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  1. #1
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    CA - Private school molestation case, principal remains out of sight

    Principal remains out of sight as details emerge in California private school molestation case

    The principal of a private school in Northern California remained out of sight Tuesday as additional details emerged about allegations that he touched young girls inappropriately for years and that at least one staff member was aware of his activities but failed to tell authorities.

    A complaint filed by the Department of Social Services stated that several female students said they had been touched by Robert B. Adams, principal and founder of Creative Frontiers School in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights.

    "On numerous occasions, respondent Adams touched female children's bodies under their shirts and down their pants," the complaint said.

    It went on to say that Adams _ whom students referred to as "Mr. Bob" _ also would "seclude female children under a computer desk and lie down with them on a mat in his office."

    Adams could not be reached Tuesday at the school, where five horses roamed a pasture and a large playground was surrounded by red, cottage-like classrooms, or at his home in Folsom, where white garbage bags had been taped to windows on the side of the front door in an apparent attempt to prevent people from looking in

    http://www.newser.com/article/d9oj2u...tion-case.html
    What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
    Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

  2. #2
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    From the link above:

    "..Adams was honored in 2008 as administrator of the year by the Professional Association for Childhood Education, a nonprofit organization for early childhood educators and professionals...."

    and

    "...A former receptionist, Irma Mertens, 62, told The Sacramento Bee that she made five calls to the state before investigators took her complaints seriously. She said she quit her job in May and gave police a spiral notebook filled with notes of everything she had seen...."

    I'm not finding a FB page for the school--not one where there are comments, as mentioned.


    But here's Adams' FB page:

    http://www.facebook.com/adams340

    If I hear a single comment about hysteria or tainted disclosures, I'm outta here.

  3. #3
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    The school's website:

    http://www.creativefrontiers.com/

    The yearly tuition is around $6000. A photo and message from "Mr. Bob":

    http://www.creativefrontiers.com/principals_corner.php

    This will probably disappear, so I'm going to paste it here:

    "Mr. Bob is the founder of Creative Frontiers School and has been the principal since the school’s opening. He was born and raised in Southern California. The first campus originally opened in November, 1975 which means he just celebrated his 35th year anniversary. Prior to that, he had owned 3 swim schools, where children ages 6 months to 12 years were taught swimming while he completed his undergraduate work. He started teaching P.E. to middle school children in 1968 at a private school in Belmont, CA when he was still a high school senior! So, for those counting, that’s 43 years ago! Bob was the second oldest in a family of 8 children & believes he discovered teaching was a way of life (and survival) in a big family!

    Bob and his wife of 35 years, S, have 3 daughters: S (34), T (29), and C (27) that all graduated from Creative Frontiers but also went on to complete their Bachelor’s as well. He currently has eight grandchildren: K (9), D (8), B (5), L (3), N (1), S (1), A (7 mos.) and P (7 months).

    Before starting Creative Frontiers, Mr. Bob earned two Bachelors’ in Child Development and Child Psychology, and then he completed his Masters in School Administration and started his Doctorate in Education, but never found the time to finish! Besides administrating, he has taught swimming, kindergarten, and first grade. He has done a lot of volunteer work throughout his 35 years for children and education throughout various agencies such as the Sacramento Children’s Commission, Placer County Children’s Council, California Textbook Review Commission, Folsom School District’s W.A.S.C. Accreditation parent chairperson, as well as serving on many other educational and children’s rights committees at the local, county and state level."

  4. #4
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    FB comments:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gi...8604181&v=wall

    No doubt about it, Mr. Bob is beloved and well respected. Most parents absolutely will not believe the allegations. They seem to blame a disgruntled employee. We'll have to see what the investigation uncovers. But could I ask a great big favor? For those parents who are jumping to Adams's defense tonight, can they please weigh in as this case plays out. It's horrible to be hoodwinked, especially when children are involved. It serves no one, though, to stick your head in then sand when undeniable evidence is presented. And that is a highly possible scenario, awful as it is.

    Please parents, for the sake of your children, keep an open mind. Listen carefully and examine the evidence presented with your brain, rather than your heart. I've been in your shoes. No parent wants to believe that they've made a horrid mistake concerning who we've entrusted children to. But the children's words must be heard. They know far more than the parents. And those same children are watching closely as to how you process this news.

