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Old 01-12-2006, 08:05 PM
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Default Nixzmary Brown

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Girl, 7, killed in N.Y. apartment

Evidence she was bound; stepfather, mother charged




Police seized a chair with rope tied to it
from the girl's apartment as part
of evidence collection

NEW YORK (AP) -- A 7-year-old girl found dead in an apartment she shared with five siblings was apparently bound and held captive before her stepfather killed her with a vicious blow to the head, authorities said Wednesday.

The girl's stepfather was charged with murder and sexual abuse, and her mother was charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment, police said.

A law enforcement official said there was evidence the girl, Nixzmary Brown, had been held captive in a room where she was bound by her ankles to a chair. (Watch police remove the chair, rope and soiled clothes -- 1:41)

Nixzmary died amid an investigation by the Administration for Children's Services into reports of abuse in the home. The case followed recent reports about troubling holes in the city's safety net for abused children.

The death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy found the child died from a brain hemorrhage caused by blunt impact to the head, said medical examiner's office spokeswoman Ellen Borakove.

Names of the mother and stepfather, who is believed to be the father of at least two of the other children, were not immediately made public.

The mother told authorities she found the girl unconscious in the Brooklyn apartment early Wednesday and called 911. The child was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical technicians.

The five other children, ages 6 months to 9 years, were removed from the home for examination at an area hospital.

Caseworkers already were investigating an allegation of abuse against the girl reported on December 1. Another allegation from earlier last year proved unfounded, the agency said.

ACS Commissioner John Mattingly said in a statement he was "deeply disturbed" by the death. He and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was reviewing how it investigates claims of child abuse.

Last month the agency released reports criticizing its handling of the cases of two children who ended up dead. Both cases involved children who had been removed from their homes following allegations of abuse but were allowed to return.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/12/chi....ap/index.html
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:10 PM
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Gloria Herrera, a cousin of Nixzaliz Santiago (the mother of the 7-year-old Nixzmary) lights up a candle Thursday at a makeshift memorial in front of the house on Greene Ave in Brooklyn where the 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown died and the stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez and the mother Nixzaliz Santiago were both charged with second-degree murder.(Newsday Photo/ Viorel Forescu)Jan. 12, 2006



Detectives transport Nixzaliz Santiago, 27, the mother of a 7-year-old girl found dead inside a second floor apartment earlier today, from the 79th Precinct to Brooklyn Central Booking. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.(Photo by Charles Eckert)Jan. 12, 2006
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:11 PM
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Detectives transport Cesar Rodriguez, 27, the stepfather of a 7-year-old girl found dead inside a second floor apartment earlier today, from the 79th Precinct to Brooklyn Central Booking. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.(Photo by Charles Eckert)Jan. 12, 2006



Detectives transport Cesar Rodriguez, 27, the stepfather of a 7-year-old girl found dead inside a second floor apartment earlier today, from the 79th Precinct to Brooklyn Central Booking. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.(Photo by Charles Eckert)Jan. 12, 2006
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:13 PM
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A crime scene detective is seen carrying a chair into the 79th Precinct in Brooklyn, Wednesday. Nixzmary Brown, a 7 year old girl who was allegedly killed by her parents, was allegedly tied to this chair.
(Newsday Photo/ Robert Mecea)Jan. 11, 2006

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Old 01-12-2006, 08:24 PM
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Default

Painfully obvious
little girl was abused



Nixzmary Brown's secret torment should have been obvious.

Her forehead was bruised. Her eye had been blackened. She wore bulky coats even when it wasn't cold.

And the 7-year-old was frighteningly thin for her age and height, weighing merely 36 pounds, making her ribs clearly visible.

But she never shouted out for help because she was terrified of her stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, 27.

"She would say, 'He threatened to kill me and mom and everyone,'" said Perry Robinson, who is a close relative of one of Nixzmary's playmates. "She was so petrified."

Robinson, 49, a retired paralegal, said he noticed the bruises on the spirited girl many times. But he never called the cops.

"I saw her with welts on her arms, limping," he said. "She would tell me she fell."

Nixzmary's classmates at Public School 256 also said they remember seeing her bruises. So did her neighbors.

But no one looked close enough to discover that the girl, who was absent from school for weeks at a time, was being held prisoner in her own home, beaten and often bound to a chair.

"It's so painful, imagining her tied to that chair, wondering what she did wrong, taking the abuse," said Anna Santiago, a 42-year-old mother of four who lives on the same block in Bedford-Stuyvesant as Nixzmary's family.

"From my point of view, whoever did this, he's an animal," she said.

