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child abuse

Reporter Tennessee Watson takes us inside the arduous process of seeking justice in her own child sexual abuse case. Her story exposes discrepancies in prosecutors’ responses and spotlights a lack of accountability.
Anna Vignet / Reveal

In light of the conviction of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, we’re revisiting an award-winning investigation from 2016.   

Reporter Tennessee Watson says she was sexually abused by her gymnastics coach when she was a kid in the 1980s. More than 25 years later, when she learned he still was coaching children, she called the police. Her inside account of the painful process of seeking justice in her own case exposes discrepancies in prosecutors’ responses to reports of child sexual abuse and spotlights a lack of accountability.

Samantha Hanaway, left, holds her son as she meets with Kourtney Waganer, a family support specialist with Parent Promise.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has said it will cut services to handle the $1.3 billion budget shortfall. One of those is the Start Right child abuse prevention program, which costs about $2.2 million,  and affects 700 families who receive help raising their kids through educational activities and home visits.

Bruce Tuten / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma State Department of Health Office of Child Abuse Prevention is offering specialty license tags to raise money to help prevent child abuse in the state.

Applications for the specialty tag called "Start Right" are available at local tag agencies. 

The specialty license tag costs $35. Of every tag purchased, $20 of the proceeds will go into the child abuse prevention fund to support prevention programs across the state.

State officials say that last year, there were more than 11,400 confirmations of child abuse and/or neglect in Oklahoma.

During a 72-hour operation that spanned 76 cities in the United States, the FBI says, agents rescued 105 sexually exploited children and apprehended 150 alleged pimps.

Bruce Tuten / Flickr Creative Commons

Family members of a 5-year-old girl who was killed by her father have amended a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and two child-welfare workers who were fired by the state.

The girl's mother and grandparents claim in the lawsuit that Serenity Deal's death in June 2011 came about due to negligence by the state, which placed the girl with her father. The father is serving a sentence of life in prison for the girl's death.

The defendants haven't yet filed papers responding to the wrongful-death lawsuit.