  5. #5
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    This case is very worrisome. If Brown did indeed touch these children, justice will be served. However, I have a problem with the entire school being suddenly shut down and LE saying that there's no timeline for the investigation. If there ends up not being enough evidence to indict, this man's life, reputation and livelihood are shattered. I can't imagine how hard it must be for the entire community to wait this one out.

    http://www.times-standard.com/ci_185...ce=most_viewed

    Calif. principal denies molestation allegations
    July 20, 2011

    "Flanked by his daughters and tightly holding hands with his wife, a principal under investigation for allegations of child molestation at a Northern California private school vigorously denied wrongdoing Wednesday, declaring at a news conference, "I am innocent." In his first public statement since authorities shut down Creative Frontiers School in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights on Monday, Robert Adams said he was "sad, mostly for the trauma this has created." "But I assure you, I am very confident that nothing inappropriate has happened..."

    and

    "...Adams has not been arrested, and authorities have not said when or if they intend to file charges. Citrus Heights police spokesman Jon Kempf said Wednesday investigators will to take as long as they need while examining all aspects of the case. "We don't have a timeline. We'll take as much time as necessary to really investigate...."

    and

    "....The complaint alleged Adams, whom students refer to as "Mr. Bob," touched young girls under their shirts and down their pants. It went on to say he would "seclude female children under a computer desk and lie down with them on a mat in his office...."

    and

    "....The complaint also accuses office administrator Cynthia Higgins of being aware of some of the allegations and failing to report them to authorities. A former receptionist, Irma Mertens, told The Sacramento Bee she made five calls to the state before investigators took her complaint seriously...."

    more at link

  6. #6
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    A detailed article which brings up the importance of investigative techniques. This is going to be tough, mark my words. Tough on everyone. See why I always implore parents NOT to question their children. It seems cruel but if you do, the disclosures are forever considered tainted. As difficult as it seems, the State's goal is to get a conviction. The trauma to the children and families will continue until there is legal closure.....oh, about 15 years down the line.

    Only then can the real healing begin. My heart goes out to the families affected by this.



    http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_18522848

    Investigators in alleged school molestation heeding McMartin mistakes
    July 21, 2011

    "....His [Brown's] attorney, Linda Parisi, suggested that a former volunteer at the school, Irma Mertens, triggered the investigation in retaliation for the school's decision not to hire her as a full-time staffer
    Mertens did report an alleged incidence of abuse, claiming she walked into the school office last summer and saw Adams touching a young girl in a sexual manner. But investigators said others also have made accusations....."

    and

    "...."We learned everything from McMartin," said John Myers, a Pacific McGeorge School of Law professor whose specialty is investigating and litigating child abuse cases. "It was the case that launched the modern era of psychological research" on proper ways of interviewing youngsters who may have been abused..."

    and

    "....Properly questioning youngsters is the key to finding truthful information that could either put a molester in prison or exonerate a wrongly accused person, said Myers. But interviewing children about sexual abuse can be tricky, he and others said. Young children, they said, are vulnerable to "suggestive questioning," in which the interviewer coaches a child into saying things that incriminate the accused person. "Parents, by definition, are going to ask their children leading questions in these cases," said Myers. "The fear is that if parents or others talk to these kids and then they are interviewed by a professional, they will repeat what they told their parents. You can't unring the bell."


    more at link

  7. #7
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    We must not have any Sacramento area folks on board recently as this is a really big deal. I live 350 miles north of Sacramento but I know of the school as my niece teaches nearby. I've heard that there's typically a waiting list for spaces. It's very well loved in its community. I found an article which interviewed the main complainant. I'm kind of holding my breath, watching to see how this one will fall. It's very hard to watch a woman who is a mandated reporter and who has made a report by vilified as Ms. Mertens has been. Will those who are attacking her apologize if they learn they were wrong? Would they want her looking the other way if it was their child on the mat under Mr. Brown's desk? I think it's very important to remember that she's taking the heat but there have been other disclosures.

    And why in heck would a principal of a school be laying on a mat under a desk with a 7 year old child?

    http://www.news10.net/rss/article/14...al-molest-girl

    Former receptionist claims she saw principal molest girl

    "A former receptionist at Creative Frontiers School struggled to keep her composure as she detailed allegations of child molestation against the school's principal. Irma Mertens said Robert Adams, owner and principal of the Citrus Heights school, didn't see her when she walked into his office one day last year.

    "He was laying on a mat on the floor with a girl about 7 or 8 years old," Mertens remembered. "He was sitting there massaging her arm, massaging her back and then he moved down to her buttocks and her legs." Mertens claimed Adams put his hand under the girl's swimsuit and touched her inappropriately. "She stiffened up. That made me really sick and I said 'oh,'" Martens recalled. "He turned around and he looked at me with this real surprised look...."

    and from parents who do not believe the allegations:

    "...."I felt he was always there for the children," J said. "I want to be here for him. I love the school. I feel the school is all about him." "There's no way these allegations against Mr. Bob are true," said parent JS. "He's a sweetheart of a person....."



    more at link

  8. #8
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    I lived in Sacramento for many years. My daughter had a friend who attended school there (her Mom worked nearby, so it was convenient). The school has a wonderful reputation. All that being said, I hope the investigation will be complete and thorough. I hope all stones are overturned and the truth, whatever it may be, comes out about this.
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  9. #9
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    300 pages???

    http://www.news10.net/rss/article/14...Heights-school

    Docs show long history of complaints at Creative Frontiers School

    "The California Department of Social Services file on Creative Frontiers School is more than 300 pages, spanning 15 years. There are complaints and investigations, including one involving alleged child molestation which closed the school Monday.