Officials at PS 256 called city child-welfare authorities in May when Nixzmary missed several days of school without explanation.

But the Administration for Children's Services closed the case after finding no abuse, sources said.

The second-grader was out of school again most of November, and when she showed up on the first day of December she had a bruise on her forehead, sources said.

The school called the ACS a second time. A case was opened Dec. 1, but nothing was immediately done.

In all, Nixzmary missed more than a month of school.

"How a kid can be absent 35 days ... and weigh 36 pounds and not trigger faster action?" an investigator said increduously.

Neighbor Elba Kelly, 54, said she had offered to help Nixzmary's 27-year-old mom, Nixzaliz Santiago, care for her six children, including the battered girl.

Santiago and Rodriguez had two children together and each of them had two children from previous relationships.

Kelly said attempts to help the family were always rebuffed.

"She was a loner, all to herself and her kids," Kelly said.

"She said her husband worked nights and she had to take the kids all day because he was sleeping. "I told her if she need help to call me," Kelly said. "But she said, 'No.'"

Originally published on January 11, 2006
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:35 PM
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Default January 12, 2006

Brooklyn child's horrific death hastens review of NYC abuse cases


NEW YORK -- The outside world knew Nixzmary Brown was a little girl in peril.

Her school saw the warning signs. So did neighbors. Even child welfare workers had been alerted _ twice.




But somehow no one could save the tiny 7-year-old from a fatal beating in a second-floor Brooklyn apartment where she had been tethered to a chair with twine. Her death _ the fourth homicide in recent months in families monitored by the city's Administration for Children's Services _ renewed concerns about the agency's ability to protect abused children.

As details of Nixzmary's torment emerged, beleaguered child welfare officials admitted the system had failed her, and they launched an immediate review of thousands of cases citywide to be sure no other children were in danger.

ACS Commissioner John Mattingly said at a news conference that in recent weeks Nixzmary's family was uncooperative, ignoring repeated phone calls from caseworkers and turning them away at the door. He said the agency should have obtained a court order to enter the home.

"We were in a position to have kept this from happening, and that did not happen," Mattingly said.

The girl's stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, accused of binding, beating and molesting her, was arraigned on Thursday on charges of second-degree murder, sex abuse and child endangerment. Her mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, was arraigned on second-degree manslaughter and child endangerment charges. Both were held without bail. Telephone calls to their defense attorneys were not immediately returned.

The girl was "tortured," prosecutor Ama Dwimoh told reporters outside court.

"She was beaten repeatedly," Dwimoh said. "She was bound like an animal."

The abuse death follows that of three other children known to the agency: a 7-year-old who died in October after her father allegedly kneed her in the stomach and beat her with a belt over two days; a 16-month-old who drowned in November in a bathtub while his mother listened to CDs in another room; and a 1-year-old allegedly beaten to death in December by his mother.

Staffers at Public School 256 apparently sounded the first alarm about Nixzmary last year by reporting that she had been absent for weeks. Caseworkers spoke to the stepfather, the mother and the child and found no conclusive evidence of abuse, authorities said.

On Dec. 1, 2005, there was another report from someone claiming to have seen the girl with a swollen eye. A doctor concluded the injury was consistent with an explanation that she had fallen, but the agency kept the case open and kept trying to contact the parents.

Neighbors of the home where Nixzmary lived with five siblings said they also noticed unexplained injuries and said the child appeared malnourished and small for her age.

On Wednesday, the mother told authorities she found the girl unconscious in their home in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section at about 4 a.m. and called 911. The child was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical technicians; an autopsy found that she had died from a vicious blow to the head.

Investigators said there was evidence the girl had been held captive _ bound by her ankles to a chair. They suspect the stepfather delivered a fatal blow to the child's head while dunking her in a bathtub as punishment, police said.

Under questioning, the stepfather tried to portray the girl as a problem child, police said.

The five other children, ages 6 months to 9 years, have been placed in the custody of the child welfare agency. All appeared healthy.

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/...gion-apnewyork
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:46 PM
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Default Thu Jan 12

TORMENT OF B'KLYN GIRL, 7, WHO WAS ABANDONED TO DIE BY A CLUELESS CITY

A bright and talented 7-year-old girl was beaten to death yesterday in her Brooklyn apartment - where she was often tied to a wooden chair - even though child-welfare agents were already probing allegations of abuse, authorities said yesterday.

Nixzmary Brown was unconscious and unresponsive when she was found by her mother yesterday morning in their Bedford-Stuyvesant home.

