Posted On: February 25, 2011

Northbrook, IL, Woman Faces Child Pornography Charges

A Northbrook, IL, woman has been arrested and charged with two counts of soliciting a minor for child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography. The woman, Paula R. Ferdkoff, was released last Saturday February 19th from Lake County Jail after posting bond. She has been accused of asking a 14 year old girl to participate with her in a pornographic photo shoot. The photos were taken at Digital Effects studio in Lincolnshire, IL. Reports indicate that a phone number for Digital Effects studio has been disconnected. Authorities believe that the inappropriate photography session was an isolated event.

The photos surfaced last August when the mother of the minor sexual abuse victim uncovered them on a computer in the family household. The woman recognized the accused in the photos and confronted her about them before contacting the Glenview Police. The accused reportedly told the Police that she was an aspiring actress and she felt that the photos would help her advance her career. An investigation by the Police uncovered a compact disc in the vehicle of the accused containing the erotic photos. The police then seized several other items containing the pornographic images including computers and cell phones. Authorities are still investigating other individuals involved in the creation and dissemination of the photographs.

If you would like to speak with an attorney regarding the sexual abuse victims’ rights or child pornography victims’ rights, please click here.

Posted On: February 23, 2011

Freezing Rain Implicated in Several Chicago Car Accidents

Freezing rain, snow and ice reportedly contributed to several Chicago area car accidents on the evening of Monday February 21st. The biggest of the Chicago area car accidents was a multi vehicle accident in the inbound lane of South Lake Shore Drive near the 58th Street exit. The accident involved as many as six or seven vehicles according to Chicago Police. Police temporarily shut down inbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive between Oakwood Boulevard and the southernmost end of the road. Chicago police reported responding to at least one dozen car accidents in the City as a result of deteriorating road conditons.

The storm also had a dangerous impact on suburban drivers. Illinois State Police responded to an car crash on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway at Rte. 53 near Woodfield Mall. The suburban Chicago car accident involved serious personal injuries. Weather related crashes and spinouts were also reported on Interstate 290, Interstate 355, and the Elgin O’Hare Expressway. As a result of the inclimate weather and the weather related car accidents, the Elgin District State Police activated a ‘Snow Plan’. The ‘Plan’ allows motorists that have been involved in a Chicago car accident seven days to go to the Elgin District Headquarters to file a crash report. State Police urged motorists to travel with extra caution as the icy weather hit and to use extreme caution on area bridges, curves and ramps.

If you have any questions regarding Chicago area car accidents and would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: February 21, 2011

Wisconsin Man Killed by Chicago School Bus

A Wisconsin man was killed today when the truck he was driving was struck by a tire that fell from a school bus near Racine, WI. The tragic truck accident occurred on Wisconsin State Highway 20 near State Highway 75 in Racine County. According to reports, the school bus was returning to Chicago when its two rear wheels fell off. One of those errant tires struck the front of a pick-up truck the deceased was driving in the opposite direction on Highway 20. The driver of the pick-up truck suffered severe brain injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the fatal accident. The deceased was a 23 year old resident of East Troy, WI.

Reports indicate that none of the passengers aboard the Chicago bound school bus were injured. The bus was reportedly transporting a group of Chicago college students home from a day at Alpine Valley Ski Resort in East Troy, WI. No citations were issued at the scene of the fatal bus accident. The matter is still being investigated by local authorities.

Highway accidents involving large vehicles such as trucks or buses can be very severe. If you or someone you know has been involved in this type of accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to investigate the accident and protect your rights.

Posted On: February 14, 2011

Chicago Woman Killed in Car Accident with Lynwood Village Official

A Chicago resident and mother of four was killed on February 4th when a vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck on Illinois 394 near Ford Heights, IL. According to reports, the vehicle in which the Chicago car accident victim was a passenger was struck by a wrong way vehicle on I-394 just south of the I-94. The wrong way driver was reportedly the city clerk for the Village of Lynwood, IL. The wrong way driver, sixty four year old Roel N. Valle, has been charged with one count of reckless homicide and one count of aggravated DUI involving death. His vehicle reportedly stuck the vehicle in which the deceased was a passenger prior to colliding with a vehicle being driven by the deceased’s husband. The deceased’s husband was treated for an undisclosed leg injury. The Chicago car accident occurred around 1:15 a.m.

