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October 27, 2020

Tag: social issues

Homes Wanted: No-kill shelter cares for cat

What happens if your new baby is allergic to your longtime feline friend? Or the cheapest housing option doesn’t allow pets? How much can you afford to spend if he needs surgery or medication?

Southern CA man arrested in underage sex sting

Authorities arrested a southern California man who traveled to Morgan Hill with the intent of having arranged illegal sexual relations with two minors, according to Morgan Hill police. Stephen Lewis, 21 of Oceanside, was arrested Saturday following a multi-agency sting involving Morgan Hill Police, Homeland Security Investigations and the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a press release from MHPD said. Lewis, who lives in southern California, contacted a man over the Internet who agreed to allow Lewis to have sexual relations with his two minor children, police said. The man contacted by Lewis was in fact an undercover agent. The undercover agent and Lewis arranged a predetermined time and location in Morgan Hill to meet, police said. When that meeting happened, Morgan Hill police took him into custody without incident. Lewis was later booked at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of meeting a minor to engage in lewd or lascivious behavior and possession of child pornography, police said. “Law enforcement works diligently to protect everyone in our communities, especially children who are the most vulnerable,” Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing said. “I am very proud of the dedicated professionals who worked as a team to keep this predator from victimizing children.” Joseph Vincent, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in San Jose, added, “Many child sexual predators mistakenly believe they can act on their unconscionable urges with impunity and anonymity online, but as this case shows, nothing could be further from the truth. Homeland Security Investigations will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners here and around the globe to target those engaged in the sexual exploitation of children to see that they are held accountable for their crimes.” Anyone with information about this case can contact MHPD at (408) 779-2101, or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867. 

Accused YMCA molester faces life

The case against a 20-year-old Mt. Madonna YMCA employee accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl in the organization’s childcare facility located at Paradise Valley Elementary School turned darker Tuesday.

Man arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a 6-year-old

A 20-year-old man sexually abused a child under his care at the YMCA, and authorities are in the process of notifying parents of other children who have been in contact with the suspect, police said. Morgan Hill Police were notified last Friday that a 6-year-old girl complained that Nicolas Lhermine, 20 of Morgan Hill, forced her to engage in a “lewd and lascivious act” while attending a local YMCA childcare program, according to Morgan Hill Police Capt. Shane Palsgrove. Lhermine was working as a YMCA childcare provider at the time of the incident, and he had violated several YMCA policies that were in place to prevent staff from being alone with the children, police said. Lhermine has worked at the YMCA for about four years in various capacities. Officers arrested Lhermine Friday night, the day of the alleged incident, Palsgrove said. During the investigation, officers located evidence of another sexual assault victim. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office charged Lhermine with sexual acts with a child age 10 or younger, and possession of child pornography. The childcare program where Friday’s incident took place was stationed at Paradise Elementary School, Palsgrove added. The program was sponsored solely by the YMCA, which used a portable unit on campus for the program. Lhermine’s employment at the YMCA did not include any involvement in any programs the nonprofit offers in partnership with the City or local schools. The YMCA will be notifying parents of all children who have been in contact with Lhermine at the YMCA, Palsgrove said. Parents are encouraged to speak with their children, asking open ended questions regarding sexual abuse, and report any allegations or inappropriate incidents that may have led to criminal acts to the police. Palsgrove added the YMCA responded quickly to the incident. “At the Y, the safety and well-being of all children in our care is our primary objective,” YMCA Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Jordan said. “We are taking this matter very seriously and are cooperating with the Morgan Hill Police Department’s investigation of the allegation.” Jordan added the YMCA staff have “extensive experience” in developing youth through educational program. She added that YMCA employees complete “rigorous screening” including a California Department of Justice background check, and annual trainings including child abuse identification, prevention and reporting. Employees are also closely monitored and supervised while on the job. “We are shocked by this development and are anxious to support the police investigation to discover the results,” Jordan said. Community Solutions offers free services to the victims of sexual assaults, and professionals there encourage victims and parents to make use of those services.“Statistics indicate that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18,” Community Solutions Sexual Assault Program Manager Erica Elliot said. “The effects of child sexual abuse can be devastating, which is why it is so important for those that are victimized to reach out for services and support. Survivors need to know it is never too late to get help, and parents need to know that it is never too early to start a conversation with their children about good versus bad touches and safe versus unsafe secrets.” Community Solutions’ crisis line can be reached at (877) 363-7238. Anyone with information about this incident, or who thinks they or their children may have been victimized by Lhermine can contact Morgan Hill Police Detective Burdick at (408) 779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867. 

County staff propose $4.6 billion budget for 2014

Santa Clara County staff proposed a $4.6 billion county budget for fiscal year 2014 last week that will rely on outside funding sources, new voter-approved revenues and public union concessions in order to close a $67 million shortfall, County staff said. 

Gilroy-Ukraine-U.S. adoption inquiry

The Santa Clara County District Attorney is vetting a complaint from an east coast family claiming that a Gilroy man is illegally conducting international adoptions from his Valley Oaks Drive home.  

$1 million health grant targets South County

Dozens of community-based and local nonprofit organizations stand to gain from a recent $1 million federal grant awarded to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department by the Centers for Disease Control.

Gilroy, Morgan Hill to benefit from county’s $1M public health grant

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department and its community partners will focus on improving the health of some of the county’s small communities, thanks to a  new federal grant of $1,027,931.

Noose, watermelons on anti-Obama display called racist

An apparent political and racist display aimed toward President Barack Obama at an east Morgan Hill residence hasn’t caused much of a stir within the immediate neighborhood which consists mostly of small farms and ranch houses, but has inspired widespread commentary on the Internet accusing the owner of racism and hatred.

Local honored as Legal Advocate of the Year

Community Solutions’ Anita Wilson was presented with the 2012 Legal Advocate of the Year award by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence last weekend, according to a press release from Community Solutions which is based in Gilroy.