Police said the tiny girl was found face up on the floor and had multiple bruises and injuries that were "in various stages of healing."

A police source said Nixzmary had bruises on her wrists and ankles, apparently from being tied to the chair with a cord.

"When all the facts come out on this, it's going to be as bad as Lisa Steinberg," said a detective, referring to the infamous 1987 case of a 6-year-old girl beaten to death by her adoptive father, Joel Steinberg.

After discovering her daughter on the floor, Nixzmary's mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, 27, sought help from a neighbor before she called 911.

Nixzmary was pronounced dead at the scene, and the case was declared a homicide when an autopsy revealed the emaciated girl died from blunt-force trauma to the head with brain hemorrhaging.

Cops questioned Santiago and her husband, Cesar Rodriguez, 27, amid allegations from neighbors that he abused Nixzmary mercilessly and threatened that she "would not see her 8th birthday."

Rodriguez was later charged with second-degree murder, sex abuse, endangering the welfare of a minor and criminal possession of a weapon. Police said Rodriguez took a nap at the 79th Precinct station house after he was grilled by cops.

Santiago was charged with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Nixzmary's death is the third child homicide in two months involving a home under investigation by the city's Administration for Children's Services.

Eight people lived in the second-floor apartment where the girl was found, a police source said.

Cops emerged from the apartment with a computer, compact discs, the box from a Sony video camera, a DVD player and the little school chair with rope hanging from it.

Police also removed a bag of evidence from the apartment labeled "cat litter box" and "victim's urine and feces."

Five other children who lived with Santiago and Rodriguez at 571 Greene Ave. were and placed in the custody of ACS. Authorities did not say if the couple's other children, ages 6 months to 9 years old, had been abused.

"She was petrified of him," said neighbor Perry Robinson, 49, whose niece played with Nixzmary.

Robinson said the girl began confiding in him her tales of abuse, and was in constant fear of retribution.

"You're not my goddamned child! You're not my real daughter," Robinson quoted Rodriguez as having said. "The girl was bright and likable. Then all of a sudden she began to be withdrawn."

Robinson said he noticed something wrong with the girl's arm last summer. She said she slept on it wrong - and when Robinson suggested going to a hospital, Rodriguez acted very belligerently.

"There's nothing wrong with her. She doesn't have to go to a hospital," he told the neighbor.

A few weeks ago, Robinson noticed the girl was limping.

"My stepfather did it. He said if I told anyone he would kill me and my mother," he said the little girl told him. Robinson said he wanted to intervene but "she begged me not to because she didn't want another beating."

Officials said Rodriguez, who has a prior arrest record for assault and worked as a Manhattan security guard befiore he was layed off last month, was the father of Santiago's two youngest children.

ACS Commissioner John Mattingly promised a full-scale child safety review that would include a reopening of all Brooklyn child abuse cases.

Caseworkers launched two investigations at the Rodriguez home last year, the first in May after a report that the children were malnourished. That complaint was found to be unsubstantiated, even though Nixzmary weighed less than a typical 7-year-old - at just 35 pounds.

The agency launched a second investigation Dec. 1 into an abuse report after the girl was taken to a hospital with a laceration over her eye that needed stitches to close.

"While members of Children's Services staff were in the middle of investigating a report of abuse involving her family, which we received on Dec. 1st, the fact of the matter is that this little girl is no longer with us," Mattingly said.

Officials at the girl's elementary school, PS 256, made at least two reports to ACS about Nixzmary's injuries, authorities said.

The first report was filed in May, after Nixzmary missed 45 days of the 180-day school year. The second report was made in December after the eye injury.

Outrage over the death extended to City Hall, where Mayor Bloomberg called the little girl's murder "a great tragedy."

"A 7-year-old is dead," he said. "ACS was called. Somebody alerted them. They tried to do an investigation - obviously not fast enough - and [John] Mattingly is looking at it."

Rodriguez's sister, Iris, said Nixzmary seemed fine when she saw her six months ago.

"The last thing she told me was she wanted to come with me to Puerto Rico," Iris, 24, said. "I said I would take her in the summer."

"Now I feel guilty. I wish I would have known something was going on," the sister said.

But she said she never saw mistreatment of any of the children and still had a hard time believing her brother could be guilty.

"He loved those kids like his own," she said. "He's like God to these kids."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nypost/20060112/lo_nypost/tormentofbklyngirl7whowasabandonedtodiebyaclueless city
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:51 PM
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CHILD WELFARE WILL REOPEN ALL CASES


January 12, 2006 -- The city's child welfare agency vowed yesterday to reopen every abuse case in Brooklyn in the wake of the Nixzmary Brown tragedy and other recent cases of children killed despite the city's intervention.

