ENFORCE MANDATORY REPORTING LAWS IN FLORIDA
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I have a story that I DO NOT want to share. That it pains me to share. But feel I MUST share it, if only to inform others. I feel I MUST share it, because it is unacceptable. I feel I MUST share it, because I alone cannot change it. But we, as a people, can.
A child came to me last September (2016), at the age of 10. This child wanted to share something with me. So I listened while this child shared with me something that I will never forget. A story about grown men and little girls. A story about nightmares and feelings of fear. A story that set-in motion something inside me to ask, why was this allowed? How is this possible? And why hasn’t anything been done?
When this child was 8, something happened to her. At the age of 8, this child, who we will call Jane, was assaulted. At the age of 8, she had already been shown the cruelties of the world. And at the age of 8, she was already a victim of someone who made a CHOICE to violate her. Then made a victim again when the person who should have protected her, made a CHOICE not to.
These are the UNDISPUTED FACTS:
-A man, by the name of HUGO MARKOPULOS, committed a battery on 3 children
-At the time of the assault, Hugo was 21 and Jane was 8. The other 2 were 12 or younger
-The assault occurred sometime in late 2014 or early 2015 (It was warm enough to swim)
-This occurred in the state of Florida
-The assault involved back massages, leg rubs, tummy rubs and Hugo carrying one of the girls to her bedroom, while trying to force his tongue down her throat, while having an erection (or boner, as the child described it). Hugo then laid her in her bed, the child told him no and Hugo told her not to tell anyone.
-The next morning, they notified an adult, one who was entrusted with the children’s care. We will call her Mary.
-This person that was notified-Mary, called Hugo a cab and gave him $20.00 and sent him on his way
-Child protective services (DCF) was never notified. Law enforcement was never notified. And only some of the parents of the children were notified of the incident, the other parents were not.
-When I was informed of the incident, in September 2016, CPS (DCF) and law enforcement were notified as well.
The laws pertaining to this crime are included at the end of this. What they say and how law enforcement has explained it, is like this: The tongue is NOT a sexual organ; therefore, the assault is NOT sexual. It is only simple battery with a statute of limitations of 2 years. The exact date of the assault is unknown, but at the earliest date of late 2014-at the time the incident was reported to law enforcement-the statute of limitations had either already expired or was about to. And without proof that the statute of limitations HADN’T expired (proof of the date of the assault), there was not much they could do about it. There was never much of an investigation. I called for months just trying to get the investigator’s name, with no luck. I finally was able to get the name of the investigator, about 2 months ago. Dawn Janes with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department is who the investigator was in that case and the number to the sheriff’s office is (850) 436-9630. So, Hugo Markopulos got away with what he did. In my mind, he is a child molester. He is a child sexual abuser. He is a danger to your children and cannot be trusted. He is a monster.
The person that was told.. You know, Mary, that responsible adult who was entrusted with the care and protection of those 3 little girls. Well, Mary did not call Child Protective Services, the Department of Children and Families or the Police. She called a cab. And then gave him $20.00. Florida is a mandatory reporting state. Which means, if you know of abuse or even suspect it, you are REQUIRED BY LAW to report it. If you do not, you are guilty of a felony. Your inaction, you NOT notifying the proper authorities, makes you culpable for a crime. You are enabling the abuse by not bringing attention to it. And you are failing that child that you are supposed to protect. But instead, you chose to protect a pedophile.
These are the UNDISPUTED FACTS about the adult that was notified of the incident (Mary):
-Mary was notified the next morning
-Mary called Hugo a cab. Not the cops, not CPS/DCF, not all the parents, but a cab.
-Mary has called CPS/DCF at LEAST 10 times prior to this-on different people for different things. So, she is fully aware of how to report abuse and has extensive experience with CPS/DCF and reporting.
-CPS/DCF was already involved with Mary during the time of this incident (as well as before and after the incident. Mary is still involved with CPS/DCF to this day).
-Mary has admitted to her knowledge of the incident and failure to report, under oath and in court, several times already. Most recently, today 9/27/2017.
-Mary has already admitted, in court and under oath, that yes-she was aware of what happened and no she did not notify the proper authorities. Her very next words were “so arrest me” and they were not serious or sincere. It was a contrite remark as she held up her hands mimicking being handcuffed.