The wrong way driver was also seriously injured and remains hospitalized. Reckless homicide while operating a vehicle carries a punishment of 2-5 years in jail and DUI causing death carries a sentence of 3-14 years. The driver of the vehicle in which the deceased was a passenger was also charged with DUI and other traffic violations.

Posted On: February 11, 2011

Sexual Abuse Charges Include Unprecedented Action against Philadelphia Archdiocese Official

Three Philadelphia area priests and an area school teacher were charged with the sexual abuse of minor boys in their care yesterday while a former official with the Archdiocese was criminally charged with allowing the priests continued access to the children. The charges against the official are unprecedented as it is reportedly the first time that a Catholic leader has been charged criminally for the cover-up of abuse as opposed to the abusive acts themselves. The underlying abuse was allegedly perpetrated by two priests from the St. Jerome Parish from 1998 to 1999 and a teacher at the school in 2000. Another priest has been accused of sexually assaulting a different 14 year old boy in 1996.

The charges related to the cover-up of the sexual abuse have been levied against Monsignor William Lynn. Lynn has been formally charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the allegations. Lynn was the individual in charge of investigating reports of priest abuse within the Philadelphia diocese from 1992 to 2004. The grand jury indictment included allegations that Lynn knowingly allowed dangerous priests to have continued contact with children. Reports indicate that the grand jury believed over 30 priests had remained within the Philadelphia ministry despite credible allegations of abuse. The priests responsible for the sexual abuse were charged with rape, indecent sexual assault and other criminal charges. Meanwhile the teacher has been accused of sodomizing an 11 year old boy. The grand jury has also recommended that the Archdiocese overhaul its procedures and policies for handling sexual abuse claims.

If you have any questions about sexual abuse or would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: February 4, 2011

Chicago Pedestrians Struck and Injured by Vehicle in Park Ridge, IL

Two women were reportedly injured last week when they were struck by a vehicle near Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL. According to published reports, the injury victims were crossing Dempster St. at Luther Lane around 6:40 p.m. on January 24th when the Chicago car accident occurred. The victims included a 71 year old Glenview, IL, woman and a 43 year old Chicago woman. They were hit by a 2003 Acura making a left turn onto Dempster St. A witness to the multi victim Chicago pedestrian accident reportedly told Park Ridge Police that the Acura plowed into the pedestrians. The witness also reportedly noted that the pedestrians were in a crosswalk when they were struck.

Both of the Chicago car accident victims were taken to Lutheran General Hospital for treatment. The 71 year old victim allegedly suffered a head injury and was unable to recall specifics regarding the collision. The 43 year old woman told investigators that the women had waited for the crosswalk signal and were reportedly almost through the intersection when they were struck by the vehicle. The driver of the Acura was issued a traffic citation for failure to yield to a pedestrian according to local authorities. The Chicago pedestrian accident remains under investigation by local aurhorities.

If you have any questions relating to Chicago area pedestrian accidents and would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: February 2, 2011

Historic Winter Blizzard Leaves Many Chicago Motorists Stranded on area Roadways

An overnight snowstorm left many Chicago area drivers stranded last night as the City was pounded with a blizzard of potentially historic proportions. Illinois State officials have closed portions of several major interstate expressways as of early Wednesday morning in order to reach stranded motorists or abandoned vehicles. One of the most affected areas was Lake Shore Drive where multiple car accidents and stranded cars and buses left some motorists trapped in their cars until early Thursday morning. According to reports, a CTA Fullerton Ave. bus was stuck on Lake Shore Drive behind a Chicago car accident while crews were unable to access it. The bus was converted into a warming station for stranded motorists. Some reports indicated that conditions were severe enough to halt even snow plows from operating.

Many suburban expressways and highways have also been severely hampered or completely shut down as a result of the storm. According to Illinois State Police, Interstate 57 in Kankakee was completely shut down as of 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Other road closures include portions of I-80, I-88, I-74, I-39 and I-155. For more information on weather related road closures Chicago motorists should contact the Illinois Department of Transportation or check the IDOT message boards. Chicago drivers are urged to avoid travel in all except emergency circumstances.

If you have any questions about winter driving in Chicago or would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

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