Nixzmary, 7, joins 16-month-old Dahquay Williams and 7-year-old Sierra Roberts as sad symbols of what can happen despite reports to the Administration for Children's Services of abusive parents or guardians.

ACS Commissioner John Mattingly said he had announced a "full-scale child safety review" that would "look very carefully at all safety assessments, case practice, supervision and how our staff is handling critical issues in families, such as substance abuse and domestic violence."

"The Brooklyn field offices will review all of their Brooklyn cases to see if the children involved are safe," ACS spokeswoman Tanya Valle-Batista told The Post.

In response to the Brown murder, Mayor Bloomberg said, "Overall, ACS does a very good job, but any tragedy . . . is one too many."

An ACS internal investigation last month showed that a senior manager at the agency falsified records to cover up the agency's negligence in the case of Williams.

Williams suffered severe burns and drowned after his mother left him unattended in a bathtub.

Roberts died from internal injuries when she was allegedly kneed in the stomach by her recovering-drug-addict father.

Another tragic case came up yesterday when 2-month-old Michael Anthony Segarra was found dead in his crib at 2 p.m. — while his mother slept in their Brownsville apartment.

A friend who found the stiff, purple baby, said she had to slap the tot's mother to wake her up.

Police sources said his mom, Melisa Segarra, has an open ACS case file, but it was unclear if it was regarding the baby or her 8-year-old son.

The medical examiner's office will perform an autopsy. No arrests have been made.

http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/60258.htm
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Old 01-13-2006, 06:39 PM
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Default January 13, 2006

Parents,Social Workers Say ACS To Blame For Little Girl's Death


Parents of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown's heartbroken classmates Thursday blasted city child-welfare workers for not rescuing the little girl from the serial torture that killed her — and came to the defense of school officials who suspected the abuse.

The city Department of Education claimed school workers reported suspected abuse twice to the state Office of Children and Family Services, as required by state law, and once directly to ACS within the last eight months. School officials also made visits to Nixzmary's home to address her absences, but either found no one there or were denied entry, the department said.

A social worker at Nixzmary Brown's school, P.S. 256 in Brooklyn, was so disturbed by the 7-year-old's injuries she relentlessly pleaded with child welfare workers to save the girl from her abusive parents, the Daily News reported.

Not only did the social worker, Margarita Cotto, report her suspicions to the city Administration for Children's Services last month, she made a dozen followup calls to the agency - and even went to the child's home, but was refused entry, sources said.

"These folks did the right thing,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “The social worker, the guidance counselor. You had a principal who was removed last year, so you have a new principal and you have a lot of stuff going on here, but even so. The guidance counselor was not designated as the mandated reporter this year, but of course they did the right thing, anyway."

Weingarten attended the school, as grievance councilors worked to consol students and staff.

The Administration for Children's services is trying to figure out how the little girl’s case still managed to slip through the cracks. The agency has admitted missteps in its handling of the tragic case and says it has launched a review both of her case and of all open cases.

ACS Commissioner John Mattingly says one time, case workers tried to enter the home, but Nixzmary's stepfather - the man charged with torturing, molesting and starving the girl before beating her to death - refused to let caseworkers inside.

Mattingly says on December 22nd, case workers considered getting a warrant, but never did.

"We do believe that that was the critical judgment,” said Mattingly. “That if we had gotten a warrant and gone in there was a chance we could have gotten the real story from family members. That then is the one thing we're sure of, is that was our key opportunity. People made judgments about whether it was an emergency or not. Those judgments turned out to be wrong."

The mayor echoed Mattingly’s statements, admitting the city’s responsibility for the failure to properly intervene in the case.

"We as a city have failed this child and we should do everything we can to make sure that we don't fail the next child," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Commissioner Mattingly says he'll examine whether case workers are overworked. Each case worker has an average of 12 to 15 cases, which is below the national average.

Meanwhile, a show of support for the little girl is growing outside the Brooklyn apartment building where she lived and died. Shocked and saddened neighbors have set up a memorial in front of her home to remember the young girl.

"If I would've been able to see my little cousin or even at least know where she lived at, she would've been alive,” said Nixzmary’s cousin Carolina Villanueva. “She would've still been living, breathing with us."

"I just live across the street and I love kids and I'm just helping out over here. Just taking a couple minutes out of my time and helping out over here," said neighbor Angel Rodriguez.

Nixzmary's mother and stepfather are due back in court next week. Nixmary's mother is currently on suicide watch at Rikers' Island.

