the time. He […]

Man faces 30 years for shaking infant

Man faces 30 years for shaking infant

Santa Rosa County jurors found a Milton man guilty Wednesday of shaking an infant to the point of permanent damage to the child’s brain and eyes. Wilky Pierre Toussiant, age 36, was found guilty of aggravated child abuse in connection with a July 17, 2015 incident. Toussaint immigrated to the United States from Haiti in […]

Reunification improves children’s lives

Reunification improves children’s lives

There are children who have been beaten by their caregivers so badly they were hospitalized. There are children younger than 7-years-old that have been left unsupervised while mom or dad went on a party binge. There are children who live in constant fear or uncertainty. While these children need out, to find a safe place […]

Child abuse trauma leaves lifelong scars inside

Child abuse trauma leaves lifelong scars inside

Steven, a teen from Walla Walla, Washington, did what so many other teens do: He smoked weed and took an array of other drugs. He was put on probation for criminal offenses and, at the age of 17, he nearly killed himself from an overdose. This article is part of a series focused on National […]

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is a month dedicated to vulnerable children. It is National Autism Awareness Month, and it is also the Month of the Military Child. But April is special for the hundreds of children suffering from abuse and neglect right here in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. This article is part of a series this April […]

A child cries out

A child cries out

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month Somewhere today, as you read this, a child is crying and desperately begging a parent or other family member to stop the beating. Cowered down in a protective fetal position crying and begging. Slaps to the head and face, hits to the arms or something worse, instilling a deep […]

Jones sentenced to 33 years

Jones sentenced to 33 years

Monica Nicole-Gonzalez Jones was sentenced by Circuit Judge Ross Goodman to a total of 33 years in state prison.  Twenty-eight years of that sentence must be served as a minimum mandatory sentence.  Jones will be required to serve 28 years day for day with no gain time. Judge Goodman also ordered Jones to pay a […]

Man charged with sexual abuse of minor

Man charged with sexual abuse of minor

A Navarre man was arrested Wednesday, Sept. 21, after allegedly sexually abusing a child under the age of twelve. Jimmy Ressler, 40, has been charged with two counts of felony sexual assault on a victim younger than 12 years of age and first degree felony lewd and lascivious molestation of a child younger than 12 years old. Both […]

Local child advocate recognized for excellence

Local child advocate recognized for excellence

Navarre volunteer child advocate Heather Pohlman received the Guardian Ad Litem Volunteer of the Year award for going “above and beyond” in representing and advocating for children in abuse and neglect dependency cases in South Santa Rosa County. Guardian Ad Litem, a state agency, services 250 children in Santa Rosa County, Child Advocate Manager II […]

Five Things to Know in Florida for June 9

Five Things to Know in Florida for June 9

POLICE: HUMAN REMAINS IN GATOR’S STOMACH Lakeland police spokesman Gary Gross said Wednesday that the remains found inside the alligator during a necropsy matched the body found in its mouth Tuesday. Gross says detectives still don’t know if the unidentified man drowned or was killed by the gator. His body was decomposed, indicating he had […]

Domestic dispute ends in man’s arrest

Domestic dispute ends in man’s arrest

A Navarre man arrested in a domestic violence altercation Saturday, May 28 faces felony charges of third-degree battery, battery with a deadly weapon, child abuse and misdemeanor animal torment. John Spencer, 47, of Sound Haven Court is accused of striking his live-in fiancé with his cellphone and getting into a physical altercation in which Spencer […]

Five Things to Know in Florida for June 1

Five Things to Know in Florida for June 1

PROSECUTORS: REVOKE RELEASE OF MOM WHO DROVE KIDS INTO OCEAN Ebony Wilkerson was found not guilty of child abuse by reason of insanity, and has been receiving mental health treatment at a facility in Lake Wales. The motion filed Tuesday by the State’s Attorney’s office says the request for jail was triggered by an episode […]

Five Things to Know in Florida for April 20

Five Things to Know in Florida for April 20

SLAIN FLORIDA PRIEST WORKED WITH PEOPLE WHO WERE ‘DANGEROUS’ The Rev. Rene Wayne Robert is believed to have been helping a troubled Jacksonville man recently released from jail when he was killed, authorities say. They believe the suspect kidnapped the priest, took him to Georgia in his own car and killed him there, but the […]

Our children, our future

Our children, our future

There are more than 500 children in our county waiting to be adopted.  One in every 18 children in our county is or will be abused.  There are more than 550 homeless children in our school district.  43 percent of all adults are functionally illiterate.  The list could go on. We as a county are […]

Kids’ House generating more awareness of child abuse

Kids’ House generating more awareness of child abuse

The statistics are alarming in regard to child abuse, both nationally and in Santa Rosa County. One in three girls and one in three boys will be abused by the time they are 18. In the county, one in 19 children will be abused by the time they are 18. Keith Ann Campbell, the executive […]