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Bill Atkinson Trial Update

Posted by David Merrell On August - 16 - 2012 Comments Off on Bill Atkinson Trial Update

    Bill Atkinson, a former state representative candidate, is currently facing charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in relation to the molestation charges against his son, Will Atkinson. The son is charged with molesting several children at the H.O.P.E. orphanage in Honduras, and is currently imprisoned there awaiting trial. Atkinson’s other sons, Mathew and Jonathan, testified in court today on the obstruction charges.

    Bill Atkinson is charged with ordering Mathew Atkinson to erase a hard drive which contained footage of Will Atkinson molesting children at the orphanage. When word got to the family that abuse may be going on in Honduras, Jonathan Atkinson had cameras installed to monitor the situation. When the video got back to the family, the abuse claims were proven to be true.

    The brother’s accounts of their father’s reaction differ. Mathew claims his father was distraught when he viewed the video, while Jonathan stated his father was more worried that he had raised a gay son. Jonathan testified that Bill Atkinson was worried the allegations would get out and threaten the family business, a 41 acre nursery farm.

    Mathew is also facing obstruction charges as he was the one who physically destroyed the evidence. He claims to have acted on his own, and not under orders from his father. Mathew claims he destroyed the hard drive because the contents could be viewed as child pornography and he did not want illegal materials at his home. The 23 year old will not face jail time, as prosecutors have agreed to dismiss charges in favor of a probationary punishment.

    After they discovered the evidence of abuse, Bill Atkinson went to Honduras to retrieve his son. They were caught at the airport and Will Atkinson was arrested. According to Will’s father in law, who accompanied Bill Atkinson to Honduras, the father did not plan to turn in his son.

    The testimony of Mathew Atkinson is a severe blow to prosecutors, as he outright denies their allegations that Bill Atkinson ordered the destruction of evidence. The defense also contends that the sheriff’s office already had copies of the video, so destroying the hard drives was not destroying evidence. On the flip side, Bill Atkinson’s wife sent emails to Will Atkinson warning him about the impending investigation. Given the ugly nature of the crimes committed by Will Atkinson, a conviction is not completely out of the question.


Jerry Sandusky Found Guilty

Posted by David Merrell On June - 22 - 2012 Comments Off on Jerry Sandusky Found Guilty

    Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty of sexual abusing 10 boys. The abuse occurred over a 15 year period. The incident led to the firing of long time Penn State coach Joe Paterno, and the university president. Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 counts. He is due to be sentenced in a few months, and could get life in prison.

    Sandusky operated a charity called “The Second Mile” which helped at risk youths. He had run the organization since the 1970s. Experts now believe this was a form of cover, and even allowed him to scout potential victims. Sandusky has even been accused of abusing his adopted son, Matt Sandusky.

    This was a terrible crime, reminiscent of the sex abuse crimes committed by a number of priests in the catholic church. The sexual assault of children is always a horrific crime, but it seems even worse when committed by those that have been tasked with teaching and mentoring them. Through his charity, Sandusky had access to numerous children over the years. It is scary to think that these types of monsters are out there, blending in and taking positions that give them easy access to children.

    A similar incident has occurred locally with the arrest of William Atkinson. He was accused of abusing orphans in a family run orphanage in Honduras known as H.O.P.E.

    Sadly there is not much that can be done to flush these child abusers out sooner. Friends and neighbors are usually shocked to hear the accusations when they are first brought up because predators hide their sadistic misgivings so well. Monsters like Sandusky and Atkinson make the job of being a parent that much harder.

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William Atkinson Arrested in Connection with Son’s Molestation Charges

Posted by David Merrell On June - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on William Atkinson Arrested in Connection with Son’s Molestation Charges

    Former House District 105 candidate William Atkinson was arrested yesterday by the Mobile County Sheriff’s office and federal agents for crimes related to his son’s pending molestation case. WKRG News 5 is reporting that Atkinson will likely be charged destruction and alteration of records, and conspiracy to defraud the US Government. He was arrested last night at Mobile Regional Airport around 9:00 PM.

    Atkinson’s son, Will Atkinson, was arrested earlier this year in Honduras for allegedly molesting up to 8 children at an orphanage run by the family. He was released from jail last month on $26,000 bond. The story made headlines when it occurred in February, and now the plot appears to be thickening.

    Authorities believe Atkinson had two of his sons destroy video recordings that showed Will Atkinson sexually abusing a child in Honduras. The Mobile Press-Register is reporting that one hard drive was erased, while another was destroyed. Investigators already had multiple copies of the video.

    Atkinson plead not guilty to the charges this afternoon, and was released from jail. Judge Katherine Nelson forced him to surrender his passport and submit to electronic monitoring. He must also not make contact with any witnesses or co-defendants, including two of his sons.

    The Atkinson family ran the H.O.P.E. (Honduras Orphans Provision Effort) orphanage in Santa Rose de Copan, Honduras. An anonymous tape was sent to the Mobile County Sheriff’s office showing Will Atkinson sexually abusing a child. Will Atkinson attempted to flee Honduras when word leaked of his crimes, but he was arrested at the airport before leaving the country. An investigation was also started to find out if he had victims along the Gulf Coast.

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William Atkinson Investigation Begins in Mobile County

Posted by David Merrell On February - 28 - 2012 Comments Off on William Atkinson Investigation Begins in Mobile County

    WKRG News 5 is reporting that the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into William Atkinson, the missionary who has been arrested in Honduras for allegedly molesting children at an orphanage his family runs. The Sheriff’s Office is trying to determine if Atkinson had victims along the Gulf Coast. A tape was anonymously delivered to the Sheriff’s Office on Friday that showed Atkinson sexually abusing a child in Honduras.

    This story is just the latest in a long line of church related abuses of children. The Catholic church has been plagued by this problem for decades. It has only come into the public spotlight in the past decade or so. An institution of faith is the last place one would expect such an attack to occur at, and that is why the crime is magnified beyond its original horror.

    This is another unfortunate reminder of the dangers that await children out in the world these days. Ask the older generation and they will say the streets were safer back in their day. One has to wonder if it was truly safer back then or if crimes against children were not reported as frequently. The 24 hour news cycle has changed the way we view the world forever. When news like this is reported the view does not look to good.


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