Investigators say Nixzmary was malnourished and often tied to a chair and beaten. They say she died from a brain hemorrhage triggered by a blow to the head. Prosecutors say her parents were enraged that she was eating yogurt that her other brothers and sisters were eating and she was not allowed to have. </FONT>

Last edited by Royalpurple209 : 01-13-2006 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 01-13-2006, 08:25 PM
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Default Friday, January 13, 2006

Who's protecting N.Y.'s abused kids?

Beating death of child, 7, raises questions about agency


NEW YORK (AP) -- The outside world knew Nixzmary Brown was a little girl in peril.

Her school saw the warning signs. So did neighbors. Even child welfare workers had been alerted -- twice.

This week, the 7-year-old was beaten to death in a Brooklyn apartment where she had been tethered to a chair with twine.

It was the fourth homicide in recent months involving a family monitored by the city's Administration for Children's Services, renewing concerns about the agency's ability to protect abused children.

As details of Nixzmary's torment emerged, child welfare officials admitted the system had failed her. They launched an immediate review of thousands of other cases citywide.

Officials: System failed

ACS Commissioner John Mattingly said, in Nixzmary's case, the family was uncooperative, ignoring repeated phone calls from caseworkers and turning them away at the door. He said the agency should have obtained a court order to enter the home.

"We were in a position to have kept this from happening, and that did not happen," Mattingly said.

The girl's stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, accused of binding, beating and molesting her, was arraigned Thursday on charges of second-degree murder, sex abuse and child endangerment. Her mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, was arraigned on second-degree manslaughter and child endangerment charges.

Both were held without bail. Telephone calls to their defense attorneys were not immediately returned.

The girl was "tortured," prosecutor Ama Dwimoh told reporters outside court.

DA: 'Bound like an animal'

"She was beaten repeatedly," Dwimoh said. "She was bound like an animal."

Nixzmary's death followed that of three other children known to the agency:

A 7-year-old died in October after her father allegedly kneed her in the stomach and beat her with a belt over two days.

An infant drowned in November in a bathtub while his mother listened to CDs in another room.

A 1-year-old was allegedly beaten to death in December by his mother.

School employees had sounded the alarm about Nixzmary last year by reporting that she had been absent for weeks. Caseworkers spoke to her stepfather, mother and the child and found no conclusive evidence of abuse, authorities said.

On December 1, there was another report from someone claiming to have seen the girl with a swollen eye. A doctor concluded the injury was consistent with an explanation that she had fallen, but the agency kept the case open and kept trying to contact the parents.

Neighbors noticed injuries

Neighbors said they also noticed unexplained injuries and said the child appeared malnourished and small for her age.

On Wednesday, her mother told authorities she found the girl unconscious around 4 a.m. and called 911. The child was dead at the scene; an autopsy found that she died from a vicious blow to the head.

Investigators said there was evidence the girl had been bound by her ankles to a chair. They suspect the stepfather delivered a fatal blow to the child's head while dunking her in a bathtub as punishment, police said.

Under questioning, the stepfather tried to portray the girl as a problem child, police said.

Five other children living in the apartment, ages 6 months to 9 years, have been placed in the custody of the child welfare agency.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/01/13/ch....ap/index.html
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:39 PM
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ASK DR. MANNY


Stopping Child Abuse


It is impossible to describe the blood-boiling anger I feel every time I read a horrific story about a child being a victim of abuse. Every day, everywhere, no matter what community, what race or social status, children continue to be the victims of adults who, without mercy, beat, torture, starve and kill these defenseless angels. Why? I do not know and I do not care for any explanations.

One of the most sadistic tales of child abuse has been the recent story of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown. Her stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez (read the NY Post article), beat her to death after she took some yogurt without permission. New York City officials say the girl's mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, did nothing to help or stop this abuse. What is even more shocking about this story is that the poor girl was ignored by everyone. According to reports, there were at least TWELVE opportunities where authorities could have intervened to save this girl’s life. Both parents had systematically beaten, tortured, tied up, bound, and deprived this 7-year-old of food. Twelve chances missed!

Did the system fail? No! It was not the system. People failed. The people who set up the system, who run the system, and who check the system should be held accountable. Child welfare workers say that the parents were not cooperating and were not responsive or receptive to their inquiries. C'mon! You call, they hang up on you. You knock on the door, and they slam it in your face. Is it just me, or shouldn’t that kind of consistently hostile behavior raise a red flag or two? Wouldn't a normal and responsible child welfare worker wonder if these people were hiding something? Did they talk to the neighbors? Since Nixzmary's death, some have come forward saying things were just not right in that household. Sooner or later somebody will come out with another excuse and say, "well, we have so many cases and not enough child welfare workers." Unacceptable!