-The magistrate and the bailiff told us to contact the state attorney’s office about the crime today after hearing that testimony and being asked point blank why they were not arresting this person. The magistrate said she could not, it was beyond her control and jurisdiction. That the state attorney’s office has to handle this crime. The bailiff then walked from the courtroom and told us to contact the state attorney’s office.
We have contacted the state attorney’s office already, several times. For a year now. To no avail. The state attorney’s office, Bill Eddins and phone number (850) 595-4200, says to contact the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office says to contact CPS/DCF. CPS/DCF (current DCF caseworker is Jennifer Hatters, phone number is (850) 595-8200) says to contact the sheriff’s office or the state attorney. It’s literally a never-ending circle of being referred between the 3 agencies that has been going on for a year now, with no results and no answers as to why this person gets a free pass for not reporting. Because if they had reported it, this child predator would not be free today to hurt another innocent child. This person would have this charge on their record, to serve as a warning to those who do not know any better and could be potential future victims. How many past victims does this person have? How many future victims will they have? And how come he gets to get away with it? Because the person who knew about it, did NOTHING, they allowed him to get away with it. I believe Mary deserves to answer for this crime. I believe Mary should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I believe that the person who failed to report this “battery,” should not be so secure in life that they can make the comment “so arrest me” to a magistrate and a bailiff while in court. This person does not deserve that security, when the child victims do not have that security-they have nightmares. This person does not deserve to enjoy freedom, when they played the part in robbing these children of their freedom. Their freedom to be children and not victims.
What I want is this:
-To have Mary charged with the felony she committed when she failed to report the abuse. The statute of limitations on that crime is 4 years and HAS NOT expired. Yet.
-To speak with the state attorney’s office to offer the case law I have found that can be used to prosecute Hugo under the sexual battery statutes. Thereby, erasing the statute of limitations hurdle we can’t get over. At one time, the breast was not considered a sexual organ either-but it is now.
-To reform the laws in Florida to include the tongue as a sexual organ. I believe this is a serious offense and should be treated as such. In order to protect every child in the state of Florida, because without our children-we have no future.
I cannot do this alone. I need the power of the people to help me. To get behind me and say with me, that we will NOT tolerate the victimization of our youth. That we will NOT stand by idly as a child is violated. That we do NOT approve of free passes on felonies-especially when talking about the abuse of a child. That we, as a people, have spoken and that our most IMPORTANT resource in life, is our CHILDREN, and we will not fail them. That we must protect those who cannot protect themselves. Please call any of the numbers listed in this and let your voice be heard. Call them and tell them that Hugo Markopulos deserves to be charged with sexual battery; and that the person who failed to report the abuse Hugo committed, against three children, deserves to be held accountable for what she has done, or what she has NOT done.
I have made a gofundme (just search "Protect Children Not Pedophiles" campaign) and any donations will go to reform these laws and to enforce the laws we DO have, in order to protect our youth from sexual abuse. Thank you for your time and any help offered. Your voice and your signature are worth more than your money!! This petition is specifically to HAVE THE MANDATORY LAWS OF FLORIDA ENFORCED. There is a second petition calling for the reform of Florida laws to include the tongue as a sexual organ. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Edmund Burke
PLEASE CALL THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS AND LET THEM KNOW THAT MANDATORY REPORTING LAWS NEEDS TO BE ENFORCED!! LET THEM KNOW THE TONGUE IS A SEXUAL ORGAN WHEN USED IN A SEXUAL MANNER!!
Escambia County Sheriff’s Department-Officer Dawn Janes- (850) 436-9630
State Attorney Bill Eddins-Special Investigator Jeff Schuler- (850) 595-4200
Dept. of Children & Families-Jennifer Hatters or Julie Yeadon- (850) 595-8200
**********Reference Escambia County Offense Report ECSO16OFF021113**********
Florida Mandatory Reporting Law:
39.201 (b) Any person who knows, or who has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused by an adult other than a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, as defined in this chapter, shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the department in the manner prescribed in subsection (2).
Florida Sexual Abuse Law:
794.011 (h) “Sexual battery” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.
Florida Battery Law:
784.03 (1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person
Thank you for reading and any help or support is greatly appreciated!
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