Two Arrested For Child Abuse in Wakulla County

By: WCSO Release
By: WCSO Release

Wakulla County, Florida - Feb. 29, 2012 -

Johhny Ross and Dustin Raker, both from Crawfordville, have been charged with felony counts of aggravated child abuse.

Deputies say Dustin Raker is accused of hitting a child in the head with a sneaker, and placing his hands around the child's mouth and neck. A teacher from the Wakulla County Schools noticed the bruising and called DCF.

DCF encourages anyone who suspects abuse to report it.

"There are a group of people who have to give their name and title and information whereas other people can call in anonymously," said Erin Gillepsie of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Wakulla School District Superintendent David Miller said, "We care deeply about our students and their welfare. Anytime we suspect abuse or neglect we will follow the law and aggressively pursue the reporting process. The safety of our children is our number one priority."

In a separate case, Johnny Ross was arrested after a child's mother notified deputies that her child had bruises on their legs and buttocks.

DCF said in 2011, they averaged 15,146 child protective investigations per month statewide. Wakulla County averaged 27 investigations and Leon County averaged 185..

Therapists say abuse is often a chain reaction. People who were abused or neglected as children often do the same to their own children when they become parents. Dr. Cheryl Rainey said a parent needs to acknowledge they have a problem.

"It's very advisable to seek care. Seek counseling and seek help. And there are resources for that," said Dr. Cheryl Rainey.

For people in need of financial assistance with counseling, Dr. Rainey suggests people contact their churches, DCF, and other organizations that may offer free or reduced counseling.


Wakulla County, Florida - Feb. 29, 2012 -

Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested two Wakulla County men in connection with February aggravated child abuse cases, according to Sheriff Donnie Crum.

The male suspects, ages 29 and 27 from Crawfordville, were arrested and transported to the Wakulla County Jail at the conclusion of their separate investigations. The two men have since posted $10,000 bonds and been released from jail.

The first case involved a six-year-old male child. The victim’s mother noticed marks and bruising on his legs from his buttocks to his knees as she was picking him up from the suspect.

She contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families Child Protection Team. During the medical examination, the doctor discovered multiple bruises, impact marks, small puncture wounds and lacerations to the child’s legs. The marks on the child were consistent with three items being used to inflict the abuse including a belt and an electrical cord.

“DCF removed the child from the suspect’s home and he was arrested for aggravated child abuse,” according to Undersheriff Maurice Langston.

The second case involved a five year old female child. The Florida Department of Children and Families was contacted after a school administrator discovered bruising on the child’s head. A medical examination was performed and the doctor determined that the child had been struck in the head area and abrasions that were observed were consistent with partial strangulation.

As the investigation unfolded, medical personnel determined that the child’s father struck her in the face with a shoe, which caused her to fall, and put one of his hands on her neck and the other on her mouth and nose so the child could not breathe.

“There are methods in which to discipline your child,” said Sheriff Crum. “But this is not how to do it.” Detective Erika Buckley, Detective Josh Langston, Lt. Mike Kemp and Deputy Lorne Whaley investigated the cases.

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