I am sure there are many professionals who would like to explain to me and others why some parents behave this way. You know what? I DON'T CARE! I am tired of listening to the words: tolerance, understanding, accidents, and the ever famous phrase, ‘the system failed the child.”

Although there were many documented opportunities to do something, two specific events were quite alarming. First, the failure of a doctor, who examined the child with a cut and swollen eye back in December. Although a report of suspected child abuse already existed, the physician didn't bother to question her condition, to ask the child what happened, or question the mother's story. Second, was the failure of the caseworker not pushing to obtain the legal recourse necessary to visit the child after the father refused to open the door.

Miscalculations, mistakes, indifference, etc. America, our children need help! As I try to learn more, I contacted someone who knows a lot about child abuse. Colleen F. Kearney is one of the heads of the Pediatric Ambulatory Medical/Surgical Services at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital (Hackensack University Medical Center). The Audrey Hepburn Children's House is a department of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital.


DR. MANNY: Why do we see more and more child abuse?


MS. KEARNEY: National and state statistics over the last several years have really stayed somewhat consistent suggesting that there is no increase in child maltreatment. However, the awareness and perhaps the difficulties child protective agencies are having in appropriately managing cases of child maltreatment is more likely the reason why we feel there is an increase.

DR. MANNY: What signs do we need to look out for?

MS. KEARNEY: There are many signs of child maltreatment so it is difficult to just identify a few. The most important thing is to be open to the possibility of abuse. Considering abuse as a possible differential diagnosis and screening appropriately is essential to identification. Children present with injuries that aren't consistent with the history, when explored, will usually provide information that will help in determining how the injury occurred. Another sign: physical injuries present on areas of the body that are less likely caused accidentally, or may reflect an object. Sex abuse victims have their own physical and behavioral indicators. However, the most reliable indicator is the child's history of the abuse. Stress is the only common dominator in the perpetrator therefore anyone can be an abuser. Maltreatment knows no social, educational, or economic barriers.

DR. MANNY: How do we engage a child in talking about child abuse?

MS. KEARNEY: First, we provide an environment that is warm and kid-friendly. We let them know verbally and with our body language that they are not in trouble and that our job is to help children. We use developmentally appropriate protocols that are used in an objective manner that will elicit credible information. We are try to be honest with the children and are careful not to re-victimize them.

So how do we save our children? I can tell you one thing: we'd better stop looking for what went wrong and start focusing more on the victims. Or we'll hear more and more of... "Your Honor, my client pleads..."

Well, you know the rest.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181614,00.html
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:41 PM
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Angry

EVIL STEPDAD'S SADISTIC RAGE


January 13, 2006 -- He was a crazed monster and she was his pint-sized prey.


Whatever 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown did, it was inevitably wrong in the eyes of her brutish, 27-year-old stepfather.

There were six kids in their cramped Bed-Stuy apartment, and she was the one Cesar Rodriguez always targeted.

He told cops Nixzmary was wild and disobedient and he responded with violence, sources said. It happened all the time.

She was "the devil" and it was his job to discipline her — that's how he put it.

"There were arguments, lots of arguments. One was over her taking $100; one was over her taking yogurt," said a detective familiar with the case.

"It appears that this girl was the brunt of everything that goes wrong in his house," he said.



Rodriguez would allegedly beat her, throw her around in a back bedroom, bind her arms and legs to a small chair with flesh-biting white nylon rope. And then he'd allegedly tie the chair to a radiator so she couldn't move.

While the chair was a frequent torture implement for the child, it was apparently not involved in the attack that killed her.

Cops are also investigating whether Nixzmary was fed cat food and forced to use a litter box as a toilet. Feces found in the box are larger than a cat's but smaller than an adult's.

Rodriguez had disciplined his stepdaughter in the past, but he started doing it almost daily right before Christmas when he lost his job as a security guard, sources said.

On Wednesday, the day he punished her for the last time, he was furious because the starving youngster had taken a container of yogurt from the refrigerator, sources said. Her brothers and sister had been given some, but she hadn't.

When Nixzmary admitted she had taken the yogurt without permission, Rodriguez locked her in a room, the sources said.

Then his computer went down, and one of his stepsons pointed an accusing finger at Nixzmary.

That did it.

Rodriguez beat her with his hands and his belt, and then carried her into the bathroom and plunged her head into a tub full of cold water, the sources said.