    A complaint on May 31, 2011 claims alleged sexual misconduct by a staff member with a day care child. It also alleges sexual misconduct with elementary school students on numerous occasions. Social Services says the claims were never reported. The school was shut down July 18...."

    more at link



    And, it doesn't seem that "Mr. Bob" had all the credentials he claimed:

    http://www.theledger.com/article/201...APN/1107201015

    College records don't match principal's resume

    "The private school principal accused of inappropriately touching young girls has decades of education experience, but some colleges and a state commission said Wednesday their records don't match the credentials he has claimed. Robert Adams is principal of Creative Frontiers School, which was closed by police and state regulators Monday amid allegations that he inappropriately touched female students over a 15-year period...."

    and

    "...On a resume filed as part of a 1999 bankruptcy case, Adams stated he had earned a master's degree and received state education credentials at several California universities. But officials at those schools and the state credentialing body said Wednesday their records do not match the claims...."

    and

    "....Robert Adams filed a resume as evidence of his experience as an educator. The document said he graduated from California State University, Northridge with two bachelor's degrees and a California teaching credential. CSU Northridge spokeswoman CRC confirmed Wednesday that Adams received a bachelor's degree in child development in 1972 and another in psychology in 1975. But she said the school had no record of a teaching credential issued to him. Databases at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing show no record of any educator credential - for teaching or administration - issued to Adams..."

    and

    The resume also stated that Adams attended graduate school and obtained a California administrative credential in early childhood education from the University of California, Los Angeles. It said he completed a master's degree from Pacific Oaks Teachers' College in Pasadena, in "coordination" with UCLA and the now-defunct University of Beverly Hills. UCLA spokeswoman CL said the school could find no record that he had attended...."

    and

    "...A representative of Pacific Oaks College, Matt Nehmer, said its registrar's records show that a Robert B. Adams attended the school in 1980, but not that he had graduated...."

    More at link (3 page article)

  10. #10
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    Another article explaining why LE took the actions they did in closing the school. I was pleased to read that each parent received a copy of the complaint and was invited to an informational meeting. I think that the DA's office and LE know they might be dealing with something big.

    IMO, parents need to take a deep breath and be patient. They would want the same done if their child was a victim. Some might be surprised to learn that their child is indeed, a victim. My heart goes out to the staff and teachers. This must be a shock as it's an extremely difficult time to find a position in education.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/23/378...#ixzz1T9Is0iFb

    Citrus Heights school lockdown was appropriate amid abuse allegations, experts say
    July 24, 2011


    "...."How can an entire school be closed and an entire staff be terminated based on unproven allegations that do not even warrant an arrest?" Citrus Heights Police Sgt. Alex Turcotte said officers were left with few options because the allegations were leveled at the school operator. In a case where a teacher is accused of such behavior, the teacher can be removed, he said. Creative Frontiers is a family-owned preschool and elementary school, with Adams serving as principal and founder...."

    and

    "....The day care portion of the school is licensed by the state; Robert Adams and his wife, Saundra, hold that license. The state Department of Social Services action was solely against the preschool, said spokesman Michael Weston. Agency officials said the "preponderance of evidence" prompted them to revoke the preschool license even in the absence of criminal charges. The standard for pulling a license is lower than that for filing criminal charges..."

    and

    "....The school can appeal the decision to revoke its license within 15 days and can ask for an administrative hearing within 30 days. As of Friday, [DSS Spokesman, Michael] Weston said, the agency had not received an appeal.

    On Monday, Citrus Heights police issued a press release saying detectives had "identified multiple victims with allegations spanning at least 15 years." [Citrus Heights Police Sgt., Alex] Turcotte provided no further details on those allegations Friday, except to say additional evidence has been coming in to police. "Since Monday, there has been an influx of phone calls into the detective division dealing with this case...."

    more at link (plus over 100 comments)


  11. #11
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    The press release:

    http://cops.citrusheights.net/index....d=1&Itemid=174

    Creative Frontiers Parent Information

    "....To date, detectives have identified multiple victims with allegations spanning at least 15 years. The focus of the investigation is the owner, Principal Robert B. Adams...."

