Sunday, April 15, 2007

In response to news articles

In response to Ledger article:

I believe it is important to get the facts straight when presenting information to the public. Justin Caldwell is said to have assaulted a staff member at Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida.

Justin's father, Mark Caldwell, said this did not happen. A tape will soon be released that will prove Justin Caldwell is the victim of abuse at Dozier School for Boys.

There were two incidents that occurred on February 11, 2007, the date of videotape. The first one was in the morning in the dining hall. Staff member James Wooden claims Justin assaulted him. Three days later Wooden went to the police and filed Battery on a Detention Facility Staff charge against Justin.

However, there are witnesses that have reported Justin did not assault Wooden but rather Justin was assaulted by Wooden.

Dawn Chase, the mother of Christopher Sully, remembers all too well what happened to her son at Dozier. The similarities in these two boy's stories are chilling.

Ms. Chase spoke with Rick Reno, attorney for Justin Caldwell, who said he viewed the videotape. He saw the staff member, Alvin Speights, on top of Justin while he was beating Justin’s head on the floor. Justin was lying on his back at the time. Reno indicated to Dawn that he saw the staff member continue to hit Justin as Justin was flipped onto his stomach.

In an interview with Mark Caldwell, Mr. Caldwell indicated he was told that Justin was helped up by two staff members and led to a table. Justin said, "I feel dizzy", and collapsed out of the staff members arms onto the table, then down to the floor, unconscious.

The next thing Justin remembers was being taken to the hospital.

Isabelle Zehnder
Founder and President
Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse (CAICA)

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