Her head was smashed against the faucet or the tile wall.

It was the final blow.

Nixzmary was moaning as Rodriguez carried her battered, naked body from the bathroom to the back bedroom.

She continued moaning, crying, "Mommy, Mommy," and her mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, did nothing, officials said.

The crying and the moaning went on for two hours — and then it stopped.

The maltreated, malnourished 36-pound second-grader was dead.

Relatives of both Rodriguez and Santiago said the two deserve to be punished for the youngster's cruel death.

"If he did it, he should pay the price for it," said Santiago's father, Angel, 48. "He doesn't have the right to take anyone's life."

Santiago's aunt, Caridad Ramos, agreed.

"If she was aware of what was happening to her daughter, she should face the same punishment as her husband. How could she allow that to happen to my little niece?"

Santiago — who has been charged with manslaughter, while Rodriguez is accused of murder — sobbed as she recounted the nightmare yesterday to fellow prisoners in the Brooklyn court lockup.

"She said she was feeding her baby and that her husband was hurting the girl," said Nilba Class, who was being held on a drug-possession charge.

Santiago, 27, said that while she was nursing 6-month-old Cesar Jr., Rodriguez was thrashing Nixzmary in the bathroom.

"She heard the spanking sound. Then she heard the water running," said Class, 38.

Later, when she went to check, Santiago said, her daughter was unconscious and ice cold.

"She didn't want to believe her baby was dead," Class said.

She tried to give her water, but her daughter's body started shaking.

She tried to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but it did no good. So she had a neighbor call 911. When a newspaper with her daughter's picture found its way into her cell, Santiago gasped and buried her face in her hands, sources said.

http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/59194.htm
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:30 PM
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Default Originally published on January 20, 2006

Sicko dad blames angel

Nixzmary 'gave me so much trouble...I used all my force'




Monster stepdad Cesar Rodriguez blamed his helpless victim yesterday, saying 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown's impish behavior so enraged him he was forced to administer sadistic beatings.


In an outrageous jailhouse interview the day after she was buried, Rodriguez revealed the demented conversation he has with Nixzmary's spirit while he lays awake in his cell at night.

"I ask her why she had to put me through so much trouble," he told reporters, wringing the same hands he used to pummel the child and tie her to a chair in a locked room.

"And I tell her I'm sorry and that I love her."

Wearing a gray jumpsuit and speaking in a calm voice, Rodriguez denied molesting his stepdaughter and refused to say what he did to her the night she died of a blow to the head.

But in excruciating detail, he recounted - and pathetically tried to justify - the many beatings she suffered in the past four years.

He made little apology for the brutal punishment, instead venting his frustration that the second-grader didn't learn from her mistakes.

After each drubbing, he said, "I would hold her up to the mirror and make her look at herself and I would say, 'Do you really want to live like this? Look at yourself. Talk to yourself. How do you feel about yourself?'"

The little girl's death and life of torture in this house of horrors have touched the entire city and forced a shakeup of its child welfare agency.

Rodriguez, 27, and his wife, Nixzaliz Santiago, 27, are charged with second-degree murder. His defense is that his victim was "a handful."

"I don't want to say she deserved it, but ..." Rodriguez said, then reeled off a list of transgressions, most of which would hardly shock the parents of a rambunctious grade-schooler.

Nixzmary cut her sister's hair, took money and baby food, ruined toys, hit her siblings and messed with the cat.

One day she admitted she'd filched a propane lighter and after a long interrogation confessed she'd held it to her 6-month-old brother Gabriel's leg, her stepfather said.

Without a speck of irony, Rodriguez said he berated Nixzmary, "How could you do this to a helpless little child?"

Asked how he punished her, he said simply, "I beat her."

The scrawny ex-security guard said that when he attacked Nixzmary, he used a closed fist on her bony back and legs. "I probably used all my force," he conceded.

He admitted she was imprisoned like an animal. "I would have to lock her in the room at night to protect myself and the kids so I could sleep at night," he said.

And accusations she was tethered to a chair are true, he said. At first, he used twine, but after he saw it left marks on her arms he switched to duct tape.

"This is for your own good," he would tell her, then leave her in the chair for the night with only a pillow and blanket.

Nixzmary did use the cat-litter box as a toilet, but only because it was in the room where she was locked at night, he said.

"All she had to do was call me," he said.

Rodriguez insisted Nixzmary was such a destructive force he and Santiago considered sending her to live in Puerto Rico with her maternal grandmother.

"I just wanted it all to stop," he said.