    "....All of the alleged victims who have come forward are current or former students of Creative Frontiers School...."

    more at link

  12. #12
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    I am very hopeful that some of the Creative Frontiers parents find their way to our forum. I welcome them to sign on and post if they wish. I'd like to say something to them.

    Twelve years ago, eight of my children were raped. One little boy--only 9 years old--was raped three times in the public elementary restroom by a volunteer at the school, while his second grade teacher taught on the other side of the wall. The volunteer was the teen son of the school librarian. We specifically moved to our town, Ashland, OR, so that our children could attend this highly rated school. Our school, Briscoe Elementary, sounds very similar to your school--very loving and close knit. We remain in Ashland as we love the town and the town has been good to our family.

    When the disclosures were made in April 1998, the rapist was arrested but not a soul at the school said a word. We learned later that teachers were cautioned not to speak to the media OR TO THE POLICE. It was literally shocking. We, as a family, were reeling and we simply couldn't understand why our beloved teachers were ignoring us. Turns out that they'd been told to.

    We kept our children home from school for one week, while they endured their interviews and physical examinations. Our town is small, only 20,000 people, and thus the rumors had begun. Other parents wanted to know where the "L" children were. They were clamoring for information.

    When our children returned to school, three were accosted by the rapist's mother and questioned in a hostile manner. She had to be removed to another school. It was a full month after the disclosures before an informational meeting was held for parents. At around that time, other disclosures came in.

    The short story is that the young man was found guilty of 12 crimes--a number of which were Rape 1 and Sodomy 1. Three of those convictions related to the rapes in the restroom. I'm sure other parents would have really liked more timely information but they didn't get it.

    In reading the articles about the caution that Sacramento/Citrus Heights is exercising for this investigation AND the fact that they site the debacle of the McMartin case, I cannot help but think that they know very well how our case was handled. When we finally went to trial, there were ten victims. Your county must also know that our family has endured the disclosures, the year long investigation, the trial, the convictions, the appeal denial, the Supreme Court denial, the Post Conviction Relief depositions and trial, the governor's clemency denial and our efforts and success in changing the laws about the compulsion of victims to be called by the criminal as witnesses in Post Conviction Relief trials. The convictions held up again and again as the investigative work was done correctly and the testimony was not tainted. Our children were forbidden to speak to us or to each other about the details of their abuses. It was not until we sat in a courtroom a year later, that we learned of the sheer immensity of the case. It was only then that the children could speak. Before that, everything was private with their therapists. Each time someone made a comment to me or my husband, I had to call the police. It has not been a walk in the park. The rapist was released after serving ten years.

    Please, please calm down and be thankful that the police and the DA's office are possibly erring on the side of caution. They want to preserve evidence and untainted testimony. My heart goes out to all of you as no one wants to believe that a person in a place of trust would harm a young child. But please remember that one of the victims could be in your own family--harboring a horrible secret. It takes immense amounts of bravery for children to speak out when they know that the words will not be welcomed by their parents.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    If you care to read (or listen, as there is audio) about our case and to hear one of those victim's very poignant words, here is a link. My son's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee is at the very bottom:

    http://www.crimevictimsunited.org/news/2007/linsday.htm

    If anyone chooses to comment about this link, please use initials. I haven't often linked to this page as it's our family's story. This story is the reason that I dedicate so much time to exposing pedophiles. Please respect my children's privacy, even though they chose to go public with the stories of their abuse.

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    Wow, WOW!

    This is HUGE.....
    Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
    We are all just trying to make sense of an unimaginable crime.

  15. #15
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    I'm not sure if it's huge or not. I'm sitting on the fence until more information comes out. I read through the entire complaint and other than the recent accusation, the complaints that go back 15 years seem like "garden variety" complaints and code violations for a private school--leaky toilets, inadequate padding under the play structure, a diaper not changed. To me, it seems that Adams did exactly as directed for the entire time he's owned the school. When the state said to jump, he did.

    Where I have a problem is with the lying about credentials. Why would a man do that? That speaks to character to me. That was quite a risk for him to lie about those degrees. It's interesting that the State doesn't address that.

    I've yet to read allegations about sexual abuse made by anyone other than the one volunteer. It bothers me that she never noted the dates of the alleged abuses and strange occurrences. She simply reported them to the office manager and assumed that they were being taken care of. I noticed, also, that she reported that she was allowed to supervise sleeping children, without the proper background check. I'd like to know why she volunteered at the school and continued to do so after she sensed something was wrong. I'd also like to know why the DA's office isn't stopping her from speaking to the press. That seems counter-productive. I'm not sure that the number of calls going into the state about this case are not simply calls of inquiry and not disclosures.

    Hopefully, for the sake of the children and the families, we'll know more soon.

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