But a caseworker from the Administration for Children's Services, which first investigated the family last summer, counseled the couple against it.

"Don't do it. You'll regret it. She's going to end up hating you," the caseworker said, according to Rodriguez.

He said he began entertaining fantasies of getting rid of Nixzmary - putting her in foster care or dumping her someplace.

"If I could do it all over again, I would pressure myself to take her to the precinct and just leave her there," he said.

Although he had beaten her for years, Rodriguez said his patience with Nixzmary finally ran out last month after he was fired from his job and money became tight.

"I felt like this," he said, wrapping his arms around his body. "Everything was just closing in."

Then came the night of Jan. 10, when Nixzmary pushed him over the edge, he said.

Her crimes? First she took a container of his yogurt. Then she admitted she had jammed junk into his computer printer.

Suddenly reticent, Rodriguez would not say exactly what happened next, though he did acknowledge beating Nixzmary one last time.

"It was a mistake," he said. "It was an accident. If I was to walk out onto the street and get shot and die, it would be an accident like that."

Despite his efforts to portray Nixzmary as some kind of demon child, he said he does feel bad about her death.

"I have a lot of guilt. I'm sorry about all that happened," he said. "I have a problem with my emotions. It builds up and I hold it all in. I emotionally just burst."

Sporting a small cut over his eye, he whined that correction officers had taunted him, egged on other inmates to attack him and showed him a copy of the Daily News featuring a photo of Nixzmary in her coffin.

"Are you happy now?" one officer asked. Cesar Rodriguez had no answer.

Last edited by Royalpurple209 : 01-21-2006 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:46 PM
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Default

Child's rescuer kept
thinking of dead girl


http://www.nydailynews.com/01-21-200...p-326330c.html

Cat gets better
care than angel


http://www.nydailynews.com/01-21-200...p-326338c.html

Real dad wants his kid

http://www.nydailynews.com/01-21-200...p-326302c.html

Voice of the People

http://www.nydailynews.com/01-21-200...p-326314c.html

Tears now, but where was family when she needed
them?

Missing in action on Nixzmary
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:00 PM
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Default Jan 18, 2006

Funeral Held For Nixzmary Brown

Priest:Nixzmary 'Beyond The Touch Of Evil'




CBS) BROOKLYN Mourners packed Saint Mary Church on Manhattan's Lower East Side this morning to say goodbye to Nixzmary Brown, the 7-year-old Brooklyn girl allegedly killed by her abusive stepfather. The crowd spilled onto the street outside, and police closed a two-block stretch of Grand Street.

A priest assured mourners that the tiny victim was now "beyond the touch of evil."

The sounds of weeping filled St. Mary Church on Manhattan's Lower East Side as the girl’s body lay inside a coffin draped with a white and red cloth before an altar still decorated with Christmas poinsettias.

"We have a reminder by the death of this child that the violence continues," said the Rev. Robert O'Neil, the church pastor. "She is a witness for us."

The church once served as a shelter for some of the children abandoned on city streets. It was packed to capacity, with the crowd spilling onto the street outside and police closing down a two-block stretch of Grand Street.

One of the dead girl's grandmothers was in attendance, along with an assortment of her relatives and classmates. Schools Chancellor Joe Klein, was in the crowd, as were many people who only learned about the little girl after her death.

Devorah Day, 48, stood with tears streaming down her face on the church steps after the service. "I was an abused child, too," she said in explaining her attendance.

Lucy Rivera, 60, had never met Nixzmary or her family but felt obliged to attend the service in her Manhattan neighborhood. Rivera blamed the little girl's mother for failing to protect the child.

"The first person who should have defended her was the mother," she said. "She was the first person who failed her."

Nixzmary was at home on Jan. 10 when her stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, went to the store and bought yogurt. Later, when one of the yogurts was missing, Rodriguez allegedly flew into a rage and blamed the 7-year-old girl.

According to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, the stepfather banished the girl to a rodent-infested room with a litter box filled with feces and urine, a wooden chair tied to a radiator and dirty mattresses.

Rodriguez later beat Nixzmary, stripped her naked and dragged her into the bathroom, where he began running cold water in the tub and dunked her head beneath the water, Hynes said. The girl was dead the next morning.

Rodriguez and the girl's mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, were indicted Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder, child endangerment and assault. The mother allegedly ignored the loud thumping noises and cries for help that came from the bathroom.

O'Neil, noting that Jesus was born into a world of violence and evil, told the audience that the little girl, like Christ, moved on to a better place.

"Nixzmary is now surrounded by love, beyond the touch of evil," O'Neil said.

http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_018052107.html
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